New Hope Baptist Church

There is New Hope in the New Birth

My Personal Darkness

Several years back I found myself in the darkest personal times of my life. Details are not important here, but I will say that many dear brethren tried to help me, including my beloved wife and children . . . but I could not hear them. In my thinking, they diddepression not understand where I was and nothing they said could answer or fix my brokenness and despair.
I received a call from a man that I considered a great man of God . . . I had head him preach several times and met him on a few occasions, but had no reason to believe that he knew who I was. He has a church of about 2000, and one face in passing had no reason to make any impression on him at all.
But God had laid me on his heart all the way on the other side of the country. His call really shocked me . . . but God knows.
He said that God placed me on his heart and told him I was having some difficult times. I didn’t even know how to respond to that . . . God told him about me?!
I said that I was struggling. And he asked me a very piercing question. He said “Brother, do you feel as though you have you lost your hope?” I broke into uncontrollable sobbing, because although I could not have put it into words, he did! I saw no escape from the dark place I “found” myself in, and I literally had lost all hope.

I asked him through my sobbing how he knew that? How did he know how I felt?
He told me that he had been there himself.

the-wrath-of-the-seas-ivan-aivazovsky-1886Then he said, “Welcome to hell.”

He said that he wished there was something he could tell me to make it change, but he said that he knew I would not hear it. He said that he wanted me to know that I was not alone, no matter how I felt. That many other men of God had experienced the same thing. He said he would pray for me and that he would call me every weekend to let me know I was not alone. He did so for many months.

He told me many things about God and a relationship with Him . . . but he was correct in telling me I would not hear him. Even though I truly thought I was hearing and understanding . . . . I was not. He told me that ultimately the only hope that I have is in an encounter with the Living God Himself, and that it is available for me personally. But I did not understand, although I certainly thought I did.

The fact is, that I did not even realize the significance of what he said to me, nor did I even think about it . . . till recently. It was all nothing more than a brother trying to help me, which in the end I considered an exercise in futility.

He knew I was not ready . . . God showed him I was not ready. But He had been there himself, and he knew he needed to be a witness of the reality of the experiential relationship with God that changes everything. The Light in which there is no darkness.

As I was talking with the Lord today, He brought back the things that this dear brother said to me all those years ago.  And He related this experience to the many that He has given me as a responsibility in my church and circle of friends around the world.

This brother tried to assure me that God was not willing to leave me in darkness, and that although he did not know how or when, I would be delivered and set up to be used of God to bear witness to the same thing for others.

The main thing that God showed me in my fellowship with Him on this subject today, is that I cannot make anyone understand, accept or realize these things nor come to the Light. I cannot make anyone understand the experience of the victory found in a relationship with the Living God. It is something that God is working towards Himself, and He knows exactly what needs to be done, what each individual must endure, what pains or losses or confusion must be encountered, how much time it will take to bring a person to a place of a truly broken and contrite heart that will ultimately bring them to Him.  I just need to be a faithful witness of Him and to Him and for Him, and an example Worshipper1of the truth that is found in the reality of the awareness of His presence, His love for you personally, and what it looks like to experience Him as a hiding place . . . a strong tower . . . a refuge!!

To any of my friends who’s soul is darkened, There really is hope for the hopeless. I pray that you are close to the end of your dark tunnel, but know either way, there IS an end.

HE IS THE END!

Updated: March 10, 2015 — 9:24 pm

2 Comments

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  1. Dear Brother Jack, This particular personal testimony touched my heart deeply. Steve and I both have had our times of despair as a couple and individually too. There were times when I thought that the answers would never come , but in His time they did. Praise the Lord for His mercy and grace. Thank you for sharing this important time in your life. Blessings . Sincerely , Carla Altland

  2. Patricia Beckwith

    3/12/15 Thank you for the sincerity of your
    words. I can at least identify my dark tunnel now as guilt and shame and am reminded we all have burdens, losses, and disappointments and our only recourse is to return to the cross where the ground is level and accept the grace Christ so freely gave.

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