When Darkness Hides

Psalm 143:1-4 NASB

Hear my prayer, O Lord,
Give ear to my supplications!
Answer me in Your faithfulness, in Your righteousness!
And do not enter into judgment with Your servant,
For in Your sight no man living is righteous.
For the enemy has persecuted my soul;
He has crushed my life to the ground;
He has made me dwell in dark places, like those who have long been dead.
Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me;
My heart is appalled within me.

Our Arch Enemy

We, as followers of Jesus Christ, are the Lord’s servants, and as such, we will suffer as he suffered. Satan, our arch enemy, will “pull out all the stops” in his attempts to destroy our lives, and to try to get us to desert our Lord.

When our enemy presses hard against us, and he uses other humans to do his dirty work, too, we will feel it, and sometimes the pressure will be enormous. Sometimes it will feel unbearable, and we may even wish for death as a way to escape it all.

For, we are human. We bleed. We hurt. We get injured physically and emotionally. We get tired and weary, and weary of heart. And, sometimes it does feel as though the darkness surrounds us and there is no escape.

And, so we must cry out to God in these times and pray for relief and for deliverance, for the Lord is our strength and our fortress.

During these times, we may even feel that God is punishing us for something past. And, Satan may bombard our minds with feelings of guilt, although we may be completely innocent of wrong doing. For, our enemy is our accuser, and he loves to accuse with vague accusations.

But, our Lord will gently put his finger on areas of our lives which are not pleasing to him, and he will do so specifically so that we know exactly what needs correction. So, we must know this, and we must fight off Satan’s accusations against us with the truth of God’s Word.

Psalm 143:5-6 NASB

I remember the days of old;
I meditate on all Your doings;
I muse on the work of Your hands.
I stretch out my hands to You;
My soul longs for You, as a parched land. Selah.

I Remember

When Satan is throwing his fiery darts at us with vague accusations or with feelings of guilt, but over nothing specific, or when he attacks our minds or our bodies, we must put on the armor of God (Eph. 6:10-20) to fight off his evil attacks against us.

For one, it is good to look back to all the many ways God has worked in our lives in days past, and where he has proven himself to be faithful, on our behalf. So, journaling is good for that purpose, for we can go back and see the many ways in which our Lord worked in our lives previously, and we can be encouraged, and our hope can increase.

If you are not afraid to underline in your Bible and to put dates next to verses, that is another way to go back and be encouraged, too. For, as you read, and as God speaks powerfully to you through specific scriptures, you can highlight them or underline them and date them, and then you can go back to those in times when Satan is working you over, and you can find strength and encouragement in those scriptures.

About five years ago a friend of mine made me a scripture quilt, at my request, and on that quilt are 24 scripture verses that have meant something special to me over the past 40 years. She hand-stitched each letter of every word on that quilt, which makes it special, but it is a reminder to me, as well, of all the many ways my Lord Jesus has spoken to me in days past, so when I read these verses, my heart is strengthened.

Also, just reading the scriptures, in general, is a reminder of how our Lord has worked in the lives of his servants in the past, which serves to encourage us as to how he will work in our lives now in the present.

Psalm 143:7-9 NASB

Answer me quickly, O Lord, my spirit fails;
Do not hide Your face from me,
Or I will become like those who go down to the pit.
Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning;
For I trust in You;
Teach me the way in which I should walk;
For to You I lift up my soul.
Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies;
I take refuge in You.

Help Needed

When we are going through such times, we may feel as though God is not present with us. We may feel disconnected from our Lord.

Now, we may be disconnected in the sense of having broken fellowship if we are willfully sinning against our Lord, and if we have not repented of our sin, and if we are trying to connect with him while holding on to sin. So, in that case, we would need to humble ourselves before God and turn away from those sins and draw near to Jesus Christ and yield to his Lordship.

But, we can be walking in fellowship and in obedience to our Lord, and we can be serving him with our lives, and yet feel disconnected because of Satan’s fierce attacks against us. And, that is when we need to cry out to our Lord to rescue us so that we don’t faint.

And, so we pray, and we ask the Lord for relief, and for the sunshine to come through the clouds to brighten our days. We pray for encouragement and hope and healing. And, we pray for his love and compassion to shine into our hearts so that we don’t get discouraged.

And, then we ask that he would direct our steps and show us the way in which he would have us go. Sometimes we need special counsel from the Lord, because not every decision we have to make in this life is all that clear as to the right path to take, especially when Satan is on the all-out attack and our minds need clarity.

Psalm 143:10-12 NASB

Teach me to do Your will,
For You are my God;
Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
For the sake of Your name, O Lord, revive me.
In Your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble.
And in Your lovingkindness, cut off my enemies
And destroy all those who afflict my soul,
For I am Your servant.

Revive Us

I have been through such times as these many times when the enemy is on the attack, when I just really need to hear from my Lord and to sense his presence with me, and to know his perfect will in my life circumstances.

Sometimes it just feels like a cloud is over my head and I can’t even think straight. And, so I call out to my Lord to lift the cloud so that I can have clarity of mind.

Sometimes when I sit down to write my head feels like it is in one of those clouds and so I just give it over to the Lord, and I pray for him to move despite the fact that my brain doesn’t seem to be all here. And, He does!

For, God doesn’t need us to be “sharp as a tack” for him to use us, for it is the Spirit who moves within us to give us the words to say, and this not from ourselves. So, I think at these times we realize even more so how dependent we are on our Lord, and it serves as a reminder to us always to let him lead and for us to not get in the way of what he wants to do.

The enemy we need cut off is Satan and his influences and attacks on our minds and hearts. But, sometimes we need to be rescued from the influences or the attacks of other humans who are coming against us, too.

People who serve Satan as our enemies, though, need our prayers that the Lord would rescue them out of darkness and that he would bring them into his wonderful light. And, we need to love them, do good to them, pray for them, and say to them what is beneficial for them, not what will bring them harm.

But, in all of this, we need to be leaning on Jesus, resting in him, standing on his truths, and praying in the Spirit that we may remain steadfast in our faith, that we may be delivered from oppression, that we may know the way in which we should go, and that we may follow our Lord in obedience.

The Solid Rock

Hymn Lyrics by Edward Mote, 1834
Music by William Bradbury, 1863

When darkness hides His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

Jesus, Be Near to Me

Words and music by Tommy Walker

Jesus, be near to me
Let me know You are here
How I need You, how I need You
To reveal Yourself to me…

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