Defeating Darkness

I’m writing this post as I process pain, pray for peace, and proclaim God’s promises. I’m writing with a really raw heart to assure you that you are not alone in your darkness, your doubt, or your depression.

Over the last several months, emotions have overcome me. In a time full of happiness, my heart has felt heavy with hurt. Maybe you can relate.

Maybe you lost a job, or even worse, a parent. Maybe you are watching your child walk down a path of destruction. Maybe you are a recovering addict walking through withdrawal. Maybe your marriage is melting down. Maybe you feel exhausted and expended, empty of energy. Maybe you’re tired of taking the blame, tired of keeping it together, or just plain tired.

I do not know the circumstances that surround you, but I know the only way out of the dark is to run to the Light. While I fight to function some days, I try to remember that even though it can be an invisible fight, it doesn’t have to be an individual fight.

I, first, have to ask you one simple question:
Do you dare to hope?

Do you dare bring goodness to the gloom?
Do you dare bring healing to the hurting?
Do you dare bring the Savior into your sorrows?

It’s an extremely daunting dare. In fact, I have found that some days it is harder to heal than it is to hurt. We were born wanting to wallow and weep, but we were predestined to praise and prevail.

Jeremiah dares us to hope in Lamentations:
I will never forget this awful time as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope.
Lamentations 3:21-22

What are you grieving, friend?
What has deepened your darkness?
What has stolen your hope and hidden your joy?
Are you ready to reveal your hurt and run to hope and healing?

In Lamentations, Jeremiah pushes up to proclaim God’s promises while giving us Biblical practices to defy and defeat darkness. In order to silence our enemy and seek our Savior, we must:

  1. Sort.
    Before we begin digging out of our doubt and darkness, we need to check our heart. Is your heart broken for things that break God’s heart or are you saddened due to selfishness? Take some time to toss anything that is temporary. Hold on to what hurts God’s heart, the rest is just rubble.
  2. Search.
    The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him.
    Lamentations 3:25
    One of the best promises is that when we go searching and seeking, we will find our Savior every time. He promises in Matthew, Seek, and you will find. When you feel lost and looking for light, call out God. Be honest and He will answer.
  3. Surrender.
    …let us return to the Lord. Let us lift up our hearts and our hands.
    Lamentations 3:40-41
    In order to heal, we have to let the Lord be the leader. We are broken humans who cannot heal our own hearts. We must surrender to the our Savior so He can shine His light. Prayer positions your heart for healing and worship welcomes the one who heals. Surrender your heart and mind. Relinquish your rights to plan and provide and watch how He lights your path.
  4. Sit.
    So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.
    Lamentations 3:26
    Once you surrender, you must sit. The light will not immediately illuminate your life. There will be some tween time where must must wait in worship and follow in faith. Just remember, you are not waiting alone, God is sitting at your side.Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
    Isaiah 41:10
  5. Serve.
    When we serve others, we grow in selflessness. We begin to look less at our loss and more at the Cross. This is the hardest, yet most helpful part of healing. When we look at others needs, our nonsense becomes nonexistent. We magnify our mission and lessen our losses. Service saves us, just like our Savior saved us.

As hard as healing can be, we can look to Jesus for ultimate encouragement and constant cheer-leading. As our sovereign Savior got sentenced, he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted with sorrow. “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
Luke 22:45-46

Jesus faced the darkest death and still submitted, sat, and served. He submitted to God to saved us from our sins, He sat and prayed hours prior to His death, and He served the disciples when He selflessly washed their feet.

The Gospel says that Jesus faced death so that we don’t have to live in this darkness.

It’s up to you to dare to hope and let our Lord do the leading.
Lean in, friend. He is waiting to heal you.

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