THE DARK ROOM OF LIFE
Dr. D. K. Olukoya
Our message this week should be taken seriously because we will be considering answers to some of the questions that are bothering so many minds. It is entitled “The dark room of life.”
Psalm 30: 5: “For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” The ‘night’ in this text is what we refer to as the dark room. Where can the dark room of life be found? It can be found in the night.
There are only four main important questions to ask on any issue. These are: Why? Which? How? and When? However, the one people ask most is ‘why?’ Many of our problems come upon us when these questions are not asked. Take the issue of marriage as an example. If you do not ask these questions before you go into marriage, it may lead to failure. It is commonly said that ‘not all that glitters is gold.’ Proverbs 16: 25: “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are ways of death.” That is, those things that look bright and fascinating in the eyes of men are coated with deadly poison. To Eve, the fruit looked good but it eventually spelt doom for her.
There was a sister who needed a husband badly and her prayer point was “O Lord, give me a rich, tall and handsome husband.” Eventually, she found one man who was attending a church as if he was born-again. Thereafter they started to talk about marriage. However, whenever there was a prayer meeting she noticed that the man could not pray more than two minutes, and he did not like calling the name of Jesus. That did not bother the sister. As long as the man was rich and had a fast car, she was okay, or so she thought. They did the marriage and on the second night after their wedding, she woke up in the middle of the night to find her husband at an altar in his bedroom naked and uttering some strange words that made no meaning to her. She was terrified and asked him how the altar got inside their bedroom. To her amazement, the man said, “Don’t worry, wait on that bed for your husband. I am not your husband. Your husband will soon come.” And truly, somebody walked in from nowhere.
When the relevant questions are not asked, it leads to problem. A brother came to a pastor and told him that he wanted to marry a certain girl and the pastor advised him to go and pray. After sometime, he came back and told the pastor that he had prayed. The pastor urged him to go and pray again. When a pastor tells you to go and pray again, he must have seen something, which he wants you too to discover. The brother went ahead and married the girl. When they got home after the wedding ceremony, the brother said they should pray. He prayed and the sister refused to say Amen. When he asked her why, she screamed at him and warmed him never to call on the name of Jesus again. Why? Correct questions were not asked.
I also know a fellow who went into business. He started with cocoa export. One day, he came complaining that the information given to him concerning his business was very strange. He was told that the ship carrying his cocoa had disappeared. The question was how could a whole ship disappear? Anyway, he lost everything. Then he started again, this time on wood business and invested a large sum of money. His major customer, a white man, came to him and said that the wood he sold to him had been infested with insects and that was how everything he had invested in that business got wasted too. So, we need to ask questions.
IS IT POSSIBLE FOR A CHRISTIAN TO HAVE PROBLEM?
One question, which people have been asking through the ages, is: Why does God allow problems? A lot of people even say that God is unfair to them. Before we consider this question, I would like you to bow down your head and pray like this: “I receive the sword of fire to disgrace stubborn mountains, in the name of Jesus.”
A Christian can have a problem but the problem must not have the Christian. That is the most important thing. The Bible says that all things work together for good for us, children of the Almighty.
- God does allow Christians to have problems because problems keep us from being attracted to the world. They keep us from becoming too attracted or too attached to this sinking world. They are to remind us that everything happening here is transient and temporal. I Peter 2:11: “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.” We are strangers and pilgrims. That is what the Bible says. The problems we encounter are all to remind us that this world is not our home. Woe unto that person whose life on earth makes him forget heaven, because he is not going anywhere but hell fire. The world is full of grief and wickedness. It is not designed to be attractive for very long. As believers, we are pilgrims passing by. We are travelling strangers here and so our activities should be geared towards reaching the better world.
