Seeing the Beauty of God’s Work In the Darkness

5 Mins read

John 1:3-5 (NIV)
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 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.

You don’t have to spend a lot of time watching the news or scrolling through your social media feeds to see that we live in a world that is engulfed in darkness. It seems as though there is more bad news every day. Mass shootings, violence, hatred, wars, disasters, disease, death, and despair are at the core of virtually every news report that we see. It is easy to become so overwhelmed by the amount of negative news that we see that we incorrectly assume that the darkness is winning.

The opening verses from Saint John’s Gospel discuss the fact that Christ was present at the very beginning of creation. Once he established that point, John shifted his focus to Jesus’ power to be the light of the world. “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

The very existence of Christ ensures that there is a light in the midst of the darkness. On an even more encouraging note, the darkness, no matter how prevalent it may be, has never been able to overcome that light. Jesus further confirmed this point in John 8:12 when He declared, “I am the light of the world.”

As children of God, there is certainly no denying that we see darkness all around us. However, we are not left without hope. Instead, we can rest in the fact that Christ’s light is stronger than any darkness that we may face. Today, discover more about how you can see the beauty of God’s light in even the darkest of places.

Finding Comfort in Darkness
Romans 8:28 (NIV)
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Darkness comes in a variety of forms. For some people, the darkness that they face relates to the loss of a child. For others, the loss of a marriage. Still, for others, a financial crisis may leave them living in a state of darkness. One of the most important things to remember about darkness is that it doesn’t have to look the same for everyone.

It often feels impossible to find comfort in the middle of darkness, especially when the darkness looks like the things we’ve just discussed. How do the parents of a teenager that loses their life in a car accident find comfort? How does the husband who just found out that his wife of 20 years is leaving him and their children find comfort? How does the woman who has given her best years to a company that decides to outsource her position find comfort?

The answer is found in our faith. Our faith does not preclude us from pain. Our faith doesn’t mean that the darkness that we’re facing isn’t scary. However, our faith does remind us that there is hope, even in the midst of the darkest situations we face.

In the verse we just read, Paul tells the Roman Church that God is able to take all things, including the things that they dread the most, and use them for their good. Does that seem impossible from where you’re standing? If so, it’s ok. In the moments where it feels like the darkness is winning, we must rely on our faith.

Ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen and comfort you in the middle of the darkness that you find yourself in.

Don’t Lose Hope in the Darkness
Romans 15:13 (NIV)
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

In Acts 27, we read a story about Paul and his traveling companions landing in a hopeless situation. Paul had been placed on a prison ship that was set to sail to Rome so he could stand trial before Caesar. However, the ship that they started on never made it.

Despite Paul’s urging them to wait for better weather, the sailors launched off into the sea. Shortly after their departure, they found themselves in the middle of a hurricane. The men who were in charge of transporting the prisoners did everything they could. They threw cargo overboard, they dropped anchor in the middle of the sea, and they even cut some of the rigging off the ship. Unfortunately for them, nothing they were doing was helping with the storm.

Peter, the author of Acts, was with Paul on the ship. In his version of the story, he wrote:

Acts 27:20 (NIV)
When neither sun nor starts appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.

The storm that they had sailed into was so strong that they couldn’t see the sun during the day, nor the stars at night. The storm was so strong that Peter, a man who had sailed through his fair share of storms and had seen God supernaturally deliver in the middle of them before, gave up any hope of being saved. Darkness was winning.

Finally, Paul stood up and spoke to the crowd. While everyone else was panicking, he had been visited by an angel. The angel reminded him of God’s goodness and strength. While the ship did crumble into the sea, everyone on board was saved.

Don’t lose hope in the midst of the darkness. The same God who encouraged and protected Paul will encourage and protect you. Paul still had a future which included standing in front of Caesar, and you still have a future, too.

Following the Light to the Future
Jeremiah 29>11 (NIV)
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Finally, it’s important to realize that the darkness isn’t forever. We live out this principle every day of our lives. You can look at your watch and know that the time for the sun to go down is getting closer. In the same vein, you know that there will be a time a few hours later when the sun will come up again. The darkness that hangs so heavy over the earth during those nighttime hours will dissolve into the light for another day.

Our lives work the same way. No matter how much we would like to avoid it, the fact remains that we will all face times of darkness in our lives. However, we serve a God who constantly points us towards our future. We know that He has forgiven and erased our pasts, but it’s important that we rest in the fact that He is greater than our present.

Do you feel like you’re being engulfed by the darkness? If so, it’s OK to acknowledge that. It’s OK to be scared, frustrated, and anxious. However, in those moments, take solace in the fact that God has a beautiful plan for your future. His light will lead you out of the darkness that you’re facing and into the future that He has for you.

A Closing Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I feel like the darkness is winning. Not only in the world as a whole, but even in my personal life, it feels as though the darkness is winning. Help me to see Your light shining in the midst of the darkest situations. In Christ’s name, Amen.

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