TOPIC: HOW TO HANDLE THE SEASON OF DARKNESS IN YOUR LIFE
Every one of us will go through a season of darkness whether we like it or not. As soon as you are born you are confronted with a hostile environment that is very different from the one you were used to in the womb. And from that day on, that child begins to face the battles of life. A man who is born of a woman is of few days and full of troubles (Job 14:1). That is why the bible says that there is a time for everything. Everything will not be the same all the time, throughout your life. There will be a time of joy and there will be a time of hardship, a time of abundance and a time of lack, a time of peace and a time of troubles. No matter where you are born, you will surely go through a period of darkness. No matter your background, everyone has their own problems and they might come in different packages. It is important that we know this so that we are not caught off guard and thrown off balance. Life is definitely full of challenges and so we need to train ourselves to withstand the obstacles of life. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)
It is our responsibilities as parents to train our children to be prepared for the challenges of life. Money is important but there are challenges in life that money cannot solve and when you don’t train your children very well, depression and suicide is inevitable. In Africa, because we are used to hardships, we are used to whatever life throws at us, and I’ve realized that the situation that kills others don’t usually kill us, because we have learnt to face the toughest situations of life and still come out on top. As Christians when you know that the One who lives in you is greater, you can face any issue with your head held high. You would be equipped to dance or mourn, to gain or lose.
No matter how cautious you are in life, you will definitely suffer a loss in life. Don’t look down on people who are going through their dark season because you don’t know what season lies ahead of them. This season of darkness is temporary; it won’t last forever it will surely come to pass. That is why it is important to be there for each other. When your neighbor is going through a difficult season, be there for them and vice versa. Don’t fall victim to the devil’s system of selfishness and self-centeredness. Be your brother’s keeper.
There are diverse seasons in the life of a human being and the dark season is the most difficult to deal with especially when there is little or no preparation for it. When you have no clue that hard times will come, when they eventually come, they will sweep you off your feet. This attribute separates the strong from the weak. The strong know how to eat luxuriously and also how to eat meagerly, and yet are happy. The strong don’t feel dejected when they face seasons of trials and challenges. God doesn’t subscribe to taking your life because he wants us to understand that our problems are not the end of us. The dark season is to strengthen us and prepare us for the joyous season ahead. There is always light at the end of the tunnel, so don’t give up just yet.
It is important to teach your workers the ownership mentality. This mentality helps them stand with you when the business faces dark seasons. When they are not committed to the business, at the least sign of trouble, they will flee and leave you. When we all know that we will surely go through a dark season, it will help us to make better life decisions. All the Apostlesalready knew that the road of Apostleship wasn’t going to be easy and that he would face a lot of challenges. Jesus prepared them, He told them that “the servant wasn’t greater than the master…and if the world persecuted him, then they too would be persecuted. As a result of this all of the disciples went through their tribulations with Joy, because they were prepared for the tough times.
You may encounter problems on the way but that is not the end. Another season will come and it will be a season of abundance, lifting up and a period where you will have more than enough. Your dark season is just a phase, it shall also pass. No season is designed to be permanent. The harmattan season can be quite an experience especially when you live in a mountainous area. It can be so foggy, the air so humid and it is painful to inhale and exhale. I remember last year harmattan, I was at Aburi Mountains and it was quite an experience. It was so cold, foggy, and difficult for me to breathe in or out. I could feel blood coming out of my nostrils because of the weather. That night was a really long one but eventually I began to feel warm. The air cleared, I looked outside and saw the sun rising on the horizon and immediately the Holy Spirit reminded me of the scriptures that though weeping may endure for the night, Joy comes in the morning. (Psalms 30:5)
No matter how difficult your dark season may be, it shouldn’t be enough to separate youfrom the God you serve. Some only remember God in their time of trouble and when things don’t go the way they want, they turn their backs on God and begin to doubt the existence and ability of God. Don’t allow situations to cause you to question God. Having Christ in your life is not a guarantee that life will be rosy. Don’t leave your church and run to the devil just for a quick fix to your dark season. Don’t allow situations to drive you away from Christ because no matter what you are going through, He still loves us and wants the best for us. This reminds me of what Paul said …suffering and affliction and tribulation, or calamity and distress or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword could not separate him from the love of God.(Romans 8:35-37)
The God who designed your life knows how long your season should last. When you are going through dark seasons, God uses that time to polish your life. You will cause yourself a serious harm if your avoid going through your dark season. Don’t try to escape your season of trials. Look at Joseph, if he hadn’t gone to prison, he wouldn’t have met the man who introduced him to the king. Sometimes the way up is down. When you are down, God hasn’t forsaken you yet; he is only leading you to a more glorious season. The bible says amid all these things, we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37). When you endure this season, youwill gain a surpassing victory through Him who loved us.
