Dark Outside – Light Inside

It is wintertime. This means short days and long nights. It is part of the rotation of the seasons. The winter solstice is past, so the daylight is beginning to increase very gradually. There is hope for sunshine. However, during this darker season, many people encounter depression. There are both physical and spiritual causes of discouragement. What season are you experiencing spiritually? Are you in the light more than the dark regarding what God is doing in your life?

Although it is physically dark outside, we can still see in the light spiritually. I want to share some scriptures that will help us focus on the light of God. His light is not seasonal – it is available every day.

And God said, “Let there be light,”
and there was light.
Genesis 1:3

You, LORD, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light.
Psalm 18:28

The LORD is my light and my salvation–
whom shall I fear?
Psalm 27:1

Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim You,
who walk in the light of your presence, LORD.
Psalm 89:15

Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path.
Psalm 119:105

The human spirit is the lamp of the LORD
that sheds light on one’s inmost being.
Proverbs 20:27

Light is sweet, and it pleases
the eyes to see the sun.
Ecclesiastes 11:7

let us walk in the light of the LORD.
Isaiah 2:5

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.
Isaiah 9:2

Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.
Isaiah 60:1

In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.
John 1:4-5

I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.
John 8:12

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”
made His light shine in our hearts to give us
the light of the knowledge of God’s glory
displayed in the face of Christ.
II Corinthians 4:6

for you were formerly darkness,
but now you are Light in the Lord;
walk as children of Light.
Ephesians 5:8

You are all children of the light and children of the day.
We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.
I Thessalonians 5:5

Every good and perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights,
who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, God’s special possession,
that you may declare the praises of Him who called you
out of darkness into His wonderful light.
I Peter 2:9

God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. . . .
if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light,
we have fellowship with one another.
I John 1:5&7

I prefer more light both physically and spiritually. However, just as we survive the dark days and nights of winter, we will also live through the dark days and nights of the spirit. We have the promise of eternal light and life. Revelation 21:23 says, “The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.”

Find Him in the Hallway

Everyone occasionally encounters dark and difficult situations while walking through life. In the following paragraphs, we will look at the same situation from two different perspectives.

Walking down a dark hallway alone:

You have been living a comfortable, enjoyable life. Suddenly you are pushed out of your comfort zone. The loss of a job – a devastating health report – a rocky relationship. You are shoved into a hallway. The door behind you slams shut. You are in a dark corridor. You can’t perceive what is next. You are afraid.

You cannot see where you are going. Which way do you turn? Do you go to the right or to the left? No open door. Wait a minute. One door is ajar. Is there a glimmer of light? Is there a ray of hope? You shove the door open. A job interview – a new treatment or procedure possibility – a text from the estranged person that sounds encouraging. However, it is only a dim daydream that does not materialize. The little light is snuffed out. Into the dark hallway again.

It seems darker. You feel your way down the hallway. You try every doorknob you encounter. All are unyielding. Then your hand touches a familiar shape on the wall. It is a light switch. You flip the switch’s little lever. Light!

You are immersed in light. A stairwell is directly ahead of you. You do not tumble down the stairs. You see a way up and out of the darkness. You progress up the stairs! There is a sunbeam beckoning you to a higher level.

Relief floods your mind. This encounter has not been fun. It has been worrisome. You wonder where the corridor will lead next. You are out of the dark hallway and into the light for now. Life continues.

Walking down a dark hallway with the Lord:

You may encounter the loss of a job – a devastating health report – a rocky relationship. You may feel like you are shoved into a dark hallway. It is scary walking down a darkened corridor.

II Corinthians 5:7 NKJV reminds you that you walk by faith and not by sight. Darkness need not scare you. The Lord is with you during the dark and doubtful times. Psalm 37:23 NLT assures you, “The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” Isaiah 30:21 says, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’”

You may describe your dark hallway as a dark valley. Psalm 23:4 says, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you (the Lord) are with me.” You remember the words of Isaiah 41:13, “For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.’”

A switch takes place when you reach out for the spiritual light switch. Your frustration can turn into faith. Your light switch – your source of light is Jesus. John 8:12 says Jesus is the Light of the world. Jesus says in John 12:46, “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in Me should stay in darkness.”

You remember Philippians 4:6. You say, “I will not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, I will present my requests to God.”

Now you proclaim Colossians 1:13-14, “For He rescued me from the domain of darkness, and transferred me to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom I have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

You remember Proverbs 16:9, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” You will be able to echo the words of Psalm 18:28, “God turns my darkness into light.”

Your testimony may include Isaiah 9:2. “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.” You can share Ephesians 5:8 saying, “I was once in darkness, but now I am a light in the Lord. I will live as a child of light.”

You can declare Nehemiah 8:10, “I do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is my strength.”

