Overcoming Darkness

1 Nov

I’ll never forget our family trip to Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico. Deep within the earth, I beheld unimaginable formations that sent my young imagination into overdrive. At one point, the guides turned off every light and the darkness became overwhelming. I held my hand close to my eyes, yet couldn’t see it even as I touched my nose. Although Papa seemed invisible, I felt his presence and his nearness kept me from being afraid.

Were you ever in a place so dark that you despaired of ever finding your way? My darkest places have been pits of despair or fear-filled emotional caverns. Hopelessness is such a liar. It envelops you and whispers there is no escape, no cure, no solution. Don’t believe it. Even though Father is invisible, He’s with you. You don’t have to remain lost, because God is literally the light at the end of your tunnel.

It is you who light my lamp; the Lord, my God, lights up my darkness (Psalm 18:28 NRSV).

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow (James 1:17 NASB95).

Please don’t trust unreliable emotions; instead, depend on Scripture. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105 NRSV). God’s word will guide you one step at a time. What does that mean in a practical sense? It requires taking charge of your thoughts, which control your emotions. Quit repeating the same hopeless messages. Replace error with truth. Try writing some of the following verses on note cards and post them as visible reminders of God’s character and promises.

As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. Psalm 18:30 NIV

The Lord your God is with you; his power gives you victory. The Lord will take delight in you, and in his love he will give you new life. He will sing and be joyful over you, (Zephaniah 3:17 GNB).

If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you (James 1:5 NRSV).

May God, the source of hope, fill you with joy and peace through your faith in him. Then you will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13 GW).

God never promised a comfortable life, free from trials or suffering. In fact, Paul said, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18 NASB95).  That’s why we are to “Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer” (Romans 12:12 NRSV).

I’ve experienced my share of heartache, setbacks, and challenges since God pulled me out of my darkest pit and filled me with hope. In spite of those dark places, Jesus remains my peace (Ephesians 2:14), my joy (John 17:13), and my light. I pray you’ll accept the light He offers.

In [Jesus Christ] was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it (John 1:4–5 NIV).

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