DARK NIGHTS

You’re probably not afraid of the dark. But sometimes I am.

I don’t have a demographic breakdown for everyone who reads this devotional every day. But I’m guessing there aren’t many four or five year olds in the bunch, which is the most common age for a fear of the dark to develop in children, While most of us will outgrow that fear, clinical psychologists tell us that about one in ten adults is still afraid of the dark. It’s a more common fear than fear of heights.

Now to be fair, we are not so much afraid of the dark as we are afraid of what is IN THE DARK that we cannot see. If you’re walking alone down a dark street in the wrong part of a city at night, it’s actually not the dark that you’re going to be worried about. Darkness can hide dangers.

Today we have a word of encouragement from God that speaks to our fears, whatever their source:
DON’T BE AFRAID, FOR I AM WITH YOU

Sometimes the world can be a dark place. It’s an unfortunate fact that there are evil people, there are even large groups of very evil people. Our church is very involved in helping Afghan refugees who are fleeing the Taliban. My inbox is regularly filled by images of people who have been beaten, and occasionally by cell phone videos of people as they are being beaten. Far too often I receive images of people that have been assassinated for no other reason than not submitting to some ridiculous rule. Just this past week, I was informed of a mother and two children who were shot and killed at a checkpoint because they were driving without a male in the car to supervise them.

But the Taliban is not the only expression of evil we see in the world. There are many nations one can travel to and find evil rampant. There is evil in the world because the evil one and his hordes are at battle against God‘s and His creation. It is not a battle that will last forever, but it is a battle we are fighting now. The Bible tells us that our enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. But even in the midst of this world’s darkness, we have a great hope.

Because the people standing in darkness have seen a great light, the Bible tells us. The Bible encourages us, telling us, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, He will come with a vengeance, and He will save you.” God has not left us alone. He has not left us without either armor or spiritual weapons. I have written of those things in other devotionals, and I’m sure I will do so again. But today the lesson is a little bit different and it can be summed up in five words — He has not left us.

Has he equipped us? Certainly. Has he provided us skill and tools to defend ourselves against the enemy? Unquestionably. But he didn’t send us a “How To Save Yourself” kit in a box. He came. He stands with us. And as He stands beside us He says ….

DON’T BE AFRAID, FOR I AM WITH YOU

There are things that we do not know. But we do not have to worry about tomorrow, tomorrow can worry about itself. We do not have to worry about what lies ahead and what unknowns it may bring. There are things we do not know. There are things we will never know. But we can overcome fear by focusing on what we DO know.

We DO KNOW that He is with us. We know that He who created us, the one who formed us, says “Do not fear.” He instructs us to be strong and courageous. Not to be afraid, not to be discouraged. He says He will be with us wherever we go. Our God not only sees in the dark, He sees into the future.

And so, even though we walk through the darkest of valleys, we need fear no evil! Because He’s with us, and His very presence comforts us. In one of the psalms King David wrote, “I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.” He will do the same for you. Know that He is with you, and rest in Him and His presence.

When you feel surrounded by the darkness, there is a strategy for victory. Remember the great light who is the light of the world! You can say to yourself, as David wrote in the Psalms, “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord’s the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?”

He is with us, He never leaves us, He never forsakes us. The apostle Paul was convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation would ever separate him from Christ and His love. The promise that was true for Paul is true for you as well.

He is our hope in the storm. He is our light in the darkness. He is the one standing beside us in the dark battles we face, whispering in our ears and our hearts ….

DON’T BE AFRAID, FOR I AM WITH YOU

Leave a Comment

Choose Your Language »