Hope: When Our Days Are Dark

darkness-and-moon

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Many people around me are walking through dark days right now. One friend’s marriage is dying at the grip of infidelity. Betrayal has broken her spirit and her heart. She’s left reeling, trying to figure out what her next step needs to be.

A friend’s son has turned away from all the values he was raised with. He’s walking in his own will, oblivious to the coming consequences for his choices. His mama’s heart is broken.

stormy-sky

A teen in our community committed suicide. I cannot imagine what their family is going through right now. Heartache, grief, regret. Indescribable loss, raw and searing.

Friends and family members fight for their lives as terminal illness attempts to steal as many days as it can.

These days are dark.

Our God . . . He knows the agony of darkness. His only Son was tortured at the hands of wicked men. He listened to His Son’s pleas, knowing He could only watch, because of a greater plan. His perfect, God-man Son wore the death cloth, His body placed in a tomb. Sealed with a rock.

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“The moon and stars, they wept

The morning sun was dead

The savior of the world was fallen….”

(From Forever, by Kari Jobe)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6duzVn5M6E

Our God knows the darkness in the hearts of men. He knows the pain we walk through. He grieves for those who are violated by the evil in men’s hearts that is lived out.

Yes, these are dark days.

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But our hope is in this: Jesus Christ. Crucified. Buried. Resurrected.

God never promised HIs followers they would escape the effects of darkness in our world. He says the rain falls on the just and the unjust alike. What He promises is that He will always be with us. He will never leave or forsake us.

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Just because we claim to follow Him, it doesn’t mean we are excused from heartache. It does mean we have hope because Jesus has borne the worst of what we deserve. He has conquered sin . . . for us. Because He loves us.

We will go through trials that strip us bare. We will walk through the hard of this life. But, we don’t walk alone.

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And those trials are not the end of our stories. They are a chapter (or ten) in the book that encompasses our lives. One day, they will be a testimony of the work God did in and through us, through our walks in the darkness.

But, as we walk in the midst of the hard seasons? It can be far too easy to look at all that is going on around us, to become discouraged, beaten down. Each solitary moment feels heavy. They drain our spirits, they break us.

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The thing we have to remember is that in those darkest of moments, Jesus is light.

He is hope in despair. 

He is comfort in betrayal.

He is healing in brokenness.

Sun setting and a tree

He offers us peace in the dark times. When we turn our eyes to Him. When our hearts choose to trust Him. When we entrust our brokenness to Him, we can walk—or limp—with peace.

Our God knows the darkness. He understands the hurts we walk with. And, He promises to bring us through to the other side.

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Our only true hope is in Jesus, and what He did, because He loves us. The troubles of this world sometimes appear so final. They feel so permanent.

But the truth is, they are temporary.

What is permanent is that Jesus loves us. He has made it possible for us to be in a place of no more torment. He offers us heaven for eternity.

butterfly-hope

That truth may not make it easier in the moment to face life’s hard. But, this reality gives us hope. Because whatever this world throws into our lives isn’t our forever. Our forever is Jesus loving us.

He brings light to the darkness and hope to the downhearted.

What about you? What verses offer you hope in the dark seasons of your life? What does Jesus’ love mean to you?

Click to Tweet: Those trials are not the end of our stories.

I’m linking up with Holly Barrett’s Testimony Tuesday and Kelly Balarie’s #RaRaLinkUp

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13 thoughts on “Hope: When Our Days Are Dark

  1. Your voice and words are a light in the darkness. Thank you for the encouragement and willingness to speak words of truth (God’s truth) into all of our hearts. There are many who live in a time of darkness but as you wrote so beautifully, God promises to walk us through the darkness and get us safely to the other side. I was just reading in Isaiah 43 this morning. The words throughout that chapter remind and point us to hope. Blessings!

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    • Isaiah 43 is full of powerful words and incredible hope. Sometimes I begin to feel overwhelmed by the weight of the burdens people close to me are carrying. These words speak to my heart, as well. God walks with each of us, through the fires, and through the storms of life.

      I’m so glad you shared Isaiah 43 today, Mary. Thank you!

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  2. “In this world we will have trouble, but know that I have overcome the world.” Really just quite recently has the Spirit revealed to me what ‘overcome the world’ means. It really is to know the eternal, and that His love endures even through the brokenness and very tragedies of the world that effect all of us, Christian or not. And have peace in His light that never ceases.

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    • Lynn, such a beautiful, powerful reminder that the god of this world never has the final word. He can make life difficult, but that difficulty isn’t the final word. Yes, Jesus’ love does endure through the brokenness and tragedies. Thank you for that reminder. So thankful for your wisdom today!

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  3. Beautiful, hopeful words! I love the reminder that even in dark times, God walks with us, or carries us, and “whatever this world throws into our lives isn’t our forever. Our forever is Jesus loving us.”
    “The people who walk in darkness
    will see a great light.
    For those who live in a land of deep darkness,
    a light will shine. (Isaiah 9:2)

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  4. “Our forever is Jesus loving us.” I love that, Jeanne. The days are dark, but Sunday is coming and there is such beautiful promise in that. Living knowing that we are loved by a God who is for us and desires the very best puts our darkest moments in proper perspective. Thanks for sharing, friend. xoxo

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    • Yes, Tiffany. Sunday is coming. I love the promise and hope that holds! Loved what you said about living knowing that we are loved by a God who is for us and desires the very best for us. Though sometimes that “best” doesn’t seem like it in the short term, we can trust Him even in the hard seasons. Thank you for sharing your wisdom here!

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  5. Jeanne, yes … God is our permanent. You reminded me of something that we discussed in Sunday school last week. We were talking about the Passover. How it went dark. And a friend in class mentioned that we turn on the light, but in this case, she said, “God turned on the dark.” I loved that statement. But it was just temporary … to reveal His glory. To show that He is the one true God, above all else. 🙂 And I love that we remember it all still to this day … to remember Him.

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    • I loved this, Shelli. Sometimes, God does turn on the dark. I never thought about the Passover with this perspective before. He does have the BEST ways of showing His glory, doesn’t He? May we always remember Him and shine His light into the world around us. 🙂

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