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Our Current Virtual Church Message

When The Dark Times Come

When It Happens

When the dark times come and you have to start over, you need to open your spiritual eyes and take a look around you. It is normal for you to feel alone when the darkness attacks. When the darkness in life cuts you off from someone or something important, it is as if you go spiritually blind. The pain of your loss inflicted by the darkness is often so great you are distracted. Your pain from your loss makes it seem as if you are only half-conscious of what is going on around you.

Even in the dark times, when you open your spiritual eyes, you will see many other people who are going through the same deep water you are in. Their circumstances may be different, or their loss may be different, but the inner core of their life is just as wounded as is yours. When you open your spiritual eyes, you can also see God is still working in the world. You can also see God is still alive and working in you and in others. When you open your spiritual eyes, you can also see how other people in the world need you, perhaps more than you need them.

Matthew 12:22 Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see.

Our War In Life

Your war in life is not with the burdens you must bear. Your war in life is with the dark powers wanting you to believe you cannot live because of the burdens and obstacles you face each day. The inside of your life is God's domain, His territory, and His kingdom, if you give the inside of your life over to Him. The inside of your life is where the mighty victories of your life are won with His help. You can pray for things to change on the outside of your life. However, God's greatest victory through you is when He and you defeat the influences of the darkness inside of your life. Your ultimate victory is where you let His love defeat the influences keeping you down, defeated, depressed, and hopeless

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

The Difference Between The Darkness And The Light

The darkness is illness, the Light is wellness.
The darkness is sickness, the Light is health.
The darkness is suffering, the Light is joy.
The darkness is isolation, the Light is oneness.
The darkness is helplessness, the Light is empowerment.
The darkness is hopelessness, the Light is hopefulness.
The darkness is greed, the Light is gratitude.
The darkness is jealousy, the Light is self-worth.
The darkness is lust, the Light is love.
The darkness is having to, the Light is wanting to.
The darkness is death, the Light is life.
The darkness is meaninglessness, the Light is meaningfulness.
The darkness is sin, the Light is righteousness.
The darkness is being controlled by, the Light is being in charge of.
The darkness is slavery, the Light is freedom.
The darkness is destruction, the Light is construction.
The darkness is doubt, the Light is certainty.
The darkness is fear, the Light is courage.
The darkness is sin-consciousness, the Light is Christ-consciousness.
The darkness is inferiority, the Light is being superior over the darkness.
The darkness is feeling unworthy, the Light is feeling worthy.
The darkness if failure, the Light is victory.
The darkness is unfaithfulness, the Light is faithfulness..
The darkness is lies, the Light is truth.
The darkness is taking a life, the Light is saving a life.
The darkness is the work of Satan, the Light is the work of God.
The darkness is depression, the Light is the uplifting power of God.
The darkness is temptation, the Light is the power of self-control and self-discipline.

Isaiah 9:2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

Finding Hope When Things Go Dark

The fuel of hope propels you forward in life. When adversity falls upon you in the form of tragedy, trouble, and strife, you need a Light to see your way out of the darkness. When you are in the darkness you may say things like "There is no hope." or "I do not see any way out of this." Our language expresses how you see our reality in adversity. However, there is always hope and Light.

In the middle of the day when the sun is brightly shining, you can get lost in a deep, dark cave with no Light to help you see our way out. In the darkest cave, just because you cannot see the sunlight, does not mean the sun is not shining. Just because you cannot see the Light, does not mean the Light does not exist. When you are immersed in the dark caves of your life it is important for you to remember there is still the Light to help you on your way. It is also important for you to remember you control the switch bringing the Light into your darkness. If you were in a cave and you had a working flashlight, you would be the one who control whether you were in darkness or light. In the same way, the darkness in your life can be dispelled. You dispel the darkness in your life by calling upon the Light, by throwing the switch to the "On" position, and by listening to the source of all hope speak your name.

Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

Attacking The Darkness

You must not be deceived. You must not be misled. You must know and live the truth. The truth is this. The darkness is your enemy. The darkness is your opponent. To be victorious over this opponent you must see the opponent, recognize the opponent, and take action against the opponent. You must fully understand you are in mortal combat against the darkness and you must attack the darkness. The starting point of your victory in life is where your soul and spirit rests. If your soul and spirit rests in the material matter of this world, then your soul and spirit rests in the darkness. When your soul rests in the darkness, your spirit will surely rot and decay. If your soul and spirit rests upon your unchanging God, then you have the capacity to not only attack the darkness but to win out over the darkness. When you choose good over evil, you are defeating the darkness. When you seek wisdom to know the difference between good and evil, that knowledge and wisdom can give you armament against your opponent…your opponent who seeks both your spiritual and physical destruction.

Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Hope In The Darkness

Hope is Light in the darkness. Light is hope in the darkness. Hope changes your ability to see. Hope changes your perceptions of your world and your reality. Hope changes obstacles into challenges. Without hope, obstacles become threats or barriers over which you have no control. Hope finds answers…lack of hope finds only questions. Hope knows love…lack of hope knows only loneliness. Hope is the medicine of the soul…lack of hope is the poison of the soul. Hope is the power giving you the will to live…lack of hope brings death. Hope is the doctor's strongest medicine…lack of hope brings disease and illness. Hope fills the mind and heart with a power propelling you forward…lack of hope creates stagnation and keeps you from pushing ahead. Most importantly, hope is acquired by making a choice.

Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

The message first appeared in October, 2008, in the Virtual Church web site at http://www.findthepower.com

 

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Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (RSV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Copyright © 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Shepherd's Care Ministries author and webmaster, Rev. Patrick Kelly, is affiliated through ministerial ordination with Church of God Ministries, Anderson IN 46018