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Walking With God Through the Dark Times - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
February 3, 2023 12:00 am

Walking With God Through the Dark Times - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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February 3, 2023 12:00 am

Lean on the Lord so He can calm your fears and take away your hurts.

In Touch
Charles Stanley
In Touch
Charles Stanley

Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Friday, February 3rd. No one likes hardship, but God uses difficulty and pain to build strong faith. Today's podcast teaches you to develop assurance while walking with God through the dark times. All of us are going to go through dark times in our life. We won't always understand why. Sometimes they're going to be short-lived. Sometimes they're going to be prolonged and we do not understand why God doesn't stop it even now.

But even though that happens, there's a way for us to respond. And God has given to us in His Word the principles by which you are not to operate in every single circumstance of life, no matter what it is. And that's what I want to talk about in this message entitled, Walking with God Through the Dark Times. And so I want to choose the life of Joseph, for example, and you may turn to the thirty-seventh chapter of Genesis because it's interesting that though he was not the most important one of Jacob's sons, that thirty-seven through fiftieth chapters of the book of Genesis is all about the life of Joseph. And he's a perfect example for us to look at and examine and see how God helped him walk through a long period of darkness.

So let me give you a little idea who he is. Joseph is the youngest son of Jacob, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, God's genealogical line. And so his brothers hate him and the Bible says several times how much they hate him because he is the protected one. And so when he goes out and brings back his father's report, it was a bad report and so they see him as a tattle-tale. Then he had these dreams. One of these dreams was these sheaves, each one representing his brother, and they were all bowing down to his sheaf, which was in the center. That made him that much more angry. Then he talked about this dream of the sun and the moon bowing down to his sheaf. And so the Bible says they hated him because of his attitude. They thought he was prideful and egotistical and cocky. And so what happens is father sends him to check up on him.

They see him coming and they say, here comes that dreamer. They decided to kill him. And so in the process when Reuben, one of the brothers, hears about it, he says, no, let's just throw him in a pit, but let's don't kill him. Finally, Judah, the most important brother of all in the genealogical line, Jesus, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, he says, he's our brother, we must not kill him.

And so here comes a caravan. They said, so let's, okay, we won't kill him, we'll just sell him. So they sell him to a caravan, takes him down to Egypt and he's bought on the slave block to, bought by Potiphar, who is the captain of the guard of Pharaoh. Brings him into his household.

He's doing fantastic. His wife tries to seduce him. And so he's thrown into jail and there he is for a season of time. Pharaoh has a couple of dreams and Joseph interprets the dream and he ends up after this prolonged period of darkness as the prime minister of Egypt. With that in mind, what I want to do is to lay down six very, very valuable principles that all of us need to remember when we go through those dark times. That's times we don't understand, hurt, pain, suffering, oftentimes maybe accusations, whatever it may be, whatever we're going through. There are dark times in our life. And so I want you to look at the life of Joseph and apply to our own life.

Somebody says, but I'm not Joseph. Now watch this. The principles are here not because we'll repeat the same circumstance, but we will need the same principles. So here's the first one. I want you to be sure to get them jotted down now.

The first one is this. That is God is with us in our dark times. This is the foundational principle. God is with us in our dark times. When we go through difficult times, those dark times in our life, you can rest on this truth. That even as God was with Joseph, He's going to be with you. Does He not say in that thirteenth chapter of Hebrews chapter five, He says, I will never leave you nor forsake you. I will not abandon you in any situation, any circumstance at any time.

He says, I'm going to be with you. So that the basic bottom line principle when you and I walking through the dark times, no matter how dark, no matter who caused it, no matter what the source is, the basic bottom line principle is this. God is with me in this darkness.

That's the unwavering, unfaltering, eternal promise of every single child of the living God. Basic principle, God is with me in this darkness. Now the second principle is this, and that is that God has a purpose for allowing these dark times in our lives.

You say, well, but you know what I'm going through doesn't make any difference. If you're a child of God, God has a very specific purpose for allowing whatever darkness you're going through in your life. This is why we come back to Romans eight twenty eight over and over again. God causes all things to work together for good. And what happens is when it's dark and we can't see the good, we say, well, I know that verse.

I know it's in the Bible, but my circumstance doesn't make any difference what circumstance we have. God is going to listen. He has a purpose in our life, allowing these things to happen. And that purpose could be one of many things. And certainly here is a very definite purpose in the life of Joseph. And that is God was preparing him, listen, for a place of service that was be an awesome place of service, because the truth is, in human terms, he was he was acting as savior, savior of his family by bringing them down, savior of the whole civilization of Egypt, because seven long years of famine had there been no preparation, people would have died by the thousands and thousands and thousands. And so what appeared to be an evil act on the part of his brothers became, listen, an act of salvation in the eyes of God. The third principle I want you to notice is this, and that is, listen, the darkness will last as long as is necessary for God to accomplish His purpose.

