Darkroom

Skip Heitzig

Analog photography is anything but instant. Film negatives must be carefully processed through the developer, stop bath, and fix chemical washes under a safelight in the darkroom. Like fine art photography, God develops us through hardship—in the dark rooms of life. He exposes the negative images of suffering and fixes them on the print of our lives to showcase His presence. In this teaching series, Skip Heitzig demonstrates how God develops some of His greatest portraits and masterpieces in the dark rooms of life.


 

Table of Contents

# SCRIPTURE: MESSAGE:
1 Genesis 39:20-23 Welcome to the Darkroom
2 Hebrews 11:23-29 Choosing to "Go Dark"
3 1 Samuel 24 The Darkness of a Broken Family
4 Daniel 6 When Society Grows Dark
5 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 Facing Darkness with Grace
6 Luke 4:1-13 Confronting the Prince of Darkness

 


 

SERIES: Darkroom
MESSAGE: Welcome to the Darkroom
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 39:20-23
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4720

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Just as photographs were once developed in a darkroom, so God develops our lives through dark and difficult times. A photographer works to make a beautiful picture come to life in the dim light of that environment, and God develops us in the gloomiest of circumstances. He’s done it for years and He’s done it with great success. God’s best workers have emerged from the darkest moments to make the greatest impact. Joseph was one of them. Pockmarked by early hardship in life, Joseph eventually got thrown into a dark dungeon. But that’s just the beginning of his story!

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Group Guide: January 16, 2022
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: “Welcome to the Darkroom”
Text: Genesis 39:20-23

Main Point
Just as photographs were once developed in a darkroom, so God develops our lives through dark and difficult times. A photographer works to make a beautiful picture come to life in the dim light of that environment, and God develops us in the gloomiest of circumstances. He’s done it for years and He’s done it with great success. God’s best workers have emerged from the darkest moments to make the greatest impact. Joseph was one of them. Pockmarked by early hardship in life, Joseph eventually got thrown into a dark dungeon. But that’s just the beginning of his story!

“Then Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined. And he was there in the prison. But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison...and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper.” —Genesis 39:20-21, 23

Talk about It

  1. Can you think of anyone in your life that has suffered well? Consider someone who has trusted the Lord and come out of suffering better. Share what you admired about their resilience.
  2. While Joseph was in prison, we are told that “the Lord was with [him] and showed him mercy.” How can you practice the presence of God when you suffer? In other words, how can you move toward Him? After all, He wants to move toward you.
  3. Discuss why God chooses to use pain and suffering as an essential part of the path that takes us directly into His will. What kind of man did God create Joseph to be?
“Pain is part of the path that takes us directly into the will of God.” —Pastor Skip

Make It Practical
Pray
O Lord, thank you that through Your mercy we are not consumed and Your compassion toward us doesn’t fail. Just as you were with Joseph through every hardship, including prison, You are with us. Develop our character and weave us into strategic positions to be used for maximum impact. Help us not to despise suffering, but to trust Your hand on the thermostat. We put our hope in You, Jesus. In His name, Amen.

Cross references: Lamentations 3:22-23; Job 5:7; Psalm 119:67-71; Proverbs 24:16 Matthew 5:45; John 16:33; Romans 5:3-7; 8:18-25; 8:37; 2 Corinthians 12:6-10; James 1:2-4; Hebrews 12:4-13

OUTLINE


  1. Dark Times Are Permitted by God (v. 20)

  2. Dark Times Enhance the Presence of God (v. 21)

  3. Dark Times Are a Pathway for God (vv. 20, 22)

  4. Dark Times Include Perks from God (vv. 21, 23)

Keywords: afflicted, bitter, battered, better, blessing, conquerors, consequence, dark, darkroom, favor, hope, Joseph, light, mercy, misery, pain, patience, perks, prison, problems, profitable, prosper, resilient, rise, storm, suffer, suffering, trial

 


 

SERIES: Darkroom
MESSAGE: Choosing to "Go Dark"
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Hebrews 11:23-29
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4722

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Though dark circumstances are everyone’s lot, no one deliberately chooses a gloomy experience. Why opt for pain when you can have pleasure? Why pick suffering when you can have solace? But Moses did exactly that. Moses was a man who made the deliberate choice to suffer. He picked the darkroom! Why he did that, how he did that, and what became of that choice are the basis for his story and his fame. We remember Moses because of his personal choice to “go dark.”

