How to Discover Greater Courage As You Walk Through Dark Seasons of Life

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Today, I have a very special treat for you!

I’m sharing a devotional that features a few wise tidbits from one of my very favorite messages from Pastor Adrian Rogers.

I heard him preach this message in person, and I have read these words over and over in my Adrian Rogers Legacy Bible.

You can discover more about this special Bible HERE.

So, let’s get into the devotional and learn to discover greater courage as we walk through the dark seasons of life.

  • Do things ever seem DARK to you?
  • Do you ever find that you are in the middle of a dark season?

Pastor Adrian Rogers once said, “You are either going into a dark season (a valley), in the middle of one or just coming out on the other side.”

We can endure almost anything if we know why it’s happening.

But we don’t always get the luxury of knowing why.

There are so many questions that we face from time to time.

For example, they can be questions like:

  • When will I get to take a break or a vacation?
  • Why did I lose my job?
  • Why didn’t I get that job?
  • Is there some reason my friends are leaving me out?
  • Why can’t I seem to beat this temptation?
  • Why won’t my children or my grandchildren talk to me?
  • How am I going to pay these bills?
  • Why do I feel so sad or overwhelmed or anxious?

Or they can be life-altering and heart-wrenching things like:

  • Why is the bottom falling out in my life?
  • Why did my husband or wife leave me?
  • How am I going to press on?
  • Why did my baby die?
  • Why is my child so far away from the Lord?
  • Or, why can’t I ever seem to get pregnant?
  • Will I ever beat this cancer?
discover greater courage as we walk through the dark seasons of life

Often things hit us, and we don’t know why!

So, we listen to sermons and study our Bible study guides.

And we learn our little formulas and write down our promises and we think we have it covered.

We have it all figured out.

Just when we have it puzzled through, we plunge into deeper perplexity and despair.

That’s where Isaiah 50:10 comes in and helps us to discover greater courage as we walk through the dark seasons of life.

It starts as you would expect and then it takes a surprising turn.

“Who among you fears the Lord, who obeys the voice of his servant? Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely upon his God.”  Isaiah 50:10

Now, wouldn’t you think that someone who obeys and fears the Lord will be walking in the light?

But that’s the surprise.

Faithful people must sometimes walk in darkness.

I believe there’s a discipline of darkness, so let me give you some propositions.

Here are some truths that I have observed.

There are five of these.

First, to discover greater courage as we walk through the dark seasons of life, we must learn that those of greatest devotion may know the deepest darkness.

It’s true: those of greatest devotion may know the deepest darkness.

There seems to be a distorted idea that if you become a Christian, it will all be joy, light, sweetness, and roses.

But it generally doesn’t happen that way.

Countless Saints fear God and obey God and walk in darkness.

This was true of great Bible Saints like Job, Habakkuk the Prophet, John the Baptist, and the apostle Paul.

And I’ll bet if you think of those people that you respect most in the faith, you think of people who have been through incredible darkness in their lives.

discover greater courage as we walk through the dark seasons of life

One of the sweetest women that I ever knew was a lady named Mrs. Greer.

This lady was a prayer warrior. She had the most incredible joy-filled countenance.

And, she was faithful in church and in teaching the Bible.

But she had lived a very hard life.

At some point, her husband had walked out on her and her two children.

At another point, she had developed a serious illness that caused her to walk with a walker and move very slowly.

And yet… this woman exuded life, energy, passion, and the joy of the Lord!

Her dark seasons pushed her to love Jesus more.

And God didn’t spare her from going through pain.

He used it to make her who she was.

Transition – Here’s the truth: those of greatest devotion to God may know the deepest darkness of all. Now, let’s consider another truth.

Second, to discover greater courage as we walk through the dark seasons of life, we learn that faith born in the light is often developed in the dark.

It’s true: faith born in the light is often developed in the dark.

When have you grown the most spiritually? Wasn’t it during immense difficulty and despair and heartache and tears?

God develops your faith when you look to Him and lean on Him.

Faith develops in the dark when you live by God’s promises, not His explanations.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t turn to Jesus more than I do when life is dark.

