Where we used to live, we had so many leaves to rake and bag, and so few free days to work on it, that one massive Saturday effort was what we depended on. And, of course, dark always came too soon. We’d race to get it all done before the sun went down, but sometimes we lost the race. Every farmer who’s ever harvested a crop knows the feeling of racing the dark, but there’s no way to postpone the sunset. In fact, today’s almanac will tell you exactly when it’s going to go down. And the later it gets in the year, well, of course, the sooner you’re out of light. When you really need the sun to get things done, sunset always comes way too soon. But if you check that almanac, you’ll notice there’s another time given next to the time for sunset. Yeah, the time for sunrise. Now here’s a scientific fact I know is going to amaze you; it’s going to astound you! Have your pencil ready to write this down. Okay? Are you ready? Here we go. The number of sunrises in history is exactly equal to the number of sunsets!
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “Never a Sunset Without a Sunrise.”
And that is a fact. The sun never sets without it rising again. That’s not just meteorology. It’s theology. It’s a spiritual fact of life, and an emotional fact, that it’s real easy to forget when it’s been dark for a while. But the sunrise principle is the basis for hope when things around you seem hopeless. Key word: “seem” hopeless.
In fact, God has a hope-filled promise for us today in our word for today from the Word of God in Jeremiah 31:3-4. He says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I will build you again and you will be rebuilt…again you will take up your tambourines and go out and dance with the joyful.” God’s people had been plundered, relocated, wounded, with most of what they cared about totally destroyed. They hadn’t seen the sun for a long time. But God says, “It’s not over, kids. The sun’s going to come up again, no matter how dark it looks. Yeah, things are in ruins, but I am going to build you again. And when I get to restoring what you’ve lost, you will be rebuilt!”
That might be what God’s trying to say to you right now. Yes, the sun went down. Yes, it’s been a long night. But it’s not a permanent night! There’s no such thing as a sunset without a sunrise. And God promises one! He’s the great Restorer, who promises in Joel 2:25 (KJV): “I will restore to you the years that the locusts have eaten.” Yes, that relationship has ended. You’re financially bad off. There’s been a major setback or failure, a loss. But it isn’t the whole book, my friend. This is a chapter in the book God is still writing. And the author has a lot more to write.
My friend had pretty much defined her past year by unresolved grief over the death of her closest friend. But then there was the week we walked through Isaiah 61, which promises that the Lord will “bind up the brokenhearted, and proclaim…release from darkness for the prisoners…He will bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” And with a cleansing flood of tears, she let it all go. She traded her despair for praise, her ashes for beauty, and you know what? The sun has come up again.
It won’t always be like this unless you decide to make it always be like this. My prayer for you is Paul’s prayer for his friends in Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” He’s going to rebuild you, and you will be rebuilt! You will dance again! There’s no denying that your sun went down. There’s no denying it got dark. But, remember, there’s never a sunset without a sunrise!