WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
OCTOBER 13, 2022
TOPIC: TRUSTING GOD IN THE DARKNESS
BY T. O. BANSO
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4 New King James Version).
When everything is going on fine, it is easy for everyone to say he trusts in God or he is trusting in Him. But it is a different matter when things are going wrong. Everyone prays for success, good health, and so on but the reality of life is that, sometimes, bad things happen. Sometimes one’s expectations are delayed or don’t come to pass. This is the time when one’s trust in God is tested. This is the time to prove the genuineness of all one has been saying about trusting God. At such a time, one is challenged to walk the talk.
It is easier to trust God in the light than in the darkness. In the light, one can see very well but in the darkness, one is groping. In the light, things are going normally but the opposite is the case in the darkness – things could be upside down. In the light, one is surrounded by people, results, and encouragement but in the darkness, there is loneliness, gloom, and despair. In the light, one can receive prophecies and promises from God but in the darkness, one could doubt what God has spoken in the light and there may be silence from God. In the light, you know what to do but in the darkness, you are ignorant and could be confused. Life in the light is like being on a mountain and life in the darkness is like being in a valley.
One can say that Psalm 23 deals with life in the light and life in the darkness – when things went well and when things went wrong. Talking about what can be described as when things were going well, David said, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake” (verses 1-3 New King James Version). This is a great season that everyone would wish to continue uninterrupted. But life is like an undulating terrain. It’s full of ups and downs.
David switched to another season in the psalm when he said, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (verse 4 New King James Version). There is a season of the valley of the shadow of death! This is life in the valley. David didn’t live in denial of this. He knew that the God who was with him in the light would not forsake him in the darkness. Therefore, he put his trust in Him. He believed that He would protect him and take care of him (verses 5-6).
When Jacob was going through his time of darkness, he said to his children, “You have bereaved me: Joseph is no more, Simeon is no more, and you want to take Benjamin. All these things are against me” (Genesis 42:36 New King James Version). Sometimes, in times of darkness, everything and everyone could appear to be against one! Nevertheless, one must put one’s trust in God. At the time Jacob said this, his story was about to change. Not long after then, he was reunited with Joseph, his son whom he had been deceived to believe for years had died and he had vowed to go down to the grave to him in mourning.
When Job was going through his time of darkness, although he didn’t curse God as advised by his wife, he accused God of being responsible for his darkness. He said, “He has fenced up my way, so that I cannot pass; and He has set darkness in my paths” (Job 19:8 New King James Version). Job said God had wronged him and surrounded him with His net (verse 6). In his pain, Job cursed the day of his birth (Job 3). Darkness surrounded Job; he didn’t hear anything from God as he tried to find out the reasons for his suffering.
Even when God responded later, he didn’t answer Job’s questions; He only asked him a series of questions that he couldn’t answer. Job apologized for his ignorance. However, although Job spoke in pain, especially as his three friends, the miserable comforters, did not help matters, Job didn’t stop trusting God. He said, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15a New King James Version). Also in Job 19:25-27, he said, “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God, Whom I shall see for myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” (New King James Version).
The Prophet Jeremiah also experienced a time of darkness in his ministry as he became unpopular because of his prophecies and was persecuted. In Jeremiah 20, the priest Pashhur son of Immer, who was the chief officer of the Temple, had Jeremiah beaten and placed in chains near the upper Benjamin Gate in the Temple. After his release the next morning, Jeremiah prophesied doom against Judah and Pashhur in the hand of the Babylonians (verses 1-6).
After this, Jeremiah, apparently affected by his persecution, complained to God. He said in verse 7, “Lord, you have deceived me, and I was deceived. You are stronger than I am, and you have overpowered me. Everyone makes fun of me; they laugh at me all day long” (Good New Translation). Notice the phrase “Lord, you have deceived me, and I was deceived.” The New King James Version renders it as “O LORD, You induced me, and I was persuaded.” The Bible in Basic English puts the verse this way: “O Lord, you have been false to me, and I was tricked; you are stronger than I, and have overcome me: I have become a thing to be laughed at all the day, everyone makes sport of me.”
