Dark Places – Encouragement for Today – December 5, 2019

Lysa TerKeurst

December 5, 2019

Dark Places

Listen to this devotion

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:5 (NIV)

Do you ever have little places of discouragement that entangle your heart? You know in the bigger picture of life, things are good. But there's this little dark place. A little black hole. That sometimes doesn't always feel little.

It hangs like a cloud - blocking the sun, casting shadows.

Maybe it's an argument you’ve had with a family member one too many times. Your relationship is good, but this one topic feels like a black hole.

Maybe it's an issue with one of your kids. You have an amazing child, but there is this one behavioral tendency that baffles you, embarrasses you and causes you to fear. It feels like a black hole.

Or maybe it's a recurring frustration with a friend. She's amazing, but there's this one part of your friendship that darkens the collective good. And you can't figure out how to address it. Now it's happening more frequently, and it feels like a black hole.

I know. It's hard.

Recently, I was up at night praying and crying out to God to help me better process some of the hard situations in my own life.

I asked God to shed some of His light on what I'm struggling through so I don't get lost in the darkness of confusion. His voice wasn't loud or definitive. Just a slight shift of my thoughts to be more in line with truth, and I knew light was defeating my darkness:

Look at all the prayers that have been answered with this situation.

Small changes. The big, grand finale I keep hoping for hasn't yet come. But might I notice the beautiful symphony of hopeful notes in the in-between?

Look at the strength I'm gaining in the process.

Every time I turn to God and ask Him to shed light on my situation, I'm trading a little of my struggle for a bit of His strength.

Look at the reality that a black hole isn't a black whole.

The whole isn't all bad. Yes, there are some issues to address and some tensions to manage, but I can't let Satan use this frustration to darken my outlook.

Jesus reminds us, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8:12b, NIV). He also assures us in our key verse that darkness cannot win against light, "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it" (John 1:5).

Ask Jesus to shed His light on your situation today. Look at this from Jesus' perspective. Use truth to do something positive in this area today. Invest the time to make a little imperfect progress right there in your dark place.

A dark place that won't be so dark with a little light cast upon it.

Father God, I need Your light. Light defeats darkness every time. While I might not have all the answers to my struggles right now, I am seeing more hope than ever. Jesus is my light. And because of Him, even my darkest nights aren't so daunting and confusing. Thank You for leading me. Thank You for loving me. Thank You for lighting the way for me - day by day. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Matthew 5:14-16, "You are the light of the world - like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father." (NLT)

James 1:17, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." (NIV)

When difficult circumstances feel unending, it's easy to start feeling forgotten by God. That's why we want to invite you to join Lysa TerKeurst and our First 5 team for God Has Not Forgotten. This in-depth look at the book of Ezekiel starts on January 6, but you can go ahead and download the FREE First 5 app here today. Check out the Experience Guide that goes with the study, as well!

You can connect with Lysa on a daily basis on her Facebook and Instagram.

Are there any areas of discouragement in your life right now that feel like a black hole? What prayers - even small ones - have already been answered in this situation? What strength are you gaining? Join in the conversation.

© 2019 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105