Step Towards Transformation
We all go through times that we don’t understand. We’re praying and believing, but our health isn’t improving, our finances haven’t turned around, we still haven’t met the right person. We can feel alone, forgotten, like it’s never going to change; It’s a night season. In these nights seasons, you can’t see what God is doing; it doesn’t look like anything is happening, but God is working behind the scenes.
God does his greatest work in the dark; he hasn’t forgotten about you. In the dark times, when life feels unfair, you have to remind yourself that God is still in control, and he doesn’t always show you what he’s up to.
It’s easy to trust him when you’re getting good breaks, things are going great, but you have to learn to trust him in the night seasons, when things aren’t going your way.
The heroes of faith all went through these night seasons.
Illustration Of David: David spent years running from king Saul; i’m sure that he prayed to be delivered, but God didn’t change it. Saul was wrong, it was unfair to David, but the night seasons are a time of testing, proving; are we going to get negative, live discouraged, or are we going to say, “God, i don’t understand it, it’s not fair, but i trust you”?
Illustration On Ruth; in the scripture, Ruth lost her husband at an early age; she could’ve given up on life, lived in self-pity, but she understood this principle; the night seasons are not the end. The bad breaks, disappointments, loss, sickness, are simply another step on the way to your destiny.
Psalm 30:5 (AMP)….weeping may endure for a night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.
Your story doesn’t end in the night; the sickness, loneliness, addiction is temporary.
Ruth went on to meet Boaz; they got married and had a baby, who was the grandfather of David, and therefore in the ancestral line of Jesus christ. Her story didn’t end in the dark.
When things aren’t working out, you feel like you’re going in the wrong direction, don’t get discouraged; it’s just a night season. Keep moving forward in faith, believing; it’s just a matter of time before the morning breaks forth.
Illustration Of Job: Job went through a night season. Everything was going great, then life took a sudden turn; suddenly, he lost his business, his family, he was covered in boils, his whole world was turned upside down. What’s interesting is Job was a good man, loved God, was a person of excellence and integrity; this would make more sense if he was a compromiser, making wrong choices, not honoring God. But:
Matthew 5:45 (NLT)..45 … he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.
Just because you’re a good person, doesn’t mean that you’re not going to have any night seasons.
You might be in a difficult time right now; it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve done anything wrong, God’s not pleased with you, you don’t have his favor. It’s just life. You’re getting some rain; without the rain, we couldn’t grow.
God wouldn’t have allowed it if it was going to keep you from your destiny. He has you in the palm of his hand. He’s closely watching you.
You may feel like you’re in the fire, but God controls the thermostat; He won’t let it be more than you can handle.
Quit telling yourself, “i’ll never make it through this, get well, accomplish my dreams”; no, it’s just a night season. It’s not a surprise to God. He already has the solution; the breakthrough is headed your way.
Sometimes like Job did what many of us do during the difficult times; focused on the problems, magnified what was wrong, let it overwhelm him. He said:
Job 7:3 (NLT)…3 i, too, have been assigned months of futility, long and weary nights of misery.
He was saying, “this is permanent, this is how my story ends”; that was the mistake he made.
What you’re going through may be difficult, but the good news is, you’re going through it; it’s not your final destination, it’s a night season, not a lifetime.
In Job’s darkest hour, when he was the most discouraged:
Job 8:21 (NLT)..21 he will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.
God was saying, “Job, it looks bad, you don’t understand it, but don’t worry, it’s not permanent, it’s just a season, i’m about to fill your mouth with laughter.”
God is saying to you what he said to Job; “life may not have been fair, but you’re not going to live discouraged, overwhelmed by problems, burdened down by illnesses; joy, health, breakthroughs, promotion are coming.” God is about to fill your mouth with laughter; that means that God is going to do something that’s so unusual, extraordinary, that you will be so amazed that all you can do is laugh.
Psalm 30:11 NRSV..11 you have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy
This is what happened with Job; he didn’t just make it through the night season:
Job 42:10 (NET BIBLE)..10 so the Lord restored what Job had lost after he prayed for his friends, and the Lord doubled all that had belonged to Job.
