I am sure that many of you are familiar with the saying, “It’s always darkest just before the dawn.” One resource suggests that it was the English theologian and historian Thomas Fuller who first out this line into print.  Whether Fuller was the one who originated this saying or merely quoted an ancient proverb is unknown; yet the meaning of the saying is clear. Often when things look their bleakest, we are only moments away from a breakthrough.
Consider that thought as you read these words of Jesus –
Luke 21:25 “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26 people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” ESV
Scripture teaches us that the closer we come to the end of time, the more the world will filled with chaos and turmoil. Jesus spoke of nations fighting against nations; believers being arrested and persecuted; men’s hearts failing them for fear; and cosmic catastrophes. Yet our Lord also said, “When these things begin to come to pass, lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” In other words, though the world will seem to be growing darker and darker, it is only a sign that the dawn of Christ’s return is near.
Knowing this should encourage us as we watch the world falling apart. On the one hand we could say that it’s out of control, yet on the other hand we would have to say that it’s under control – God’s control. Isaiah 46:10 tells us that from the beginning, God already knew how it all would end.
Knowing this should also encourage us in our individual lives. Sometimes things look bleak and we wonder if the Lord is still with us. If we are not careful, we may be tempted to think that God no longer loves us and that there is no one who can help us. Yet it’s always darkest just before the dawn. Rather than giving up, we need to keep praying.
In closing, consider these words of encouragement from Jesus –
Matthew 7:7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. NLT
I chose to use the New Living Translation here because it seems to convey the full meaning of what Christ really said. It’s not just asking once and then letting it go. It’s a continuous asking, seeking and knocking until the answer comes. Dear brethren, if something in your world seems dark today – don’t give up. It’s often darkest just before the dawn.