The Discipline Of Darkness

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Isaiah 50:3-4, 10-11 (Program 2206, Air date 02.10.2013)

  1. INTRODUCTION
    1. There are times of darkness that we all experience; there are times when nothing seems to make sense.
    2. Our natural response to difficult times is to ask God “why”.  But “why” is not our question; only God has the answer to that.  Our question is “how”:  how are we going to react?
    3. What do we do when the lights go out?  What is the discipline of darkness?
  1. THOSE OF GREATEST DEVOTION MAY KNOW THE DEEPEST DARKNESS.  (Isaiah 50:10-11)
    1. Even those who walk closely with God will experience times of darkness.
      1. His servant Job 
        1. Job 1:1, 19:8
      2. The Prophet Habakkuk 
        1. Habakkuk 1:2
      3. John the Baptist 
        1. Matthew 11:3, 11
      4. The Apostle Paul 
        1. 2 Corinthians 4:8
    2. If you are plunged into a time of darkness, that does not necessarily mean that you have sinned or that you’re out of the will of God.
  1. THE FAITH THAT IS BORN IN THE LIGHT IS OFTEN DEVELOPED IN THE DARK.
    1. Oftentimes, it is in the darkness that our faith grows the most.
    2. Faith, like film, is developed in the dark. 
    3. Three examples of those whose faith was developed in the dark:
      1. John Milton, when he experienced physical blindness, wrote the book Paradise Lost.
      2. John Bunyan, while imprisoned, wrote Pilgrim’s Progress.
      3. The apostle John was in exile to the Island of Patmos when he wrote the book of the Revelation.
    4. The test of our character is what we do in the dark.
    5. How does God develop our faith in darkness? 
      1. Isaiah 50:10
        1. God develops our faith when we look to Him.
        2. God develops our faith when we lean on Him.
          1. Psalm 23:1, 4
          2. Job 13:15
            1. Job discovered that relationship is more important than reason.
  1. SOME THINGS ARE SEEN IN THE DARK THAT CANNOT BE SEEN IN THE LIGHT.  (Isaiah 50:3-4)
    1. There are some things that we can only understand in the darkness. 
      1. Stars can only be seen at night. 
        1. Psalm 148:3
    2. There are treasures in the darkness. 
      1. Isaiah 45:3
    3. In the light, we see that which is near; but in the dark, we see that which is far away.
  1. IT IS BETTER FOR YOU TO BE LEANING ON GOD IN THE DARKNESS THAN STANDING ALONE IN YOUR MAN-MADE LIGHT.  (Isaiah 50:11)
    1. Remember that if you are fearing and obeying God when darkness comes, that darkness has been ordained of God. 
      1. Isaiah 50:3
    2. One of the great dangers of darkness is that you may be tempted to light your own fire.
      1. Man-made fire is deceptive.
      2. Three examples of those who lit their own fire:
        1. Abraham 
          1. Genesis 15-16
        2. Moses 
          1. Exodus 2:11-12, Acts 7:22-29
        3. Simon Peter 
          1. Luke 22:31-33, 50-62
  1. IF YOUR SUN HAS SET, IT WILL RISE AGAIN.  (Isaiah 50:4)
    1. When the morning comes, when you’ve been through the dark night of the soul, there is a better day coming.
    2. When you go through darkness and come out on the other side, you’ll learn things you never knew before.
    3. Psalm 112:4
    4. Psalm 30:5

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