Weary Days and Dreary Nights
John L. Kachelman, Jr.
I. Of all emotions which damage believers the greatest
1. "Despondency" -- a combination of despair,
II. Try to imagine how despondent those who received the
2. The despondent person is controlled by the belief that
all is useless; hope has been stripped away.
3. The despondent person simply gives up all resistance.
4. This danger is referred to in Scripture - Job 17:15;
Psalm 77:7-9; Jonah 2:2-4; 1 Kings 19:4.
1. The Apostle John
III. Our God looked into the hearts of these saints and His
great love set in motion John's inspired pen. From this opening chapter
to the conclusion we read one continuous message designed to rescue the
despondent soul. Inspiration's pen offered comfort and consolation. Look
at how this marvel- ous message begins.
For 40 years he had followed Christ. He had been one of
the Lord's closest disciples. It was he who is often referred to as "the
disciple whom Jesus loved." But his labors seemed a failure right now --
we have no record of any conversions during his labors; he had lived in
Ephesus but the believers there had failed (2:4); and now, he was isolated
on a prison island! Imagine how he felt right now. Despondency must have
been gnawing away at his confidence.
2. Those who were to receive Revelation.
They were being tortured, imprisoned, and deprived of
basic needs. They had seen godly brethren mutilated and burned alive. No
doubt they were in the deepest parts of despondency. Their faith was shaken.
Can you blame them for looking toward heaven and saying they could not
understand what was happening? Surely some asked, "If Christianity is SO
GOOD, why are things going so bad?"
I. The world was forcing believers to "look down," to
focus on things of this world. John wrote telling them to "Look up!" What
was the basis for John's optimistic message?
A. They needed to "look up" because of God!
II. From this wise counsel we discover some practical lessons.
B. They needed to "look up" because of JESUS CHRIST.
1. His care and concern are evident in the wonderful
gift of His Word to us (v. 1a).
a. God answered our brethren's cry for "Why?"
2. God has promised blessings to those who look up to Him
and follow His will (v. 3).
b. He "revealed" - literally APOKALUPSIS. A compound Greek
word which referring to a radical uncovering or breakthrough of what was
previously hidden. God was going to pull back the curtain and show His
faithful followers what was really taking place.
c. God gave these distressed believers answers to their
questions in this Book (1:19).
d. He desired to encourage His followers and He took the
initiative. Such reveals His care and concern for us.
a. If our brethren needed blessings they needed
to look to God.
b. "Blessed" - "Happy, deeply delighted, satisfied." His
revelation was not given to start or satisfy some prophetic curiosity but
to change our lives and encourage faithfulness.
c. Only by looking to God could our first century brethren
be truly blessed.
Notice how this single chapter urged them to keep faith
in Christ and never give up.
1. Christ is the only source of true comfort.
C. They needed to "look up" because of FELLOW SAINTS.
a. He is pictured as standing in the midst of
the lampstands - a picture of how His presence comforts (v. 13).
2. Christ is all-sufficient - He answers every needs (v.
b. He is pictured as offering comfort because He eliminates
every fear (v. 17-18).
a. As the Faithful Witness He testifies that
one can follow God, lose life yet be exalted!
3. Christ is coming back! (v. 7). It was this pointwhich
comforted the Thessalonians (I Thessalonians 4:16-18).
b. As the First-born from the dead He holds the only answer
c. As the Ruler of earthly kings He assures us that there
is One who is in control.
d. As the Lover of mankind He extends love and acceptance
to the unlovable and unacceptable.
e. As the Saviour He offers redemption and freedom from
f. As the Sovereign of God's Kingdom He is the Head of
the Kingdom/ Church and has all power and authority.
g. As the Great High Priest He offered the perfect sacrifice,
estab lished a priesthood for all believers, and opened access to God for
all who desire to draw near to Him.
4. Believers need to look up to Christ because He is unlike
and unequal to anything or anyone else (v.8, 13-16). Knowing this should
keep their sight focused on Him and heaven.
1. A strong fellowship would enable these persecuted
believers to remain strong.
a. They would know they were not suffering alone
2. John told these brethren to "look up" because they shared
a wonderful relationship with one another. This fellowship would enable
them to focus on the blessings of the future.
b. They would be realistic - faith would invite persecution!
(v. 9; cf. John 17:14).
c. Their fellowship would comprise a family unit which
would afford strength (v. 9) "brethren."
d. Their association with Christ would identify them as
"the kingdom of God" - they would know they belonged to a force greater
than any the world could call together.
A. We need to follow John's advice - when the
world causes to look down, look up!
1. Trials and sufferings cause us to look at
this world for answers and hope.
2. But we need to look up! (cf Colossians 3:2).
B. We can find great comfort only by trusting in spiritual
1. Trust in God for He cares and is concerned
2. Look to Christ for He answers every need (1:8).
3. Lean upon fellow-saints for they will support and encourage
I. The theme of chapter 1 is do not give up because you
have so much going for you! This world often tempts us to look away from
God; to search for answers elsewhere. But the believer knows that no matter
how bad things get, the only answer and the only source of support is found
in God, Christ, and fellow-saints.
II. Learn the simple lesson of chapter one - "When the
days are weary, the long nights dreary," realize with confidence that our
loving Saviour truly cares!