As I was sitting here and contemplating my next blog post a verse popped into my mind. I will share it shortly. My mind went to the time from Christ’s crucifixion until His resurrection.
I wonder what that time was like. It had to be hell for earth for those who followed Jesus. They expected Him to take over at any moment and declare Himself the King of Israel. Remember the triumphal entry?
Now, all their hopes and dreams were smashed on the rocks of the sea of life. Imagine the confusion. I can see them aimlessly wandering without hope.
Then a verse of Scripture came to me. Look at Luke 22:31, “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:” If you think this through he is not only trying to get Simon Peter; but, all of the followers of Jesus. As they endured this time I am sure they thought that the enemy had won.
Then came Sunday. Resurrection Day! I love the song, “Then Came The Morning”. I love to sing it and I like to listen to others sing it. My favorite would be Guy Penrod on the Gaither Homecoming series. What a truth! Even Peter at times wanted to go back to the fishing business. He was sifted; but, Jesus prayed for him and he made it through. He did not graduate with honors; but, he graduated non the less.
Maybe your life seems like all hope has fled out the door. Let me share with you that you can find hope and help in Jesus Christ. He loves you supremely and He demonstrated it by dying on the cross in your place. Put your faith and trust in Him today before it is eternally too late.
Last night I was enjoying the full moon and decided to take some photos of it. Only me would get photobomed by an airplane. Did you notice that? This set me off thinking. This is uncharted territory…
We are called to be the light of the world. Look at Matthew 5:14, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” Light is important. The great thing about light is that when light is present darkness flees. They cannot coexist. Did you get that? Light and dark cannot be in the same place at the same time.
My point here is that too many so-called Christians are trying to live their lives in such a way as to please themselves by doing what they think is pleasurable and keep just enough of their foot in the door of the Church to (in their own mind) please God or do Him some kind of service. This cannot be. You are either pleasing God or you are not. You are either obeying Him or you are disobeying Him. There is no middle ground here.
Today as you go to Church I challenge you to worship Him wholeheartedly with all of your being. Do not just sit, soak and sour another week in the services. Be engaged in the worship service and be engaged in the preaching service especially. It might be that something you hear will help you shine in the life of someone else and chase the darkness away for them.
I hate to admit it; but, I enjoy being alone most times. This is not a good trait for one who ministers to people. It is hard to minister to these people from seclusion. You may recall that I did a short series on blog posts on Jesus’ ministry of being alone. It was a good series and it turned out a pretty good sermon (even if I do say so myself) based upon the feedback from those who “endured sound doctrine”.
The devil is good at making us “feel” alone. He knows if he can cause us to feel alone we will make bad decisions based upon feeling alone. This is not one hundred percent of the time; but, it is unfortunately true a lot of the time.
There is nothing that makes a person who is experiencing a dark time in their life to feel even more alone than to look around and think you are alone. The Psalmist put it this way in Psalm 69:20, “Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.”
There is something here that the writer of the Psalm has not mentioned and we often forget in dark times. He nor we considered the truth of the latter part of Hebrews 13:5, “… I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
So, the truth is that no matter how dark the time or trial you are experiencing you are never alone as one of God’s children.
I have many friends. Some of my friends have experienced pain and suffering so unspeakable. One friend in particular saw many people who called him their friend not only walked away from him in a great hour of need; but, they stood publicly against him. Truth be known, these were no friends that did this.
Someone said, “When it is your hour of need those who run in are your true friends. Those who run out were never truly friends to begin with.” This was in response to a similar quote that I cannot recall. You get the gist.
Being parents of a child with deep special need will sometimes make you fell like someone pulled the fire alarm in your life as you watch those you know and love either stand and look away or worse yet they run away. I think some of them mean well; but, they don’t know what to do or how to handle the situation.
Let me tell you; if it is not too painful for you, please stand and stay with your friends who are going through the wringer of hell that some days describes life for these parents and their special children. We have had two such weeks at our home. Many gallons of tears have been shed by all members. Yet, there were the faithful few who called to say they love us and are praying for us. For this I cannot thank my Father enough for nor can I thank these friends and family enough. We would never make it if it were not for the prayers of God’s people.
I hate to admit it; but, I truly believe I know first hand what drives people to take their own lives in suicide. The pain is so intense that you will do anything to make it go away. Do not fear I am not contemplating suicide. Not even close. My family needs me too much to take my own life. My Father sustains me and He sustains my wife. We have experienced the truth of Psalm 38:11, “My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off.” But then there are the faithful few who lovingly stand by us. I thank God for those who stand with us, by us and especially for us. God bless you richly!
As I was thinking about this Christmas season I was reminded of some people that I know that are experiencing the darkest times of their lives. I certainly do pray for them. We are all guilty of those cliche’ sayings like, “The light shines brighter in dark days.” and phrases like that. I am sure the one who hears that is really comforted. Probably not.
