Dark Places - Encouragement for Today - February 9, 2017
Feburary 9, 2017
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5 (NIV)
Do you ever have little places of discouragement that entangle around your heart? You know in the bigger picture of life things are good. But there’s this little dark place. A little black hole. That sometimes doesn’t feel little.
It hangs like a cloud — blocking the sun, casting shadows.
Maybe it’s an argument you and your husband have had one too many times. Your relationship is good, but this one topic feels like a black hole.
Maybe it’s an issue with one of your kids. You have an amazing child, but there is this one behavioral tendency that baffles you, embarrasses you and causes you to fear. It feels like a black hole.
Or maybe it’s a recurring frustration with a friend. She’s amazing, but there’s this one part of your friendship that darkens the collective good. And you can’t figure out how to address it. Now it’s happening with more frequency, and it feels like a black hole.
I know. It’s hard.
Recently I was up at night praying and crying out to God to help me better process some of the hard situations in my own life.
I asked God to shed some of His light on what I’m struggling through so I don’t get lost in the darkness of confusion. His voice wasn’t loud or definitive. Just a slight shift of my thoughts to be more in line with truth, and I knew light was defeating my darkness:
Look at all the prayers that have been answered with this situation.
Small changes. The big, grand finale I keep hoping for hasn’t yet come. But might I notice the beautiful symphony of hopeful notes in the in-between?
Look at the strength I’m gaining in the process.
Every time I turn to God and ask for Him to shed light on my situation, I’m trading a little of my struggle for a bit of His strength.
Look at the reality that a black hole isn’t a black whole.
The whole isn’t all bad. Yes, there are some issues to address and some tensions to manage, but I can’t let Satan use this frustration to darken my outlook.
Jesus reminds us, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life” (John 8:12b, NIV). He also assures us in our key verse that darkness cannot win against light, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5).
Ask Jesus to shed His light on your situation today. Look at this from Jesus’ perspective. Use truth to do something positive in this area today. Invest the time to make a little imperfect progress right there.
In the dark place.
That won’t be so dark with a little light cast upon it.
Father God, I need Your light. Light defeats darkness every time. And while I might not have all the answers to my struggles right now, I am seeing more hope than ever. Jesus is my light. And because of Him, even my darkest nights aren’t so daunting and confusing. Thank You for leading me. Thank You for loving me. Thank You for lighting the way for me — day by day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
James 1:17, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (NIV)
Do you long to stop living like a slave to your circumstances? Find hope and freedom as you train your heart to embrace the truth God wants to reveal to you in Lysa TerKeurst’s in-depth Bible study Finding I Am. Lysa draws from her own painful experiences to show you that Jesus not only cares about your difficult circumstances, but He also wants to step in and see you through them. Order here today.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Are there any areas of discouragement in your life right now that feel like a black hole? Ask God to shed His light on this situation and help you look at it with fresh perspective. What prayers — even small ones — have already been answered in this situation? What strength are you gaining?
© 2017 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.