Day 98: April 8, 2023

Victorious Over Dark Days and Times

Key Verse to Read and Treasure

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, through the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. (Psalm 46:1-4, NIV)

For Insight

There have been times in my life when I needed the Word of God to lead me, the grace of God to sustain me, and the power of God to help me stand strong and endure. Like most believers I have made it through some very dark times.

As we look back over our life we can see the things we have not only survived, but been victorious. One thing we will all be able to say and have in common is that we’ve experienced and come through some extremely difficult days and trying seasons in life. Times that seemed hopeless and when it appeared every attempt to get better seemed futile. Times when life seemed beyond repair and the end would not result in life but death, every way we can imagine death of dreams, future, even life itself.

The Christian Church can testify to this also. Coming through many dark days and times of severe persecution and intense enemy attack. One of those periods came at the very beginning when Jesus was hung on the Cross of Calvary. How shaking this must have been for the group of believers still getting their wobbly faith-legs to strengthen, still developing spiritual muscles. They had the youthful strength of new believers, they had some experience under their belt, they knew some things from following Jesus, they had grown by leaps and bounds during their three years under his tutelage, but could they actually carry on without his physical presence? Could they withstand the days of evil, pressure, and stress ahead?

If Jesus’ arrest, the crucifixion, betrayal of Judas, and scattering weren’t enough to shake their courage and challenge their faith they had to awaken on Saturday faced with the reality that Jesus was no longer with them. I have always found the day after the death of a loved one to be one of the most difficult. As if all the weight of reality had settled in as I slept. All the sorrow converging into my spirit at the instant of opening my eyes. The day after death has its own deep sorrow. You want it to be a bad dream but the moment you open your eyes and are fully awake you realize it was not a dream but real and this is almost too much to bear if not for the comfort and strength of God with us. For those who loved Jesus Sunday’s glory had not come yet. The miracle of the resurrection wasn’t their reality (yet). Saturday was as dark a day as any day could be. And so, they grieved and huddled in fear.

Living and remining in the Vine will not spare you from experiencing dark days and times. As long as you live in this world you are subject to tragedy, loss, earth shattering experiences and storms. These will bring sorrow, misery, and struggle into your life. As the writer of Hebrews said the believer should always keep in mind that “Here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come (Heb. 13:14). On earth is not the place where we will have continual, uninterrupted blessings, victories, health, wealth, and joys.

Yet even in the darkest of times we can have hope and press on because we know there is a world and life to come that will make all these dark times pale and even the memory of them be no more. Jesus experienced the darkest place that exists. His purpose for descending into the bowels of hell was to show Satan not only does God have authority there but not even death could hold him in its clutches. Jesus went into hell for a purpose, but we never have to experience hell. Because Jesus is ours and we are his we never have to know that kind of darkness. Jesus’ death was as complete a journey as any believer should know. Jesus stepped victoriously into the darkness of hell; we will dance in the light of heaven.

Jesus, the earth can give way, the mountains can fall into the heart of the sea, the waters can roar and foam and the mountains can quake with their surging but there is no darkness that can hold or defeat us now or ever and when we belong to You there is no darkness at all in our eternity. Amen

Ask Yourself

Do I become afraid when dark times show up? Am I forgetting the power of God through my risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in my situation? Am I doing more than surviving my dark times and seasons? Am I triumphing in and through Jesus?

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