God Is with You in the Darkness and Makes Light of It

I don’t mean that He’s making fun of your troubles. In fact, God is with you in the midst of all your dark phases in life. Moreover, even if you can’t see it at the time, God is using your hard times to shape and strengthen you, as He is preparing to shine His light upon those phases to bring you out of them.

One of the greatest examples of His dark-to-light liberations lies in the account of the life of Joseph. He was the second youngest of Jacob’s sons, who would later become the fathers of the twelve tribes of Israel. Joseph was also his Daddy’s favorite son, and his elder brothers hated him for that.

Adding coals to that fire, at the age of seventeen, God sent Joseph a vision, whereby He revealed that Joseph would rule over his brothers in the future. Joseph shared this revelation with his brothers. This infuriated them so much that they sold Joseph off to slave traders – later telling their father that some wild animal killed him.

This was the beginning of a very long dark season in the life of Joseph. He was sold into slavery into the house of Potiphar, an officer of the Pharaoh. Yet even then, God was with him:

The LORD was with Joseph, and he became a successful man… Gn. 39:2 ESV

…the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake… Gn. 39:5 NKJV

Every task that Potiphar put upon Joseph brought God’s blessing upon his house. Therefore, he put Joseph in charge over his entire household. God shed light into Joseph’s darkness.

Unfortunately, Potiphar’s wife got the hots for Joseph, but he rejected her advances. In retaliation, she accused him of trying to seduce her. Subsequently, Joseph was thrown into prison. Yet the chief jailor had the same observations as Potiphar – seeing that Joseph brought success to whatever he was instructed to do. God was spilling the light for Joseph again:

But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. Gn. 39:21 ESV

During his incarceration, Joseph encounters two prisoners from the house of Pharaoh, both locked up for offending the Pharaoh. During this encounter, Joseph used his God-given gift to interpret dreams, to reveal the meanings of those that were troubling these prisoners. He tells one that he would be killed by the Pharaoh for his offenses, and informs the other would be released and reinstated to his position. Joseph asks the latter to tell the Pharaoh of his innocence. The freed prisoner forgets for two years, until the Pharaoh had troubling dreams of his own, whereupon he tells Pharaoh about Joseph’s talent.

Joseph was 30 years old.

Joseph accurately interprets Pharaoh’s dreams, which allows for the saving of Egypt from an impending famine. In response, Pharaoh, also seeing the hand of God upon Joseph, makes him second-in-command over all of Egypt. More of God’s light filling Joseph’s darkness…

God has a purpose for everything. The famine hit the surrounding countries, the land of Canaan being one of them. Jacob’s brothers were sent from there to Egypt to buy grain, whereupon they encounter Joseph, this now powerful agent of Pharaoh, and they are frightened to their core. Surprisingly to them, he reveals God’s purposes in him:

“And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.” Gn. 45:5 ESV

“And God sent me before you to prepare a posterity in the earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you who sent me here, but God…” Gn. 45:7, 8. NKJV

Furthermore, because of the favor of God, Pharaoh told Joseph to bring his family of seventy Hebrews to live in the abundance of Egypt; and they became the seeds for the future nation of Israel:

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good to bring about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So, do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Gn. 50:20, 21. ESV

Joseph’s long season of trials and tribulations were reversed – used by God to achieve a far grander purpose for good, both showering His light upon him and making the way for the future of His children.

The first thirty years of Joseph’s life were harrowing, but because of his continuing faith in God despite his adversities, God showered him with love.

Can you relate to Joseph? Have you gone through (or going through) a stage in your life that doesn’t make sense? Are you having trouble seeing the hand of God in your life? Would you like your life to be different? Tough questions.

God never said that life would be easy. What He said was that we’d have both good seasons and hard ones:

“Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” Job 2:10 NKJV

In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity, consider: God has made one as well as the other… Eccl. 7:14 ESV

Yet, if you stick with God, no matter how dark your trials, God has a better endgame:

For I know the thoughts I think towards you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jer. 29:11 NKJV

God is truthful, faithful and He wants to lovingly lead you into a wondrous future. Why then does He allow the dark phases in our lives?

One reason is that it brings you closer to Him. I believe that if you suffer in life, God wants you to change – back into whom God created you to be before the world stomped all over you.

