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Staying Faithful in Dark Times

Today’s Reflection

OUR LOVE FOR God grows and deepens when we keep the faith during dark times. When we begin our journey with Christ, we often feel faithful, hopeful, zealous. Do you remember those days? Jesus feels real and close and near. You feel like you are on honeymoon with God.

Then one day God’s absence replaces God’s presence. This shift is not caused by depression or by despair, and it’s not necessarily because you have done anything wrong. It’s like something else is going on, as if God is removing a superficial sense of the Divine presence
to allow for something deeper to take place in your life.

My spiritual director used to say to me, “Trevor, sometimes God
stands at the door of the room of your life and places a hand on the
light switch and dims it a bit. Then in the darkness God whispers,
‘Will you learn to trust me in the dark? Will you love me even when
you don’t feel my presence?’” In these moments of darkness, I have
found a certain practice very helpful. I have what I call a love-word
for God that I carry in my heart and repeat when I am in the dark.
Often when God feels far away, I say this word to God with all the
faith and hope and love in my heart. It has the effect of keeping me
consciously connected to God’s loving presence even when I do not
feel it.

– Trevor Hudson
Invitations of Jesus

From page 24 of Invitations of Jesus by Trevor Hudson. Copyright © 2014 by Trevor Hudson All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What would your love-word be? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

As it is, there are many members, yet one body.

1 Corinthians 12:20, NRSV

This Week: pray for church leaders. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers, call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center web site.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember: Priscilla (January 18).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2016 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

{ 18 comments… add one }

  • Rusty January 22, 2016, 4:12 am

    For me it is “I trust you, I trust you, I trust you . . . ”

    (Betsy, I hope your husband’s travels went well this week.)

  • Jill January 22, 2016, 4:22 am

    “I am Yours”. Father – thank You for the surety of Your Presence, even when it is difficult to perceive. I find comfort in looking at Your creation if I struggle to perceive Your close Presence. I am grateful to not have experienced this often. Returning to this sight to read comments and requests ushers me into a gathering of saints – where surely He dwells with us. I sense the community of UR believers – even though we may not all be gathered simultaneously. This is a blessing.
    Rusty – yes – of course – prayers will be flowing upwards for you, thanks for your prayers. And all who gather here, post-ers and non-post-ers…prayers for each of you, wherever you are on your walk. May you sense His Presence.
    Grateful for warmer temperatures. Father – be with all who will be impacted by this massive storm through the Carolinas, DC and up the coast. Grateful to be at the last day of the work week. Grateful for good health.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling January 22, 2016, 6:35 am

    For me, it is “Abba Father”

    Thank you Abba Father that you never abandon us. Even in our darkest hour, you are with us.

  • Cathy January 22, 2016, 7:09 am

    Calm My Soul

  • Carol January 22, 2016, 7:13 am

    “Thank you” an expression for me to accept that so much more is going on than I can see or understand. This reality is so evident in the sacred journey I am walking with my uncle , hospice walking beside us. I don’t really know what is going on within him, but it must be a powerful time, preparing to meet Jesus face to face. I am an observer and participant at the same time.

    “Thank you”, because family has not been in agreement or supportive for the last 3 yrs since transitioning him to his care facility. I am fearful of the unknown after he passes, the unpredictability of people.

    “Thank you, God” for preparing me in so many ways, yet unknown, for the days when my uncle, my friend is gone from earth” .

  • Betsy January 22, 2016, 7:50 am

    “Come, Lord Jesus” begins my prayer when I feel far from Him. I like Trevor’s description when your journey is new and fresh “Honeymoon period”; perfect analogy! How do you keep that feeling of hopeful anticipation of what God will do next in your life? It helps me to lift others up in prayer; focusing on where I can offer my prayers. He is with us, Mary, in our darkest hour.
    Thank you, Rusty. My husband is on his way in from the southwest; due to hit the Wall of White in the next few hours. Praying for safe travels for next few hours. praying those in the path of the storm stay safe and warm.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling January 22, 2016, 8:04 am

    Thanks Betsy for the blessed assurance! May God protect you on your journey!

  • Joan January 22, 2016, 8:09 am

    Beautiful to hear all these words of love, trust, gratitude, peace, and faith. My words are more of a musical phrase from Taize music, repeated over and over in my heart.

  • Jay January 22, 2016, 8:31 am

    “Thy will be done” brings me peace in dark or uncertain times.

  • robert moeller January 22, 2016, 8:34 am

    Thankful that the UR came through today. I didn’t have to search for it on the internet. Thankful my friend made it back to WV before the storm. Prayers for Betsy’s husband on the road, for Carol and her uncle. Carol I will reassure you that you will be very glad of what you did long into the future. Thankful that Saturday there will be an ecumenical breakfast at church. Thankful that medication Anneliese is now taking relieves inflammation. Thank You, Lord.

    “Dear Lord” are my love-words to God.

    Slept much later than usual after waking up in the early morning hours. Wonderful to have all these posts here to read. Thank you! Blessings to all as
    we begin another God given day.

    • Gail January 23, 2016, 7:25 am

      I get it on my email. Never have to search. Always a link.

  • Connie January 22, 2016, 8:49 am

    Savior

  • Connie January 22, 2016, 8:49 am

    Savior

  • Connie January 22, 2016, 8:54 am

    Lord

  • Tina January 22, 2016, 9:51 am

    So thankful to have the UR in my inbox today! I so look forward to reading this daily, it is a blessing to me. Thank you Abba!

  • Howard January 22, 2016, 10:10 am

    Loving Father, it calms my fears, it refocuses my mind on God who loves me and will never forsake me.

    Praying always for all request, may you all take the powerful spirit of God’s love with you this day and find peace and rest in His loving embrace.

  • Andrea January 22, 2016, 2:20 pm

    “Trust.”

  • Sara January 22, 2016, 2:40 pm

    Trust – I was in a Bible study and we were given a heart and suppose to write one word that would be helpful to us in trying times and the word I wrote was trust. I still have the heart and it’s a gentle reminder.

    I like the illustration of the lights being dimmed – so good!

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