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Group Guide: January 23, 2022
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: “Choosing to ‘Go Dark’”
Text: Hebrews 11:23-29

Main Point
Though dark circumstances are everyone’s lot, no one deliberately chooses a gloomy experience. Why opt for pain when you can have pleasure? Why pick suffering when you can have solace? But Moses did exactly that. Moses was a man who made the deliberate choice to suffer. He picked the darkroom! Why he did that, how he did that, and what became of that choice are the basis for his story and his fame. We remember Moses because of his personal choice to “go dark.”

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” —Romans 8:18

Talk about It

  1. Talk about an activity you enjoy engaging in that doesn’t always feel good (could be a type of exercise, food, recreation, etc.). Why do you enjoy it; what’s the benefit?
  2. How have darkroom experiences afforded you opportunities to see and experience God’s grace in your own life? Has there been a turbulent time where, by God’s grace, you ended up thriving? If so, share the experience. What did you learn from walking through the trial?
  3. Jesus invites us to follow him wholeheartedly, calling us to love people unconditionally, support them relentlessly, and do so with accountability—but it doesn’t come without cost. What difficult decision is in front of you that may bear short-term heartache, but long-term gratification?
“Choices are the hinges of destiny. We make choices, and then choices make us.” —Pastor Skip

Make It Practical
Pray
Lord, thank you that you don’t waste life. You develop us in the darkest, and bleakest parts of life. And you call us to make difficult choices, and often to define our destiny. Help us to deny ourselves immediate gratification and comfort, willing to leave our idols, and ready to aim for your Kingdom. You placed us in a new family. Help us to love each other with the dignity and unity of mind and heart you called us to. Use our agony for your glory. In Jesus name.

Cross references: Exodus 1:8; Deuteronomy 34:10; Matthew 6:33; 10:37; 16:24; 19:21; Luke 14:26; Acts 7; Romans 8:18

OUTLINE


  1. His Status (v. 23)

  2. His Spurning (v. 24)

  3. His Selection (vv. 25-26)

  4. His Secret (v. 27)

  5. His Success (vv. 28-29)

Keywords: affliction, choices, decision, develop, discomfort, educated, education, endure, faith, glory, Go Dark, gratification, hardship, heartache, pain, pleasure, reproach, reward, responsibilities, reward, righteousness, risk, sacrifice, solace, suffer, suffering

 


 

SERIES: Darkroom
MESSAGE: The Darkness of a Broken Family
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: 1 Samuel 24
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4724

MESSAGE SUMMARY
One of the darkest rooms anyone can enter is dealing with a broken family. To be part of a family that is fragmented and malfunctioning feels bleak and miserable. The by-products of being in such a family are feeling unwanted, unloved, and isolated. But did you know that many people in Scripture came from such families, including David? The good news is that God is in the business of fixing broken things, including broken families. David’s darkroom of family difficulty is what we consider here.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Group Guide: January 30, 2022
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: “The Darkness of a Broken Family”
Text: 1 Samuel 24

Main Point
One of the darkest rooms anyone can enter is dealing with a broken family. To be part of a family that is fragmented and malfunctioning feels bleak and miserable. The by-products of being in such a family are feeling unwanted, unloved, and isolated. But did you know that many people in Scripture came from such families, including David? The good news is that God is in the business of fixing broken things, including broken families. David’s darkroom of family difficulty is what we consider here.

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.” —Matthew 18:15

Talk about It

  1. Is there someone in your life that, though you find respect difficult, you can honor because of the position and role God has given them in your life? How would that in turn honor the Lord?
  2. David chose to deal with Saul in the light of day, rather than in the darkness of the cave. Discuss why communication, of any sort (confrontation, reassurance, etc.), is important to have in the light—face to face. If 70-90% of communication is nonverbal, how does that influence your relationships?
  3. Who came to mind during the message that you’ve been putting off confrontation with? This isn’t intended to inspire gossip, but rather to inspire a step toward relational health. (Consider the Latin root of “confront” means “to turn your face toward.”)
“Conflict delayed is conflict multiplied—confrontation helps stop conflict.” —Pastor Skip

Make It Practical
Pray
Father, help us to expect the imperfection and blemishes of people, confronting quickly, and forgiving fully. You made people and gave them roles in our lives. We want to honor You by respecting and honoring them. Empower us to initiate confrontation, peace, and reconciliation. For you, Jesus.

