How to See In the Dark: A FREE Reading Plan on Hope
“Hope itself is like a star- not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity. ”- CH Spurgeon
Do you find yourself surrounded by darkness? Maybe it is full of fear, anxiety, or depression. Maybe family relationships are strained, and are only filled with bitterness and strife. Darkness seems to permeate our world.
Light is the first thing God created. Not the sun. Or the moon and stars. Light itself was created from the darkness. And God spoke it into being. From the beginning God desired to bring light to the darkness.
In the Old Testament we find promises of a coming Messiah. A light to shine into our dark world full of sin. And for so many years God was silent, but light suddenly burst forth! Jesus, who came to earth to show us the Father, is the Light of the World.
Darkness seems to pull out the light. It seems to pull out the good and right. So we are left empty. Doesn’t darkness seem empty? So how do we stay rooted in truth, even when the stars are blotted out?
Truth. I speak a lot about God’s Word and hiding truth in our hearts. But if I’m honest, truth doesn’t seem to just find me when I’m feeling down. Truth isn’t the loudest voice in my head during times of darkness. In fact, lies are pretty convincing when it comes to depression.
So the suffering is never wasted. He is always Good. When I try to understand what is going on, things I cannot understand, I will always question God’s goodness. Like many of life’s struggles, God hasn’t left us floundering on our own.
So where do we look when we are just struggling to survive through a season of suffering? Christ on the cross would be the perfect place. The following psalm, from the Book of Psalms, is one many attribute to Christ on the cross. Let’s look at one of the verses:
For he (GOD) has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him. Psalm 22:24
Would you say Christ was afflicted on the cross? Surely we’ve never been crucified, but I never try to diminish the pain you might be feeling. Instead, I would say: look at the cross. Surely Jesus knows about your suffering. What truth can we find to comfort us during our times of heartache? According to Psalm 22:24, we find three truths to prove God is still good.
First, let me say, God is weeping with you. I cannot picture the cross without seeing tears on the face of the mother of Jesus. And maybe even God the Father and the Spirit wept while the Son suffered. Holding on to the truth that He is always good will take grit and grace. It will not be easy, to see the suffering and salvation intermingled together. Some days we might not see the good. In fact, we will miss it on most days.
Today, can we hold on to these truths (straight from a suffering Savior) to get us through the tears?
1. God Doesn’t Take Suffering Lightly.
God is not looking for ways to make us suffer or allowing suffering lightly. Beth Moore wrote: “The goal of life is not the absence of pain. It is the presence of God and the glory of God. When He can work glory without pain, He does. When He can’t, it’s going to hurt. But it’s also going to be worth it someday.” God will not let us suffer lightly, there is always a purpose.
2. God Doesn’t Hide Himself During Suffering.
Never did we face what Christ did on the cross. The Father looked away from His Son (because of our sin). But as Christians, we will never know what that feels like because of Christ. God will never hide himself from us. His Word is right here. His truth is like a light in the darkness. God is not hidden to those who suffer; in fact, He promises to be even closer to those who are suffering.
3. God Hears Us When We Suffer.
The enemy would like nothing more than to tell us He isn’t listening. We want answers, and so when our “answers” aren’t found, we assume the silence of God. In the Bible, so many verses (Mark 11:24; Eph. 1:18; John 17:15; Prov. 15:8; Psalm 17:6; Psalm 102:17; Psalm 141:2; Romans 12:2) remind us that God is always listening to our prayers.
Do you believe these words?
You’re always good. Always good.
Somehow this sorrow is shaping my heart like it should.
And You’re always good. Always good. – Andrew Peterson
Psalm 42:8 says “By day the LORD commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.”
Psalm 18:11 says “He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him, thick clouds dark with water.”
Psalm 139:12 says “Even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.”
God created the darkness, and even though we cannot see – God can! If we stay close to God, I’ve learned, we can sometimes see in the dark as well. Find a hope-filled reading plan here.
Sarah E. Frazer is a writer and Bible study mentor at sarahefrazer.com. She is the wife of Jason and mother of five who all serve as full-time missionaries in Honduras. Her passion is to encourage women to fall in love with the Bible. Sarah is the author of several Bible study resources for women. She share tools for deep-rooted Bible study at sarahefrazer.com. Follow her on Instagram (http://www.instagram.com/sarah_e_frazer) and join her free prayer challenge at sarahefrazer.com/prayer