When I need him most, I get desperate for Him.

Maybe you have had the same experience?

My faith never grows more and develops more than when I go through a deep and dark season.

It’s like we meet Jesus in the darkness.

One of my sweet friends, who I’ll call Ann, went through a horrific season in her marriage.

As a young mom and happily married wife, Ann found out that her husband (who was a pastor) had been having an affair behind her back.

When the affair was discovered, her husband lost his job. And he begged her to stay with him.

She chose to stay with her husband. But she had to go through the years of repair and restoration that had to take place.

It took her a long time to both forgive and trust her husband again.

But she and her children and her husband were able to stay together, repair the relationship, and move forward.

Ann shared with me that there were about five years that were absolute darkness for her.

In her darkness, she reached out to another woman who had lived with an unfaithful husband. That woman taught her to get on her face, literally, with her Bible open and cry out to Jesus.

Day after day, week after week, and year after year, Ann did this.

She shares that in the darkness and the crying out, she met Jesus like she never had before.

Although she NEVER would have chosen to live through all that she went through with the affair, she also gained much.

The incredible sweetness that she found with her Savior in her deep woundedness was amazing. She drew closer to Jesus in the moments of greatest pain.

discover greater courage as we walk through the dark seasons of life

Perhaps you’re in a dark valley right now.

Could it be that this is your chance to let God develop your faith and to find Jesus like you never have before in your life?

Press in close to Him and find Him to be amazing and sweet!

Transition – So we see that faith born in the light is often developed in the darkness.

Third, to discover greater courage as we walk through the dark seasons of life, we learn that some things are seen in the dark that cannot be seen in the light.

You will understand some things in the darkness that you will never understand in the light.

You will see stars at night that you wouldn’t even notice by the day.

When the darkness comes, we have the chance to observe, ponder, think, and reflect.

We notice truths that we never would have noticed when life was really good.

So, can I encourage you?

Get out your pen and your journal and take notes.

You will find such nuggets and gems in the dark places of your life.

Don’t waste this season. I know it’s hard, but I also know you are mining for gold right now.

Can I tell you that some of the most impactful and incredible words that I have written have come during the dark times, not from the happy, fun times?

Take great notes because God is going to use something that you learn and glean and discover in this season for whatever is coming next.

Transition – Some things are seen in the dark that cannot be seen in the light.

Fourth, to discover greater courage as we walk through the dark seasons, it is better for you to lean on God in the darkness than stand in man-made light.

This is so challenging.

And Isaiah 50:11 warns against those who kindle a fire to light their darkness; they will lie down in sorrow.

If you fear and obey God and darkness overtakes you, that darkness has been ordained by God.

Did you catch that?

God very carefully strains through His colander/strainer those things He will allow into our lives.

And if He lets it through, it has a purpose.

It all has to go through Him.

And if it goes through Him and gets to you, it serves a purpose.

Here’s the part that’s so hard… especially for us as women… to discover greater courage as we walk through the dark seasons.

If you sin or struggle against His plan, the light you find will be feeble and false.

When we light our own fires, it will not be a good thing.

When we solve our problems, we often regret our solutions.

In fact, we often make it worse.

Several years ago.

Several years ago, we were struggling financially.

Both kids were in college and tuition was expensive. And we were trying to figure out how to pay all the bills.

Randy and I both were in full-time ministry, and God had always provided for us.

But I got a call one day with an offer to make a whole lot of money.

It just seemed too good to pass up.

So, I jumped.

And honestly, I chose to do this job primarily because of the money.

I can tell you I prayed about it. But no matter what anyone said, I was going to take this job.

Deep down… there was a quiet nagging doubt in the back of my mind.

But I didn’t let it stop me.

I spent a hard year living in the light of the fire that I had built.

That was one of the most depressing, discouraging, and disheartening years of my entire adult life.

It was horrible.

Why? Because I didn’t wait on God to light my fire.

I didn’t wait on Him to provide financially. Instead, I jumped out on my own and lit my own fire.

