Walking in the Dark
Text: 2 Corinthians 5:7 "... we walk by faith, not by sight... "
Theme: We must keep trusting, and keep walking, even when He leaves us in the dark.
Here is a wonderful text - we walk by faith, not by sight...
It is found in an interesting portion of God's Word. Here in 2 Corinthians, Paul reminds the believer of the wonderful hope that awaits at the end of this life, when we will be absent from this body, but present with our glorious Lord (vs. 8).
He reminds us of how confident we can be in this hope (vs. 8).
He also exhorts us to think about the ramifications of this hope. We will soon see Christ. We will stand before Him. We will appear before the Judgement Seat of Christ. (vs. 10)
We must labor (vs. 9) to ensure that we can give a good report at that Judgement Seat of Christ. For some it will be a difficult time ("... knowing therefore the terror of the Lord..." vs. 11).
Before we move into our subject for this evening, which is verse 7, let's remind ourselves of this powerful, awe-inspiring verse which is verse 10 - "WE MUST ALL APPEAR BEFORE THE JUDGEMENT SEAT OF CHRIST!" How this verse should guide our activities... our words... our thoughts... our plans... our goals... our attitudes...
What are you planning to do tomorrow? Wait... THE JUDGEMENT SEAT OF CHRIST!
Where are you planning to go? How are you planning to live? WAIT... THE JUDGEMENT SEAT OF CHRIST! If we allow it to, verse 10 can be a powerful motivational force in the life of the Christian.
Tonight, though, I want to use this verse as a springboard to discuss something that has been much on my mind lately.
Let's think about this truth: We must keep trusting, and keep walking, even when He leaves us in the dark.
I. God wants you to pray.
When God seems to pour your life out on the ground, keep trusting Him.
When those times come where He seems to ignore your most fervent cries... when He answers not a word... keep trusting Him.
Even if you NEVER SEE AN ANSWER IN THIS LIFETIME, keep trusting Him. You won't be the only one in heaven with that story.
NEVER FORGET, we walk by faith, NOT BY SIGHT.
QUOTE - (Augustine) "Faith is to believe what we do not see, and the reward of faith is to see what we believe."
NEVER FORGET, when we get home, everything will be clear.
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(Sometimes they're downright invisible... seemingly absent...)
IMAGINE IT, after all that amazing superhuman effort, David just POURED IT ON THE GROUND.
I heard a preacher talking about this verse once, and he said, "If God wants to take all my best efforts, all my work, all my study, every bit of my strength and dedication, and POUR IT ON THE GROUND, He is God... it's alright with me.
Sometimes you will feel like that... you'll believe God is just pouring your life out on the ground.
Three weeks later when Kathryn Kuhlman came to a neighboring state, I skipped classes and traveled half a day to attend one of her meetings. The atmosphere was unbelievably charged--soft organ music in the background; the murmuring sound of people praying aloud, some in strange tongues; and every few minutes a happy interruption when someone would stand and claim, "I'm healed!" One person especially made an impression, a man from Milwaukee who had been carried into the meeting on a stretcher. When he walked--yes, walked--onstage, we all cheered wildly. He told us he was a physician, and I was even more impressed. He had incurable lung cancer, he said, and was told he had six months to live. But now, tonight, he believed God had healed him. He was walking for the first time in months. He felt great. Praise God! I wrote down the man's name and practically floated out of that meeting. I had never known such certainty of faith before.
My search was over; I had seen proof of a living God in those people on the stage. If he could work tangible miracles in them, then surely he had something wonderful in store for me. I wanted contact with the man of faith I had seen at the meeting, so much so that exactly one week later I phoned Directory Assistance in Milwaukee and got the physician's number. When I dialed it, a woman answered the phone. "May I please speak to Dr. S_____," I said. Long silence. "Who are you?" she said at last. I figured she was just screening calls from patients or something. I gave my name and told her I admired Dr. S_____ and had wanted to talk to him ever since the Kathryn Kuhlman meeting. I had been very moved by his story, I said.
Another long silence. Then she spoke in a flat voice, pronouncing each word slowly. "My...husband...is...dead." Just that one sentence, nothing more, and she hung up.
I can't tell you how that devastated me. I was wasted. I half-staggered into the next room, where my sister was sitting. "Richard, what's wrong?" she asked. "Are you all right?" No, I was not all right. But I couldn't talk about it. I was crying. My mother and sister tried to pry some explanation out of me. But what could I tell them? For me, the certainty I had staked my life on had died with that phone call. A flame had flared bright for one fine, shining week and then gone dark, like a dying star.
Suddenly, as he reached forward to tap, he found that there was nothing there! He reached all around in front of him, desperately feeling for the ground with his umbrella, but there was nothing there! He turned to his right and reached forth with his umbrella, but THERE WAS NOTHING THERE! He turned to his left, and discovered the same thing. Trembling, the man breathed a silent prayer of thanks for God's protection. Obviously he had wandered onto some precipice, and if it weren't for his umbrella, he would have plunged to his death!
Slowly, very slowly, the man turned around to return the way he came. He reached out with his trusty umbrella to feel his way, and to his horror discovered... NOTHING. He reached all around him now, on all sides, frantically trying to find the sliver of solid ground upon which he must have entered this precipice, but he could not find it. He realized that he had no choice now but to wait for morning and light.
Tremblingly, he passed the night, fearful to take even a step in any direction...
When morning came, he discovered that the handle had come off his umbrella, and he had spent the night on the sidewalk in front of his home.