God always makes the enemy pay for bringing the trouble. If you’ll stay in faith, you won’t just come out, you’ll come out better than you were before.
Job 42:16-17(ESV)..16 and after this Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, four generations. 17 and Job died, an old man, and full of days.
When we think about Job, we usually think about all the pain and suffering; the truth is that that was just one season.
You may be in a dark time, but like Job, you’re going to come through it, and still live a long, blessed life.
It says after this, Job lived a hundred and forty years.
After what? After the night season. That means after the divorce,after the loss, after the sickness there are still many great days of ahead.
Illustration Of A Seed: Jesus said in
John 12:24: unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies it will remain alone but if it dies it will produce much fruit.
He was using an example of a seed. You can have a seed on your window shelf for a lifetime. Won’t do any good until you plant it. As long as it’s where it’s comfortable, it doesn’t have to stretch deal with adversity, then its potential will remain locked up on the inside. Only after its planted, it goes through a process of germination. The outer shell breaks off, new growth begins.that’s when it will blossom and produce much fruit.
The problem with some people is that they want the fruit but they don’t want to go through the process. They don’t want to be uncomfortable. They don’t want to stretch and have to deal with adversity, betrayal, opposition but without the dark place your potential will not be fully released.
The seed can’t germinate in the light. I’m sure if you were to ask the seed it would say, “i don’t want to go in the dirt. It’s dark, it’s lonely, it’s uncomfortable. I don’t want people walking on top of me”. It looks like it’s buried, like it’s the end but what the seed doesn’t realize is it’s not buried it’s planted. It has the life of almighty God on the inside. Those dark places even though it’s uncomfortable, it’s a critical part of process. Over a period of time as the seed germinates and grows, instead of just being one seed buried it can become a beautiful flower blossoming producing much fruit. If you were to ask the seed after the process it would say, “i didn’t like the dark place but i realize now it was a blessing. Look what i’ve become, look what i blossomed into.”
We all go through these dark places and it feels like it we’re buried. Thoughts will tell you how you’ve seen your best days.
No, have a new perspective. You’re not buried, you’re planted.
If you would have never had the loss, the disappointment, the dark place, the night season, you would never discover what’s on the inside. Like that seed your potential is about to be released. You’re not only going to come out, you’re going to come out bearing much fruit, better, stronger, fully in blossom.
Don’t let the night seasons convince you that you’ve seen your best days; you wouldn’t be alive unless God had something amazing up in front of you.
But in the dark times, it’s easy to talk about the difficulties, how bad life is treating us, exaggerate our problems like Job; all that’s going to do is make you more discouraged, defeated, take your joy.
Instead of complaining, one of the best things you can say is, “ALL IS WELL”;
What you’re really saying is, “God is still on the throne. I’m not going to live upset, bitter, guilty. I may be in a night season, but i know, this too shall pass.”
But Bro Melwyn how you can say all is well when you went through a breakup, lost a loved one, still haven’t met the right person.
Because you know the night season is only temporary; joy is coming, what was meant for harm God is turning to your advantage, and after this is a long, blessed, faithful life.
Don’t talk yourself into feeling miserable; keep a report of victory coming out of your mouth. If you’re going to magnify something, don’t magnify your problems, magnify your God; talk about his greatness, favor.
You may have big challenges, but we serve a big God. The sickness may seem impossible; God can do the impossible. That obstacle may seem permanent; one touch of God’s favor will thrust you to the next level. Quit worrying; God is saying, “all is well.”
It may be night now, but morning is coming; you’re going to see what God has been doing behind the scenes. Every day that you stay in faith, keep a good attitude despite the darkness, you are passing the test; that night season will come to an end.
Psalm 112:4 (TLB)..4 when darkness overtakes him, light will come bursting in
It’s going to happen suddenly, unexpectedly; you didn’t see it coming.
Illustration of Moses: Moses went through a night season. As a young man, he killed someone who was mistreating a hebrew slave. He knew that he was called to deliver the israelites, but he got out of God’s timing, and tried to do it on his own. He had to flee for his life, and spent 40 years on the backside of the desert in hiding.
