TO SHINE UPON THOSE WHO SIT IN DARKNESS AND THE SHADOW OF DEATH, To guide our feet into the way of peace.”
“THE PEOPLE WHO WERE SITTING IN DARKNESS SAW A GREAT LIGHT, AND THOSE WHO WERE SITTING IN THE LAND AND SHADOW OF DEATH, UPON THEM A LIGHT DAWNED.”
The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light
In the Dark
From: CBN, and author Barbara Godfrey, author
Have you ever wondered why it seems that the longer you remain in the dark, the clearer things become? It is awesome how God causes this to be so in the natural as well as in the spiritual.
I remember many times as a child being afraid of the dark. My father would say, “Do not be afraid. Just keep looking and you will begin to see.” That reminds me of how eloquently our Heavenly Father says the same thing:
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1 KJV
When I reflect on the course of my life, I find I gain the most spiritual insight during times of deep despair. Not only do I learn how faithful God is, but I also learn how and why He orchestrates these situations.
During one of my most desolate times, I learned exactly what these Scriptures mean.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that Love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 KJV
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV
I have often wondered, “Lord, why is there so much pain? Why must I feel the agony of rejection and loss?” Through my crying out to God, I heard His voice reminding me of a prayer I whispered years ago but had forgotten.
He said, “My child, remember you asked Me to show you those who were broken hearted and hurting?”
“Yes,” I cried.
“How can you minister to them unless you have felt their pain?”
At that moment, the tears of sadness turned to tears of joy, because in this dark place, I was able to see the light!
God is a loving and merciful Father, and everything we encounter in our lives is because of His love. It causes us to grab hold of Him, exercise our faith, and mature into vessels fit for His service. Suddenly, I realized He answered my prayer and was equipping me to do the work I requested so long ago!
Whenever you find yourself in the dark, do not be afraid. Remember this:
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105 KJV
God wants to use us to light the pathway for others in darkness so they can find their way to Him.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 KJV
When you are walking through a dark time in your life, be encouraged by this verse:
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 KJV
Being in the dark is not a bad thing; it can be a time to grow in God, a time to learn to trust God, and a time to be thankful for all God has done for us. This will give us compassion for others as God shows them the light in their darkness.
The Joy of Scripture
From: Our Daily Journey
When I reflect on the times in my life when I’ve been most devoted to digging deeply into Scripture, I’m struck by the joy, courage, contentment, and confidence in God that resulted. For example, when I was in high school, I seldom went anywhere without a pack of index cards on which I’d handwritten Bible verses. I was a competitive distance runner at the time, and as I logged many long miles I carried the verses with me and committed passage after passage to memory. As I meditated on Scripture the miles flew by and my life, faith, and attitude were renewed, shaping a heart and mind bent toward God.
When we take in Scripture, God’s love and power are poured out on us through His Spirit. Psalm 119 teaches that joy results as we walk with integrity through seeking Him with all of our hearts and following the instructions God has revealed. “Joyful are people . . . who follow the instructions of the Lord” (Psalm 119:1). We glorify Him and experience His pleasure as we refrain from compromising with evil, walking only in His paths and reflecting His will with our obedience to His commands (Psalm 119:3-5).
God longs for us to know and glorify Him by hiding Scripture in our hearts and by obeying His commands rather than straying from them (Psalm 119:11). We’re invited to experience deeper intimacy with Him and the delight the Bible offers by reciting aloud the regulations He’s given us, rejoicing in His laws as much as riches, studying His commandments, and remembering and reflecting on His ways (Psalm 119:13-16).
Let’s take in Scripture and recite it aloud or silently in communication with God. He will fill us with His wisdom and truth to guide us through the ever-changing seasons of life.
Are You Ever Troubled?
There are times in our lives when our peace is based simply on our own ignorance. But when we are awakened to the realities of life, true inner peace is impossible unless it is received from Jesus. When our Lord speaks peace, He creates peace, because the words that He speaks are always “spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). Have I ever received what Jesus speaks? “…My peace I give to you…”— a peace that comes from looking into His face and fully understanding and receiving His quiet contentment.
Are you severely troubled right now? Are you afraid and confused by the waves and the turbulence God sovereignly allows to enter your life? Have you left no stone of your faith unturned, yet still not found any well of peace, joy, or comfort? Does your life seem completely barren to you? Then look up and receive the quiet contentment of the Lord Jesus. Reflecting His peace is proof that you are right with God, because you are exhibiting the freedom to turn your mind to Him. If you are not right with God, you can never turn your mind anywhere but on yourself. Allowing anything to hide the face of Jesus Christ from you either causes you to become troubled or gives you a false sense of security.
With regard to the problem that is pressing in on you right now, are you “looking unto Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2) and receiving peace from Him? If so, He will be a gracious blessing of peace exhibited in and through you. But if you only try to worry your way out of the problem, you destroy His effectiveness in you, and you deserve whatever you get. We become troubled because we have not been taking Him into account. When a person confers with Jesus Christ, the confusion stops, because there is no confusion in Him. Lay everything out before Him, and when you are faced with difficulty, bereavement, and sorrow, listen to Him say, “Let not your heart be troubled…” (John 14:27).