Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
By Chris WittsSaturday 4 Jan 2020Morning Devotions with Chris Witts
Have you been through a rough patch in life, a dark time? My guess is that you probably have, and I hope you got through it OK. Wouldn’t it be good if we had the answers to why these dark times come—the truth is there are no easy answers to explain dark times and disappointment.
Even though 2001 seems far-off now, the events of September 11 still haunt me. Like many others, I heard the news the following morning, and was shocked by what I saw on the TV news. Such a great loss of life, innocent people died, suddenly and tragically. A Christian woman who lost her husband in the World Trade Center said: “When the news broke that my husband had been killed, a terrible darkness descended on me. But a hand reached out to me in the darkness. It was a rough hand, rough with work at a carpenter’s bench, and pierced with an ancient wound”.
Going Through Thick Darkness
What a wonderful word! Who knows when we will face such a challenge? Are you going through thick darkness right now in your life? Your thick darkness may be financial, physical, emotional, spiritual or relational. Warren Wiersbe once wrote: ”When you and I hurt deeply, what we really need is not an explanation from God, but a revelation of God. We need to see how great God is; we need to recover our lost perspective on life”.
In the Corrie ten Boom museum, you can read this statement from the late Corrie:
Not easy to put into practice when struggling with loss or bad news…Often I have heard people say, “How good God is! We prayed that it would not rain for our church picnic, and look at the lovely weather!” Yes, God is good when He sends good weather. But God was also good when He allowed my sister, Betsie, to starve to death before my eyes in a German concentration camp. I remember one occasion when I was very discouraged there. Everything around us was dark, and there was darkness in my heart. I remember telling Betsie that I thought God had forgotten us. “No, Corrie,” said Betsie, “He has not forgotten us. Remember His Word: “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him.” …There is an ocean of God’s love available—there is plenty for everyone. May God grant you never to doubt that victorious love—whatever the circumstances.
In Psalm 139 it says: “…with your powerful arm you protect me on every side….Suppose I said ‘I’ll hide in the dark until night comes to cover me over. But you see in the dark because daylight and dark are all the same to you”. Isaiah 50:10 says: “Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord, and rely on his God”. The Bible is full of stories of those who needed to trust God in darkness.
You Can Find Strength In God
King David had one of those dark times in his life. Samuel anointed him King of Israel. At the time there was another king by the name of Saul who was still on the throne. When Saul learned that David had been anointed king, he was furious and sought to kill him. David had to flee for his life.
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For 10 years he was a fugitive, forced to take up residency with a loyal band of followers among the Philistines in a village called Ziklag. He led his men off to a battle, and when they returned they discovered that their village had been raided by the Amalekites. The village had been burned to the ground. Their families had been kidnapped and their possessions stolen. And Samuel describes the scene:
When David and his men came to Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. David’s two wives had been captured, and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God. (1 Samuel 30:3-6).
Imagine that!—David had lost his family; he has no home to return to and his own men want to kill him. He feels totally abandoned and alone. He knows that God has chosen him for a specific purpose, but he is tired and God does not seem to be keeping his end of the bargain. David feels the darkness closing in. Then something happened: “David found strength in the LORD his God.”
(To be continued When Dark Times Come – Part 2)
Copyright Dale & Juanita R. Ryan