Micah 7:7-8 “Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. 8 Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.”
Faith can be tested at times. There are times when things are difficult and it’s real and there are times when things aren’t that serious, but people think it’s really difficult. There are times when you sit in darkness and your faith is tested.
In those real tests, faith-trials moments, how you respond in the midst of it, determines the outcome. The thoughts you think have an outcome in the circumstance. It’s not always going to be this way. You may be sitting in disaster now, but know that your Redeemer lives. You will rise up if you know what you know about your Redeemer.
Sometimes, disaster and trials just show up unexpectedly.
In October 1871, Chicago suffered one of its darkest hours. Legend says a cow kicked over a lantern which set Chicago on fire. The fire raged for two days, October 8-10. Only a couple of buildings survived. Over 300 people were killed. Everything east of Michigan Avenue was all rubble. Much of what was left was too hot to touch for days. 1/3 of the city was homeless.
Exactly 125 years later, our pastor received a new fire, the Holy Ghost.
Today, it’s all been rebuilt and is beautiful. In the midst of all that rubble, do you think people thought about how beautiful it was going to be? Exactly 100 years later, the Sears Tower was built.
The beautiful city stands as a testimony that this is how you rise from the dust. Chicago gave birth to the world’s first skyscraper. It is one of America’s best cities.
It doesn’t matter how you start, but it does matter how you end.
When Micah was written, Israel was in big trouble. The nation was involved in idolatry. They were not serving the Lord Jehovah or living the way God intended for them to live. God raised up the prophet Isaiah and the prophet Micah. They knew war would come and Israel would be in bondage.
Micah wasn’t necessarily talking about the devil. He was thinking about their physical enemy. Israel appeared strong on the outside, but there was decay inside.
Micah went to eat the grapes from the vine, but there was no fruit there. The people, the best of them were briars. Hardness is all around. You couldn’t trust friends or family. It was like Job all over again.
But, Micah could trust God. He chose to wait on God. It’s not over yet. There is something about God’s people. He will not allow His people to stay in darkness. We are afforded the privilege as Apostolics, that just as tragedy strike at any moment, victory can also spring upon us all of a sudden. The gloom and doom melt away and deliverance comes.
There was an ambush that God caused. The greatest ambush of all was Calvary. The devil thought he had Jesus down and out, but… There was celebration down in hell during Jesus’ passions and crucifixion. The devil caused there to be extra soldiers around the tomb. He wanted to make sure that this Jesus was dead and no possibility of the body being stolen. Even the sun hid her face and everything was dark. Tears were shed by every follower. No one said, ‘Don’t worry, He’ll be back.’ Nobody said that. They all scattered, afraid.
When you get in a place where it seems like you’ve messed up too much and there’s no way out, at that moment, you’ve got to have a Micah 7:8 spirit, ‘I shall arise!’
Don’t let the devil only be the one talking. Talk back (not praying to him) and tell him, ‘I know I’ve fallen, but I shall arise! You can’t take me praising Jesus away! I will celebrate my Jesus!’ This will change your attitude.
There was a story of a little boy and a bully. A little boy went up to the front to turn in a paper to the teacher and the bully said, ‘This is my aisle, don’t walk down again.’ The boy had to choose, would he bow to the bully or not. The boy chose to go back down the same aisle and stare back. The bully said, ‘Meet me after school in the back.’ So, the boy got himself together after school and met him there. There was a crowd there. His aunt drove to the scene. The little boy happened to be Hispanic. His aunt said, ‘Let’s get out of here,’ in Spanish. He replied in Spanish, ‘Get me out of here!’ The boy said in English to the bully, ‘Come at me!’ To the aunt, he said in Spanish, ‘This guy will tear my face off if you don’t do something.’ To the bully, he said in English, ‘Come on!’ The aunt got out of the car and put a stop to the fight and the bully never bothered him again.
You’ve got to stand up against those bullies. Sometimes those bullies can be health problems, financial problems, relationship problems. Make up your mind it will not always be this way. Tell yourself, God, the devil that you will come out and rise up. ‘I am resolved that I will arise!’ Get that attitude inside of you.
You don’t know it’s there until it’s dark all around you.
You have resurrection power inside of you. Don’t let the devil push you around.
A great missionary said to the devil, ‘You shall suffer for this!’ It’s all right to say that to the devil.
The story isn’t over yet.
Psalm 145:14 “The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down.”
Psalm 37:24 “Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.”
Paul heard a cry from Macedonia. He made plans to go and went. He brought a friend Silas with him. A woman followed him around and finally, Paul cast the devil out of her. Her owners got mad and had them beaten and thrown in jail into the inner prison. They were tired and hurting and trapped and chained. Why? They were obeying God. If anybody had a right to complain it would be them. Instead, they looked at each other and said, ‘Our mouths aren’t gagged. We can sing praises to Jesus.’
Acts 16:25 “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.”
It was the middle of the night, but heaven got involved. The house was shaken and God said, ‘I can’t let my kids be in bondage forever.’ Supernaturally, their chains fell off and the door opened up. All the prisoners were set free. The jailer tried to kill himself, but Paul stopped him. Paul recognized the man as the one in his vision. Paul preached Jesus to him. The jailer was baptized and his family and he got the Holy Ghost.
Change your attitude.
Mat 15:30-31 “And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them: 31Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.”
When you get to the feet of Jesus, when you rise up, you will rise up completely different. Everything will be alright.
Mat 18:8 “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.”
Lame and maim are different. Lame means body parts aren’t working. Maim means there are body parts missing. The maim people got new body parts. What is harder for God, the one who created your body in the first place to heal the lame or the maim? He the God who makes you whole!
Psalm 57:7-8 “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and give praise. 8 Awake, my glory! Awake, lute and harp! I will awaken the dawn.”
You need to awaken the sunrise. You need to arise. You’ve fallen down, but praise God and awaken the dawn.
In your darkest hour, pray, fast, and build your faith, encourage yourself in the Lord. Write songs in the night.
Faith is sitting in the dark and saying, ‘The Light is on its way.’
There’s a statue of a barefoot soldier in the Civil War. “Men who saw night coming down about them could somehow act as if they stood at the edge of dawn.”
Act like dawn is on its way. It may be dark now, but when I fall, I shall arise. Write songs in the night. It’s not always going to be this way.
More Questions for Personal or Group Study:
- As you reflect on Sunday’s sermon, what one principle or insight stands out as being particularly helpful, insightful, or difficult to grasp? Why?
- If Pastor Anthony had to give an abbreviated version of Sunday’s message, what two points or ideas would you tell him to include no matter what? Why?
- Looking back on your own spiritual journey, has there been a time when you sat in darkness and you chose to arise. Talk about it. What did God do for you? How does that experience help you today?
- Read 2 Tim 1:6-14 and Rom 8:15-18. In the midst of trials and darkness, how do these verses change your thoughts and cause you to order your feelings differently?
Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.
If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!