“I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord…and I would not be comforted.” Psalm 77:1-2  

Whenever my daughters cry out of sadness, one of the first things I used to say was, “Don’t be sad.” We tend to think of sadness or anger as negative emotions and so I tried to do and say whatever I could for my girls to avoid any of these feelings. It took a while for me to realize it, but my girls can’t simply switch off their emotions nor could I will that to happen. If you’re angry or sad, you can’t suddenly switch to feeling happy like you would flip a light switch.  

Our emotions are neither good or bad. They just are. Emotions are a part of the human experience and as creatures made in the image of God, they also reveal something about who God is. Throughout Scripture, we see how God experiences both positive emotions (joy and gladness) and negative ones (sadness and anger), so none of the emotions we might feel are good or bad per se. Tremper Longman and Dan Allender write that “… a dark emotion such as anger is neither right nor wrong - it’s what we do with anger that is either constructive or destructive.”  

In the English congregation, we are currently going through a sermon series on the book of Psalms. It’s true that the Psalms teach us how to worship God, but more broadly, the Psalms give voice to the human soul. They peer into the emotional experiences of those that wrote them. When we read the Psalms, we see ourselves in them - our hopes and fears, our joys and suffering, our confidence and insecurities. There may not be an emotion we experience as humans that is not expressed in the Psalms.  

Our hope and prayer through this series is that the Psalms can become a resource for us as we follow Christ through all of the highs and lows that life brings. No matter what we are facing in our lives, the Psalms show us that we are never alone in our journey.

 

 「我要向神發聲呼求,我向神發聲,祂必留心聽我。 我在患難之日尋求主,我在夜間不住地舉手禱告,我的心不肯受安慰。」詩篇77:1-2  

每當我的兩個女兒因悲傷而哭泣時,我常說的第一句話就是「不要難過」。我們傾向於將悲傷或憤怒視為負面情緒,所以我會試圖盡我所能地讓我的女兒們避免有任何這些負面情緒。我花了一段時間才明白到我的女兒們並不能很容易地轉換她們的情緒,亦不是我的能力可以控制這些事情發生。如果你生氣或悲傷,你總不能像開關電燈一般,一瞬間就突然變得快樂。      

我們的情緒沒有好壞之分,情緒就是情緒。情緒是人類經驗的一部分,我們既是按著神形象創造的受造之物,就表明了我們的身體也揭示上帝是誰。在整本聖經中,我們看到神如何體驗正面的情緒(喜樂和歡欣)和負面的情緒(悲傷和憤怒);因此,我們就明白情緒本身沒有好壞之分。Tremper Longman 和 Dan Allender寫道:「....像憤怒這樣的黑暗情緒既沒有對也沒有錯 - 只是我們怎樣處理憤怒的方式,卻有建設性和破壞性之分。」      

在英語會眾中,我們目前是以詩篇作為我們的講道信息系列。詩篇確實教導我們如何敬拜上帝,但更廣泛地說,詩篇為人類靈魂發聲,詩人察看並且寫下人類的情感經歷。當我們閱讀詩篇時,我們會在其中看到自己 - 我們的盼望和恐懼,我們的喜樂和痛苦,我們的信心和不安。但凡人類所經歷的情感都不難在詩篇裏找到。      

通過這個系列的講道信息,我祈盼當我們跟隨基督走過生活帶來的所有高山低谷時,詩篇可以成為我們的力量的泉源。無論我們在生活中面對什麼事情,詩篇都向我們表明,我們在旅途中永遠不會孤單。