Cross references: 1 Samuel 19:17; 20:30; 2 Chronicles 16:9; Proverbs 27:6; Psalm 27:10 Matthew 6:15; 18:15;1 Corinthians 13:7-8

OUTLINE


  1. Blemished Is Better Than Broken (vv. 1-2)

  2. Respect Is Better Than Revenge (vv. 3-7)

  3. Light Is Better Than Darkness (v. 8)

  4. Truth Is Better Than Triumph (vv. 9-19)

Keywords: affliction, authority, blemished, broken, brokenness, calloused, communication, conflict, confront, confrontation, darkness, David, dysfunction, enemy, family, flaw, forgiveness, forsaken, honor, imperfect, jealous, light, reconciliation, resolving, respect, revenge, triumph, trust, truth

 


 

SERIES: Darkroom
MESSAGE: When Society Grows Dark
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Daniel 6
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4726

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Every culture ebbs and flows as it marches toward extinction. The great Roman Empire, the Mayan civilization, Bronze Age Greece—every complex society in history has eventually collapsed. Daniel was in the midst of the great Babylonian Empire (also extinct today). As a godly and faithful man, he experienced the darkness of an oppressive government. When the foundation of society crumbles, where do you go for solid footing and how should you respond?

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Group Guide: February 6, 2022
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: “When Society Grows Dark”
Text: Daniel 6

Main Point
Every culture ebbs and flows as it marches toward extinction. The great Roman Empire, the Mayan civilization, Bronze Age Greece—every complex society in history has eventually collapsed. Daniel was in the midst of the great Babylonian Empire (also extinct today). As a godly and faithful man, he experienced the darkness of an oppressive government. When the foundation of society crumbles, where do you go for solid footing and how should you respond?

“All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” —Matthew 18:15

Talk about It

  1. Discuss how Daniel, being godly, was able to soar above those in authority who threatened the godly. Share how you have engaged with people, when you’re the only one following Jesus in the room.
  2. Discuss the differences in how the world views boldness and how God calls us to boldness. The world tries to cram agendas down our throats. How should you and I be bold? What are you doing now that you must not compromise; what should you be doing that you cannot afford to neglect?
  3. Knowing that God may either deliver you here or in the presence of God, and being aware that Satan studies how we react to lingering disease, the death of a child, the loss of employment, etc., what will it take for you quit following and trusting Jesus? Is He worth suffering for?
“It doesn’t take lot of people to make a difference, it just takes the right kind.” —Pastor Skip

Make It Practical
Pray
Lord, teach us to exert a wholesome, gracious, and bold influence on those with whom we come in contact, diffusing in every look and gesture the sweet savor of Christ, and shedding in every act the genial light caught from His face. May the world around us experience the richness of Your gospel because we are living in it today.

Cross references: Psalm 11:3; Matthew 10:16-22; Mark 13:13; Acts 12:6; Romans 8:28; 13:1-5; 1 Corinthians 15:58; 2 Thessalonians 2:7; 1 John 5:19; 2 Timothy 3:12-17

OUTLINE


  1. Persecution Is Inevitable (vv. 5, 10-11)

  2. Trust Is Essential (vv. 16-18)

  3. Deliverance Is Possible (vv. 19-24)

  4. Influence Is Unmistakable (vv. 25-28)

Keywords: bold, boldness, cancel culture, compromise, conviction, corrupt, darkness, deliver, deliverance, faithful, government, impacted, indispensable, inevitable, influence, Judeo-Christian, lion’s den, perfect, permissive, persecution, possible, pray, prescriptive, protect, society, spiritual, state, steadfast, trust, unmistakable, will

 


 

SERIES: Darkroom
MESSAGE: Facing Darkness with Grace
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4732

MESSAGE SUMMARY
How do you face dark times? Notice I didn’t ask how should you face dark times, but rather how do you? Pain and suffering are universal, but for the Christian, they are valuable and even beneficial. Today we take a look at the apostle Paul’s own personal experience. He had a very positive episode followed by a very negative one. It rattled him at first, but eventually he learned a lesson that lifted him to a place where he could face the darkness with confidence and grace.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Group Guide: February 27, 2022
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: “Facing Darkness with Grace”
Text: 2 Corinthians 12:1-10

Main Point
Every culture ebbs and flows as it marches toward extinction. The great Roman Empire, the How do you face dark times? Notice I didn’t ask how should you face dark times, but rather how do you? Pain and suffering are universal, but for the Christian, they are valuable and even beneficial. Today we take a look at the apostle Paul’s own personal experience. He had a very positive episode followed by a very negative one. It rattled him at first, but eventually he learned a lesson that lifted him to a place where he could face the darkness with confidence and grace.