As I was thinking about the account of Christmas in the Word of God I began to think that before the coming of Christ there was a period of 400 silent years. I cannot imagine this; but, I understand why it is called “The Dark Ages”. God did not speak to His people for 400 years. That is real darkness.
Then suddenly there appears on the scene One who can change the world. Literally. I am reminded of the words of Psalm 30:5, “For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. ” Out of the darkness came the Light of the world.
Have you come to Jesus for salvation? It is my prayer that you have. If you have not, this is the best time to put your faith and trust in Him.
Today we will look at the “Secret Place Of Spiritual Growth.” Look at Psalm 18:11, “He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.” Now, I know that you and I are probably a lot alike. I don’t like the dark really. I have grown up enough not to be afraid of the dark. I own various flashlights to combat darkness.
Yet, it is in the darkness of life that we seem to learn some valuable life lessons. We don’t have to love darkness. If you do love darkness I would do a spiritual check up from God’s Word. In the darkness of life we can see light shining so much more brightly. Stand in a dark room and light a match (as long as there are no gas leaks). That little match will give great light in the dark room.
Notice also in our scenario that when the light comes in the darkness leaves. When we are experiencing darkness and we invite the light in the darkness fades and we become focused on the light and not the darkness. At least we should be. It is the painful process of spiritual growth that will bring this about. We will learn to not love the darkness; but, rather see it’s usefulness in bringing us closer to Christ and growing us spiritually.
I received an e-mail a couple days ago from my dear friend Pastor Jim Kilgore. He pointed me to blog site of a mother of a child who is trapped in the lifestyle of autism. You can see it here. Please understand that I do not know this mother and so I cannot say that I endorse her; but, the reality is what she says strikes a note with us.
The premise of her blog is this: Post tenebras lux is a Latin phrase translated as Light After Darkness. This Latin phrase is taken from Job 17:12, “They change the night into day: the light is short because of darkness.” This is what she is writing about. Unfortunately, we know all too well what she is writing about.
How do you get through the dark days? Just like the title implies, you remember the “Light” that scatters darkness. When your child has a “bad day” you have to remember the good days. You must remember that it is the autism causing the child’s behavior. It is; in some cases, not the child just being defiant or deviant. It is the lifestyle that the child is locked inside of causing their behavior.
I am not saying live in the past. This is unrealistic. What I am saying is draw strength from the past victories. Remember where Jesus has walked through life with you and carried you and there is only one set of footprints visible. Look up words in God’s Word like “remember” or “consider” and the like. Encourage yourself in the Lord Jesus Christ. He wants you to lean on Him. Run to the LORD!
Just before leaving the funeral home where his wife was celebrated, a man was asked if he would like for another family member to take his young daughter with them so he could have time to grieve. The father responded, “No, we will go through this together.”
That night as the father was going to bed his daughter called to him and asked if she could sleep in his bed with him. He readily agreed. When the lights went out the daughter asked the father, “Daddy is your face turned toward me?” The father assured his little girl that his face was turned toward her. The little girl said, “Okay, I can go to sleep now.”
When the little girl had fallen asleep the father slid out of bed and on to his knees at the bedside and prayed. He said, “Father, is your face turned toward me?” God the Father spoke to this man in the depths of his heart and said, “Son, my face is turned toward you.” This father replied, “Then I can go to sleep now.”
Dear friend, I don’t know what you are going through; but, rest assured that you have God’s undivided attention and that His face is turned toward you. He loves you so very much that He cannot take His eyes off of you. Remember the truth of Psalm 30:5, “For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Hold on my dear friend, joy is coming in the morning.
In our house we watch the weather for the coming and going of the high and low fronts. Pressure is far too many days our enemy as it has ill effects on people. When I drove an ambulance for a living you could tell the moon phases by the run load. On full moon days we ran like crazy back and forth between the hospital and the care facilities. The care facilities did not know what to do with the patients so they sent them to the hospital. The hospital would give them a clean bill of health and send them back to the care facilities. It was a vicious cycle.
In thinking about the moon, I was reminded of an amazing fact. The moon does not give off any of it’s own light. The moon simply reflects the light from the sun. this is such an amazing fact to me. I am reminded of the song we sang while I was growing up, “This Little Light Of Mine”.
As a Christian we are to be a spiritual moon. Yes, we are. We are to take the light of the Son and reflect Him and His message to a dark, desperate and dying world. I believe we are exhorted to do so in Matthew 516, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” It is not our light; but, the light of Christ that we are to reflect. When light comes in the darkness is gone. Darkness and light cannot exist in the same spot. Try it this evening. Turn on a light in a dark room and see where the darkness goes.
It is my prayer that you and I can get “turned on” to Jesus and let His light shine through us to a dark and dying world that needs exactly what we have to give them from Jesus. Will you?