Somebody says, Well, how long is this going to last? As long as is necessary for God to accomplish His purpose. God knows what He wants to do with your life. And so listen, watch this, all the dark times you've been through have been preparation.

If you've responded correctly, preparation, and have been times of progress in your life that you didn't even understand. And Joseph didn't understand it, he could never have foretold what was going to happen. That's why the principles are so very important. And that is, listen, God is working a purpose in our life. Then think about this, we think about all these principles. And the fourth one is this, we learn more in the dark than we do in the light. Now, you and I would like to read them in the book.

And we'd say, Well, let's see what? Yes, yes, yes, I got that. And I got that.

Yes, yes, yes. Yes, yes, yes, I've got all those principles down. Listen to me carefully. They're not yours. Are you listening?

Say Amen. They're not yours until they get tested and tried. And then when you walk through it, trusting God, you know what, now it's yours. Now you're not saying, Well, the pastor said, now you're saying, let me tell you what God has done in my life.

And you know what happens? Your testimony, your witness of your times of walking in the darkness are a thousand times more effective. Listen, thousand times more impact than telling them what you heard from somebody else. Or, I'm going to give you a tract, I'm going to give you a book to read. And that may be helpful, but there's nothing so powerful as what God's done in your life. And if I should ask you today, how many of you really want to be used of God to the maximum of your potential? I mean, you want God to really use you in the lives of others. Say Amen. How many of you are willing to say to Him, God, send me through whatever darkness is necessary, no matter what it takes, be ready, say Amen. You say, Well, have you ever asked God to send you through the darkness?

Absolutely not. Because I figure He's already got some things planned. I'm not asking for any more than is necessary. I don't want any more than is necessary. I've had enough, and yet I'm sure that probably that's not all that there's going to be. But one thing about it I've learned, you can trust Him no matter what.

You can trust Him. And so it's in these times that we learn things, we're not going to learn any other way. That's just the way life is.

You know why? Because in the light, we're just sort of moving along having our way and we're doing our thing. In the darkness, all of a sudden, what?

We're shocked in this situation, can't get out. And what happens? It drives us to our face before Almighty God.

And you know what? Listen, on your knees is the most awesome place you can be in life. That's when you can hear so intimately. And that's when you can hear so plainly. And that's when God is so willing and ready to speak. And that's when oftentimes, and there are times when He will show you what He's doing. But most of the time, it's after we've been through it. And so we ask the question, what can I learn through all this?

Many, many things. Then even in the dark times, we are walking toward the light. That is a basic principle. Even in the dark times, we are walking toward the light. You see, if my focus is upon Him, He's always moved me to the light. And even in the darkest moment, it's dark to me.

It's not dark to Him. And listen, you hear people say, I don't see any light at the end of the tongue. You're not, you're looking in the wrong direction. The Bible doesn't say look down the tunnel.

You look, you listen, you keep your focus on Him. Don't look back. Who did it? Why did it happen? Why am I here?

What could I have done different? You get your focus on God. It's in those dark times we learn the most. It's in those dark times we keep our focus upon Him because He's always moving us toward the light. And how many times have you heard me say the best is yet to be for every single child of God, no matter what's going on.

You say, well, I'm sick and I'm probably going to die within thirty days. The best is still yet to be. You're going to, listen, you're going to heaven and you can't beat that. So anywhere we are in light, God is always leading us to the light. Now, listen, if I refuse to follow the light that's in front of me, I'm going to stay in the darkness.

He's always moving us toward the light. But if I've shut my eyes to God's will and His plan and I'm going to do it my way, you know what happens? I'm going to run around in the circles in darkness until I'm willing to say, okay, God, I'm going to focus on you. I'm going to trust you because here's what you said. You said, I will never leave you nor forsake you.

That's what you said. I'm trusting you. I'm believing you for it. You cannot violate your own command and still be God. Amen? Therefore, I know that you're with me in this, that I am learning, that you're, I am progressing, I am moving toward the light. You're already accomplishing your purpose and you've got something specific in mind in my life.

Now, listen, you sit and listen to this message and say, man, you don't know what's going on in my life. God does. Well, I don't, I don't see how God could use me. God does. Well, I don't see how I could impact somebody else's life. God does.

You know why you're thinking those things? Because you're not surrendered to Him. You're looking at your life from your perspective, not His perspective. Joseph could have looked at his life and said the same thing.

