Lord willing, I will be sharing the following notes with my church family tomorrow. Please pray for the Lord to encourage the hearts of His children, and be lifted up.
From Darkness to Light:
Recently I found a prayer I had written last July. It ended with “Losing Hope Fast. HELP, Father. I’m sinking.”
Circumstances were overwhelming me. From where I was “standing,” the surrounding conditions were distorting my perspective of life. I had lost ALL HOPE and given up on God. Looking back, I’m certain that I did NOTHING to bring myself out of that darkness!
But I wonder….why is it that God would allow some of us to be touched (or SLAM RUN OVER) by darkness of depression?? What purpose does this serve anyway!? After all---God is light..and in Him is NO DARKNESS right?? I know I am His child and have Him within me..SO PLEASE TELL ME why does He sometimes pull the veil of darkness over me and remove the SENSE of His presence?
Last Sunday, I came home and asked the Lord to show me what He wanted me to say today. And He immediately answered prayer, when I opened a devotional called, “My Utmost for His Highest.”
Matthew 10:27 says, “Jesus says, ‘What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.’” Wow. He pulled the veil of darkness over me to TELL ME something. And that “something” is meant to be SHARED….when I’m in the light.
He taught me a lesson for two different groups of Christians:
(1) Either you’re discouraged by the DARKNESS of your circumstances –OR—(2) You’re basking in the Son-shine of His presence.
If You’re in the Darkness Now: Be Quiet.
- Darkness is a time to listen.
- God will give you a precious message for SOMEONE ELSE when you’re finally brought back into the light.
- II Chron. 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. When I looked up the word “perfect,” one of it’s meanings in Hebrew is “quiet.” He is actually SEARCHING for those whose hearts are quiet and completely HIS. WHY? So He can SHOW OFF on their behalf!
Wanting to Give Up is NORMAL!
- I Kings 19:4---Elijah flees for his life…he flees into the wilderness—a place of no hope. Elijah sits under a juniper tree (which by the way is a broom plant---His circumstances seemed to be sweeping over him) Anyway--- he “requested for himself that he might die.” “It’s enough! Now O Lord, take away my life for I am no better than my fathers!”
- But verse 5 says---As he lay and slept (sign of depression) BEHOLD! An angel touched him and said, “Arise and eat!”
- Notice the angel didn’t say “Arise and Rejoice” or “Arise and Listen to this Message.”
- The darkness of depression will TURN US AWAY from ordinary things. But when God comes, He inspires us to do the natural things: Get out of Bed, Eat, Go check the mail box…answer the phone… AND WHEN WE DO: We find Him there.
Family and Friends May Try to Help
- Eph. 5:14---“Arise from the dead and CHRIST shall give thee light.”
- When you’re discouraged, sooner or later someone will give you practical advice with the hopes of pulling you up and out of your despair. “Get over it.” “Snap out of it.” Those sound a bit harsh. But..what about, “Pray.” “Trust the Lord.” That’s actually good advice.
- By the way, even YOU can try to bring yourself UP and OUT—but you WILL NOT SUCCEED.
- Only the Holy Spirit can raise someone from the dead. Quietly wait for HIM to tell you to BUCK UP..and ARISE. When He does, TAP into His power and GET UP!
- Jesus said to the man with the withered hand, “Stretch forth thine hand.” As soon as the man did so, his hand was healed.
- When The Lord does finally speak to you while you’re in the pit of discouragement, be sure to listen and do what He says.
- Respond immediately to His command.
- Disobedience is a sign of LACK OF TRUST in the Father.
- Remember what 11 Chron. 16: 9??? The Lord is looking for quiet hearts, completely trusting in Him. But read the last part of this verse: “Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.” The Lord is rebuking Asa for lack of trust in God. Asa had trusted God in the past, and God was faithful to deliver--helping Asa overcome much larger enemies; but in this trial Asa had trusted the arm of the flesh. He of all people should have known better.
- GOD IS DISPLEASED WHEN WE DO NOT TRUST HIM.
- Do not let a root of bitterness spring up in your heart either. Read the last part of II Chron. 16 to find out what happened when Asa became bitter.
If you’re circumstances have given you
a sense of discouragement and hopelessness
God is not through with you yet.
He loves you and wants to help you.
God is able to deliver you, and He will.
Nothing is impossible for Him.
There is always hope. ALWAYS.
Do not wrestle in the darkness. It’s best to just sit still and listen for Him. He’s going to give you a special message to share with others when you’re back in the light.
You are not alone. Even though He seems to be quiet, He is there. THE CLOUDS are the dust of His feet….So if you’re in a fog, LOOK UP! He’s nearby!
When He finally speaks to you in your storm, His deliverance is not far behind. So, when He tells you to do something…ANYTHING, no matter how ordinary…just do it, in faith.
What He allows us to suffer will be turned around for our good. The sooner we let go and wait on Him, the sooner the distress from fighting and struggling disappears and the warmth from His Son-shine returns.
YOU may give up on God….but….He will never give up on you.
If You’re Basking in the Son’s Light:
Remember: You may desire to pull someone UP and O U T of their circumstances, but in order to do that you must first look OUT and then UP. Look out—look around for SOMEONE you can be a blessing to. THEN, when you find them, look UP to the LORD for guidance. The Lord knows what He is after in their life. So be careful to listen for His direction…and always PRAY for His will to be done.
One final note: My Father used that time of darkness to bless ME too.
The circumstances surrounding me were overwhelming, but He lifted me up to give me a new perspective of them.
- Psalm 32:10 says, “…but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.” IF I TRUST IN THE LORD, I am no longer surrounded by my circumstances, but by His mercy and lovingkindness.
- The turbulent circumstances surrounding me were just packages that contained His mercy.
- His purpose in everything is to make me more like His Son.
That’s why I can say, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” (Psalm 119:71)