And as Isaiah 50:11 says. “I fell down in great torment.”

Another translation says you “will lie down in sorrow.”

I can tell you that I drove to work in tears, and I drove home in tears for almost a year.

When God finally allowed me to move on from that job, there was sweet peace.

It was during that season I decided I would rather eat crackers and peanut butter, clip coupons, and struggle financially than ever try to light my own fire again.

What about you?

Are you tempted to light your own fire today?

Are you tempted to jump in and help God?

And, are growing weary, waiting for Him to light the fire and lift the darkness?

Don’t do it.

Don’t try to light your own fire.

Transition – The truth is… it is better for you to lean on God and darkness than to stand in man-made light.

Fifth, to discover greater courage as we walk through the dark seasons, remember that if your sun has set, it will rise again.

You may lie down and wet your pillow with tears, but friend, there’s a better time coming.

One day God will pull back the shades of night and pin them with a star.

He will open the door of the morning and flood your world with the sunshine of His love and His light.

You can trust the name of the Lord and rely on your God.

He will take care of you!

The Atlanta Couple

One of my favorite stories is about a young couple in Atlanta, GA.

We had the opportunity to meet them at a church we were in while living in Atlanta.

This couple had two young children, and the mom decided to quit her full-time job to stay home to take care of the kids.

They were going to live on the husband’s salary until he also lost his job.

Within two weeks, they went from a two-income family to a no-income family.

They had a beautiful home in the suburbs of Atlanta, and lots of bills to pay.

Things got dark for this young couple very quickly.

Then, someone let us know that there was a need, and we shared it with our Bible Study class.

We actually passed a plate around in our class and collected cash.

When the cash got to me, it was in the unusual total of $357.

Someone asked if we should round the number up to $360 or $375 or $400, but we decided to leave it exactly at that amount of money.

That night we put the cash in an envelope and took it over to the couple’s house and put it in their mailbox. Then we called them to let them know there was some money in the mailbox.

For a few days, I heard nothing.

Then I got a call and heard the sweetest story.

That young mom had a utility bill that she could not pay.

In her despair, she got on her knees on her linoleum kitchen floor and asked God to pay the bill.

On the day that she prayed, we put the envelope of cash in her mailbox.

Would you like to know how much the utility bill was?

It was $357!

That sweet young mom did not light her own fire. She prayed instead.

And God lit the fire.

God can light the fire every single time.

He can light the fire in your life!

So be reminded and encouraged today:

  • First… Those of greatest devotion may have the deepest darkness.
  • Second… Faith, born in the light, is often developed in the dark.
  • Third… Some things are seen in the dark that can never be seen in the light.
  • Fourth… It is better for you to lean on God in the darkness than stand in man-made light.
  • 5th… If your sun has set, it will rise again.

Closing Thoughts

I’m so thankful that Pastor Adrian Rogers always shared the truth and the hope of God’s word.

These words have encouraged my heart.

I pray that they will encourage yours as well!

We’d love to hear from you!

Also, let us hear from you! You can leave a comment below.

Or, you can email me. My email address is mredd@lwf.org.

I’d love to hear what God is doing in your life… how He is growing your faith and working in your midst!

No matter if you are walking in sunshine, shade, rain, or darkness today, remember, we are ordinary women who serve an extraordinary God!

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© Women Living Courageously, 2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. 

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We can endure almost anything if we know why it is happening. But we don’t always get the luxury of knowing why. And sometimes life is just hard, challenging, and dark. There are seasons that all of us go through when the bottom falls out and we don’t know what to do. Today, join Melanie Redd and some wisdom from the ministry of Pastor Adrian Rogers as we look at how we can discover greater courage as we walk through the dark seasons of life. Learn how to be a woman of courage even in the midst of the very worst days.

12 Comments

  1. Tammy Wells

    I loved it. My husband left after 28 years in March 2022. Saturday is usually a bad day for me. My life is somewhat structured except Saturday???? So reading this Saturday at 7:15pm is very encouraging.

