My Redeemer Lives

Day 4 of 5 • This day’s reading


Dark Nights Of The Soul

Have you ever lain awake in the middle of the night and things seemed so bad, so hopeless, that despair threatened to consume your whole being?

If you have, you’re in good company. Because even Jesus had a dark night of the soul… 

“He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. Then he said to them, ‘I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.’ And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.’” (Matthew 26:37–39)

God understands our suffering because He’s actually been in our shoes, and lived His own dark night of the soul. Knowing that is a huge comfort, isn’t it? 

Here’s the other thing. As much as those dark nights hurt, they’re important times in our lives. Our hearts, wounded and raw with pain, can be opened to receive something incredibly powerful from God. 

Consider Job, a good man who was brought to such a low point that he says this to God:

“I loathe my life; I will give free utterance to my complaint; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. I will say to God, ‘Do not condemn me; let me know why you contend against me. Does it seem good to you to oppress, to despise the work of your hands and favour the schemes of the wicked? Do you have eyes of flesh? Do you see as humans see?’” (Job 10:1–4)

That’s about as raw and real as it gets. But I want to encourage you to follow Job’s example! In your darkest hours, pour out your heart to God. Tell Him exactly what you think and feel. Open up to Him.

Because, in the midst of your despair, God is the one constant on whom you can rely. He is faithful beyond all others.

And as your soul seeks Him and waits quietly for His salvation, know this – He is doing a mighty work in you. He is doing things in you that you cannot begin to imagine.

The greatest transformations of your life will almost always happen on those dark nights of the soul. And it is good for you to wait quietly for His salvation.

Life Application Questions:

  • Have you ever lost sleep because of worry, fear or grief over something in your life? What was the trial you faced? How did you get through it?

  • Read Matthew 26, particularly the account of Jesus’ dark night of the soul at Gethsemane. How does Jesus deal with His anguish? What can you learn from His example? 

  • Job doesn’t hold back when pouring out His heart to God. Do you feel you can be equally raw and real with Him? Why or why not?

  • Reflect on some of the trials and suffering you have experienced in your life. How have they shaped you?