Summary: How God changes our gloomy outlooks on life into bright, sun shining days.
I am convinced that the safest place in the world is in the center of God’s will. You will never find a place more secure than being in the center of God’s will for your life. At the same time, I am also convinced that the center of God’s will; though it is the safest place, it is not always the most pleasant and pain free place. Are you going to pray with me? Many of us have been seduced into believing that as long as our lives are being lived out within the will of God, everything is going to be alright. I’ve found that not to be so. What I’ve discovered is that God is far more concerned about making us holy than He is in making us happy. The God we serve is seeking our holiness and not our happiness. In this 16th chapter of Acts Jesus is gone off of the scene. He has ascended back to heaven and now sits on the right hand of God, the Father. I’m glad that Jesus set up His program for the church so that His work wouldn’t end just because He’s gone. The Bible said He chose twelve men. Some He called to put down their doctor’s bag. Some He called to lay down their nets. Some He called from the tax collectors office. He told them to come on and follow me. He trained those twelve men. He guided and taught them and when Jesus left, He left the church in their hands. He told them to preach the Gospel. Even though the Book of Acts talks about Jesus, it also talks about the life of those twelve men that He left here after He had gone back to heaven. That’s why it’s called the Book of Acts, because it talks about how the Apostles acted when Jesus had left them. The Book of Acts talked about how they walked and the lives that they lived. It is also commonly referred to as the Acts of the Apostles. It is in this book that we find records of persecution that children of God had to endure all because of Jesus Christ. And let me say this today, that you haven’t done much in the church unless you have been persecuted. I’m a witness that when you really try to give God your all, somebody is going to persecute you. Somebody is going to try to bring you down. There are some folk who don’t want to see you grow spiritually. They will do all they can to try hinder God’s program. These things must come. Can I get a witness? Our text today is centered on the word midnight. Midnight is not one word, but it is the combination of two words, mid and night. If we analyze each piece of this word midnight, we will find that the first part of the word midnight is mid. The word mid is a short way of saying middle. According to the dictionary, it is that which lies in the center of things. Not too far to the left and not too far to the right, but somewhere in the center. Well, the dictionary defines the word night as a period of darkness. A period when darkness covers the land. A time when it is hard for us to see things that are around us. Now if you put mid and night together with mid meaning the middle and night meaning a period of darkness, it means in the center of darkness. Midnight is a peculiar time. Mothers began to worry about where their children are when they have messed up and stayed out past midnight. A lot of pacing the floor and a lot of restless hours come when they stay out past midnight. Not only that, but husbands and wives have a whole lot of explaining to do when they go out and mess up and stay out past midnight. Midnight is a peculiar time. I wish I had some help. Midnight is the point where PM ends and AM begins. Midnight is the dividing wall between PM and AM. There used to be a time when it was a disgrace for a respectable person to be caught out past midnight. Can I get a witness? Well time has brought about a change. Where we have some who are struggling trying to make in before midnight, there are some folk who are just getting ready to leave out at midnight. Midnight is an awesome time. Well, just like there are midnights in worldly living, just as there are midnights in time, even the life of a Christian has its midnights. The darkest hours in the life of a child of God are their midnights. My brothers and sisters life has a way of making us get acquainted with many forms of midnights. Midnight is simply trouble in the life of someone. Midnights can come in many shapes, forms and fashions. Well, Preacher, what are some of the types of midnights? Well, one example of a midnight is when you walk out of the doctor’s office and you hear him tell you, I’ve done all that I can and you have a sickness where there is no cure and it’s just a matter of time before you leave here. And it goes through your mind and you’re wondering, why me? That’s a midnight. Can I get a witness? When you stand by the graveside of a loved one and watch the dearest person to you be lowered down in a grave. That’s a midnight. Not only that, but when you have done your best in the service of the Lord. When you have given your best to the Lord’s program. When you have sacrificed and when you didn’t feel like going and folk laughed and made fun of you and say that you’ve done nothing at all. That’s a midnight. Somebody knows what I’m talking about. You go home and you’re so hurt, you say you’re not going back no more. You’re so hurt, you’re hungry, but you can’t eat. You’re thirsty, but you don’t want anything to drink. You’re so weak that you want to lie down, but you can’t lie down. You don’t feel like standing up and you don’t know what to do. That’s a midnight. Everybody sooner or later will experience a midnight. There may be somebody here this today who’ll say,” I’ve never experienced a midnight. I’ve never had any trouble. I don’t know what it means to suffer.” If you are under the sound of my voice today, all I have to say to you is, just stay here a little while. Keep on living and before it’s all over, life will make you get acquainted with old man midnight. Midnights are terrible things. But you know one thing I’ve learned; I’ve learned that midnights are not all bad.