“He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” —2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Talk about It

  1. What thorns in your life have you prayed for, but God didn’t heal—or has yet to heal? What have you learned from your thorn and about God’s will for your life?
  2. Discuss how your thorn can be a blessing, not a deficit, and a platform to be able to share the gospel. How could the Lord be wanting to use you even more than if you didn’t have the thorn in the flesh?
  3. What principle can we pull from Paul’s statement, the idea that we are to measure our words and experiences with humility?
“Are you willing to embrace pain and suffering if it demonstrates grace?” —Pastor Skip

Make It Practical
Pray
Father, help us to glory in our weakness, pain, and suffering, knowing that although our enemy would want to use it to destroy us, You want to use it to build us. Help us to accept Your grace, like Paul, as sufficient; for when we are weak, then we are strong. Use our pain to demonstrate Your gospel of grace to the world.

Cross references: Job 2:10; Isaiah 55:10; Psalm 19:1; 53:1–3; Matthew 7:7-8; Luke 18:1; Acts 9:1-31; 16:9-15; 18:9; 23:11; 27:24-25; Galatians 4:13; 6:11; 2 Corinthians 12:10; Revelation 2:7

OUTLINE


  1. God Blesses Us with Positives (vv. 1-6)

  2. God Balances Us with Negatives (vv. 7-8)

  3. God Benefits Us with Directives (vv. 9-10)

Keywords: affliction, darkness, directive, evil, grace, heaven, suffer, negative, pain, paradise, positive, prayer, thorn, trust

 


 

SERIES: Darkroom
MESSAGE: Confronting the Prince of Darkness
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: Luke 4:1-13
URL: http://SkipHeitzig.com/4734

MESSAGE SUMMARY
As we have seen in this series, some of the Bible’s greatest heroes had darkroom experiences. They were developed by those painful experiences and used by God to impact their world. Today we examine Jesus Himself, the Light of the World (see John 8:12), facing off with the Prince of Darkness (see Ephesians 6:12). Five adjectives describe this confrontation, giving us insight into both the nature of temptation and the resolve of Jesus to follow His Father’s plan for saving the world.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Group Guide: March 6, 2022
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: “Confronting the Prince of Darkness”
Text: Luke 4:1-13

Main Point
As we have seen in this series, some of the Bible’s greatest heroes had darkroom experiences. They were developed by those painful experiences and used by God to impact their world. In this message, we examine Jesus Himself, the Light of the World (see John 8:12), facing off with the Prince of Darkness (see Ephesians 6:12). Five adjectives describe this confrontation, giving us insight into both the nature of temptation and the resolve of Jesus to follow His Father’s plan for saving the world.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” —1 Peter 5:8

Talk about It

  1. Go over the nature of each temptation that was offered to Jesus by Satan. Why would any of these appeal to Jesus?
  2. If the devil had three chances at you, what three temptations would he use with you?
  3. What have you found most helpful in resisting temptation? Why? What makes you most vulnerable?
  4. Are you willing to wait for God to fulfill his promises, answer your questions, lead you in your calling? Discuss the cost and benefits of immediate gratification vs delayed gratification following him.
“Nothing promotes the activity of the devil more than close proximity to God.” —Pastor Skip

Make It Practical
Pray
Father, thank You that Your Word is what sustains our lives, feeds us, and makes us to stand. In our weakness we’ve questioned Your provision and forgotten our proximity to You. Thank you for your mercy and forgiveness. Help us to stand immovable in truth and aware of the tactics of our enemy. Empower us by your Spirit to wait on You, as we keep our face turned toward You. In Jesus’ name and power.

Cross references: Genesis 3:1; Deuteronomy 8:3; Psalm 2:8; 91:11-12; 119:105; Matthew 16:23; Luke 3:21-22; 10:18; John 10:10; 13:27; James 4:7-10; 1 Peter 5:8; Hebrews 4:12

OUTLINE


  1. Tactical (v. 1)

  2. Vulnerable (vv. 2-4)

  3. Practical (vv. 5-8)

  4. Sensational (vv. 9-12)

  5. Seasonal (v. 13)


Darkroom | SkipHeitzig.com/series415
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