Fresh Hope – 15th December 2017

Gone are those times when the family photos had to be sent off to be ‘developed’.

I well remember the days of having a set of flash bulbs for Christmas; they had to be inserted in the top of the camera, with each one only lasting for one flash photograph. It was then a long wait before someone decided to get the film sent off in the post in order to be ‘processed’. It was quite common that the photograph that you took at the family Christmas party was never seen until well after Easter. It was quite a gathering when finally those photos arrived back through the letter box.

There was no such thing as delete or the facility to photoshop a picture if you didn’t like it. It was what it was, and the only delete facility was to rip it up and throw it in the bin.

It’s interesting that the term ‘develop’ in relation to the photography world, meant that your reel of film would have to be processed by a professional in dark room in order to keep the film from being exposed to to light, thus ruining the photograph.

Can you believe today that we had to go to such great lengths to take a picture. It’s possible today, depending on your age, that what I’ve just described is completely foreign to you. Nowadays it’s the click of an iPhone and there you go.

‘Developing’ is not only what happens in the photography world, but is something that happens in our lives too. Developing happens in the dark. It’s the dark places that produce the greatest pictures.

Despite the bright lights of Christmas, you may well find yourself in a dark place that seemingly has no purpose in the grand scheme of your life. You don’t like it, want it, and you certainly didn’t ask for it, however rest assured that your dark place is going to be used to develop you in ways that the easy places of your life never will.

If you want your life to turn into a beautiful picture, then see the power and purpose and the dark place that you’re going through right now.

In the Bible, Joseph (and his technicolour dream coat) is still today recognised as one of the most famous of all Bible characters. Yet, his life didn’t start out in a West End theatre, but a dark and dinghy pit. PIT stands for ‘person in training’. That’s exactly what your dark place does…it trains you for greatness.

If you’re not sure how to handle the dark place you’re in right now, then always remember…what you learn in the light, practice in the dark, and what you learn in the dark you’ll never forget in the light.

Dark places never last forever, but rest assured they will last until they do the required work in your life…and then comes the fully developed picture.

Romans 5:3-5 …we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Pastor Mark

A daily devotion for a better way of living.