Message 08

TOPIC: HOW TO HANDLE THE DARK SEASON (PART 2)

Last week, we started looking at how to handle difficult or dark situations. We agreed that many didn’t know how to handle this dark season and therefore, they fall prey to the enemy. The bible says that “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”. Dark seasons come to everyone. The dark season doesn’t come because you committed any crimes but because every man is bound to face a difficult situation at one point or the other. There is no one on this earth that has never faced a dark season; the difference is how we handle these situations. We need to be equipped with the right knowledge so that we are not destroyed by these difficult times (Hosea 4:6).

Look at the story of Job; everything was working well for him until God gave the permission for him to be tempted. He lost 10 children in a day and yet Job blessed God. Job blessed God because he loved God more than he loved his children. The devil also took away his means of livelihood and took all his possessions and yet Job worshipped God. Many of us have very low threshold for pain. When we are going through pain, we tend to forget the goodness of God. We easily let a little pain to make us forget every good thing God has ever done for us. But Job had a love for God that was beyond the pains that the devil caused him. (Job 1:20-22)

The devil wasn’t satisfied and decided to afflict Job’s health, and gave him boils. It was so painful that he had to lie on a bed of ashes. He withstood the pain and affliction and he did not sin and he did not charge God for evil. Many of us when we experience a little pain, then we think there is no God, or we think that God doesn’t care about us, or we doubt whether he hears and listens to us. Despite all Job went through, he said, “How can we receive only good things from God and not receive evil?” (Job 2:1-10)

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He himself tempt anyone. But everyone is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lusts, passions). Then the evil desire, when it has conceived, gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully matured, brings forth death. Satan will only tempt you through your desire. We all have peculiarities in our desire. What will make me fall may be different from what will make you fall. We will each be tempted based on our individual desires. If our deepest desires are our children, our temptations will come through our children. We then have to prove to God that we love him more than our children. Whatever your desire is, that is the angle your trial and temptation will come from. The devil will use these desires to tempt us, we have to prove that with or without them we still love God. (James 1:13-15)

 

It is important to know that you are capable of handling your difficult moment no matter how dark it may be. For no temptation has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man or that is beyond human resistance and such as man can bear But God is faithful to His word and to His compassionate nature and he can be trusted not to let you be tempted and tried beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will always also provide the way out, the means of escape to a landing place that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

God regulates our temptations. When Satan is bringing temptation your way, God makes sure that it doesn’t exceed your capacity to endure so you have no excuse to give up or quit or forsake God. You have an in-built resistance that is able to withstand whatever trial that comes your way. You may not be built to handle other peoples trials so don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone has a unique level of endurance that God has put in them to resist whatever comes their way. God will never allow you to be tried beyond what you can bear. God will always give you a means of escape from whatever temptation that comes your way. God gives us the ability to go through our challenges patiently. He has already put that resilience inside us.

Don’t assume that your trials are because of a sin you committed. Jesus had no sin, He was holy and righteous yet he had to face challenges of his own. The bible says he was tempted just like every other man. Jesus went through dark periods like all of us and through it all he was found worthy. We are going to look at the Lord Jesus Christ and how he handled the dark seasons of His life. And through the life of Christ we can learn something about handling difficult situations. If you are going to be great in life, then you will surely face great difficulties. The season of the difficulty is to equip you for the season of greatness ahead.

 

Matthew 4:1-4

Jesus had finished fasting and he was hungry just like any of us. Most of us today are hungry for several different things. Whatever you embark on something, you will have a hunger or desire for a certain result. And if these things don’t happen according to plan, that is when the devil will want to come in and manipulate you and lead you to the battle for your integrity, holiness, and love for God. And many people go through several lengths to just acquire these things that we hunger for. The devil knew Jesus was hungry and that is why he tempted him based on his hunger. But Jesus replied him with the Word of God. Just like man cannot live by bread alone, your life cannot be dependent on husband, children, work or money alone, it has to be dependent on the Word of God. Many of us have the things money can buy but we don’t have the virtues that money cannot buy; honesty, faithfulness, respect, humility,love, compassion etc. the things you cannot buy are the real valuables.

