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Jesus will join you in your dark place.

Jesus will join you in your dark place.

AUGUST 15, 2023

/ Programs / Key Life / Jesus will join you in your dark place.

Steve Brown:
Jesus will join you in your dark place. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
That was Steve Brown. He’s an author, seminary professor, and our teacher on Key Life, a program all about God’s radical grace. We’re committed to bringing you Bible teaching that’s honest, straight-forward, and street-smart. Keep listening to hear truth that’ll make you free.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible, open it to the Book of Acts, and we’re looking at the 23rd chapter of the Book of Acts. And this is the beginning, or the 21st chapter, I’m sorry, going through the 11th verse of the 23rd chapter. And this is as the landing of a plane in the Book of Acts. I mean, this is where it’s all coming together, and it’s the grand finale. of the apostle Paul. And yesterday we saw what happened in Jerusalem. A riot happened. Paul in fact, was a riot looking for a place to happen. You would think because he was faithful, and he was. You would think because he was honest, and he was. You would think because he was serving Jesus, and he was. That everything would be perfect, and he and Jesus would sit around the campfire and sing Kumbaya, but that never happened with the apostle Paul. He got into trouble, two riots occurred, he eventually claimed to be a Roman citizen, and that meant that he was going to Rome. And we will, later on, discover some interesting things about that particular journey. But yesterday, we saw that the first thing you ought to note is that copacetic, wonderful circumstances and the Christian faith don’t always dance together. Now, I don’t know what you think about the rapture, I have very close friends who love the Bible and are sure that the rapture is going to occur and we’re going to miss the Great Tribulation. That may be true, and if you’re right and I’m wrong, grab me on the way up. A number of years ago, I had a television program, and I interviewed Hal Lindsey. I liked him a whole lot. He doesn’t take himself too seriously. He laughs easily, and we had dinner together. And it was a fun time. On the television program, I asked him, I said, explain, first, you need to know that I read your book. And I sold everything I had and went and stood on a mountain and waited for Jesus to return. And he didn’t come. Did you get your wires crossed or did Jesus? And he laughed and we had a good time together and then I said, explain this rapture thing to me. And he explained it and then I said, does that mean that if I’m driving my car and the rapture occurs, I’m going to be raptured out of the car and it won’t have a driver? He laughed and said, well, yeah, that’s what it means. And then I turned to the television cameras and said, aim it at a pagan. And he got laughing at that, but I’m not making fun of a very serious doctrine. Those who hold to a pre tribulation rapture, that means before the really, really bad stuff happens, Christians are going to be taken out of the bad stuff. As a matter of fact, Christians are hardly ever taken out of the bad stuff. Bad stuff and the Christian faith sometimes go together. And if your doctrine of the rapture is an escape mechanism, don’t go there. Because you’ll miss something really important. The first and most important, and we’re going to talk about it in a minute, is that Jesus visits the dark places of your life. And sometimes without those dark places, you can miss him. But the second thing that this suggests to us is that a part of the Christian life is tribulation. Shortly before her death, I had an opportunity to meet with Corrie Ten Boom, the Dutch evangelist who had gone through Holocaust and the death camp. And I asked her, was it really as bad as you described, and it was shown in the movie? And you know what she said, Oh, Stephen, it was a lot worse. We couldn’t tell how bad it was because nobody would have believed us. And then she said something that I have never forgotten. She said, I know of tribulation in the world right now that is greater than the tribulation described in the book of Revelation. I’ve thought about that a lot. And I’ve thought about the Christian faith, and we have to be very careful. We need to make sure that people understand the good things. If you want meaning, become a Christian. If you want to laugh more than you do now, become a Christian. If you want to have a God who has invited you to bring your requests to Him, then become a Christian. If you want to make it through when it’s hard, become a Christian. If you want to know Jesus, become a Christian. But if you want to skip the darkness, and the pain, and the tribulation, forget it. Because it’s just not going to happen. And if you study the Bible, you see it all the time. Good heavens, the founder of our faith ended up on a cross. And he said we’re to take up ours and follow him. And so, when a teacher tells you that everything is going to be fine, you can be healthy all the time, you can have everything you want and be wealthy all the time, and your life will be wonderful. They’re lying to you. That’s just not true. I would suggest, at risk of pushing my own books, but since I don’t get anything from them, it all goes to Key Life. I don’t mind telling you that you ought to read my book. You can get it at Key Life or Amazon or any good Christian bookstore or Christian source. It’s called Laughter and Lament. They’re mixed together in the life of the Christian. And you don’t want a life that is all laughter. It’d be silly and superficial and unreal. And you don’t want a life that’s all lament and sadness and sorrow. But in our lives, all of our lives, there is a mix of both, and that brings me to the second thing that you can learn about this grand finale of the apostle Paul. In the midst of abject failure and pain, Jesus was standing by. Look at Acts 23:11

The following night, the Lord stood by.

Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you, be strong and of good courage, be not frightened, neither dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

John 20:26

After the crucifixion, then came Jesus.

Matthew 28

And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.

And I could go on and on and on.

He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater. He sendeth more strength when the labors increase. To added affliction he addeth his mercy, to multiplied trials is multiplied peace. His love has no limit. His grace has no measure. His power no boundary known unto men. For out of His infinite riches in Jesus, he giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

I don’t know if you’ve ever read C.S. Lewis, in the science fiction trilogy, but it’s about a man by the name of Ransom who goes to another world to prevent a fall from happening there. And there is an evil person there, and his name is Weston, and he is Satan. And he’s trying to get the new Eve to be tempted so that that world will become fallen the way our world, the Silent Planet, has gotten bad and has fallen. And Ransom realized that he’s going to, and Weston’s a bad guy. He kills butterflies and birds and crushes flowers, he is destructive and he’s a liar. And Ransom begins to realize that he’s going to have to do battle with him and Ransom realizes that he has a choice. He doesn’t have to do that, but he sits there, and the name of the planet was Perelandra, in the darkness of the Perelandra night. And in his fear, and his anxiety, and the worry about what was going to happen, Ransom is still, and he hears a voice. And the voice says, My name is Ransom too. So, if you stand, he’ll stand with you. You think about that. Amen.

Matthew Porter:
Jesus will join you in your dark place. I don’t know about you, but I find that mighty encouraging. Thank you Steve. More to discover here in Acts tomorrow. Hope you will join us for that. So, you did it again, that sin. The one you said you were done with, the one you swore you would never do again. The truth is slowly dawning on you that this might be an addiction, but what if addiction is a gift? Outrageous idea, right? Like maybe even offensive. But when our failures drive us back to God, we experience the greatest gifts of all, His presence, His kindness, His forgiveness, and His peace. Talk about joining us in our dark places, right? My dear friend Erik Guzman writes about this in a special mini-book called The Gift of Addiction: How God Redeems Our Pain. Get your free copy of that mini-book right now by calling us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that mini-book. Or to mail your request, go to to find our mailing addresses. Just ask for the free mini-book called The Gift of Addiction: How God Redeems Our Pain. Well, you and I may take vacations, but unfortunately our bills here at Key Life do not. So, if you would support our work through your giving, boy, we’d sure appreciate it. You can charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or you can now give safely and securely through text. Just pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950 that’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter. Text that to 28950. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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