Do Not Doubt in the Dark

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, July 8, 2016 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

The other day I found a sermon on YouTube by Adrian Rodgers on how to deal with situations when nothing seems to make sense and it really stood out. Rodgers speaks about Joseph in Genesis 39-42. Here is a brief summary of this young man’s life in these chapters which took place between ages 17 and 30: in a 13-year time frame, Joseph went from being the favorite of the father out of 12 boys to being betrayed by his brothers, sold into slavery, brought into a foreign nation, accused of a crime he did not commit, imprisoned for a few years, ignored by the one he said would be released for an additional two years, before finally being brought before Pharaoh and being made second in command to the King of Egypt. Things were not looking good for Joseph as no matter what he did, God made him prosper in all he did but his station kept getting lower and lower first. It did not make any sense and we can get a good hint of the frustration of Joseph when after he tells the cupbearer that he would be released he asks that he is mentioned to Pharaoh so he could get out of prison. How did Joseph keep it up? Why did he remain loyal to God?

Rodgers gave a suggestion: Joseph had dreams earlier in his life, in Genesis 37. He dreamed his brothers would bow before him, then the stars and nations would bow before him. These dreams were fulfilled when Joseph became the ruler of Egypt, where only Pharaoh was above him. Joseph knew these dreams were from God and perhaps they were the anchors he held onto in his times of darkness.

Rodgers gave a quote (source unknown) that resonated with me: “Do not doubt in the dark what God has revealed in the light.” When in times of darkness, in times of confusion, in times on uncertainty, in times of un-clarity, do not doubt what you know for sure that God has revealed to you before you entered the dark times. There is one thing that stands out incredibly when in a dark time: a word from God. The Greek word in reference here is “rhema.” I am not talking about a passage of Scripture. That is the “logos,” word of God, a complete expression of what someone intends to say. “Rhema” is the breathed, life-giving, revealed word for a very specific situation.

God still speaks to us today. He did not suddenly stop talking with the completion of the Canon of Scripture. However, anything he says will never contradict what is in the Bible. How does he speak to us? It is not necessarily with an audible voice but with some kind of “sense” deep within us that very specifically addresses our situation. This is what Jesus was talking about when he told the Devil, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” We eat a meal and it give us the energy for a short time. However, a word from God, a specific promise for us individually, will keep us going for our life. Joseph had a word that he would one day be a ruler. David had a word that he was anointed as king of Israel. Abraham had a word that he would be the father of many nations and through him all nations would be blessed. They had a promise from God and when times were troubling, they retained a solid grip on that promise and held on.

Several months ago, I wrote about “Getting Slighted.” I had been in a situation where I was doing a job but not getting the recognition of that job. I remember reading the account of Joseph not much before writing that post and God telling me that I am like him in that case. I did my job to the best of my ability, and my administration did not even bother giving me a thank-you for truly saving their hides. The school year is now over and I got a very strong impression from administration that they are not going to hire me for the job I did for all but seven weeks of the school year. I feel like Joseph did. I was being successful in my job; I was doing the best job I could do (nowhere near perfect, but the best I knew I could do with the resources I had) and no fruit is resulting from it.

I will say now what I said three months ago: this situation has been the most trying for me in how I have trusted God. I know that God has called me into full time ministry with youth, but I still do not know exactly what this is supposed to look like. I do know that he directed me towards classroom teaching six years ago, and until I have another word from him, I need to be heading that direction. Then a few weeks ago, I heard something that I do believe was from God: that I would be at this same school for one more year as a substitute and then God would open up a door.

God may require us to take a step back in order for us to launch us forward. He may be doing that with me. Could it be to humble me? Very possible. Could it be to test me? Very possible. I do not know why God would give me so much full time classroom teaching experience this year, only to pull me back and make me settle as a regular substitute. There are many times where God asks us to do things that really do not make a lot of sense to us, but when we see the entire picture, usually in hindsight, it makes absolute sense. God revealed to me in the light that I am to do ministry with youth. At this point, I see myself as a speaker and author being my primary ministry, more than I do a classroom teacher full time. But I may need the classroom experience to get the credentials and experience I need to do my primary ministry better. I have something God has given me in the light. And right now, I am in the dark, with little to no clue where I am, why I am here, or even what I am doing in my current situation. But like Joseph, I see the day coming where God is going lift me into a position where I need to be, whatever it may be.

Are you in a time of darkness or confusion? What was the last thing you know for sure God told you? Go back to that point, grab a hold of it, and do not let go. If you need to obey it, then obey it because God likely won’t give you a next step until you obey the last one he gave you. If God has revealed to you something in the light, do not doubt that when you enter a time in the dark.

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