HANG ON ALL NIGHT, DAYLIGHT’S COMING Andy Hollified 7-27-17
Genesis 32:24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of day.
Genesis 32:29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.
Genesis 32:31 And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.
I had the privilege Wednesday night of preaching a message out of this scripture. My thought was this: How can you worship when you’re wrestling giants? I can tell you from firsthand experience that some of the sweetest times you will ever have with the Lord is when your soul is troubled the most. When you are wrestling with giant problems that you can’t do anything about. Sometimes they are self-induced injuries and sometimes are caused by others. Some of those are intentional and some are not. And sometimes, God allows us to go through things just because that is the only way we can learn what we need to for him to accomplish his purpose in our life. Either way it is still a hard place to be. I want to point out just a few things in this scripture that was a blessing to me when God let me see it and maybe it will encourage someone who is fighting a giant that maybe no one knows you are wrestling with.
Sometimes there are giants that come along that you can’t tell anyone about. Things that cut you to the bone and just make you sick almost to the point of being nauseated because you can’t do anything to fix them. I am talking about those times when you feel that you are left alone in the dark to wrestle a giant that you can’t even see and you’re there and you have no choice but to hang on and wrestle. One thing I want to mention is that you don’t have to win, you just have to wrestle. You know you can’t let go and if you could you would go down in defeat. One of those things or situations that you just can’t fix that it will take God to change. You spend your time hoping against hope and believing one minute and doubting the next and positive one minute and just wanting to scream the next. Heartbroken and burdened and at times don’t think you can make one more step. That giant that, for whatever reason has snuck up on you in your darkness when you were alone and now it seems you are in the fight of your life and you just can’t win but you just can’t quit either. That giant that; when you lay your head down at night invades your mind again and takes your sleep and when you finally do drift of from sheer exhaustion, you wake up with it on your mind again. Has anyone other than me, ever been there? I dare say that if you have been born again and trying to live right any length of time at all, you know exactly what I am talking about. And for the rest of you; I don’t wish it on you but you will face it soon enough. That is why you must be grounded in the word of God. In those times, whatever so and so said won’t help you. The things you have done in the past, won’t help you. I am talking about a helpless feeling because you can do absolutely nothing. Those times when you hit rock bottom and there is nothing there except the Lord and you just try to hang on for dear life. I had the statement made to me when I was in one of those dark places, that it was just a trust issue, that I just needed to trust God. The person that told me that meant well, but by that statement I knew they had never been where I was. The only thing I could trust in was the Lord. I am not trying to paint a hopeless picture but by now you have probably went back in your mind to some of those places in your life.
One thing I noticed in that scripture is that no one else that was on that journey with him, knew that he was wrestling all night long. He was left alone. There were plenty of his family just over the brook but no one knew what he was dealing with. Another thing is that even though he couldn’t prevail, he hung on and refused to quit. Sometimes all you can do is hang on. Just like a boxer that begins to get tired will start to clinch, sometimes that is our best defense, just to hang on close to keep the enemy from landing punches. Another thing was this: he never forgot that night because he was reminded of it with every step he took for the rest of his life. There may be scars or injuries that we will always feel but down the road they will serve as a reminder of God’s grace. The Lord told David, a man after God’s own heart, that the sword would never depart out of his house. If you read much about his life, you will see that it proved out true. I am thankful that even though David had to live with the consequences of his actions, God never turned his back on him. I want to assure you that regardless of how you got in the hole you find yourself in, God hasn’t forgotten you. It is in those times that you find out more than ever that God’s grace really is sufficient. It is more than just a passage of scripture because it comes alive in those dark times when you are wrestling your giants alone in the darkness. Jacob was already injured in verse 25 but still had to continue to wrestle. We don’t get to quit just because we get hurt because your giant don’t go away. You have to hang on more than ever in those times. In verse 26, Jacob refused to quit until he got a blessing. We have to “refuse to lose,” as the old saying goes, because souls are hanging in the balance. We can’t afford to give up because of what it will cost us.
If we skip down a little, I want you to notice what Jacob’s name meant. It meant “one that displaces another by force, scheming, or strategy.” Basically a cheater or swindler. The shame of carrying that around all his life and living down to his name. Notice I didn’t say living up to it. But look at what his new name “Israel” meant. It means “God prevails”. Let me tell you; God don’t lose! As a matter of fact, he has already won. He got the victory for us at Calvary and all we have to do is stay in the fight and hang on and not give up. He did all that was necessary for our salvation but if we want to live victorious, we have to put our faith and trust in him. In verse 29, it says “and he blessed him there.” Right there in the midst of his fight, alone in the darkness, injured and broken, God blessed him THERE. What if he had given up and quit? How would he have ever gotten blessed if he had give up and ran across the brook to his family instead of wrestling? He had to be THERE, not somewhere else, to receive the blessings of God.
One more thing; verse 31 says “And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.” If you just hang on, you will pass over and the sun will come up again and everything will look better in the morning. You may carry some scars or signs of injury, but down the road they will serve as a reminder of God’s grace. If the sun don’t come up again, the Son will and things will definitely look better in that morning. You can’t lose. Wherever you’re at and whatever you’re going through, just always remember one of my favorite scriptures that is in the bible 452 times; “it came to pass.” It didn’t come to stay. It’s not permanent but God’s grace and mercy is, it endureth forever. “…Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Psalms 30:5). So “just hang on all night, daylight’s coming. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!