Â â€œWho among you fears the LORD . . . ? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his Godâ€
Sometimes God does not explain why we face our trials because He wants us to know who He is more intimately. We do this by going through the storms with Him. How? By being still and waiting patiently for Him (Psalm 37:7), by letting Him teach us things that can only be learned in the dark.
According to Adel Bestavros, â€œPatience with others is love, patience with self is hope, patience with God is faith.â€
The peace that God promises does not mean we can always expect smooth sailing and all our problems will disappearâ€”there is no blank immunity.
Even when there is little light on our path we can always count on His precious promises: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you” (Isaiah 43:2). Did you notice the word â€œwhenâ€?â€”not â€œifâ€ you pass through the waters, but â€œwhenâ€â€”inevitably we will have trouble and trials.
James conveys the same message in his epistle (James 1:2): â€œCount it all joy when you face trials of many kinds,â€ and then explains why we should do this: â€œbecause you know that the testing of your faith develops perseveranceâ€ (v. 3). We are blessed when we persevere under our trials (James 1:12).
Jeremiah was beaten and imprisoned by his rebellious countrymen; in frustration he declared that if his eyes were a â€œfountain of tears,â€ he â€œwould weep day and nightâ€ for his people (Jeremiah 9:1). The apostle Paul described the hardships they suffered as being â€œfar beyondâ€ their â€œability to endure,â€ so that they â€œdespaired even of lifeâ€ (2 Corinthians 1:8).
Someone has said: â€œFaith is like film; it’s developed in the dark. Dark days make us lean on God in ways we normally wouldnâ€™t.â€ It is in the darkness, when our faith is tested, that we are motivated to seek God and draw c1oser to Him (James 4:8).
In Psalm 23, David began talking about God: “The LORD is my Shepherd,” then he addressed Him directly, “You are with me” (v. 4). Somewhere in between, he had learned that no matter how deep and dark the way, the Lord is always there to guide us with His love, wisdom and strength. It is always better to walk through the dark valley with Him than to stand on the heights alone.
When we learn to love the darkness of sorrow and pain, it is there we see the light of the brightness of His face.
Is the midnight closing â€˜round you?
Are the shadows dark and long?
Ask Him to come close beside you,
And Heâ€™ll give you a new, sweet song. â€“from Streams in the Desert