Don’t forget in the darkness what you have learned in the light.
In Where Is God when It Hurts? Philip Yancey quotes these words of Joseph Bayly, former director of InterVarsity press and former president of David C. Cook Publishing. Then Yancey adds, “Yet sometimes the darkness descends so thickly that we can barely remember the light.”
Missionary and author Elisabeth Elliot has this to say about God’s truths in the dark times:
Take the word of the Lord in your darkness. If He died to let us live in His company, is he likely to abandon us just because things look dark?
Missionaries are known for shining light in dark places, but that doesn’t mean that they never experience the pain and confusion of personal darkness themselves.
What about you? Did you wake up this morning to bright sunshine . . . or do you find yourself in a dark night of the soul?
Following are some promises of Jesus that we will all do well to recall, regardless of current circumstances. If you’re living in brightness, may these add to your joy and confirm your resolve. If you feel enveloped by darkness, may even one or two push against the shadows and take root in a corner of your heart.
As you read the promises below, I hope you’ll be able to hold tightly to each one. But if you find it hard to hold on to them, know that the one who said them is holding on to you.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
So then, don’t worry saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” For the unconverted pursue these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all theses things will be given to you as well.
The one who loves me will be loved by my father, and I will love him and will reveal myself to him.
Everyone whom the Father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will never send away.
For this is the will of my Father—for everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him to have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
If you continue to follow my teaching, you are really my disciples and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
But whoever drinks some of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again, but the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up to eternal life.
What is impossible for mere humans is possible for God.
I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before God’s angels.
Remain in me, and I will remain in you.
And whoever has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them is like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the flood came, and the winds beat against that house, but it did not collapse because it had been founded on rock.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.
I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth pass away not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter will pass from the law until everything takes place. So anyone who breaks one of the least of these commands and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever obeys them and teaches others to do so will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to ungrateful and evil people.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things about you falsely on account of me. Rejoice and be glad because your reward is great in heaven, for they persecuted the prophets before you in the same way.
I tell you the truth, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move; nothing will be impossible for you.
But whenever you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.
Give, and it will be given to you: A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be poured into your lap. For the measure you use will be the measure you receive.
I am the light of the world. The one who follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
I am with you always, to the end of the age.
(Philip Yancey, Where Is God when It Hurts, Zondervan, 1977; Elisabeth Elliot, A Lamp for My Feet: The Bible’s Light for Daily Living, Servant, 1985; All scripture quotations are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://bible.org. Used with permission. All rights reserved.)