- Adversity or problem brings out the best in us. Many people would have remained spiritual babies forever if not for problems that kept on harassing them. I was invited somewhere for lunch and there I met a man with slightly grey hair. To me he resembled a pastor. So, when the meal was presented I requested him to pray on the food. The man stood up and read a psalm. He read the second and yet the third, fourth, fifth and up to the seventh. Meanwhile the food was getting cold. He read the psalms off-hand. After the seventh psalm, he started praying. He prayed for about ten minutes before we sat down to eat. Some of the people there were not very happy. I became very interested to know more about him, so I moved my chair over to his side and asked him how come he was able to memorise and recite seven psalms non stop. I said, “Sir, if you can read seven psalms like that because you want to eat, I am sure that by the time you want to really pray, you will not stop until you have read 14.”. He said, “That is right. I know all of them off-hand.” I later got to know that he was forced to memorise all the book of psalms when he had serious problems and wanted to be free from satanic oppression. Perhaps a man like that would never have bothered to read the Bible, let alone memorizing some verses. Therefore, problems and adversities have the capacity of bringing out the best in us. Only a bad school will promote a student who did not pass.
During my days in the primary school, pupils with very bad results were paraded before all the other students in the school at the end of every year. The shame that accompanied such exercise really energized them to perform better in subsequent examinations.
I know that so many sisters would have loved to be at the Barbeach or other resort centers enjoying with their spouses. But because of one or two slaps from satan, they have been turned into prayer addicts and consequently champions.
It is problems that drove many people into receiving eternal life. Many would not have been born again if not for the adversity that pushed them to Jesus and when their problems were solved, they stuck to Him. A lot of people entered into heaven because they were chased into it. Many too, have made heaven because they were scared of hell fire. Perhaps they heard that hell fire is bad and people should not dream of going there, so they determined never to be candidates of that place.
- They give us occasion to silence the enemies of God. When the enemies of God have held their meetings and have concluded their plans to utterly destroy a child of God with the confidence that nothing can disturb them, then the Fourth Man in the fire comes up and scatters all their forces. Problems give room for God’s enemies to be silenced. If a person has never had a problem, he would never know whether God could solve it. If a person had never had a problem, he would never know what having faith in the Lord could do. Pharaoh had a field day for over 430 years, maltreating God’s children. Then, it looked as if God was sleeping. But when Moses appeared at the scene and demanded that Pharaoh should let God’s people go and he refused, God showed him who He is.
Nebuchadnezzar raised up an idol and commanded everybody to worship it. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego told him that they could only worship the Almighty God. Nebuchadnezzar threatened to put them in the fiery furnace and they told him that the God whom they served could deliver them. Nebuchadnezzar asked a question: “Who is that God that will deliver you from my hand?” What happened? The Lord silenced him.
Sennacherib too was harassing the children of God. He said: “The gods of other nations which I have conquered were not able to defend them why do you think that your own God can deliver you? Do not let Hezekiah deceive you. Bring all your wives and everything here.” What happened to Sennacherib? He was disgraced and silenced.
There was a case of some demonic people who wanted to disgrace some children of God. The idea was to drop a corpse near their church to make it looked as if the church of God was into some sort of ritual activities. They brought the corpse around 4.00 a.m. but as they were about to drop it, an angel of God who was waiting for them ordered them to hold it and stand there. Their hands were glued to the corpse and their feet glued to the spot. They could neither drop it nor go away. That was the position at which the church members met them when they arrived that morning. Of course, God engineered that disgrace. And so shall all your enemies be disgraced today, in the name of Jesus.
- Problems or adversities make us to appreciate the goodness of God. Many people take divine blessings for granted while quite a lot do not even know how to thank God for His goodness. A certain preacher went somewhere to preach and prayed a long prayer for healing. After the prayer, he said, “If you know that you have been healed, come out and testify.” Out of about 2,000 people, only one person came and said, “I was having a slight headache when I came here but that headache has gone. Praise the Lord.” The preacher was so sad because he expected more miracles to have taken place. He was not appreciative. When he got home that night, an angel of the Lord came to him and said, “You think that healing of headache is a small thing? We are going to test it on you so you can understand how it is.” The headache started and was on for a week. It was as if his head would drop off. He cried a cry of repentance to the Lord, before he was healed. When you have a problem and the Lord moves in to solve it for you, you should appreciate His goodness.