No matter how the situation is, know that it is not a definition of who you are. Your destiny cannot be reduced by the things you go through. The things you go through cannot be a definition of who you are. Regardless of these things, you are more than a conqueror. Don’t reduce your integrity, just because of the challenges you are facing. Don’t let your challenges compromise the quality of life you live. Don’t trade your values or virtues because of the situation you are going through. Don’t define your worth based on what you are experiencing.
Jesus said any of us who put our hand on the plough and look back is not fit for the kingdom. No matter what is going on in your life, don’t look back. Don’t go to church only when things are good or when there is abundance. Clothes shouldn’t determine who you are, money shouldn’t determine who you are and material things shouldn’t determine who you are. Do you know that Poverty affects the way you dress? I’ve observed that the rich are so simple and yet classy while the poor will go all out to impress others and they end up looking messy, indecent and over exaggerated. Don’t let your situation reduce your senses. Don’t live your life based on the opinions of others. Their opinions are not a validation of who you are. Don’t let material possessions reduce your virtues and values. Serve God faithfully both in season and out of season. (Luke 9:62)
You may not have 3 square meals but remember you are more than food, you may not possess a house but remember that you are more valuable than a mansion therefore place some value on yourself. Nothing is by force in this life. Live according to your means and don’t place significance on things that don’t define you. Be persuaded that nothing can separate you from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. We know these seasons will come, let us be prepared for them. When you are prepared, trust me the season of darkness won’t last long. Don’t allow yourself to be predictable to the enemy. Learn to adapt to situations. Don’t be rigid; give yourself room to be flexible and acclimatize to situations. Don’t be defined by material things rather be defined by the quality of who you are in Christ Jesus.
Don’t live a life of jealousy or a life of evil competitions with others. Don’t live your life according to what people say, and stop comparing yourself to others. If you do so, you are not wise and you won’t survive the challenges of life. You have no rival, you are who you are. You may have the same name, age, and date of birth with someone but your destinies are different. Your timing in life is not the same as the timing of others. Keep doing what you are doing till your season of light come. Don’t be focused on what others have, the car they drive, the clothes they wear or the type of food they eat. Don’t’ live beyond your means; stop borrowing to keep up the status quo.
The quality of your life is determined by how well you handle difficult seasons of life. To handle dark seasons, you must get rid of selfishness, pride, ego, competitions and self-aggrandizement. The bible says my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). Live according to the standards of God and not that of men. Don’t succumb to the pressures of men. Don’t play the games of men; just serve your God in humility and gentleness. Many people today are nothing without their material assets. They’ve built their identities around these things and identify themselves based on these things and when these material things are no more, they will go to any lengths just to get them back.
Many people today don’t know how to influence the lives of others. They only know how to use money to influence the lives of others. True influence is when you are a source of inspiration to others, when you are respected despite your bank balance. Many of us don’t have the type of luxury that others enjoy and yet we get high level of invitation to top events because people are seeking the excellence inside of us and not the external things. Focus on who you are on the inside. Develop your inner man, for therein lies your true worth.
I challenge you today, to develop your inner qualities because you will need them when your season of darkness comes. The real you is the you on the inside.
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