Summary: When the lights go out, reflect on our faith’s devotion, development, discernment, danger, and daybreak.
James O. Davis is the founder and president of Second Billion (TM). You are invited to learn more about Second Billion by visiting www.billion.tv.
WHAT TO DO WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT
By Dr. James O. Davis
There are times in our lives, as God’s people, that we have to serve God in the midst of darkness. There are times that we find it difficult to see very far ahead. It is hard to stand when we do not understand! Life is filled with melody and misery, as well as high times and hard times. It is interesting that as Christians we desire to be “overcomers” but do not want much to overcome. We desire to go to heaven but would rather not die in order to get there. In its very essence, life is tragic without Jesus Christ in our lives.
Are you experiencing a dark time in your life? Do you have a wayward child? Have you experienced a financial reversal? Has someone broken your heart or taken advantage of you? Are you not able to make sense of what is happening in your life?
There are those seasons in life when we are not able to mentally grasp what is transpiring in our lives. Think about it for a moment. There are those instances when we have studied our lessons, learned our formulas, memorized the promises in God’s Word, and think we have it all figured out and suddenly we are plunged into deep, deep darkness. Why does such darkness come to a Christian?
The question that Christians ask more than any other is “Why?” Why did my child have to die? Why could I not carry this child full term? Why did my husband or wife have to break my heart? Why did my business have to go bankrupt? Why did God allow sickness to come to me or my loved ones? Why did God heal that person and not heal me? Why? Why? Why?
What do we do when the lights go out? What do we do when darkness comes into our life? When we went to school, we received the lessons first and tests second. However, in life we take the tests first and learn the lessons second. In this message there are many lessons to be learned when the lights go out in our lives. The first lesson is:
I. FAITH’S DEVOTION: THOSE OF GREATEST DEVOTION MAY KNOW THE DEEPEST DARKNESS (Isa. 50:10)
Our Scriptural text is not talking about someone who has wandered away from God. This person fears and loves the Lord. The “fear of the Lord” means “love on its knees.” The person who fears God the most loves God the most. This person obeys the voice of God. There is a distorted idea that if a person becomes a Christian, it will be all honey and no bees; all sunlight and roses and no rain and weeds. There is no reason to deny it. There are tens of thousands of Christians across the world that fear and love the Lord and yet are experiencing darkness. More than 150,000 Christians were martyred last year throughout the world.
Job said, “God has put darkness in my path” (Job 19:8). Habakkuk exclaimed, “How long shall I cry and you not hear (Hab. 1:2). John the Baptist sent messengers from the prison and asked Jesus, “Are you really the Messiah or should we look for someone else?” Each of these great men of God came to a time in their life that they did not understand or comprehend why and what was fully happening to them.
If you read the stories of great saints in history, there is hardly one of them who did not experience the dark night of the soul. If you are in darkness, it does not necessarily mean that you are out of the will of God or that you have sinned before the Lord. The second lesson is:
II. FAITH’S DEVELOPMENT: THE FAITH THAT IS BORN IN THE LIGHT IS OFTEN DEVELOPED IN THE DARK (v. 10)
When have you grown the most spiritually in your life? Has it been the during the sunlight or the darkness? Is it not true that when Mr. Trouble has knock on our heart’s door, we have matured more than at other times in our life? Faith is like film: It is better developed in the darkness.
How does God develop our faith in the darkness? God tells us to take two steps. First, we are to look to the Lord (“trust in the Lord”). Warren Wiersbe has said, “We live by promises, not by explanations.” Just because it does not make sense to us, does not mean that it does not make sense to God. Just because it does not make sense now, does not mean that it will not make sense later. Thomas Watson has said, “Where reason cannot wade, faith must swim.” We must continue to stand on God’s Word regardless what is going on in life. God’s Word never changes. It remains constant through all of the seasons of our life.