Hope that Shines through Darkness

Keith Holloway

Dear believers, I want to tell you today that you've got something that the sinner doesn't have, something incredibly valuable and powerful, something you must know. As a child of God, you are and have incredible blessings!

Now many of you may be thinking that I’ve lost my mind because of how many troubles and trials and darkness that you’re facing. Unfortunately, some of that is the reality of life, but there is something that is equally true and, in fact, is a far surpassing truth for us. Every person whose life is hidden with God in Christ has been given undergirding power and authority of God. Now that’s a blessing!

The scriptures teach that we must declare what God has promised us. There is no extremism in that statement. Remember, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits” (Proverbs 18:21, ESV). It is part of our diving inheritance, secured by Jesus Christ. Peter wrote to the church, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3-5, ESV).

Peter wanted the church to know that even during their troubles and trials, the darkest hour is right before the sun comes up. He wanted them to know that they had been born again to a living hope. Hope is an expectation of God's good coming to us no matter how deep the darkness. Declaring in faith the hope-filled promises of God will sustain us.

We have a living hope. We've been born again into that through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The Bible says, “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being” (Ephesians 3:14-16).

You should greatly rejoice in the fact that you've been born again and that Jesus Christ has given you abundant mercy and imbued you with the power of God that raised Christ from the dead.

He dwells with you. He dwells in you.

A Perfect Heart Is Trusting

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

The Psalmist wrote, “Our fathers trusted in you; they trusted, and you delivered them. They cried to you, and were delivered; they trusted in you, and were not ashamed” (Psalm 22:4-5, NKJV). The Hebrew root word for ‘trust’ suggests “to fling oneself off a precipice.” That means being like a child who has climbed up into the rafters and cannot get down. He hears his father say, “Jump!” and he obeys, throwing himself into his father’s arms.

Are you in such a place right now? Are you on the edge, teetering? You may have simply resigned yourself to your situation, but that is not trust; it is nothing more than fatalism. Trust is something vastly different from passive resignation. It is active belief.

As we hunger for Jesus more intensely, we will find that our trust in him is well founded. At some point in our lives, we may have thought that we could not really trust him, that he did not really have control over the big picture and that we had to stay in charge. Growing closer to him and getting to know him better changes that.

Eventually, we will not just come to him for help when we are at the end of our rope; instead, we begin to walk with him so closely that we hear warning of trials ahead.

The trusting heart always says, “All my steps are ordered by the Lord. He is my loving Father, and he permits my sufferings, temptations and trials but never more than I can bear. He always makes a way of escape. He has an eternal plan and purpose for me. He has numbered every hair on my head, and he formed all my parts when I was in my mother’s womb. He knows when I sit, stand or lie down because I am the apple of his eye. He is Lord not just over me but over every event and situation that touches me.”

True trust releases in the heart the greatest power God can assign to mankind, greater than power to raise the dead or heal sickness and disease. When we are truly relying totally upon God, we are given a power that restores broken hearts and lives, a power that brings a special kind of glory and honor to our Lord.

Walking Daily with God

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

The first book of scripture tells us of a man who should inspire our walk with God. “So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him” (Genesis 5:23-24, NKJV). Our brother Enoch had no Bible, no songbook, no fellow members, no teacher, no indwelling Holy Spirit, no rent veil with access to the Holy of Holies, but he knew God! 

“But without faith it is impossible to please him, for he who comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). How do we know that Enoch believed God was a rewarder? Because we know that is the only faith that pleases God, and we know that Enoch pleased him. God is a remunerator, one who pays well for faithfulness. How does the Lord reward his diligent ones?

There are three important rewards that come by believing God and walking with him in faith.

  1. 1. God’s control of our lives. When we neglect the Lord, we soon spin out of control as the devil moves in and takes over. If only we would fall in love with Jesus! God would soon show us that Satan has no real dominion over us, and we would quickly allow Christ to control us.

  2. 2. Having a “pure light.” When we walk with the Lord, we are rewarded with light, direction, discernment and revelation — a certain “knowing” that God gives us — that will guide us through life. 