He wants you to understand the seriousness of your choices and the consequences that they bring. It’s up to you to choose life or death:

“See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity…” Dt. 30:15 NASB

Your choices good or bad, have consequences. God never gives up on you. He lets you experience the repercussions of your bad ones to build character, faith and strength so that you can turn away from making bad choices in the future:

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let the steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2 – 4. ESV

When consequences of bad decisions lead you to make good choices, you are learning the ways of God:

It was good that I was afflicted, that I may learn your statutes. Ps. 119.71 NASB

…He disciplines us for our good, so that we my share His holiness. Heb. 12:10 NASB

When you turn to God, everything changes:

“Yield now and be at peace with Him; thereby good will come to you.” Job 22:21 NASB

Other dark moments in life may be no fault of our own, and the ‘why’ of them may seem hard to see; e.g. experiencing a death of an addict in the family who chose not to give up their addiction. Or perhaps someone was born into the family with a physical or mental challenge.

We want to rail against God for what we perceive as immeasurable injustices. But we can’t see the big picture that God sees:

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are you ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Is. 55:8, 9. NKJV

I believe these unfortunate individuals are gifts given to us to have a chance to grab hold of a deeper understanding and compassion for our brothers and sisters and ourselves – to teach us that no one is unlovable. It also helps us to touch our own pain and learn to love ourselves by tapping into the love of God.

Furthermore, I firmly believe that these ‘challenged, addicted’ people will be made whole in the heavens.

God wants you to have a life of complete love and contentedness. Sometimes that life will have a dark season. That’s the time God is asking you to look inside and ask, ‘What can I learn from this?’ It’s usually about a change that needs to be made that steers you towards your greater good. When you look to God in your dark seasons, they will come to an end:

For the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted perish forever. Ps. 9:18 NASB

God will see you through every peak and valley for the whole of your entire life…

Even to your old age, I will be the same. And even to your graying years I will bear you! I have done it, and I will carry you; and I will bear you and I will deliver you. Is. 46:4 NASB

Goodnight and God bless.

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May 11 2017 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »

Can God Deliver You From Yourself?

Let’s look first at what we need to be delivered from (as we’ve seen in our examination of it that began in mid-July of this year with the post How The Devil Stole Your Soul):

In the beginning, you were made in the image of God (Gn. 1:26 – 28.) – perfectly created by a perfect loving God to live an extraordinary love-filled life.

God placed a piece of Himself (His Spirit) within you, in order that you may have life and live it in a continual harmonious communion with Him. You were born perfect, you are perfect, and you will always be perfect. Furthermore, He left you a manual (the Bible) for how to live out that communion while you walk this earth. All you would have had to do was follow the plan.

But Adam and Eve altered that plan, which distorted it for all of us. They disobeyed God because they allowed the devil to convince them that they were less than perfect – causing them to doubt God’s word and to doubt the true nature of themselves. When they did this, they were cursed with chronic thoughts that made them suffer: thoughts of fear, guilt and shame that arose from their giving into pride.

That curse was unleashed onto every successive generation thereafter – passed on from parents to their children, for time immemorial.

No one is born with this curse; it has to be force-fed to you by unconscious parents who had it force-fed to them by their unconscious parents. Those seeds of self-doubt lead to self-judgment.

[We can put a stop to this cycle if we nurture our children with the word of God. (Pr. 22:6) Or, if it’s already taken effect, we can help them return to their Creator, who will wash this curse away. (Zech. 1:3)]

Those malicious seeds of doubt are further watered by the lies smeared upon you by schools, government (in all its forms), religiosity, the media that dances for the government and by your unconscious peers.

In an effort to keep all of these societal rules (lies) in your head in a manner that you can remember and adhere to them, (to be ‘accepted’, i.e. escape punishment and pain) you (as a child) most cleverly invent a voice in your head (ego) to help you tow the line.

Initially, the voice seems to be a very helpful tool. You begin to rely upon it, so much so that you forget you created it – believing that this ‘construct’ is really you, and you begin to deny the voice of your spirit. Worse, the voice takes on a life of its own as it gets heady over the power that you’ve given it: the power to make all of your decisions.

You open yourself up completely to the scrutiny of the voice. Then it can track your every thought. It becomes self-aware and realizes that it needs you as a willing host to survive. To achieve this, it convinces you that you need it.

