“In my distress I cried to the Lord, and he heard me.” — Psalm 120:1
This week, as we continue our series on forgiveness, we will discuss how it is very necessary for each of us to “Embrace Our Dark Times,” though we have all had some hard times in our lives, times when we thought all hope was gone.
In a universe that’s an intelligent system with a divine creative force supporting it, there simply can be no accidents. As hard as it is to acknowledge, you had to go through what you went through in order to get to where you are today, and the evidence is that you did. Every spiritual advance that you will make in your life will very likely be preceded by some kind of fall or seeming disaster. Those dark times, and broken dreams were all in order. They happened, so you can assume they had to and you can’t un-happen them.
Embrace them from that perspective, and then understand them, accept them, honor them, and finally transform them. Scripture says in Psalm 55:22, “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.”
There is no question we need to be lifted up during those difficult times. But often we don’t know where to turn. Even those close to us like friends and family may not be able to help in the way we need.
Fortunately, there is One to whom we can always turn. God, through His words, has given us many encouraging Bible verses to which we can look and draw hope and comfort. They can inspire us even in the midst of life’s turmoil.
One of the best books to turn to for encouraging Bible verses is Psalms. King David wrote a good portion of that book and evidently he really needed some encouragement. He was routinely calling out to God to give him help, strength and joy in the midst of life’s trials.
Last week, I had the opportunity to prove I had forgiven. We had to spend time together in a group, and though it was much easier than it was years ago, I’m growing. That’s all we can do. Embrace what has happened, incidents, circumstances, times when all hope was gone. Truly these times will bring you to a happy place, a time when you can give testimony to the goodness of God and how he brought you through to the other side.
Always, people who have caused our devastating circumstances need our prayers. They can be changed like God changed Saul as he traveled down the road to Damascus. Saul was the pivotal passage in Paul’s story in Acts 9:1–22, which tells us how Paul’s meeting with Jesus Christ on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus, a journey of about 150 miles. Saul was angered by what he had seen and filled with murderous rage against the Christians. Before departing on his journey, he had asked the high priest for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, asking for permission to bring any Christians (followers of “the Way,” as they were known) back to Jerusalem to imprison them. On the road Saul was caught in a bright light from heaven that caused him to fall face down on the ground. Read the details for yourself.
What can we learn from the life of the apostle Paul? First, we learn that God can save anyone, a man who was living his life in a dark place. He killed, and he did not believe in God to a man who worshiped God and preached to large crowds. When Paul preached, his dark times afforded him the opportunity to give his testimony to help others! Embrace your dark times for your testimony, too!
Lyndia Grant is a speaker/writer living in the D.C. area. Her radio show, “Think on These Things,” airs Fridays at 6 p.m. on 1340 AM (WYCB), a Radio One station. Visit her website, www.lyndiagrantshow.com, send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 240-602-6295. Follow her on Twitter @LyndiaGrant and on Facebook.