But God doesn’t waste anything that we go through; he uses it to get us prepared for our destiny. Those years out in the desert, Moses couldn’t see what God was doing behind the scenes; God was making and molding him. He thought he was finished, but God was using that time to develop his character, getting him prepared for his comeback.
Like Moses, you may have made mistakes that have put you into a night season. You’re not where you thought you would be; now, you think you have to settle there, and never accomplish what God put in your heart.
You may not realize it, but right now God is getting you prepared for your comeback;
What he started, he’s going to finish. He’s already taken into account every wrong turn, mistake, bad break. It may look like the end to you; the truth is, it’s just a temporary delay, a time of testing, proving, where your character is being developed.
God is working in you, polishing off the rough edges, getting you prepared for where he’s taking you.
40 years later, God was ready for Moses to deliver his people:
Numbers 12:3 (NIV)..3 (now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)
In that night season, Moses changed; he learned to wait on God, listen to his voice, walk in humility. He came up higher in his character.
In the difficult times, stay flexible, open. Say, “God, make me and mold me, show me where i need to change.” You grow in the tough times. When you’re in a night season, you may not like it, but it’s working for you; you’re getting stronger. You have to be prepared for where God is taking you.
Moses couldn’t handle it the first time; he made a mistake, had to run. But God didn’t write him off, cancel his destiny; he used the night season to refine him.
Illustration of Saul: when Saul was chasing David through the desert, there were several opportunities for David to kill Saul; he could’ve taken his life, gotten rid of his problem. But David wouldn’t do it; he knew that Saul had been anointed by God.
1 samuel 24:6 (NLT)..6 he said to his men, “the Lord forbid that i should do this to my Lord the king. I shouldn’t attack the Lord’s anointed one, for the Lord himself has chosen him.”
After David passed these tests, showed God what he was made of, a man of character and integrity, God took care of Saul, and David was made the king.
In the night seasons, if you will pass these tests, change where you need to change, deal with those areas that God is bringing to light, prove to him that you’ll do the right thing when it’s hard, forgive even though they hurt you, then like David, because your character has been developed, God will bring you out of that night season, and get you to where you’re supposed to be.
But some things we can only develop in the dark; without the night seasons, we wouldn’t become all that God created us to be.
Illustration Of Caterpillar: a caterpillar can be going along just fine. Everything is great but something on the inside says you’re not supposed to crawl your whole life. You have more in you. He gets excited thinking, “yes, that’s right.” Then he looks in the mirror and says,”what was i thinking? I’ll never fly. I’m just a glorified worm. That’s impossible.” But one day the caterpillar spins a cocoon around itself. He hangs upside down from a branch. It’s dark. He can’t move. He can’t eat. If you were to ask him in the cocoon he would say,”let me go back to where i was. Let me stay a caterpillar. I don’t like it here.i’m uncomfortable, it’s dark. I can’t move.” What he doesn’t realize is in the cocoon, in the darkness, a transformation is taking place. Before long he starts to feel some wings. He gets the strength to push out of that cocoon. Instead of crawling on the ground, now he’s a beautiful butterfly, soaring through the air like the caterpillar.
None of us like the night seasons; we don’t like being uncomfortable, we don’t see anything happening. But there are times where God incubates us;
He takes us through the dark places, not to make us miserable, but in the darkness, a transformation is taking place. You’re growing, being refined;
You may not like it, but you have to keep reminding yourself that you’re about to step up to a new level. No more living in mediocrity; you were made for higher things. This is no time to be discouraged; you’re going to go places that you’ve never dreamed. Don’t complain about the cucoon; keep a good attitude, it’s all a part of the process. God is changing you from glory to glory.