Summary:

You will encounter hallways while walking through life. Some of these corridors will be dark. I have heard it said that it is hell in the hallway. No! Allow hallways to lead you to heaven. Shut out your human imaginations and reach for the spiritual reality. Jesus is the light that overcomes the darkness.  He is with you no matter what your circumstances.

Sarah Young is the author of the devotional book Jesus Always. Hear Jesus speak the following words. “As you journey through life in this dark world, I am with you each step of the way. I provide Light not only to your path but also to your mind and heart. I delight in giving you Joy – now and throughout eternity. Your brightest moment on earth will one day look very dark in comparison with the Glory-Light of heaven!”

Turn on the Light

You are the light of the world.
Matthew 5:14

Last week I shared about being salt. This week, I am thinking about being light. Through both images, Jesus is speaking about being a witness.

The very first verse of the Bible states that there was darkness over the face of the deep before God created the heavens and the earth. God’s first words recorded in Genesis 1:2 are, “Let there be light and there was light.” This verse describes physical light replacing physical darkness. However, as a witness, I am thinking about spiritual light overcoming spiritual darkness.

Jesus says in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world.” Then Matthew 5:14 says, “You are the light of the world. How can I connect these verses of Matthew and John? I am reminded of Genesis 1:27, “God created mankind in His own image.So, if Jesus is light and I am made in His image, then, I guess I can also be light. However, I like to make a distinction by thinking of Jesus as the light of the world while I am a light of the world. I am like the moon that reflects the light of the sun. The moon has no light of its own. It reflects the light of the sun. I shine forth light, but my light is a reflection of the light of God’s Son.

When Jesus says that He is the light of the world in John 8:12, He goes on to say,Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.Jesus is explaining that He is the source of spiritual light that overcomes spiritual darkness. He declares in John 12:46, “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in Me should remain in darkness.

Ephesians 5:8 NLT says, For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light.’” I was not always light. I once knew what it was like to be in darkness without the light of understanding. I became light when I accepted Jesus, the Light, as my savior. Now it is my responsibility to be a light to those who are still in darkness.

Matthew 5:15 says I must not hide my light but let it shine. Matthew 5:16 emphasizes, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” My light is not to shine on me. My responsibility is to light the way for others to come to see Christ. I desire for God to be glorified – not me.

How can I be the light I am called to be? The natural realm helps me understand the supernatural realm. A lamp setting on a table will not emit light in a dark room if its cord is not plugged into a source of electricity. If I am to be a light to the darkened world, I must be connected to Jesus, the light of the world. The Holy Spirit is my spiritual cord. He is my connection. He is my helper. John 14:26 NASB says, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” Jesus says in Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

John 1:4-5 says of Jesus, “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” Light overcomes darkness rather than darkness extinguishing light. Light is more powerful. It exposes the deceptions of darkness and illuminates the brilliance of truth. Proverbs 14:25 says, “A truthful witness saves lives, but a false witness is deceitful. As a witness, I am a light sharing God’s Word of truth with those who have not yet been enlightened by Jesus. Sharing scripture is one way of witnessing. Psalm 119:105 says, “Your (God’s) word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

Paul warns in Philippians 2:14-15, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world.(my emphasis) Choices I make affect how effectively and brightly my light shines to those in darkness. My actions are as much a part of my witness as are my words. I must be careful or my light will be very dim.

I Peter 2:9 NKJV declares, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. His own special people, that you proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. The Lord has called me into the light and now I am to go back into the darkness to proclaim the marvelous light of Jesus Christ. I have a testimony to share. God says in Isaiah 43:10, “You are My witnesses.” It is a privilege to be light for Him!

My Reader, are you a light?  Think about it every time you turn on a light.

In a Fog

As I awoke this morning, I rubbed my eyes hoping to see better. It didn’t help. I was still unable to see across the street as I looked out the window. Yup! It was foggy.

Fog is like a thick cloud of tiny water droplets near the earth’s surface. It obscures our visibility. Fog appears when air is cooled to its dew point – where it can no longer hold all the water vapor it contains. Fog most often appears in the fall. This is because the nights are getting longer and the air masses are beginning to cool. The moisture of the land and water surfaces that were warmed during summer now evaporate excess water into the atmosphere.

This is the scientific explanation for fog. However, we can also experience a spiritual fog. A spiritual fog occurs when something obscures and confuses a situation we encounter. We may feel overwhelmed or bewildered. We may become fearful or anxious. We are not able to think clearly.

My surroundings appeared to be in a haze this morning. I could not see clearly. Little by little, the fog dissipated as the sun burned away the excess atmospheric vapor. Spiritual fog also disappears when we let the Son shine in our lives. Jesus says in John 9:5, “I am the light of the world.”

If I had needed to drive to an appointment this morning, it would have been difficult to know where to go or turn. I have encountered similar situations spiritually.

