God`s Antidote for Dark Days - Grace Church at Willow Valley

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You don’t need a book to tell you about
pain and sorrow. You could write you own
book. Chances are you wrestled with some
pain this morning before breakfast. And
sorrow? You’re an expert. Deep, personal
pain that you experience in secret. You
weep silently—but on you go, day after
painful day. I’ve have no way of knowing
the depth your pain and sorrows.
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But I know Someone who does. Someone
who stood utterly alone against an
intimidating pack of painful moments with
names like Loneliness, Sorrow, Weariness,
Rejection, deep unceasing pain…Death.
And how appropriate that the One who
conquered all of these should be awarded
by men with a crown of thorns!
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Jesus Christ didn’t have to leave a painless
heaven for this sinful planet. Nobody
forced Him. He just came. And what a
impact He had on this world. You see,
festering pain and sorrow fall away at the
touch from the Master Surgeon.
Pain and sorrow reside in our world, but
they don’t rule. He does. Always has.
Always will. Through Him…so can you.
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Pain, Sorrow, Affliction, hardship, and
persecution are often the
characteristics of the Christian’s walk.
This idea is borne out in Peter’s own
words, “Beloved, do not be surprised
at the fiery ordeal among you, which
comes upon you for testing…” I Peter
4:12
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3.
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5.
When times are tough, the Lord is our Only
security. 2 Sam 22:2-20
When days are dark, the Lord is our Only
light. 2 Sam 22:21-31
When the dark days weaken us, the Lord is
our Only Strength. 2 Sam 22:32-49
When our future is dark and foggy, the Lord
is our Only Hope. 2 Sam 22:50-51
When we are down and out, remember that
the Lord knows the way. Job 23:10ff
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“refuge” The Hebrew means, “a safe place, a
place of protection and secrecy.” 22:3
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2 Samuel 22:1-7 David sang to the Lord
the words of this song when the Lord
delivered him from the hand of all his
enemies and from the hand of Saul. 2
He said: "The Lord is my rock, my
fortress and my deliverer; 3 my God is
my rock, in whom I take refuge, my
shield and the horn of my salvation.
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He is my stronghold, my refuge and my
savior — from violent men you save
me. 4 I call to the Lord, who is worthy
of praise, and I am saved from my
enemies. 5 "The waves of death swirled
about me; the torrents of destruction
overwhelmed me. 6 The cords of the
grave coiled around me; the snares of
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death confronted me. 7 In my
distress I called to the Lord; I
called out to my God. From his
temple He heard my voice; my cry
came to His ears.
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2 Samuel 22:29; 31b
29. You are my lamp, O Lord; the
Lord turns my darkness into
light.
31b.…He is a shield for all who
take refuge in Him.
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2 Samuel 22:40
40 You armed me with strength
for battle; you made my
adversaries bow at my feet.
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2 Samuel 22:50-51 Therefore I will
praise you, O Lord, among the
nations; I will sing praises to your
name. 51 He gives his king great
victories; he shows unfailing
kindness to his anointed,
to David and his descendants
forever.“
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Job 23:10-11 But he knows the way
that I take; when he has tested
me, I will come forth as gold. 11 My
feet have closely followed his
steps; I have kept to his way
without turning aside.
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1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
When times are tough, the Lord is our Only
security. 2 Sam 22:2-20
When days are dark, the Lord is our Only
light. 2 Sam 22:21-31
When the dark days weaken us, the Lord is
our Only Strength. 2 Sam 22:32-49
When our future is dark and foggy, the Lord
is our Only Hope. 2 Sam 22:50-51
When we are down and out, remember that
the Lord knows the way. Job 23:10ff
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1.
Turn to God in prayer. Tell God all that is in
your heart, as one unloads one’s heart, its
sorrow and its pain. Tell Him your troubles,
that He may comfort you; tell Him your
longings, tell Him that you are disillusioned
about the church, tell Him because of these
dark days that you are doubting your faith.
There is significant therapy (healing) in
telling God everything. Prayer transfers
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1.
2.
Burdens, pressure, pain and sorrow are to be
placed on God’s shoulders and off of ours.
Thinking Like Jesus thought-having His
same attitude. When He was in the crisis of
His life…even to the point of death. What
was His attitude? Father forgive them for
they know not what they do.
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3.
4.
Final thoughts. It all begins in the heart. It
was Solomon who wrote, “Watch over your
heart with all diligence, for from it flow the
springs of live.” Proverbs 4:23. Risk being
deeply honest as you open up and admit to
the battleground within.
