This one is for those dark times of grief, loneliness, illness, trials, failure, or tragedy when God may seem distant and silent. Dark times come to us all. Our Lord made it clear that even devout believers are not exempt. I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33). For starters, let’s note that the sobering certainty of trouble in this must-memorize verse is surrounded by the promise of God’s peace and the assurance of victory in difficult times. The Bible is filled with illustrations of both the reality of dark times and the assurance of God’s sufficient grace in even the darkest night. A less familiar Psalm of Asaph, 77, both illustrates and helps lead us out of the dark. Perhaps these phrases will entice you to read the psalm and make it your own. I cried out to God for help. When I was in distress I sought the Lord . . and my soul refused to be comforted, I was too troubled to speak. I remembered my songs in the night. My heart mused and my spirit inquired. Then I thought, I will remember the deeds of the Lord, your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. Then Asaph went on to recount some of God’s mighty deeds.
When we find ourselves in dark and dismal places, let’s follow Asaph’s (and many others’) lead in taking it to the Lord in prayer, crying out to God for help. Then allow God to answer by remembering and claiming his innumerable promises. I am with you always . . . In everything God works for the good of those who love him. When you are weak, then I am strong in your behalf. How about a song in the night? Psalm 23 for starters. By all means commit that one to memory and meditate on it often! Another too-often-neglected light in the darkness is thankfulness. As the old hymn has it, “Count your many blessings, name them one by one.” Thankfulness helps. For years I have kept a notebook of thankfulness. I add to it often, and just as often leaf through its pages, remembering God’s lavish, gracious blessings, large and small through the years. If you don’t already, I suggest you consider keeping such a running list of blessings. One final promise, Psalm 30:5, Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. All together now: “I will never doubt in the dark what God has shown me in the light!
Note: the calligraphy for this particular saying was done by Myla Jordan.