- Problems or adversities make us to depend on God and increase our confidence in Him who is our Maker and Husband. When all other things have failed and you now depend on His mercy, He rises to help. When all the consultants and doctors have done all they could over an ailment, when money and knowledge have failed, then God is the next option to totally fall back on.
- Adversity or problem purifies us. When there is a problem, you have to search your life and confess every failure and shortcomings to God. As you are trying to see that sin does not stand in the way of your prayers, you become a better person. You become toughened and stronger. Many Bible characters that we read about today passed through trials and came out victorious hence we are reading about them. Just as exercise is necessary for the body, problems serve as tonic for spiritual growth. When you solve a problem, you climb another step on the ladder of maturity. In every adversity there is a seed of goodness. Every hardship should make a Christian better. That is why somebody said, “To recognise the usefulness of an anchor, you must feel the storm.” If you have never felt any storm, you will not know the importance of an anchor in the ship.
- Sometimes, a problem is a discipline from the Lord. God chastises His children much as earthly fathers correct their children to make them better. Deuteronomy 8:5 speaks on this. It says, “Thou shall also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee.” Psalm 118:18 also says, “The Lord hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death.”
If the Lord sees that you are speeding too much with your vehicle, He could decide to puncture your tyres, so that when you are busy fixing the tyres, you will escape from accident that lies ahead. Hebrews 12: 5 – 6: “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children. My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him. For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” So, if you are a child of God and you get out of the track, He will knock you back into it, even if He had to grind your nose against the wall to get you back. The important thing is to get you saved.
- God allows problems to make us sympathetic with others. When somebody has not experienced a particular problem, he will not know how it feels. But if he has gone through it he would be able to sympathise with others.
- Adversity humbles a person. It stops us from over-valuing ourselves. Paul said he had a thorn in the flesh so that he would not be puffed up beyond measure.
- Problems teach us how to pray. Your prayers become different when you are a warrior. Take the case of a brother whose wife was pregnant and about to give birth. He took the woman to one of the best hospitals and there, he was told to pick between the wife and the baby because one of them must die. The man requested to be given sometime. He ran to his best friend. This was on a Thursday night. His friend advised him that since the doctors could not help the situation there was a programme called Power Must Change Hands where he knew that God would do it for him, but that he would need to fast for one and a half days. The husband of the pregnant woman lamented that he usually ate his breakfast by 10 am. The brother encouraged him and the man resolved to fast to keep his wife alive. He was given some prayer points which he prayed the whole of Friday and resisted every temptation to break his fast. But at 3 a.m. the following day which was the day of the programme, he felt like dying. He could neither walk nor talk. His friend who recommended the programme for him had told him to be at the church at 6 a.m. but as at that time, he could not hold his car key not to talk of driving the car. He phoned his neighbour and asked him to drive him to the church, the venue of the programme. He dragged himself to MFM that day. By the time we prayed for a little while, there was a word from the Lord concerning his situation. His wife and baby had been delivered. Here was a man who had never fasted before but when he was forced to do it, his lot changed. Many people learn fire prayers in the school of affliction.
Difficulties bring out the talents in people. God is like a surgeon who will tell you, “I may hurt you, but I will not injure you.” You have to be completely melted before you can be molted up. Human beings are like a tea bag. Until you pour hot water on it, it will not cooperate with you. Until God pours hot water into some lives, they won’t be useful.
Therefore, today, even as you are about to finish reading this message, I want you to know that there is a God in heaven who knows all secrets. He said in Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Whatsoever may be the problems you are having now, no matter what mountain may be confronting you, just know that they are ordinary raw materials preparing you for a great testimony. Remember, weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Put all your trust in God and He will never fail you.
1. Every good thing my hands have started to build, my hands shall finish them, in the name of Jesus.
2. Every dream of poverty, I dash you to the ground, in the name of Jesus.
3. I will arise above all the unbelievers around me, in the name of Jesus.
4. Every war waged against my staff of bread, receive double disgrace, in Jesus’ name.
5. Every satanic hunter of my career, receive double frustration, in the name of Jesus.
6. Any power hiding my key of promotion, loose your hold, in the name of Jesus.
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