Finding Purpose in the Shadows: The Spiritual Growth from Suffering

Job 23:17b
…neither hath he covered the darkness from my face.

What is this, but a wonder of wonders! When Job speaks of our Lord, one is also reminded of those three dark hours upon the cross in which Christ could have just as easily said the same thing, “Neither hath he covered the darkness from my face.” He did not say it in those exact words, but indeed He DID say, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Do you see the companionship that all who live by faith have with the Author and Finisher of our faith? We see, as Paul the Apostle would put it, a “fellowship of sufferings”.

You see, God does not grant us full immunity from the troubles of this dark world. In fact, He would not be doing us any real favors by withholding from us those hours in which we learn most to look to Him for answers. Are you asking God why? Great! Then your storm is serving its purpose! I think now of this great thought given to us by none other than Charles Spurgeon, who said, “I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages.”

Oh dear reader, let us learn to thank God that He hath not covered the darkness from our faces! It is in those dark, dark valleys of the shadow of death that we learn not to fear, but to recognize and rely upon the very presence of God to see us through. For you see, when we can’t see because of the darkness, we are only able to be guided by that Unseen Hand! Does not the scriptures teach that we are to live by faith, and not by sight? If this is true (and it is), then what better way to teach us to live without sight than to allow the shadows to rob us of our ability to see!

Do not worry, my friend, for he who learns to live by faith and not by sight, also develops a keen sense of discernment and wisdom that will give him greater vision by which to live than ever he could muster up in his own understanding. Just think of the benefits of the night seasons. We could go on for hours, but let us rest in this thought tonight; weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. They that sow in tears shall reap in joy! This season of darkness and testing in your life, if you are a child of God, is designed ultimately to strengthen your inner man, and weaken your dependency upon self. In the end, you will thank God for the night, because when morning comes you’ll be a new person!

~ Pastor Gary Caudill
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