    THANK YOU

    Reply
    • Women Living Courageously

      Hey Tammy,
      Praying for you right now.
      So very sorry to hear about your husband leaving.
      We are asking God to give you such a sense of love and support. May He surround you with His love.
      Thanks for sharing your story with us. As God brings you to mind, we will continue to lift you up!
      Blessings,
      Melanie

      Reply
      • Esther

        Greetings to you in the precious name of Jesus, thank you for these wonderful words, that have been so encouraging. I lost my Husband 6 years ago after a period of illness as I took care of him, I believed that God would heal him. Anyway God took him home and relieved both of us from our suffering. I was devastated and it was a dark rough period not knowing how I would be able to get through the loss. I knew God was with me and I trusted that he knew best but I was also praying to God that in time he would provide a Godly help meet. I must say that as time went by God has been with me and has enabled me to commit myself to him trusting him to take care of all my needs. I wanted to light my own fire. Through prayers, good support , a wonderful praying friend and committment to God is indeed helping me through the dark times and letting me see God as my light and my Salvation. Able to provide all that I need. So thank you for sharing this truth that itis better to lean on God and darkness than to stand on man made light. I am learning to seek God first and his righteousness and all good things would be added. Thank you so much. I am learning that the joy of the Lord is my strength , am earnestly trusting him to align my will with his will. Content to be guided by him all the way knowing that he is with me to the end of time. Amen. God bless. He is with us always.

        Reply
        • Women Living Courageously

          Amen!
          Thank you, Esther, for your message.
          I’m so sorry for your loss. It sounds like you have been through quite a season of grief, recovery, and sweetness with Jesus!
          He adores you, and He is with you.
          May He continue to bless you and meet every single need that you have!
          Blessings to you,
          Melanie

          Reply
  2. Linda

    I am finding that I walk in and out of God’s light and darkness. I have been caring for my disabled daughter for 44 years now…the last 4 has added more physical and emotional challenges as she has gone through many strokes leaving her unable to walk on her own. Her left side is pretty much 95% unable to assist her in her functioning needs. She also has the cognitive level of 2-4 year old so it is tough on her to understand she was walking one moment and unable to the next. I am tired and worn. I care for her 7 days a week. I will not criticize the other people in her life but I do know in my heart they could do more to help me and her. I cry out to our Abba for strength knowing that He allows these times in our lives to keep us grounded and firm in Him. I know this but would so welcome a good steady, long stream of His light…yet I praise Him for the grace of covering us each new day with His power, presence, love, and mercies.

    Reply
    • Women Living Courageously

      Hey Linda,
      So sorry to hear about these challenges that you are dealing with. It sounds like a lot!
      I’m praying for you today to be encouraged, supported, helped, and uplifted.
      I’ll also pray for you some relief!
      Please keep us posted on how you are doing.
      So glad you reached out.
      Blessings,
      Melanie

      Reply
  3. Bobbie Perkins

    I forwarded this to a friend who is walking a dark path right now. Thank you! ❤️

    Reply
  4. Donna Kingsley

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us! I so needed to read this today. As we all have some sort of issues we deal with in this life, I am currently battling multiple sclerosis. Some days are tougher than others. So, today, your words and stories have encouraged me. Thank you Lord for the rays of sunshine in our darkness. 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻

    Reply
    • Women Living Courageously

      Hey Donna,
      Thanks so much for letting me know.
      I’m so sorry for all that you are dealing with. Praying that God will surround you with His love and encourage you today!
      May He flood your world with rays of hope!
      So glad you stopped by to leave a comment.
      Please visit again!
      Blessings to you,
      Melanie

      Reply
  5. Cecilia

    My daughter left me and my husband. She is only 12 yrs. old and accuses me with lies of child abuse. She hates me. Please pray for God to stop this evil and touch her heart. Please pray for God’s protection for me and my husband. We need financial and spiritual protection. We need His compassion an Mercy to fight this battle. Pray for us.

    Reply
    • Women Living Courageously

      Hey Cecilia,
      We are so very sorry to hear this.
      I am praying for healing and for a breakthrough in Jesus’ name for your family!
      He is able!
      Melanie

      Reply

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