One evening not too long ago, I noticed that as dusk gathered, the night became very dark. You've never seen a black night until you've spent some time in the bayous of Louisiana. It wasn't so much the darkness that drew my attention as it was the light, or the lack of it. You'd think it would take great lights to dispel vast darkness, but that wasn't the case. The thing that amazed me was that very little light drove back very much darkness. That's a miracle of God.

I saw shadows on the walls as the darkness tried to creep inside, but one little light won that battle. You see, light can work in darkness, but darkness cannot work in light. I started reading about light and darkness in 2 Corinthians 4:6-10: "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body."

Will we encounter trouble on every side in our Christian walk? There's no doubt about it, but that doesn't mean you need to live on the side of distress. We can be perplexed, but never step over into despair. We can be persecuted, but not forsaken. Cast down, but not destroyed. Every day of our lives you and I get to decide which side we'll live on. You can wallow in despair and agony if you want to, but I choose to live on the other side.

The Bible also says that, we are perplexed, but not in despair. I've had some perplexing situations, but I've learned never to step over into despair. The hardest thing we have to do is fulfill the destiny God has called us to complete. It takes great mental focus and has to be done in the soul. Your spirit already knows your destiny and says, "Yes, glory!" Your mind says, "Wow, come back here." Your body says, "I ain't doing nothing." We're perplexed." If you look at Paul's life, you'll see that his biggest problem wasn't with sinners, but with God's chosen people

Christianity appears weak because of the inconsistency of some Christians. Have you ever wondered why sometimes you get healed and other times you don't? It's because you're not consistent with your faith. Some days, you take your faith and walk through walls. Other days, you get up with the mental attitude, "I'm not fighting!" Some days, you fight the good fight of faith. Other days, you fight your faith.

It seems as though the suffering of saints is more severe than that of sinners. Think about the three Hebrew children. Why did they have to go through the fiery furnace? Because they wouldn't bow. The devil mocked them, "Oh yeah, we're going to burn you!" The Hebrew children said, "It doesn't make any difference what you do devil, we're not going to bow. The principles that Mom and Dad taught us are stronger than the flames of your fire." The fire was so hot that the men who threw the boys into the furnace died. But not Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They walked with God and came out of the fire untouched. All these years later, we still know the names of the three that came out of the fire. What were the names of the men who died throwing them into the furnace? God blotted them out of the record. In the midst of persecution, the Hebrew boys weren't forsaken, nor forgotten.

You'll probably never be thrown into a fiery furnace for your faith, but in whatever way persecution comes, you won't be forsaken either. Your cross is borne for a moment, but your crown is worn for eternity. Are trials and troubles headed your way? Yeah. Are persecutions and perplexing situations in your future? Yeah. Will you be cast down with your face in the dust? Most likely. But you need never live in distress or despair. You will never be destroyed. Your future is full of possibilities. All you need to do is make a choice to live on the other side.