  3. 3. Protection from all our enemies. Scripture promises, “No weapon formed against you shall prosper” (Isaiah 54:17). In the original Hebrew, this verse is translated as “No plan, no instrument of destruction, no satanic artillery shall push you or run over you, but it will be done away with.”

Enoch learned to walk pleasingly before God in the midst of a wicked society. He was an ordinary man with all the same problems and burdens we carry. Each day as he walked with the Lord, though, he became less attached to the things below. When we live this way, we obey Christ’s command, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23).

God’s Purposes in Overcoming Enemies

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

In 2 Kings, we read about the Syrian army besieging the city of Samaria. The Syrians simply camped outside the city, waiting for the Samaritans to starve. Conditions grew so desperate that women were offering their children to be boiled for food. It was sheer insanity (see 2 Kings 6:24-33).

Four lepers who were living by the city gates finally said to themselves, “Why are we sitting here until we die?...Now therefore, come, let us surrender to the army of the Syrians. If they keep us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall only die” (2 Kings 7:3–4, NKJV). There was such despair. They saw no way through this trial. They didn’t believe God’s word that he would save them, so they were ready to surrender themselves to their enemies.

When they arrived in the Syrian camp, everything was deathly still. They searched every tent, but everyone was gone. Scripture explains, “For the Lord had caused the army of the Syrians to hear the noise of chariots and the noise of horses—the noise of a great army….Therefore they arose and fled at twilight, and left the camp intact—their tents, their horses, and their donkeys—and they fled for their lives” (2 Kings 7:6–7).

When the lepers realized this, they went throughout the camp eating and drinking and then they started hiding the great treasures God had provided.

“Then they said to one another, ‘We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent. If we wait until morning light, some punishment will come upon us…’ So they went and called the gatekeepers of the city…” (2 Kings 7:9-10). The Lord had turned the whole situation around and had given resources to restore and refresh his people. It was an enormous victory, but it wasn’t meant to touch only a few people. These blessings were meant to be shared.

Those who are the Lord’s people are promised glorious victory over the enemy, but God’s work on our behalf isn’t meant to stop with us. God wants you to know, “I am going to make you more than an overcomer. I’m working out an even greater purpose in you for my kingdom. You are intended to bring my blessings to countless people who are under the shadow of despair and death. You will bring them good news!”

The Spoils of Spiritual Warfare

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

Many Christians think that once they’re saved, their struggles are over, that life will be smooth sailing. Nothing could be further from the truth. God not only allows our battles, but he has a glorious purpose for them in our lives.

What are “spoils of warfare”? Spoils are plunder or goods taken in battle by the victors. David had a reverent attitude toward spoils taken in warfare. We see it in a decree he set forth toward the end of his life. He gathered the nation’s leaders together to set up a divine order for sustaining God’s house. What resources would they use for this holy work? “Some of the spoils won in battles they dedicated to maintain the house of the Lord” (1 Chronicles 26:27, ESV).

After every military victory, David took back spoils of gold, silver, brass, timber, money too vast to count, and he stockpiled them with one purpose in mind: to use these spoils as resources for building the temple.

When scripture speaks of maintaining the temple, the original Hebrew means “to repair the house, to strengthen and consolidate what was built.” These resources were meant to create and maintain the temple’s splendor.

Where is God’s temple today? It’s made up of his people: you, me and his church worldwide. According to Paul, our bodies are temples of the Holy Ghost (see 1 Corinthians 6:19). Like ancient Israel, our Lord still maintains his temple through spoils gained in battle. That’s why our trials are meant for more than just survival. Through every battle, God is laying aside resources and wealth for us. Those spoils are dedicated to building up and maintaining his body, the church of Jesus Christ.

Here is the principle God wants us to lay hold of: Our Lord is interested in much more than simply making us victors. We’re to emerge from battle with wagonloads of resources. This is what Paul refers to when he says, “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).

We find this principle of “supply through battle” throughout God’s Word. God’s house remained vibrant and alive because his people have emerged from every conflict not just victorious but rich in resources.