Make This One Thing a Habit and You’ll Be Prepared For Dark Days

by | Jun 20, 2013 | Instructing | 7 comments

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path – Psalm 119:105

Have you ever experienced difficult and dark days? Hard days that darken your my heart and soul? 

I have had some of those dark days. I can’t really say what the details are, but I’m not even sure that those details even matter.

The fact is, we all have dark days.

Days where our plans crumble, people in our lives disappoint or hurt us, times when our dreams fade, our hearts are betrayed, and promises are broken.

“Life” just happens and at times, the dark comes with it.

Today, I am on the other side of the last set of “dark days” and hope is beginning to shine through once again. I have discovered that if we are not careful, the darkness can engulf us. But this time as I look back at the road I traveled in those dark days, I am shocked at what I see.

A Surprise

My personal quiet time remained intact through it all. Oh not because I am some super saint or because I am super spiritual. In the moments when He seemed quite silent, I continued to seek Him out.

Why am I so surprised by this? I am a believer right? Isn’t that what believers do?

I must confess that when the dark times came in the past, I did not first seek out the Lord. The darkness seemed to take me by surprise and I was overwhelmed by it to the point I could not see out of it.

As I pondered this further, I realized that getting through the dark times successfully requires one thing… believing and staying faithful to the scriptures even when we don’t feel like it.

How do we do this? Let me share with you what I’ve learned.

Make it a HABIT

Make it a HABIT to Set aside time to meet with the Lord alone.

A habit is defined this way:

1.  A settled tendency or usual manner of behavior

2.  A behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition

3.  An acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary   (This one is my personal favorite)

Some researchers say that it takes at least 21 days to develop a habit. So, the first thing that needs to be done is to focus on establishing a habit of meeting with God every day.

I don’t mean just reading the Word, but really communing with your heavenly Father. 

He longs to spend quiet moments with you in prayer and solitude.

It will take some discipline, but believe me, the benefits of this time spent with the Lord far outweigh any sacrifice you’ll be making.

It will be easier to start forming this habit during good times.

That way when dark times come, you will continue to meet with Him, because, as my favorite definition states, it will become second nature to you.

For me, that time is in the morning; I wake up, put the coffee on, wash my face, then with coffee cup in hand, I sit with Jesus.

The habit of meeting with Him was so established that this time when the dark days came, even when I didn’t feel like it, I met with Jesus. I awoke, brewed the coffee, and found myself sitting where I sat every morning for months before.

I remembered what to do when my mind and spirit always couldn’t. I read even if I didn’t “feel” anything from the scriptures knowing that they would strengthen me in the midst of this darkness.

Be sure you have a plan.

Practical Advice for You

I have found it is better to have a little structure when reading the Word.

Whether it be a “OneYear Bible” or a devotional through Psalms or even a study through a book of the Bible, it’s best to start with a plan.

I knew what I would be reading each morning.

The staff here at CCSB go thru the Bible in one year.

Every morning for the past year, I have systematically read through God’s word.

So even when I did not have the energy to think through what I would do from day to day, once I sat in my chair with His word in one had and my coffee in the other, I knew I would be okay.

I didn’t have to think about what I would read. It was there for me just as He was there for me.

I honestly believe these two things kept me from spiraling into deeper darkness during those days. Looking back, I know that God met with me every morning.

I believe that finding myself in His Word daily, even though I didn’t “feel”earth shaking beneath me, it kept me grounded… even if it didn’t seem that I was experiencing that.

I have learned that when I near the end of my current plan, then I need to begin thinking about what my next plan will be. To be left without a plan leaves me in danger of doing absolutely nothing. And that is not a plan I want to consider!

What About You?

Have you established the habit of getting into God’s word and spending time in His presence?

Do you know exactly what to do and where to go to continue to acknowledge God as Lord in dark times, even when your mind barely musters up enough energy to think of what to feed your family that night?

Do you have a plan?

When you sit to meet with God, do you have a plan or do you just choose from day-to-day?

Are you studying a book of the Bible? Are you working through a devotional? Is there a Bible study you’re doing?

Dark days are hard enough to deal with when they come around.  Be sure you are fully equipped by the Lord so you do not fall prey to our adversary.

7 Comments

  1. n.val

    Hi thank you for everything. I have a couple questions. My boyfriend and I are new Christians and are going into the entertainment (dark) industry. We are both solo artists. I want to make sure we grow together in fellowship with God. I ask that you please pray for us and I also would like to know if we should read The Bible everyday. We also have a devotional we are reading. Should we read the Bible everyday and also the devotional? What would be a good schedule for us that you recommend? Thank you

  2. Patty Martinez

    N. Val,
    Welcome to the family of God.! It’s so great to hear from new Christians. This can be a very exciting time for you. Getting to know God is one of the most important things you can do in your walk with Him. Finding time in a busy day is the hardest thing to do. That is why I usually spend time with the Lord in the morning. It prepares me spiritually for what is ahead. Some people find that the evenings works best for them cause it gives them needed “wind down ” time from a busy day. There was a time that I spent time with the Lord at lunch, so it is really up to you and what time is best for you. As far as what to read… you may find that reading a devotional with a scripture reference will help you get started. Maybe one that takes you through the New testament so you can read and learn directly from the words of Jesus Himself. Always start with prayer asking the Spirit of God to help you understand what you read.
    I will definitely be praying for you!

  3. Peter Guirguis

    My wife and I are doing a devotional that is once a week. It has been working out for us quite well. We also pray with each other as many times as possible throughout the week.

    The name of the devotional that we are doing is the Love and Respect Devotional. I hope that helps.

  4. n.val

    Thank you! God bless you.

  5. n.val

    Thank you! God bless 🙂

  6. Kelly, Q

    You are so right, I am so grateful that I’ve learned the importance of God’s Word. Each time we experience Troubles; It is and opportunity to use our Fathers method of rescue. The more we use the Word, claim God’s promises, the stronger our Faith becomes! I am also grateful for Saints like you that remind us, people that the Holy Spirit allows to speak into my life at the right ( trying ) times! Hallelujah, Jesus saves…Thank You & God Bless…

  7. Peter Guirguis

    Thank you so much Kelly for your very insightful feedback. Your comments are always such an encouragement to the CC South Bay online community. God bless you and your ministry 🙂

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