“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
The Morning Star Arising
by Randall D. Kittle
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In early spring here in Northern Illinois where I live, we regularly endure day after day of gray, heavily overcast skies. Even at noontime, it’s often dark and gloomy outside. This reminds me of Isaiah 60:2, which says, “See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples …”

In these days across the face of the earth, the enemy is doing this spiritually in the lives of many believers. He is attempting to enshroud them in the darkness of discouragement, disappointment, and despair. As the twists and turns of life have left their hearts empty and unfulfilled, their outlook has dimmed and clouds of despair have begun to envelop them. They have started to feel as if all their hopes are dashed — broken beyond their ability to put them back together. Their hearts have become sick with hopeless emptiness.  After all, Proverbs 13:12 tells us “Hope deferred makes the heart sick …”

Now they feel as if all hope has been obscured by a season of shadows; as if every day is the winter solstice … the darkest day of the year. The enemy of their souls has been magnifying every negative thing around them to obstruct their view of all the good things the Lord has been doing and all His promises that lay before them. They
know God is good. They know He is faithful and loves them. Yet, they feel stuck, as if God is far away and the heavens are brass when they pray.

Dormant Promises
God in His great love has given us magnificent promises; promises of mercy, freedom, and victory. As the Word of God declares, “He has given us His very great and precious promises” (2 Peter 1:4). But it is not enough for us to have God’s prophetic promises. We must lay hold of them. Even though God’s very character is faithfulness … discouragement, disappointment, and despair can darken our vision so we cannot lay hold of these precious promises through hope. When all hope is gone, the darkness of despair enshrouds our soul, and we are unable to lay hold of even the most basic promises of God. 

While much of the Church diminishes the value of hope as if it is commonplace and of little value, the Bible tells us that,
“faith is the substance of things hoped for …” (Hebrews 11:1). Satan knows the tremendous importance of hope far more clearly than most of the Church. He knows that without hope there is no substance to our faith.

Without hope, we will find ourselves slipping into the darkness of despair. Nothing grieves a child of God so much as when it seems that God’s face is hidden from them. When the promises wait unfulfilled, it can feel as if God has hidden His face from us. If the sun is obscured by clouds, the earth is darkened; but when the soul is clouded from perceiving the presence of the Light of the Son, a dungeon of darkness engulfs the soul.

The Bright and Morning Star
If you have felt like the darkness of despair, disappointment, or complacency is trying to engulf your soul, I have good news for you. Our great and precious Lord, the “Bright Morning Star” (Revelation 22:16), is about to burst onto the scene and enlighten the lives of those who find themselves in darkness with a fresh arising of His illuminating presence. The verse we looked at earlier about darkness covering the earth (Isaiah 60:2) goes on to say, “… but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you.” Jesus comes into our lives to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah who said, “the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned” (Matthew 4:16).

The light of the Lord’s presence is about to dawn on His people in a powerful way causing divine hope to break through the darkness of despair and allow them to see that they are not alone; that there is a reason to hope. His promises have been there for us all along, waiting for us to lay hold of them by faith. Many things will be birthed through faith as we are set free from captivity, leaving the darkness of discouragement, disappointment, and despair behind and moving out in faith.
“So we have the prophetic word strongly confirmed. You will do well to pay attention to it, as to a lamp shining in a dismal place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19).

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