We look at our lives in the light of this omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, all-loving God who created every single one of us with a purpose in mind. Don't underestimate the potential of your life. Don't spend and waste your time on frivolous things that are temporal when you have the awesome privilege of being used by an almighty God in ways you would never be able to dream of. Don't you say, well, now when He shows me, He's not going to show you. He's going to take you one step at a time. You're going to have to learn to trust Him. When it's very dark, you have to trust Him.

When there's plenty of light, you have to trust Him because He has something in mind. And He has us always walking toward the light. It's when we turn around and look at our circumstances and think about how bad things are, then we're just wandering in the darkness. It can be midnight black in your circumstances.

No stars, no moon, midnight, absolute black in your circumstances. You keep your focus on God and you know what? There's always a ray just in front of you to know exactly where to step next because God is leading you to the light.

Then I would give you just one more principle. Think about this. What we learn in the darkness, we're to share in the light.

What we learn in the darkness, we're to share in the light. Now you think about this. Think about, for example, what you personally know as a believer, the experiences you've had, how God's answered your prayers, kept you, taken you through very difficult trying times in life.

Now ask yourself this question. Be honest about it. Do you see as one of your daily responsibilities before God to be available to share with the people around you what God is doing in your life? Being available to people around you who are walking in darkness and walking through darkness and don't understand and they're just throwing out hints and these hints are just saying, I need help.

Somebody help me. Are you available to Almighty God to share what you've learned in the darkness? It's not your privilege to keep this to yourself. Listen to what Jesus said to his disciples. Listen to what he said. What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light. What you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.

And you see, I take that verse and just simply use it to say, what you and I learn in the darkness, we're to share with people who are going through darkness. You say, well, I don't know who they are. Watch us carefully. All you have to do is listen.

And you know what? They'll tell you. They'll tell you either verbally or you'll see it on their face. You'll see it on their face.

You can tell something is wrong. And you know, I've been through all these book signings and done it for years and years and years and what I've noticed is this. When a person walks up to me, oftentimes I know absolutely instantly something's really burdening their heart. And oftentimes I will say to them after they'll say, well, thank you for sending my book. Sometimes I'll just feel led to say, is there something you'd like to tell me? I have never asked anybody that.

They didn't say yes. And tell me something that was going on in their heart. Because you see, you and I live around people who are walking through darkness. And listen, to walk in darkness is to walk in sin. We're talking about believers walking through darkness. You know what?

They're hungry, thirsting, yearning for somebody to say, here's the truth. Here's how to get through this. Now I'm going to challenge you to do something. I want you to challenge, and this is the reason, the reason I only put up six statements, usually when I give you pages of notes. I only put up six statements because if you forget everything else, I want you to remember these.

Yes, well, I want to challenge you to do. Get you a three by five card. Write down these six statements, these six biblical principles right out of the life of Joseph. Just write them down, put them on a three by five card. Listen, sir, put them in your shirt pocket or your coat pocket. Oh, ma'am, put them in your pocket book. And then beginning tomorrow, tomorrow morning before you go to work or whatever you do, you simply say, Father, you've taught me a lot of things and I've got these six principles down.

I don't know that I function exactly maybe like I ought to, but all of them. But Lord, I know what it says. And so today I want you to make me sensitive to somebody who's walking through a storm through a time of darkness. And I want you to show me, help me to understand what's going on in that person's life, or at least understand that's where they are. Give me the courage to know the right time to say to them, I want to give you something that probably will prove helpful to you if you just think about them and read them over. Don't try to give them an explanation unless they ask.

Just hand them the three by five card and say, I think this will be a help to you. It was to me and walk away. Let me tell you something. People who are going through a period of darkness in their life, when they read, God is with me in this. God has a purpose in this. God is preparing me for something through all this.

There's a limit to this, not going to last forever. You know what? You know, there is no way that that is going to be ignored when a person is walking in the darkness. And I want to challenge you. All I've done is just said, look, you know what? I want to help you become an awesome tool in the hand of God to help other people who are walking through darkness.

And yet for many of you, you're saying, you know what? Not for somebody else, but for me, because you're in the darkness. And maybe you're one of those persons who's lost your loved one. And it all looks dark to you right now.

Or something's happened to your children. It all looks darkness. All physical material, you've lost it all. Everything looks dark. All the doctors come in and said, I hate to say this to you.

I'm sorry to have to tell you this. And everything looks dark. God's awesome, eternal, everlasting, precious Word will turn those moments of darkness into absolute brilliant, radiant light. If you will simply read it, trust Him to be who He is. He'll turn your darkness into light. Thank you for listening to part two of Walking with God Through the Dark Times. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-03 05:58:26 / 2023-02-03 06:06:24 / 8

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