♣ Light in Our Darkness
“When the cares of my heart are many, Your consolations cheer my soul” – Psalm 94:19.
WHEN GOD SPEAKS to us in our affliction it is in affliction; most times when He speaks we are not taken out of it immediately but continue to endure in it. God’s comforts are never felt to be more precious than when we are intensely tried, sorrowful and extremely low in spirit. “When the cares of my heart are many”, says the Psalmist, “Your consolations cheer my soul” and what can His consolations be but His very Word spoken to us, His promises made bright in the depths of our being – some which have come to pass and others that shall reach their fulfilment.
We live in a dark world and yet we are called to be lights in the midst of this thick darkness and what keeps us alight is the very One Who keeps us so that our faith will not fail; we may waver and wander but our Shepherd will only let us go so far before we are brought back on coarse.
In the midst of darkness God’s Word comes to us; in the throes of unchanged circumstances God’s comfort is personally known, or more so – the God of comfort draws near to us. Both light and darkness, in our experience, simultaneously takes place – “even though I walk through the vale of deepest darkness… for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” – just like with God’s promises that are given to us in the midst of evil – “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies” It is what we focus on that makes the difference in our experience. What is actual and what is experience are two very different things; the actual is real whether I encounter it or not; fact is fact whether I believe it or not; God’s promises are to be fulfilled whether I take them to heart or not. My doubting and unbelief, though, will entail more lessons and discipline by the loving hand of God.
There is a story of two prisoners in a dungeon, both in exactly the same situation, but two very different perspectives. One prisoner looked down and focussed on the mud that covered the dungeon floor, while the other prisoner looked up and stared at the stars in the midnight sky.
When God speaks words that cheer and lift our spirits, beware of the temptation to question what He has said. Either we focus on the darkness – of what surrounds us in our situation – or we centre upon the light God has given to us. There will be times when what we feel circumstantially will appear more real than what God has spoken and it is then, especially, we are to remember we do not walk by sight but by faith.
Lord, in asking You to increase our faith is not always going to come in ways we anticipate; answers to requests like these frequently come through friction and pressure and where our comfort zones are often disturbed and unsettled. So be it, Lord. We want our faith to be pleasing to You and that comes with a cost, but what is that, Lord, when such adventures, explorations and victories in faith far outweigh the growing pains of discipline? The unpleasantness of many of life’s experiences brings about a harvest of righteousness and yet it is so difficult – almost impossible – to see that when in the thick of life’s hassles. We often tend to see waste where You see progress. Thank You for Your unspeakable comfort You give to us so personally when everything looks so hopeless, dark and the pain of grief that is so overwhelming at times. Thank You for the ways in which You lift up our souls and breathe Your hope anew into our fearful hearts that in turn empowers us to persevere and conquer. Your promises are sure, Lord, whether we believe or disbelieve them. You are glorified when we bank with unshakeable confidence on Your Word. Cleanse us from all forms of unbelief, no matter how small or big we may see it, it’s all one and the same in Your eyes. Be incalculably more real to us than the waves and wind that dictate to us and help us to see Your sovereignty in greater measure over every minute detail that oftentimes seem so insignificant to us but always immeasurably important to You, for the honour and glory of Your name we ask this, amen.
NOTE: You may also listen to the audio version of this devotional here :: Light in Our Darkness :: Audio Devotional
Posted on April 9, 2015, in ♣ Devotional and tagged affliction, comfort, comfort of God, dark world, darkness, devotional, doubting, faith, friction, God of comfort, God speaking, God's consolations, lifting our spirits, light, Light in Our Darkness, Mark Anthony Williams, pressure, Psalm 94:19, Shepherd, unbelief. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.