Jeremiah didn’t suffer as an evil doer but as a servant of God. The Apostle Peter said, “But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters” (1 Peter 4:15New King James Version). However, Jeremiah’s punishment made him accuse God of deceiving him. This, obviously, was not from his heart. It was just an honest expression of the feeling of a man in despair. Jeremiah, like Job, went further to curse the day he was born (Jeremiah 20:14-18).
Nevertheless, Jeremiah didn’t stop trusting God. Even as he expressed his pain to God, he also praised Him and spoke about his trust in Him to deliver him. “But the Lord is with me as a great one, greatly to be feared: so my attackers will have a fall, and they will not overcome me: they will be greatly shamed, because they have not done wisely, even with an unending shame, kept in memory forever. But, O Lord of armies, testing the upright and seeing the thoughts and the heart, let me see your punishment come on them; for I have put my cause before you. Make melody to the Lord, give praise to the Lord: for he has made the soul of the poor man free from the hands of the evil-doers” (Jeremiah 20:11-13 New King James Version). Also in Lamentation 3, we see a mixture of Jeremiah’s expression of his affliction, his trust in God, and his praise to God.
In life, there is a time when you will be surrounded by light and another time when it appears you are in the darkness. You must trust God in any season you are in. Put your trust in God whether or not you have any physical proof of God’s presence. God is always present with His children even when we can’t see Him. God has promised that He would never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5b). Jesus said, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20b New King James Version). When you are in the darkness, trust God that He is there with you.
God said, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you” (Isaiah 43:2 New King James Version).
When the three Hebrews were in the darkness, they trusted God despite Nebuchadnezzar’s threat to throw them into a burning fiery furnace. “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up’” (Daniel 3:16-18 New King James Version).
God was with these Hebrews in the burning fiery furnace. They came out unhurt. But if they had died in the fire, they wouldn’t have felt that God disappointed them. Whatever situation, you find yourself in, put your trust in God. He neither fails nor comes late. David said, “For the enemy has persecuted my soul; he has crushed my life to the ground; he has made me dwell in darkness, Like those who have long been dead” (Psalm 143:3 New King James Version). Take note of the phrase “He has made me dwell in darkness.” The enemy did that to David.
If the enemy has made you dwell in darkness, put your trust in God. He will deliver you. The Prophet Micah said, “Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; when I fall, I will arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD will be a light to me” (Micah 7:8 New King James Version). Are you sitting in darkness like Micah? Trust God in the darkness whether it is the darkness made by the enemy or permitted by God.
Isaiah 50:10 says, “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” (New King James Version). Today’s English Version renders the scripture thus: “All of you that honor the Lord and obey the words of his servant, the path you walk may be dark indeed, but trust in the Lord, rely on your God.”
As Isaiah 26:4 says, trust in the LORD forever, for in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength. While Paul was in prison, he wrote to the Philippians that he trusted in the Lord to send Timothy to them shortly. But he also said he trusted in the Lord that he would also come shortly (Philippians 2:19, 24). Trust in God even when you are in the darkness.
If you’re suffering because of your faith as a Christian, don’t forget that this has been foretold (Acts 14:22; 1 Thessalonians 3:3; 2 Timothy 3:12; 2:11-12; Romans 8:17; 1 Peter 2:21; 3:17-18; 4:1; 5:10). Put your trust in God. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28 New King James Version).
Trust God in your time of darkness. Psalm 112:4 says unto the upright there arises light in the darkness; He [God] is gracious and full of compassion, and righteous. The light shall arise to you in your darkness. Trust God and endure whatever happens to you in your time of darkness. Don’t be bitter against God or fellow human beings. It is often said that hurt people hurt people. You may be hurt but don’t hurt others. Be a blessing to others in whatever way you can. Isaiah 58:10 says if you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday.
Trust God in your time of darkness. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to trust God in my time of darkness; let me not stop trusting God or put my trust in man or an idol. See me through the darkness; let me not fail God. Father, I pray for those who are currently in their time of darkness that they will trust You and come out victorious in Jesus’ name.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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