Many people today look at some things happening in our community, nation and world and come to a pessimistic conclusion that darkness is ever increasing. These conclusions come from looking at global terrorism, military conflicts, the erosion of moral standards, the community violence and the political and racial divisions so presently evident. Some have come to accept that these things must happen at this time for the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. With a narrow point of view, it appears as though darkness is ever increasing.
One of my favorite passages in the Bible is found in Isaiah 60:1-3. It is so full of encouragement, hope and vision. It was written approximately 2,700 years ago and 700 years before the birth of Christ. In my opinion Isaiah was the most detailed and accurate prophet of the Old Testament, therefore, he was foretelling both the coming of Jesus as king and His effect on His people with great clarity.
“Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples; but the Lord will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” What powerful verses of scripture! I break it down like this.
Since Jesus, the light has come, it’s time to rise and shine as His glory is being poured out on His people. Even though darkness will be strong on the earth and its people, the Lord is upon His people and His light shines ever brighter and much stronger into the dark places. Therefore, people and nations will be encouraged to come and live in the light, even kings and leaders will come when we let our light shine. Once the world sees and lives in light, they would prefer to leave the darkness and live in the freedom of the light. Few people like to bump around in the blindness that comes with darkness. When people are free to see what’s in front and around them, they can live empowered and victorious lives. It very attractive.
Think of it this way, darkness is the absence of light. A little bit of light dispels a lot of darkness. Darkness never snuffs out light! Could it be the world grows darker when we fail to shine the light of Christ through our daily lives? Have God’s people withdrawn from interacting with the world, living in an isolation that dooms the world to darkness? Finally, Matthew 5:14-16 says the followers of Jesus are the light of the world, a city set on a hill. This light is not to be hidden but to be placed where it has maximum effect so that all will have sight and vision. “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.”
We shine that light when we love like Jesus loves, bring solutions to the complicated problems of earth with God’s matchless wisdom, lead others on paths of righteousness, heal the brokenhearted, and when we act proactively in the opposite spirit of the world. We shine the light when we give our time, talents and treasures to benefit others, not expecting anything in return. The world will be a much better place when God’s people shine His light into the darkness of this world.