Light in the Darkness
Over what felt like a long period recently (but was only a few short weeks) we experienced some very gloomy conditions. Storms raged and the heavens were black with rain clouds: sometimes it looked like night when it was actually day. Now things have become a little brighter. The days are starting to lengthen and we are able to look forward to the Spring.
We can learn a lot from the natural world if we care to study it. When God opens our spiritual eyes we understand that the universe is His handiwork and we see His imprint upon our own planet in particular. In the different times and seasons which God in His wisdom sends there are lessons for us. We may glean something from the darkness and the light.
In the first book of the Bible we have the account of creation. To begin with there was darkness but when God said “Let there be light” the earth was illuminated (Gen.1:2,3). Light was necessary if life was going to exist. God provided the sun to be a permanent source of light and eventually He created man in His own image and likeness and placed him in a paradise.
As “God is light” and “in him is no darkness at all” (1John 1:5) so the first man Adam was righteous in his character and holy in his walk. Then sin entered his heart and Adam and his posterity descended into spiritual and moral darkness. Fellowship with God was no longer possible for “what communion hath light with darkness?” (2Cor.6:14). A reconciliation was needed and wonderfully even there in the garden of Eden a Saviour was revealed who in time would restore the broken friendship (Gen.3:15).
What began as a glimmer of gospel light became a bright beam when the Son of God entered our flesh and proclaimed, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). When Christ suffered for our sins on the cross there was a physical darkness over the whole earth yet a spiritual light shone above the Saviour’s blessed head in the form of those words which proclaimed, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS” (Luke 23:38).
With our sin-darkened minds we can only know salvation by the power of the Holy Spirit who through the gospel of Christ brings about a new creation patterned after the original one: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2Cor.4:6). This regeneration is of God’s irresistible grace and neither the darkness of this world, nor our own flesh, nor even the devil himself can overcome it. Therefore every believer in Christ may look forward confidently to the perfect state of heaven where “the Lamb is the light thereof” (Rev.21:23).
Things may appear dark for the cause of Christ in our land just now. The church is certainly passing through difficult times. Her numerical strength and doctrinal purity are declining. There are changes in her worship and there is a growing worldliness among her members. Christians also face persecution from an increasingly ungodly society.
At the beginning of a new year we should not let such trends dishearten us. The church has a bright and glorious future! If as believers we truly wait upon the Lord then He will surely light our candle and enlighten our darkness (Psa.18:28). For Christians it is ever true: “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Psa.30:5).