Physically and spiritually, there are GPS devices available. While driving a car, we have access to a Global Positioning System. An automated voice will tell us where to go. While traveling the spiritual journey of life, we have God’s Promises in Scripture. If we do not know where to turn spiritually, we can listen for the guidance of God’s voice. Psalm 119:105 declares, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Isaiah 30:21 NKJV says, “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’ whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.”

In his book Intercessory Prayer, Dutch Sheets writes about the inability of unbelievers to understand the gospel. II Corinthians 4:3 says, “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.” If something is veiled, it is hidden. We can describe a veil as a type of fog because it can prevent clarity – physically and spiritually. We can say that unbelievers are wrapped up in a spiritual fog. They are unable to see the truth of the good news of Jesus Christ. II Corinthians 4:4 goes on to say that unbelievers experience mind blindedness because they cannot see the light of the gospel. No Sonshine visible! Then in II Corinthians 4:6, Paul says that God “made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” Now there is Sonshine!

The veil of mind blindedness no longer exists when the Son burns through the mind’s fogginess. Psalm 119:130 says, “The unfolding of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.”

My Reader, do you feel like there is a spiritual fog preventing you from understanding and obtaining all God has for you? Be assured, there is no fog too dense for the Son of God to penetrate. John 1:5 says, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

I echo the words of Paul in Ephesians 1:18 NLT, “I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope He has given to those He called.” May we remember God is light; in Him there is no darkness at allaccording to I John 1:5.

Be a Lighthouse


Recently, we visited a lighthouse museum in Rockland, Maine. On a wall there was a statement that caught my attention. I am not sure of its exact wording, but I do remember the meaning. Basically it said that lighthouses and people are the same because they are all different  – size, shape and color. The quote was not accredited to a specific source.

Today, join me in thinking about the similarities of lighthouses and people. We will consider their appearance as well as function.

No two lighthouses or people look alike.

Some light houses are tall and skinny. Others may be short and chubby. The same can be said for people. Lighthouses are painted differently depending upon the color most visible where each is located. Sometimes white – sometimes red – sometimes striped. The options go on and on. God created people with various skin colors. Red, yellow, black and white.

Lighthouses look like towers with a bright light at the top. They are structures that emit light through a system of lamps and lenses. As Christians, we have a unique light source helping us be a light to the worldPsalm 18:28 says,You, LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.”

Jesus says in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world.” He then instructs us to function as lighthouses in Matthew 5:16. “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Lighthouses guide a mariner’s voyage. As Christians, we shed light upon the personal paths of those sharing life’s journey with us.

Signals from llighthouses warn boaters about shallow shorelines and dangerous waterways. They help sailors safely navigate the seas. As Christians, we desire to help others see the shallowness of their lives – and then lead them to a deeper relationship with the Lord. We want to warn others of the world’s dangers. I like the quote, “The scars you share become lighthouses for other people who are headed to the same rocks you hit.” (author unknown)  Our goal is to help those around us safely navigate the seas of life.  I have heard it said, “Don’t forget that maybe you are the lighthouse in someone’s storm.” 

Mehmet Murat Ildan has said, “A lighthouse is not interested in who gets its light! It just gives it without thinking! Giving light is its nature!” This is true because a lighthouse is an object – not a person. However, it is different when we consider people.

In another quote Mehmet Murat Ildan sheds light upon how people function as lighthouses. He says, “To be a lighthouse, you must be strong enough to resist every kind of storm, to every kind of loneliness and you must have a powerful light inside you!” The light inside us is Jesus.

Isaiah 60:2 says, “See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and His glory appears over you.”  Psalm 4:6 says, “Let the light of Your face shine on us.” When the glory of the Lord shines upon us, we radiate His presence. Our countenance is changed and we glow with His glory. Darkness is dissolved.

A lighthouse keeper is needed whether we are thinking about structures or people.

Today, most lighthouses of the sea are automated. Formerly, a lighthouse keeper was the person who tended and cared for a lighthouse – particularly the lights and lens. Initially, there were oil lamps and clockwork mechanisms that required attention.

God is the keeper of the lighthouse of our lives. In Jesus Always, Sarah Young points out that some suffering may be involved to help us shine more brightly. When we encounter dark, ugly times, God can transform them into something lovely. He polishes our character till it shines the Light of His Glory.

God’s Word is the manual illuminating how we are to function as a lighthouse. Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Let His Word light up your life so that your light does not become dim.

No two lighthouses or people look alike or function the same manner. That’s OK. God made it that way. In your own style, shine your light in the manner God intends. Together as a group of individuals, we form a diverse representation of lighthouses.

Reinhard Bonnke has said, “The Christian purpose is still the same: to carry the light of the gospel into a murky world.” Be a lighthouse!

(A source for quotes: http://www.wiseoldsayings.com/lighthouse-quotes/)