How? The voice convinces you that the world is dangerous and you need it to avoid those dangers. It tells you to do impossible tasks that supposedly make you acceptable to others; and when you don’t achieve them, it mentally punishes you mercilessly for your ‘mistakes.’

The end result is that you feel flawed, unlovable, not good enough, and so you cower in the face of what you perceive as potential rejection. Subsequently, just like Adam and Eve, you too doubt yourself. You go out into the world and pursue the opinions of others (who are also suffering just like you) for direction in how to be acceptable and lovable.

Your life becomes ruled by anxiety – fueled by worry over whether or not you are being the right way or doing the right thing in order to garnish that love and approval. The voice feeds your anxiety by telling you that you are flawed (lies) and that you must never others see them or you will face a life of rejection.

So now you are exerting enormous amounts of energy trying to suppress your real self (that wasn’t flawed in the first place).

In order to intensify its control over you, the voice plumbs the depths of your past and brings to fore twisted meanings and embellishments of it that declare you as the center source of all your pain (unconsciously but ironically true because of the belief you place in your mental villain). The result is that you’re stuck in the past and cannot be present to life.

Ultimately, you’re battling a life that is filled with false meanings – trying to solve imaginary problems that you never really had.

You project that battle, (your self-judgment) onto others by judging them. You live defensively, doing unto others before they can do unto you.

In addition, you try to escape from your self-inflicted pain through busyness, distraction or addiction.

If you do get the courage (in an attempt to overcome your lonely desperation) to go out and hunt for love, you do it wearing a mask, a false image that you hope someone will love. But it’s not who you are, so your real needs never get met.

The wounded child within you, with all its unresolved issues, is running your life. That life is found wanting, so you switch jobs, geography, and / or relationships.

Speaking of relationships, you’ll even put up with those of a toxic nature, hoping you can find some scraps of love.

Communication denigrates into prejudice, taking sides, laying blame and as a result, making enemies.

This makes relationship extremely difficult to achieve. The first relationship we throw away is the one we had with God because we’re convinced He wouldn’t want us in our sorry state. For the same reason, we find ourselves deplorable and don’t invest any love in our relationship with our self. Robbed of the loving tools we need, meaningful relationships with others elude us as well.

Yet knowing that you suffer from an unavoidable condition is by no means a reason to condemn yourself! You deserve compassion for having to endure the unconscious cruelty that has been handed down to you – as does everybody else.

So, we have to ask ourselves, can God deliver us from what we’ve become?

Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? Job 40:2 ESV

Who then is able to stand against Me?….Everything under heaven is Mine. Job 41:10, 11. NKJV

For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom. 8:38, 39. AMP

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. Col. 1:13, 14. NKJV

And the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. Rom. 16:20 NASB

So, who is the faultfinder, if not that voice in our head that is modeled after the words of the devil himself? God’s got him handled. Indeed, nothing can stand against our God. He uses His might to thrust aside anything that would impede His love from covering you. That includes blasting away Satan.

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. Jer. 29:11 AMP

“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins.” Is. 43:25 NKJV

He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love toward those who fear him… Ps. 103:10, 11. ESV

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free… Gal. 5:1 NKJV

God has a good plan for you and if you stick with Him, He’ll see that you gather the fruits of it.

It doesn’t matter what you have thought or done; when you confess and repent, God wipes the slate clean.

Furthermore, He will also eliminate all of the damage wreaked by your ill-begotten condition:

“Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder the things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth…” Is. 43:18, 19. NASB

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good – not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne. Mt. 11:28 – 30. AMP

The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever leans on, trusts in, and puts his confidence in the Lord is safe and set on high. Pr. 29:25 AMP

I sought the LORD and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. Ps. 34:4 NASB

For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are your works, and my soul knows it very well. Ps. 139, 14. NASB

Unload yourself. Give up all of your troubles and anxieties to Christ and walk the good, unburdened and light-filled road. Gone is fear (and thus anger, jealousy, and envy as well). Dead and buried is the self-judgment when you realize how wondrous God made you. And guess what? You will then be an extremely desirable person that draws in extraordinary relationships, which will complete your exceptional life…

Now that should be the end of the story. There is nothing that God cannot or would not do for you.

The caveat is ‘free will.’ You must choose to ask God to help you.

But sometimes you don’t.

Next time…
Good night and God bless.

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October 08 2015 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »