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Welcome to the Darkroom - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
September 5, 2023 6:00 am

Welcome to the Darkroom - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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September 5, 2023 6:00 am

Skip begins a new series titled Darkroom and shows you that how you suffer is far more important than why you suffer.

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More important than trying to figure out why you suffer. You need to figure out how you're going to suffer. How you suffer is far more important than why you are suffering.

Because suffering is a fact of life. All of life. Every life.

Your life included. Today on Connect with Skip Heitig, Pastor Skip begins a new series titled Dark Room. In his teaching today, he'll look at the reality of suffering and why how you suffer is so important. Hi, this is Pastor Skip, and we have prepared a package about seeing this life through the eyes of eternity.

Here are the details you'll need to receive this resource. Hell. Here's what C.S. Lewis said about this subject.

C.S. Lewis wrote in his book, The Problem of Pain, these words, There is no doctrine which I would more willingly remove from Christianity than this, if it lay in my power. But it has the full support of Scripture and especially of our Lord's own words.

It has always been held by Christendom, and it has the support of reason. Ecclesiastes says God has put eternity in our heart. To help you understand what awaits both believers and unbelievers in eternity, we've put together an exciting resource called the Eternity Package featuring Skip's booklet, Hell, No, Don't Go, and seven of his strongest teachings about eternity, including The Truth About Hell and What Most People Don't Know About Heaven. This powerful new resource package is our thanks for your gift of $50 or more to support the broadcast ministry of Connect with Skip Heitig. So get your copy of the Hell, No, Don't Go booklet and the Eternity Package on CD or as a digital download today when you give a gift of $50 or more.

Give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer or call 800-922-1888. This eternity package is some of the most powerful information for you and to give to family and friends. See, if there is no hell, then the Bible is a book of myths. If there is no hell, then Jesus was just a misguided soul. If there is no hell, then the crucifixion was pointless. There's no significance in dying to save us from what? If there's no hell, then you should sin as much as you possibly can, because it's not sin. It's just fun, right? It's just all about you getting pleasure in this life, sucking it like an orange, dry at every drop of enjoyment you can. So get your copy of the Hell, No, Don't Go booklet and the Eternity Package on CD or as a digital download today when you give a gift of $50 or more.

Give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer or call 800-922-1888. Okay, we're turning to Genesis 39 as we begin today's lesson. Today, most photographs in the world are taken on this, a little pocket device, your phone. This is all relatively new. For that matter, photography is relatively new. Americans take most photographs. If you were to look at it country by country, people group by people group, Americans take more photographs on their phone than any other people for some reason. The average American takes 20 pictures per day on this, 20.2 to be exact photographs on their phone. Every two minutes, every two minutes, we take more pictures than all of humanity took in the 1800s, in the entire century.

We do that every two minutes. And we do it with a phone principally. But this is a camera. This is a real camera. These are real cameras. These are cameras that I've had for years, I've traveled the world with and photographed with. And they use something, and you have to explain this to newer generations, they use something called film.

And this is a roll of film for this particular camera. And then I also have a contact sheet and negatives all developed in a dark room that I used to have. I spent years in a dark room. You're saying you spent years in dark rooms? That explains a lot.

But I did. I had a dark room when I was a little kid. I had access to one.

My brother had one. In my first apartment, I built a little dark room. In my parents' house before that, there was a dark room.

And just about every place since that I've been, I've had access to film photography in dark rooms. So the way film works is that you load it into the camera. It is basically made out of emulsion. And on the emulsion, in this particular instance, on the emulsion is a little substance of silver halide crystals. And silver halide is sensitive to light. So when you organize the light through a lens, and the shutter opens and closes, and the light comes in and strikes the emulsion, the silver halide on that emulsion gets what they call excited. And it actually burns an image that you cannot see into the film. It's called a latent image. Then when you put this film, this emulsion-filled film, into a bath of chemicals, a developer, it takes the silver halide and transforms it into metallic silver so that the areas of the emulsion that are most exposed by light turn black because the chemicals clump together.

And the parts that were least exposed are clear or white. So it's an exact negative. So when you take a photograph on this kind of film, you have a negative. You take the negative into a dark room, put it in a device called an enlarger, and you expose it on a piece of paper, and that becomes a positive. So that which is positive comes from that which is negative.

And so we're going through a series, Dark Room, how the negatives in your life, how God turns them into positives. Now, in the old days, when you had these hefty things called cameras, you would wind it up, you'd take the picture, and you didn't know what it looked like. Because you didn't have a screen on the back where you could like, oh, I like that, okay, good, or I'll take another one. So you had to take the picture, and then you had to wait for days or weeks, right? You'd send the film in, you'd drop the film off, you'd send it in, you'd pick it up, and then you'd see if it was good or not.

Well, if you're like a wedding photographer, you know, you're doing this for like two weeks, or you're like, man, because that's my job on the line. You got to make sure that those pictures are good. So you took the picture, you didn't see it, but you had to trust the chemistry. You had to trust the darkroom.

You trusted the process that the professionals went through in the darkroom to produce that picture. But in fact, many photographers saw the darkroom as the place where art was created, not the camera as much, not the film as much, but once it gets in the darkroom, that's where the art begins. Somebody who was very famous at doing that is a photographer I'm guessing some of you have heard of called Ansel Adams. Ever hear of Ansel Adams? He took a lot of black and white pictures. Ansel Adams was a master at going into the darkroom, manipulating chemistry, manipulating ISO ratings or ASA ratings, they were called in those days, manipulating exposure times, dodging and burning the photograph, having some parts more exposed and less exposed. He came up with what was called the zone system, where the photographs he produced had this incredible dynamic range of perfect exposure from the darkest part of the picture to the lightest part of the picture. So the next time you look at an Ansel Adams photograph, you go, man, that's stunning. Remember, it's because of what he did in the dark.

The mastery was done in the dark. In fact, this photograph of Ansel Adams, the Grand Teton Mountains, isn't that beautiful? I mean, it doesn't even do it justice looking at it on this screen. With the Snake River, this photograph, the original photograph, just sold at auction in 2020 for $988,000. A black and white picture for almost a million dollars.

Why? Because this is the work of a master who manipulated scenes in the dark. I think you know where I'm heading with this. You've been in the darkroom. You've been in God's darkroom. You have experiences in your life that are dark, unexplainable to you. You don't know why you went through them. Very, very painful, hard times of affliction.

Well, you're in the right place. You're in good company because the Bible itself is a darkroom. In fact, one of the great themes of the Scripture is the theme of suffering. In almost every book of the Bible, suffering is one of the principal themes, and you should know that the Bible never skirts the issue of pain and suffering in dark times. It meets it head on.

It deals with it head on. So when you turn to the book of Genesis, it begins by an account of how evil and death came into the world. When you read the next book, the book of Exodus, it's a story of the 40 years of wilderness wandering of the children of Israel.

It was a darkroom for them. They were being developed by God. The books of Job and Ecclesiastes are books almost wholly dedicated to the theme of pain and suffering and dark times.

That's the theme. The book of Psalms, filled with prayers and songs of worship that are birthed in seasons of pain. In fact, Psalms even asks the question to God, why God? Why God?

Why? Why do you allow this darkness in my life? You get to the prophets, like Jeremiah, written during a time of captivity. Another book by Jeremiah, the book of Lamentations.

How's that for dark? Lamentations. Where he's spouting off in the darkest time of Israel's history of the captivity as the city is being burned by fire and falling to the Babylonians. You get to the little prophetic book of Habakkuk, and you have a prophet complaining to God about the evil in the world and the suffering around him. Suffering has run amok, and God comes to him and says, you ain't seen nothing yet.

It's going to get much worse. Then you get to the New Testament, and you have the book of Hebrews and the book of 1 Peter that were written principally to help believers who were struggling in dark times. Then you have, of course, the book of Revelation, which predicts the darkest time in history yet to come, when literally the world will be darkened. The sun will grow dark.

The stars will fall from the sky. And then towering above all of that is the hero of the Bible himself, the Lord Jesus Christ, called a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. So, we approach the dark room of the Scripture, and today we look at a man who was developed in the dark, Joseph, in Genesis chapter 39. Now, here's what I think is good for you to keep in mind about Joseph. There is more written about Joseph than written about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob put together. There is more written about Joseph than what we call chapters of origin in the book of Genesis. More written about Joseph than the creation. More written about Joseph than the fall of man. More written about Joseph than the flood. More written about Joseph than the Tower of Babel. Then all of those events put together, there is more written about this one man named Joseph. Chapters 37 all the way to chapter 50 are about Joseph. We begin in chapter 39, and we're going to begin around verse 19. And what I want to show you in Joseph's life is four certainties about dark times in the life of a believer. And here's the first, certainty. This is something you can rest assured. Dark times are permitted by God.

That's pretty basic, right? God allows that. Most of us know that by now. Dark times are permitted by God. We begin where Joseph is serving a prison sentence in verse 19. And so it was when his master, his master is a man by the name of Potiphar, heard the words which his wife had spoken to him saying, your servant did to me after this manner that his anger was aroused. His wife lied about Joseph, said to her husband that Joseph made a pass at her. He did not.

He was pure. She lied. She made it up. But it says Joseph's master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were confined, and he was there in prison.

Now here's what you need to know. God let this happen. God let this happen. In fact, the overriding theme of all these chapters about Joseph is that God is superintending the dark times of this man named Joseph and developing a character out of him that is second to none. God is permitting the difficulties. In fact, Joseph's entire life has been hard ever since he was a kid. He had a dad. His dad is named Jacob. As you know, Jacob was, I would call, a passive father, a very preoccupied dad. So Joseph grew up in an environment of relational tension.

I think it's safe to say that. His dad, Jacob, and his uncle Esau had a falling out over a birthright, so much so that Esau said, next time I see Jacob, I'm going to kill him. Joseph was raised in that family. Also, Joseph's dad, Jacob, and Jacob's father-in-law, Laban, had a falling out over flocks and herds and property. Then Joseph's mother, Rachel, died when Joseph was quite young, giving birth to his younger brother. If that's not bad enough, his oldest brother, Reuben, had an incestuous relationship with one of his father's wives by the name of Bilhah. Then Joseph's sister, Dinah, was abducted and raped near the town of Shechem, and in response to that, Joseph's two older brothers went and committed genocide, killing all the males in that town. Now, that's a dysfunctional family, wouldn't you say?

It's safe to say that. That's just the early years of Joseph's life. That's just the early years. After that, his brothers hated him, the Bible says.

I had three older brothers. We didn't get along all the time, but his brothers hated him, and they hated him so much they human trafficked him, sold him to Midianites, who brought him down to Egypt, who took him to Potiphar's house, who became a slave to Potiphar, and his wife makes a pass at him. That's why he is in prison.

So I'm going to sum it up by saying this. Joseph did everything right, but everything wrong happened to him. Joseph did everything right, but everything wrong happened to him. Now, there's lots of reasons why suffering exists in the world. Most of the time, suffering is just the result of the consequences of the fall. We live in a fallen world. Sometimes, however, we suffer as a direct consequence to our sin.

So if a person gets drunk and goes out into traffic wandering around, he might get hit by a car and suffer years of pain because of that. He is suffering the consequence of sinful behavior. But sometimes, we suffer as a direct judgment from God. The Old Testament shows how God promised the children of Israel they would go into captivity if they continued a certain path.

They continued in that path. God brought them judgment. Sometimes, suffering is the result of persecution.

You love God, you shine the light of Christ, you're positive about all of it, but the world doesn't like that, and you get persecuted. Sometimes, we suffer as a direct attack from Satan, like Job did in the first two chapters of that book. So there's a variety of reasons why we can suffer. I just want to say it's not important that you figure out the source. You know, we kind of get hung up on that. Is this from me, or is this from God, or is this from the devil?

Who cares? It's happening to you. More important than trying to figure out why you suffer, you need to figure out how you're going to suffer. How you suffer is far more important than why you are suffering.

Look, suffering is a fact of life, all of life, every life, your life included. Job said, man is born to trouble surely as the sparks fly upward. You can bank on it. It's going to happen. Jesus said to the 12 in the world, you shall have tribulation. Not, you might have tribulation, boys. It might happen.

He said, you're going to have it, guaranteed. In the book of James, he writes, I found it all joy, my brothers, when you fall into various trials, not if you fall, when you fall. So many of the songs of our life are sung in the minor key while in the dark. That is a fact of life, even God's people. Jesus said that God causes the sun to fall on the just and the unjust and the rain to fall on the just and the unjust, the godly and the ungodly. That's why it's wrong to come up with this false theology that says godly people don't suffer like ungodly people. That's true in an eternal sense.

That is true. I think in a temporal sense, we go through pain and cancer and broken bones like everybody else. Sun and rain falls on the just and the unjust. The idea that if I just had enough faith, I wouldn't have to suffer is nonsense. In fact, I don't trust people who don't suffer.

I don't even like them. Charles Haddon Spurgeon said, I believe the hardest-hearted, most unlovely Christians in all the world are those who never had much trouble. And those who are the most sympathizing, loving and Christ-like are those that have had the most afflictions. The worst thing that can happen to any of us is to have our path made too smooth. Dark times are permitted by God.

That's first. The second certainty is that dark times enhance the presence of God. Dark times enhance the presence of God. I know that if I were to give you an open mic right now and say, just shout out experiences where you have experienced the presence of God. So many of you would say, in the darkest moment of my life, God showed up.

You would have that testimony. Look at verse 21. It says, But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and he gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.

So Joseph is put in prison, but the Lord was with Joseph, the presence of God. I know it's true that when suffering happens to some people, they walk away from God. That happens a lot.

I hear that a lot. Yeah, you know, I trusted God. I put my faith in Him, and He let this happen to me. So I just quit going to church, man. I quit reading my Bible.

I'm not praying. I'm not trusting God. If I trust God, then that happens to me. I know people who walk away when suffering happens. But I also know that it's true that many find God when they start suffering.

That is often what I find. I find that suffering doesn't move them away from God. Many times, suffering moves them right toward God.

It's the time they get woken up out of their lethargy, out of their sleep. God gets their attention. So you might say pain moves people in different directions. Toward God or away from God? I've often said pain and suffering will either break your back or bend your knee. I guess you need to choose today what you're going to let that be.

Is it going to break your back or is it going to bend your knee? That's Skip High Tech with a message from the series Dark Room. Find the full message as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at ConnectWithSkip.com. Right now, here's Skip and Lenya to share some exciting news about a trip to the Holy Land. I'm guessing that many of you have thought about, talked about, maybe even dreamed about visiting Israel.

Well, let's make that happen. Lenya and I are taking a tour group to Israel next summer in 2024. And I can't wait. We'll start in Tel Aviv, head north to Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, and the Jordan River. We'll spend several days in Jerusalem and see the Garden of Gethsemane, the Upper Room, and so much more. And we'll wrap it all up with a swim in the Dead Sea. Now, I've been to Israel many times, like over 40. In fact, I can honestly say, though, that visiting the places where the Scriptures unfolded, where Jesus lived out his earthly ministry, it never gets old.

No, it doesn't. The incredible sightseeing will be punctuated by times of worship and teachings that you'll never forget. And Jeremy Camp and Adie Camp will be with us to lead worship. Make plans to join us next summer in Israel. See the itinerary and book this Israel tour with Skip Heitzig and Jeremy Camp today at InspirationCruises.com slash C-A-B-Q.

That's InspirationCruises.com slash C-A-B-Q. And the next extension of this ministry is coming right to your backpack, purse, or pocket. It's text messaging, and we're all set to give you more content and opportunities to connect to God and His Word on the go. To join, just text the word connect to 74759. It's that simple, and we'd love for you to join in. Come back tomorrow as Skip concludes his message, Welcome to the Dark Room, and shows you how God uses the dark times in your life for a purpose. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-05 05:12:01 / 2023-09-05 05:21:13 / 9

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