Who among you fears the LORD? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely upon his God.
Christ is indeed our Consolation, Strengthener, Support, and Comfort – but in dealing in the spiritual, we must differentiate between the ideal and the actual! In living the Christian life, one must keep in mind what ought to be and what is! Scripture outlines the ideal – a life of quiet, calm, unbroken fellowship with the Lord – a life lived in the love of God, where His glorious face shines upon our pathway – a life where dark shadows flee away and morning joy surpasses the night of sorrow.
Apostolic teaching implies the possibility of Christian holiness and joyous living – championing the justification that the life of heaven has already begun on earth!! But while the pages of scripture emphasise an ideal Christian walk – actuality can be very far removed. Instead of a life of sunshine and gladness – dark clouds of unknowing often glower – as broken fellowship with God, and frustrations with others is more often the norm. Instead of triumphant living and conquering faith, we discover failure and misery – and a glut of impossible circumstances, frequently pockmark our Christian walk.
And yet, Isaiah the prophet identifies the one who walks in darkness and has no light as the on who does not reverence the Lord or listen to His voice.. and gives his wise counsel:- “Let him trust in the name of the LORD. Let him rely upon his God.” Isaiah 50:10. Such darkness can sweep over a Christian life in many alternative ways. It can come through the menacing whispers of the enemy who questions: “has God said?” .. ” is there really a God..?” … “what you are thinking is wrong ..” Sometimes the wicked one questions God’s character and nature by accusations…. “does God care” … “are you really saved” .. “Love you – ha ha what a joke!!!!” .. “How can He possibly have accepted someone as rotten as you?” To doubt the character of God is a greater agony than to doubt His existence, for better that there is no God that He should prove unworthy and untrue. A world without Him would be more tolerable.. than a world in which He proved unfaithful.
Sometimes it is the promises and truth of the Word of God that darkness assails.. as accusational criticisms of the inspired Word of God causes doubt – implanting seeds of doubt and uncertainty within the breast. Such terrible temptations have assailed many a godly saint down through the ages, who like a ship without a rudder or a scout without a compass, drifts aimlessly by.
Sometimes doubts arise of our own dear relationship with our own dear Lord.. as His presence seems to be overshadowed by darkness, diminishing to nothing, and the question of His acceptance and His love, fall heavily on the conscience. And others seem to be more readily accepted, while we appear spurned and ignored. Are such doubts the norm of the believer – and is it necessary to our spiritual walk? No, I don’t think so – as God deals with each according to His desire…
But this I know: if God permits a man to be overwhelmed with sorrow and darkness, which all but brings him to the point of denying His Lord.. bad-mouthing God’s character.. destroying faith and hope – God knows how much we can all bear: For no temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1Corinthians 10:13
But if God permits a man to be overwhelmed with deepest sorrow and darkest blackness, it will prove in the end to an experience that develops patience, tenderness, and forbearance – and it will give that man a hidden strength and gentleness. An experience that in time or in eternity will prove itself to be one of those things for which we say – ALL things work together for good to those that love God – to those that are the called, according to HIS purpose…. Romans 8:28
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