 

Matthew 4:5-7

Secondly, the devil took him to  the pinnacle of the temple sanctuary and said to him; if you are the son of God, throw yourself down…Jesus had gone to fast to activate his power, the power to teach, preach and change lives. And the devil tried to give him an alternate access to power. Many of us are power hungry and the devil will tempt us with that hunger. Satan will tempt you by your desire. The devil knew that Jesus quoted the scriptures the first time, and He decided to use the scripture to tempt him. Some people today want to unnecessarily put God to the test. We want to display toSatan so much that in a bid to demonstrate, we up hurting ourselves. You don’t need to bargain, judge or prove anything to the devil. Jesus then replied him; “You shall not tempt the Lord your God”. Stop trying God, don’t be ignorant. If there is a need for God to stop you from accidentally falling from a story building, he will send his angels, but it would be stupidity to deliberately jump off a tall building, you will surely die.

Matthew 4:8-11

Thirdly, the devil saw Jesus’ desire to influence the whole world and he offered him the splendor, preeminence and magnificence of the world in exchange of paying homage and worshipping the devil. Jesus made the devil know that it was written; “You shall worship the Lord your God and Him alone shall you serve. And when the devil saw he couldn’t use Jesus’ passion against him, and then he departed from him and left him for a while.

God hasn’t forgotten you. After Jesus survived the temptation, angels came to minister to him. The angels could have come much earlier but it doesn’t work that way. You can handle whatever comes your way; it is your choice if you choose to fall. It is up to you to apply your resistance. Don’t allow the devil to use your desires against you. When you get to the point where you are desperately pursing a particular desire, be alert for the enemy is lurking around and looking for a chance to capitalize on it.

 

The devil tempted Jesus at the beginning of his ministry but not only that, he also came to Jesus at gethsemane. The devil knew that Jesus had tasted power and dominion and his influence had spread far. And the devil tempted him and made him to think that he didn’t have to go through the pain that was coming. That is why Jesus prayed and asked God and said if it was possible, the cup should pass over him. (Luke 22:39-42)

At that period of pain, Jesus was alone. The disciples that were supposed to be with him were asleep; they couldn’t even pray with him for one hour. I tell when you go through your dark season, you must go through it alone. When you have this understanding, you will not be too disappointed in people you will only look forward to the people that God will send to you to help you. Expectations from people will break your confidence and your resistance power during the time of trial. You need to keep hoping and believing in God because he is the only one that will never leave you. Jesus had to bear his cross alone, so learn to carry your cross alone. Stop expecting people to solve your problems.

Don’t be afraid to be alone during your dark season, because God is on your side, he is with you, do not fear what the enemy can do to you (Hebrews 13:6). Don’t bother when people forsake you, don’t expect them to be with you through it all; only God can. So don’t give up. Don’t look at others and rely on them for strength; rather look to God he alone is your source of strength. Men would betray you. The disciples betrayed and denied Jesus (Luke 22:34-62), the same multitude he fed and healed and taught were the ones to shout ‘crucify him’. The fact that you feed people don’t’ mean they will be with you in your dark season.

When Jesus was in custody, he was scoffed and ridiculed and beaten. Sometimes when you go through trials and dark seasons, people will mock you, they will ridicule you and they will speak evil of you. Jesus was treated with contempt by the same people he came to save. I have paid many bills with my own money, I’ve paid rent for many with my own money and yet these same people have mocked me because I went through a dark phase in my life. Themembers I’ve sacrificed for have been the same ones that have insulted me and treated me with contempt. I know all of this is a dark season and I know it will soon pass. Jesus was beaten, they said many other evil and slanderous and insulting words against him and reviled him. Yet he survived it. If Jesus could survive his dark season, so can you too.

What to do during the dark season

  1. Don’t forsake God the giver, because you’ve lost a gift (car, husband, wife,
  2. No matter the situation you go through, do not take Satan’s option. If you don’t take the devil’s option, light will surely shine at the end of your tunnel
  3. Do not be in a hurry to pass judgment on those who are involved in your dark season. Despite everything Jesus went through, he asked the father to forgive them all. Don’t be in a hurry to take vengeance on them, it may cause you to lose God’s plan for you and God himself will take vengeance for himself.
  4. Maintain calmness during your dark season. Jesus was forced to say so many things but he didn’t say anything or reply them. Don’t try to vindicate yourself by all means; you don’t owe anyone any explanation. Stop talking plenty; stop proving that you are right. Learn to give time a chance to reveal things.
  5. Don’t’ be hopeless rather be hopeful that it is just a season of darkness. This season of darkness is just for a short period and a season of light is coming.

Ask God to give you the grace to overcome your dark season. Ask God to give you the strength to face your dark season and come out triumphant.

 

 

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