We have all been in seasons where the darkness has overwhelmed us. Our understanding fails us and our sense of God is lost in inner anguish. We lament over things that have been long gone but it feels like it just happened. Heaviness and despair can be our companion more often than we would care to admit. But in this place of darkness is where God can do His greatest work.
In the darkness
In the darkness, there is a sense of apprehension and caution. The Lord sees light and darkness as the same, He often dwells in thick darkness in 1 King 8:12. The darkness doesn’t limit the Lord, but we are aware of our limitations in the darkness. In the middle of the night when forgetting our surroundings, we can be reminded quickly and painfully after colliding with stationary objects.
Jesus can calm and muzzle our storm, but His timetable is often very different than ours. Our “noisy soul” with unresolved things can hijack our present reality. He dispels our restlessness, with His peace. His strength is displayed in our weakness and is more powerful than anything coming at us or within us. The work in darkness has an eternal purpose.
Here are a few steps to help identify what is happening:
- Acknowledge what you understand is going on – be prayerfully transparent.
- Confess any known sin
- Agree with the promises God has given you and speak them out loud
- Reach out for help. Have Godly people aware of what is happening
Profound things learned in darkness
The arena of darkness can allow God to do his best work, we are no longer making a show to anyone, but it is now us and Jesus alone. Maybe pain, failure or sickness led you to a dark place, but Jesus will lead you through. Everything can be different after a dark season because we allowed a deep work of the soul to take place – we are then made different.
Here are a few things learned:
- How to engage Christ on an authentic level
- To seek Christ with our whole heart.
- Christ brings us deeper and closer with a growing sensitivity to the things of God
- Understanding and Rhema are added as we abide
- Christ handicaps our ability so that we radically reliant on Him, and Him alone.
In these seasons, God’s plan is to promote us in the spiritual world first, then the natural world. We are being transformed from the inside out and being made like Jesus. As a blind person relies on their other senses for navigating, so we lean on the Holy Spirit to be our everything. This doesn’t come naturally; there is a process of trust and a relationship that must be fostered.
Hebrews 5:8 “Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered.” As we go positive and mix faith with truth, rather than fight it, Jesus removes obscurity and we begin to live in the reality of what we know.
The environment may have changed but Jesus has not.
Darkness has a purpose
As believers, we are light bearers. In the unseen world, power is determined by the amount of light that we possess. As we are in the Word and walking in faith, we accumulate and absorb light and reflect the power and authority of God.
We see this illustrated in Luke 11:34-35:
Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is clear, your whole body is also light; but when it is evil, your body is also dark. Therefore, take heed, lest the light that is in you be darkness. If therefore your body is full of light, not having any part dark, it will be all light, as when the lamp shining might light you.
As we fellowship in the light it amplifies and we see more light in Psalms 36:9.
Smith Wigglesworth wrote:
I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am only moved by what I believe.
Smith’s paradigm had shifted and now he was moved by God and nothing else. God uses darkness to re-calibrate us to a new standard. Jesus leads us to himself and a radical reliance on His word is learned. He weans us off the reliance on familiar feelings and self-orientation and teaches us to trust His Word.
New places of hope create new places of strength and refuge. As we come to the end of ourselves several things come to light:
- Preeminence – We learn to become second
- Pretense – Our agenda becomes second
- Pious platitudes – Knowledge without life is done away with
Christ is our faithful guide, and as He progressively makes known His mysteries, we will discover the eternal weight of glory attached to them and thank Him for the privilege of getting to know Him in darkness. Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to move us, and nothing else.
Light pierces through
God is the light that shines in our darkness, as we learn to believe, embrace and be persuaded of His promises; they bring precise light and show a way through. We begin to learn deep things from God in Job 12:22; and He adds treasures from darkness to our life in Isaiah 45:3.
God will add deep things so that we learn new dimensions of our faith. What we learn in the secret helps us function in the light. Nothing is in vain as we bring everything to Jesus, and He will expand our hearts with light.
- Identification with a personal understanding
- Empathy with personal care
- Patience with the surrender of natural timetables
- Thankfulness is discovering the small things are BIG things
- Wisdom is smart truths that are Actual and not Theoretical
- Personal Ministry in ministering life rather than just a solution
Christ may seem hidden in our darkness, but the true reality is, He is near, speaking, and adding more depth in you. This darkness will pass in Psalms 139:11-12 and the dark night of the soul will break with the dawning of a new day. Don’t quit or give up let God hold you through the storm – it will pass! Collapse in the arms of Christ; let Him personally love and expand your heart, while multiplying your faith. He will pierce your darkness!
Jason is a graduate from Maryland Bible College and Seminary, and presently he leads the Pastoral Care Team of Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. Since age 16, Jason has been involved with mission work among the former Soviet-Bloc countries in Eastern Europe, as well as in Asia, and in the United States. While living in Ukraine, he helped church plant three new churches that continue to thrive today under trained nationals. He has also written five books and has his own podcast (tinyurl.com/IRpodcast)