Isaiah 50:10 (NLT) …If you are walking in darkness, without a ray of light, trust in the LORD and rely on your God.
Have you experienced God in your life? God wants you to experience Him and enjoy time with Him more and more. He leads you in paths of darkness, for it is in darkness that we value light most. When we go through darkness in our lives, or in other words problems, sickness, troubles in our life, that’s when we experience God to the fullest.
A. DIFFERENT PATHS OF DARKNESS
During our life journey, we go through different paths of darkness.
1. Path of horror
Genesis 15:12 (NLT) And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him
God promised Abraham that his seed will inherit Caanan the land flowing with milk and honey. But there was a delay, a long one, in the fulfilment of this promise.
Proverbs 13:12 (NLT) Hope deferred makes the heart sick
When we don’t receive the promise quickly enough, darkness comes upon us. An element of doubt crosses our mind.
Genesis 5:8 (NLT) Abraham said, Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?
Suddenly the darkness was lifted, a burning lamp passed between the pieces of the sacrifice Abraham had offered. The Lord reaffirmed His covenant with Abraham. The Lord will not leave us in doubt and anxiety.
You may be still waiting for your prayers to be answered, you may be still waiting for the prophesy on you life to be fulfilled or you may be still waiting for the promise of God upon your life to be fulfilled. You may experience a time of darkness, don’t be discouraged, you answer is around the corner and the light is going to shine in your life.
2. Path when pursued by enemies
Exodus 14:17 (NLT) And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they will charge in after the Israelites. My great glory will be displayed through Pharaoh and his troops, his chariots, and his charioteers.
The Egyptians were all out on Israelites. Pharaoh and his army were following Israelites to capture them. It looked like there was no chance of escape for Israelites. Fear, anxiety and anguish clouded their heart.
God moved in and did a miracle. The waters of the Red Sea split before their very eyes. When the enemies followed them right into the sea, the angel of God who was going ahead of the Israelites quickly moved back between the Israelites and the Egyptians to prevent an attack on Israelites. In such a dark hour, when there was no hope, the angel moved back to protect them, and certainly they felt the nearness of God’s presence.
When the enemy, the devil pursues after you, God will certainly be with you and you will experience God very near to you.
Dark was the path David trod when he suffered at the hands of King Saul. The Scriptures record at least nine instances when Saul attempted to murder David. The Lord took care of each of these instances into account. But David on his part kept forgiving him, determined not to raise his hand against the Lord’s anointed. And the day soon came when David was seen sitting on the very throne of his enemy, Saul.
3. Path of rejection and betrayal
Matthew 26:49 (NLT) So Judas came straight to Jesus. “Greetings, Rabbi!” he exclaimed and gave Him the kiss.
Judas was with Jesus. He heard the teachings and experienced the miracles performed by Jesus. Judas was blessed through the ministry of Jesus. One day Judas joined with the enemies of Jesus. Judas betrayed Jesus with an expression of friendship and love — “Hail, master”, he greeted, and betrayed Jesus with a kiss. Could any act be more deceitful?
Have you ever been rejected or betrayed by your closest friend, relative or a neighbour? When those you have trusted and loved, do such a thing, a darkness seems to come upon you. It will be a very dark experience in your life, being deserted by friends and acquaintances.
You may be confused, and troubled. Job went through a similar path when his wife and friends reproached him. Job grieved “My breath is strange to my wife”. But at the end of the dark path Job was able to experience and see God. “Now mine eye seeth thee,” he declares (Job 42:5).
4. Path through the valley of the shadow of death
Psalms 23:4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Are you experiencing a sense of loss, feel like nothing to live for, and lost everything in life. The devil robs you of your health, and your peace leaving you with a feeling of insecurity and fear.
Jacob loved his son Joseph dearly and he would have never thought he would lose him. It was indeed a path of darkness when the unexpected happened. So great was his grief that nothing and no one could comfort him.
Genesis 37:35 (NLT) And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.
But the Lord turned this path of darkness into a life giving path. When there was a famine in Egypt, his son Joseph who was alive and living in Egypt at that time, was able to save the lives of many.
B. WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Are you experiencing a path of darkness in your life? It is impossible for you to use your cleverness and ability to come out of darkness. No human being can help you in your path of darkness. Your only stay is God. He is your God, Who commanded the light to shine out of darkness. The psalmist declares in faith, “The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness” (Psalm 18:28). You should walk with faith that your God will never do you any harm, and that He will lead you in good paths.
It may take time for our darkness to turn into light. Murmuring, complaining, pining and worrying are not going to do us any good. Instead, if we patiently wait on the Lord, we’re sure to be rewarded.
Lamentations 3:26 (NLT) So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the LORD.
For example, David and his men once returned from the war to find all their goods plundered, their city burnt and their wives and children taken captive. And to add to David’s grief, his men held him responsible and wanted to stone him to death. David was ‘greatly distressed’ and he ‘lifted up his voice and wept’ but he didn’t allow his distress to get the better of him.
I Samuel 30:6 (KJV) David encouraged himself in the LORD his God
David inquired with the Lord, followed God’s instructions, and recovered all that they had lost.
C. WHAT DOES THE LORD DO?
Numbers 6:25-26 (KJV) The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
1. God will shine His glory upon you.
You will be shining in the dark times. You will fear no evil. A great transformation will take place in your character. The spirit of glory also rests on us (I Peter 4:14)
2. God’s Grace will sustain you, and carry you through.
God’s Grace will be poured out in your life without measure. His divine character will be revealed through your life. His strength will be perfected in your weakness during times of darkness.
3. God’s peace will surpass all understanding.
Paths of darkness are indeed paths of suffering, but a deep inner peace will prevail in you and you will stay unmoved all along.
4. God will restore joy in times of Darkness
1Peter 4:13 (NLT) Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in His suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing His glory when it is revealed to all the world.
The Lord will restore joy in times of darkness and you will rejoice amidst your trials because you know you are sharing in Christ’s sufferings. You will be a living witness of rejoicing during the time of darkness.
5. God will give you eternal hope
2Corinthians 4:17 (NLT) For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!
The hope of the eternal glory in you will grow brighter day after day. The sufferings of today are small and will not last long. Jesus Christ within you is the eternal hope.
When you are going through enemy fire, sickness, sense of loss, financial instability, hopelessness, you are going through darkness. This darkness will not destroy you in hell fire, but this darkness is for you to experience your Saviour Jesus is a very special and intimate way.
If you experience Jesus on this earth, in eternity you will be seen in His glory in that City where the Lamb Himself is the light and that light will shine in and through you.
Revelation 21:23 And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light.
You who go through paths of darkness will rejoice for evermore in that glorious City of light.
Friends, let us experience God with intimacy in times of darkness.