Illustration of Jacob: in the scripture, Jacob had not lived the right kind of life; he was dishonest, cheated people, tricked his Brother out of his birthright. You would think that God wouldn’t have anything to do with him, but God doesn’t write us off; he keeps working with us, showing us his mercy. Jacob was in a night season, and then:
Jacob was traveling on a long journey through the desert. He was feeling hot and tired. Nothing 14
Was going his way. Out there he stopped to spend the night. All he could find for a pillow was a rock. He was in a hard place, a lonely time, a night season. I’m sure he felt like God had forgotten
About him. He went to sleep that night down on himself, discouraged full of regrets. While he was sleeping, he had a dream. He saw the heavens open up. There was a huge staircase with angels going up and down. At the top, the Lord was standing there.
Genesis 28:12-16 (NLT)..12 as he slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway.13 at the top of the stairway stood the Lord, and he said, “i am the Lord, the God of your grandfather abraham, and the God of your father, isaac. The ground you are lying on belongs to you. I am giving it to you and your descendants. 14 your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth! They will spread out in all directions—to the west and the east, to the north and the south. And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants. 15 what’s more, i am with you, and i will protect you wherever you go. One day i will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until i have finished giving you everything i have promised you.” 16 then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “surely the Lord is in this place, and i wasn’t even aware of it!”
What’s interesting is that he wasn’t in the temple, he was not in the church, he was in the desert;
God was showing us that he’s the God of hard places, lonely times, night seasons.
You may be in a difficulty now: fighting a battle with your health, dealing with depression, raising a special needs child. You feel alone, forgotten, discouraged; God is right there with you,
Like with Jacob , the heavens are about to open up, and God is going to make things happen that you couldn’t make happen.
You may be in a hard place, but you’re not staying there: your health is going to improve, you’re going to break that addiction, the right people are going to show up. You’re going to say, “the Lord was in this place; he healed me of cancer, freed me from depression, blessed my business.” He’s not going to stop until he’s given you everything that he promised.
You’ve heard the phrase the night shift. Of course that means people that work during the night. But think of it another way- in the night things are going to shift.
Psalm 121:4 (NLT)…4 indeed, he who watches over israel..never slumbers or sleeps.
He doesn’t just work the night shift, he shifts things in the night.
You may be in a night season, you don’t see how it could work out; don’t worry, a night shift is coming. The God who works the night shift is going to shift things in your favor: there’s going to be a shift in your health, finances, that addiction.
Illustration of Paul and Silas: this is what happened with Paul and Silas:
Acts 16:22-26 (NLT)..22 … Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them… thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. 24 so the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks. 25 around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. 26 suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!
What happened? God shifted the earth. When did it happen? Around midnight. It was a night shift from the God that works the night shift.
Things that look permanent in your life, the addiction, sickness, panic attacks, lack and struggle, thoughts will tell you that you’ll always have to deal with that; don’t believe those lies. You’re in a night season; that means you’re in perfect position for a night shift. God specializes in shifting things in the dark. Instead of worrying, all through the day, “Lord, thank you for a night shift, that things are changing in my favor. It’s dark now, but i believe what you said, “light is about to come bursting in.”
Illustration of Adam: in Genesis 2: Adam was in the garden of eden by himself. Life was good. He was naming the animals that God created. Enjoying the crystal clear river, the beautiful trees, the delicious fruit. There were no problems,no sickness, no opposition. He didn’t think it could get any better. But God didn’t want him to live alone. In verse 21, it says
Genesis 2:21-22 (NIV)..21 so the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he Brought her to the man.
When Adam woke up from that deep sleep and saw the first thing he said was “wow, God you have outdone yourself” but i’m sure that at the time, he didn’t understand why God was putting him to sleep; he was happy, life was good. But some things we can only develop in the dark; if God didn’t have us go through a night season, we would never see the fullness of what God has in store.
You may feel like God has put you to sleep; things have slowed down, you’re in a challenge. Be encouraged; when you wake up, and see what God has been up to, you’re going to say, “wow God, i never dreamed that you’d take me here.”
God has some wows in your future; don’t complain about the dark places, they are leading you to the amazing things that God has in store. You may not understand it, but God wouldn’t have allowed it if he wasn’t going to use it to your advantage.
Right now, God is working behind the scenes. He sees what you’re dealing with, he knows how you feel. He’s saying, “the night seasons are not permanent.” He’s making and moulding you, to take you to a new level.