LESSONS FROM OUR DARKNESS Hello darkness my old
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LESSONS FROM OUR DARKNESS “Hello darkness my old friend, I’ve come to talk to you again. ” (Paul Simon) PSALM 88 “Darkness is my closest friend. ” (Heman the Ezrahite) 1. 2. 3. 4. Darkness can last a long time. Darkness can show us God’s grace. Darkness helps us grow in our faith. Our worst darkness has been dispelled.
1. DARKNESS CAN LAST A LONG TIME Two types of darkness = outside & inside. Outside = rejected, isolated, sick, near death. Inside = God is angry with him & he feels abandoned. He trusts in God for his salvation & prays every day, yet still has darkness for a long time. This is depressing & a blessing.
Blessing = the Bible is real about faith & life. “Life is pain! Anyone who says differently is trying to sell you something. ” (Princess Bride) Blessing = deals with false expectations = live for God & nothing really bad will happen. Someone far better than us didn’t live a trouble free life – rejected, tortured & killed. “A slave is not greater than the master. Since they persecuted me, they will naturally persecute you. ” (John 15: 20)
2. DARKNESS CAN SHOW US GOD’S GRACE Heman’s prayer = sarcasm + accusation. “How can I praise you & tell others about you when I’m dead? ” (vs 10 -12) “You’ve never healed me or been there for me!” (vs 5 -7) “Darkness is a better friend than you are right now. ” (v 18) “I’m not your God only if you get it right! I’m your God because I’m a God of grace!”
3. DARKNESS HELPS US GROW IN FAITH Heman says a lot of bad things about God, but he says them to God - never walks away. In darkness God says , “You’re not going to get a lot out of me right now. Let’s see who you truly love. Do you love me, or do you only love what I give you? ” “Protesting against God through our prayers of lament is still an act of faith. It shows that we are not willing to let go of God in spite of everything we face. ” (Michael Card)
Heman’s ‘temporary’ darkness turned coal into a diamond (1 Peter 1: 6 -7) = Korahites were leaders of worship. “As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. ” (Ps 42: 1) “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. ” (Ps 46: 1) “I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the Lord. With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God. ” (Ps 84: 2)
4. OUR WORST DARKNESS HAS BEEN DISPELLED – “O Lord, God of my salvation. ” “God will redeem my life. He will snatch me from the power of the grave. ” (Ps 49: 15) “At noon, darkness fell across the whole land… Jesus called out, My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? ” (Matt 27: 45) = Jesus was abandoned by God, so we wouldn’t be. Darkness was his only friend, so it wouldn’t be ours.
LESSONS FROM OUR DARKNESS & THE CROSS (need to look at both) Darkness can happen to a believer, but it doesn’t mean you are abandoned. Darkness can happen to someone who doesn’t deserve it (Jesus), so it may not mean you have strayed. Darkness can happen at anytime as long as this world lasts. Its only in the next world that it will be gone forever.
Darkness can happen without you knowing why. But there answers, and there is a purpose, and eventually you will know why. “So hold onto Jesus always. He has experienced darkness as his only friend, so we can experience Him as our closest friend. ” (Tim Keller)