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1231 – In Good Times and Bad Times 顺境与逆境

Philippians 4:12-13 (NKJV) I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things, I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

We often quote this scripture regarding being able to do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens us. It is taken from the context where the Apostle Paul mentioned that he was able to make adjustments to his life regardless whether he was abundantly supplied or during those times when he had lack in his life. He was able to experience God’s grace and strength in all situations. Of course, it is much easier for us when we are abundantly supplied but it is a different story when we have to wait patiently for a breakthrough when we have lack in our lives.

During this current pandemic and world financial crisis, we will experience a lot of frustration due to certain lifestyle changes that need to occur in order to weather the storm. Living in an expatriate community, there can be added stress when the stay-at-home spouse may be discontented with the working spouse with what he/she is able to provide for the family. Additional stress and frustration can occur when someone is made redundant or has to endure a pay cut due to their company’s current situation during the financial crisis. Since many companies have frozen their headcounts, it may take some time to wait for the next job to become available. There may be a need to simplify the lifestyle to reduce the overheads of the family. The adjustments might be in the area of moving to a cheaper place, no longer having household help, and even the possibility of repatriation for the children to attend a local school to reduce the cost to the bare minimum because Shanghai is an expensive city. These situations will need a very understanding spouse who promises to stand by the husband or wife and to honor the marriage vow which is to weather the storm together. If we do not honor the marriage vow and stand by each other in good times and in bad times, then the muttering, complaining and discontentment will cause a rift between the husband and wife. We are not prospering in our soul when we allow such things to divide us.

1 Timothy 6:6-7 (NKJV) Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

If money is not the god of our lives and our identity is firmly rooted in Christ then there will not be any growing discontentment or the need to constantly compare ourselves with our friends, relatives and neighbors. We will be content that our family is prospering, we are walking with the Lord and are healthy in our bodies.

Always remember, no matter what the situation is…. God’s grace is sufficient for us.

Sermon Series: Balancing Godliness and Riches (Part 1)


顺境与逆境

腓立比书4:12-13 我知道怎样处卑贱,也知道怎样处丰富;或饱足,或饥饿;或有余,或缺乏,随事随在,我都得了秘诀。我靠着那加给我力量的,凡事都能做。

我们经常引用这段经文-靠着那加给我们力量的,凡事都能做。这段经文的上下文中使徒保罗提到无论是有充足的供应或是缺乏他都能够调整自己的生活。他在任何情况下都能体验到神的恩典和力量。当然,当我们富足时,这对我们来说容易得多,但当我们在生活中经历缺乏时,我们不得不耐心等待突破。

在目前这场疫情大流行和全球金融危机期间,我们将经历许多挫折,因为为了度过这场风暴,我们需要改变某些生活方式。生活在外籍人士社区,会有增加的压力,如果居家的配偶对在职场的配偶所能够为家庭提供的感到不满。在金融危机期间,由于公司目前的状况,一些人被裁掉或不得不忍受减薪,这些都会带来额外的压力和挫折感。由于许多公司已经冻结了员工人数,所以等待下一份工作可能需要一段时间。有些人可能需要简化生活方式以减少家庭开支。调整的范围可能是搬到一个更便宜的地方,不再雇用保姆,可能让孩子们在本地学校上学,以将费用降到最低,因为上海是一个昂贵的城市。在这种情况下,需要一个非常理解的配偶能够承诺站在丈夫或妻子身边,遵守婚姻誓言,共同度过难关。如果我们不信守婚姻盟约,在顺境和逆境的时候站在一起,那么牢骚、抱怨和不满就会造成夫妻之间的裂痕。当我们允许这样的事情把我们分裂时,我们的灵魂就不会兴盛。

提摩太前书6:6-7然而,敬虔加上知足的心便是大利了; 因为我们没有带什么到世上来,也不能带什么去。

如果金钱不是我们生命中的主宰,而且我们的身份坚定地扎根于基督,那么就不会有任何日益增加的不满情绪,也没有必要不断地将自己与朋友、亲戚和邻居作比较。我们将满足于我们的家庭兴盛,我们与主同行,身体健壮。

永远记住,无论环境如何,神的恩典够我们用。

讲章系列:平衡敬虔和富足(第一部分)