Week 5, Day 1
The Dark Night of the Soul
We are not promised a smooth ride in this world. In fact, Jesus prepares us for the opposite. He has sent us into a world like sheep among wolves (Matthew 10:16) and reminds us that this is not our home (Hebrews 13:14). But He also promises to never leave us (Matthew 28:20) and reminds us that He has overcome everything we face (John 16:33). In fact, He even promises to use our difficulties to grow our faith and make us even stronger (James 1:2-4: Romans 8:28).
But...dark times still hurt.
St. John of the Cross refers to seasons of pain, distance, and feelings of isolation as the “dark night of the soul”. These are the seasons that life takes a hard left turn. We feel sidelined, confused, lonely, maybe even depressed. These times are common - maybe even unavoidable. So as believers it is vital that we hold onto the Truth during these seasons, trusting that - even though we may not see it or feel it - God is still with us and He is still working through it all.
The reading this week covers a very dark time period in Joseph’s life, and the devotions you will encounter are all inspired by his experiences. My hope is that your faith will be strengthened as you see the faithfulness of God working through unimaginable circumstances. If you are in a season of darkness, hold on. I promise it is just a season.
May we all gain perspective this week as we read God’s word and allow God’s word to read us.
Week 5 Reading
We’re actually going to reread the same chapter from last week, but through a different lens. Last week we explored the favor that Joseph walked in. But this week we will focus on the incredibly dark season of life Joseph endured as a result of a painful betrayal.
Prayer Focus for the Week
If you are in a season of darkness: Ask God to give you the strength and patience to see you through the storm. Ask Him to even give you the ability to consider this time of life joyful, knowing that He is working it together for His good and your glory.
If you are not in a season of darkness: Ask God to give you the tools and perspective you will need if and when you enter a difficult season. Also, ask Him to give you sensitivity to the people in your life who are struggling, that you could be a source of hope and encouragement to them.
• If you were to enter another painful season of life, how might you approach it differently today?
My suicide attempt was definitely a dark time in my life. I felt utterly alone. I hurt everyone around me, especially my children. I even felt like God had left me. But even during that time of darkness I experienced a time of peace and comfort from our Lord that brought me back. I am now still having times with my mental health, but I know I have God with through it all.