Putting one’s complete hope and trust in the
Living Lord. Trusting God must be done on
day at a time. The beginning days of trusting
are often the hardest…don’t quit. Trusting
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4. Trusting God is a stabilizing experience. In
battle against Goliath, David didn’t let the
jitters interfere. When you turn a giant over
to God through trust, it’s amazing how
stable you can be. There is nothing wrong
with leaning if it’s leaning on the Lord. “Trust
in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not
on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
At those moments when we are feeling
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4. fragile and frail; when we feel the blizzards
of life are winning and we are losing ground.
It is then that we need to trust God and His
support is strong and sure; He is our refuge
from the storm. Isaiah 25:4 “But to the poor,
O Lord, you are a refuge from the storm, a
shadow from the heat, a shelter from
merciless men who are like a driving rain
that melts down an earthen wall.
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To comprehend what it means to reconsider
it pure joy again in these darkest of days. I
am facing the greatest trial of my life and I
don’t feel like I will make it. My heart is
broken. The pain all encompassing. There
does seem to be a way out of this sorrow.
Help me LORD. I can’t do it on my own.
Lord be close to me NOW. Mend my
broken heart. Amen.
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In my darkest of days I called
upon the Lord, And cried to my
God for help; He heard my
voice out of His temple, And
my cry for help before Him
came into His ears.
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The righteous cry and the Lord
hears, And delivers them out of all
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their troubles. The Lord is near
to the brokenhearted, And saves
those who are crushed in spirit. 19
Many are the afflictions of the
righteous; But the Lord delivers
him out of them all.
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Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to
my cry! Don't sit back, unmindful
of my tears. For I am your guest. I
am a traveler passing through the
earth, as all my fathers were. 13
Spare me, Lord! Let me recover
and be filled with happiness again
before my death.
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I waited patiently for God to help
me; then he listened and heard my
cry. 2 He lifted me out of the pit of
despair, out from the bog and the
mire, and set my feet on a hard,
firm path, and steadied me as I
walked along.
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O God, listen to me! Hear my prayer! 2 For
wherever I am, though far away at the
ends of the earth, I will cry to you for help.
When my heart is faint and overwhelmed,
lead me to the mighty, towering Rock of
safety. 3 For you are my refuge, a high
tower where my enemies can never reach
me. 4 I shall live forever in your tabernacle;
oh, to be safe beneath the shelter of your
wings!
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147
I was up before sunrise,
crying for help, hoping for a word
from you. 148 I stayed awake all
night, prayerfully pondering your
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promise. In your love, listen to
me; in your justice, God, keep me
alive.
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I cry out loudly to God, loudly I plead
with God for mercy. 2 I spill out all
my complaints before him, and spell
out my troubles in detail: 3 "As I sink
in despair, my spirit ebbing away,
you know how I'm feeling, Know the
danger I'm in, the traps hidden in my
path.
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4
Look right, look left — there's not a
soul who cares what happens! I'm up
against it, with no exit — bereft, left
alone. 5 I cry out, God, call out:
'You're my last chance, my only
hope for life!‘ 6 Oh listen, please
listen; I've never been this low.
Rescue me…Lord.
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 “Even though I walk through
the valley of the shadow of
death, I will fear no evil, for you
are with me; your rod and your
staff, they comfort me.”
Psalm 23:4
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 An Old Saying, “All sunshine and
no rain makes a desert.”
POINT: Life is a mixture of pain and
pleasure, of victory and defeat, of
success and failure, of mountain tops
and valleys. What is God’s antidote to
Dark Days of life?
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How do I handle the dark days of life?
1. Dark Days are inevitable.
 Jesus was very realistic about it. In John 16 He
says, “In the world you will have trouble.”
 James 1:2-4 Consider it all joy, my brethren,
when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing
that the testing of your faith produces
endurance. 4 And let endurance have its
perfect result, that you may be perfect and
complete, lacking in nothing.
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James 1:5-7 But if any of you lacks
wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives
to all men generously and without
reproach, and it will be given to him. 6
But let him ask in faith without any
doubting, for the one who doubts is like
the surf of the sea driven and tossed by
the wind.
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2. Dark Days are unpredictable
 You can’t plan them, time them,
schedule them. Dark days are
unexpected and often a surprise.
 They usually come at the worst time—
when you can’t seem to handle another
heart ache.
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Jeremiah 4:20
Disaster follows disaster; the whole
land lies in ruins. In an instant my
tents are destroyed, my shelter in
a moment.
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Dark Days are:
1. Inevitable
2. Unpredictable
3. Impartial
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3. Dark days are impartial.
 No one is immune to these dark
days. No one is insulated from
pain and sorrow these dark days
bring.
 No one gets to skate through life
problem free.
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Matthew 5:44-45
 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
45 that you may be sons of your Father
in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on
the evil and the good, and sends rain
on the righteous and the unrighteous.
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4. Dark days are temporary.
 They have an end to them. They don’t
last. They are not a permanent
location.
 Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of
death, I will fear no evil, for you are
with me; your rod and your staff, they
comfort me.”
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4.
Dark days are temporary.
The valley is not something you
stay in your entire life. It’s
something you go through—a
circumstance, a situation that has
a season to it.
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1 Peter 1:6-7 In this you greatly rejoice,
though now for a little while you may
have had to suffer grief in all kinds of
trials. These have come so that your
faith — of greater worth than gold,
which perishes even though refined by
fire — may be proved genuine and may
result in praise, glory and honor when
Jesus Christ is revealed.
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Difficult Days are:
1. Inevitable
2. Unpredictable
3. Impartial
4. Temporary
5. Purposeful
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5. Dark days are purposeful.
 God has a reason for taking you
through the valleys.
 Whether it’s doubt, depression,
despair, discouragement, defeat—
He’s got a reason behind it.
 I Peter 1:6-7
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1 Peter 1:6-7 In this you greatly rejoice,
though now for a little while you may
have had to suffer grief in all kinds of
trials. These have come so that your
faith — of greater worth than gold,
which perishes even though refined by
fire — may be proved genuine and may
result in praise, glory and honor when
Jesus Christ is revealed.
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1. Refuse to be discouraged.
 Psalm 23 says, “I will fear no evil”
2. Remember that God is with me.
 Isaiah 43:2
3. I Rely on God’s protection and
guidance.
 Psalm 23 says, “Thy rod and staff
comforts me.”
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"When you pass through the waters
I will be with you; And through the
rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be scorched, Nor will
the flame burn you.
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Difficult Days are:
1. Inevitable
2. Unpredictable
3. Impartial
4. Temporary
5. Purposeful
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Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near
to the brokenhearted, And
saves those who are crushed
in spirit.
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Our loving Father is never
preoccupied or removed when we
are enduring deep dark sadness
and affliction.
Hebrews 4:16
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Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore
draw near with confidence to
the throne of grace that we
may receive mercy and may
find grace to help in time of
need.
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 Psalm 55:22-23 Cast your burden
upon the LORD, and he will sustain
you; He will never allow the
righteous to be shaken…But I will
trust in the LORD.
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Psalm 86:7 In the day of
my trouble I shall call
upon the Lord, For You
will answer me.
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Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the
LORD with all your heart, And
do not lean on your own
understanding. In all your
ways acknowledge Him. And
he will make your paths
straight.
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 YOU, O GOD, WILL NEVER
LEAVE ME. Never will you
forsake me. (Hebrews 13:5). You
are the only absolute
guarantee I have in all of life.
Help me cling to YOU in this
dark days.
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Have you recently suffered a loss? Maybe the
sound is still tender; maybe it’s too early to
know why. Frankly, you may never know why!
But through it all, believe me, God has not left
you. He is there. He will never walk away.
I once read of a man whose life was marked by
dark days. He was a Christian, but life was not
easy. One loss followed another, and
disappointment and pain seemed to be his
closest friend.
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One night he had a dream. He was with the
Lord, looking back upon his life, which was
portrayed by footprints—his and the
Savior’s. But as he looked closer, he saw only
one set of footprints along the very darkest
of days. He frowned, confused and asked the
Lord:
You and I have walked together during much
of my lifetime…but when things got really
bad, where’d You go? In needed You at those
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Times more than ever. Why’d You leave?
God said, “My child, I have never left you.
The two sets of footprints assure you of
that. But there were times when it was
almost more than you could bear. At those
very, very dark times, I carried you in My
arms. The single set of footprints you see at
those darkest of days are Mine. That was
when I was carrying you.”
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We may feel alone, forsaken, and
forgotten, but we are not. In times of
great loss, our God picks us up and
holds us close.
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O LORD, life is not going as I planned. I
am so grateful that You are not caught
off guard as I often am. You know
everything that has fallen on me in
recent days. Please God direct my
steps as You determine. I need You, I
love You, LORD. Carry me when I
cannot walk.
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The word “gospel” means “good news,
good tidings.” The term carries with it a
sense of excitement. In whatever context
the term was used, it conveyed the idea of
shouting out something to someone else.
In the case of the gospel about Jesus
Christ, it means to proclaim to all the
complete salvation that is available only
through Him, the eternal Son of God. Jesus
Christ.
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The Gospel requires our response. God did
not give the gospel s o that we could simple
study and memorize it. He expects us to
respond to it…and the response He longs
for is a positive one of belief, which leads to
salvation.
 Our response determines our destiny.
When we receive Salvation through Jesus
alone we come under the full benefits of
His grace.
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 However, if we choose not to avail
ourselves of the gospel, then we
remain under God’s wrath and
condemnation. The choice is left to
each of us to make…but we cannot
fail to make a choice.
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