A Light in the Darkness

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

My daughter woke up this morning all excited, hoping she’d look out the window and see white snow. Instead she saw inky blackness. “Daddy, it’s SO DARK,” she commented as I lifted her out of bed and made the morning journey to the bathroom. In general I enjoy the changing of the seasons, but this time of year is always difficult as the days slowly get darker - I find that my moods, especially in the mornings, are affected by the lack of sunlight.

Christianity is permeated with the idea of light and darkness - it’s especially easy for me to think of the years when I rejected Christ and fell into drugs and addictive, destructive behavior as a time devoid of God’s light. When I began following Jesus again in 2004 the light of his presence was almost blinding at times - I recall telling my friends his light was so bright it almost hurt (in a good way!). When severe pain entered my life in 2011 it felt as though the darkness descended again and loomed large over my life for almost five years. God has used many things, including my wife, my kids, and this job at KCWN, to help conquer the darkness with the light of his presence.

Today’s devotional from Our Daily Bread is titled “A Light in the Darkness;” author Linda Washington begins by sharing the story the Baes, a multi-generational family who experienced severe persecution for sharing the gospel in their country. Did the darkness of suffering extinguish their faith? Far from it - Linda writes:

“…an interesting thing happened when Mr. Bae was imprisoned for telling a friend about God: his faith grew. The same was true for his parents when they were sentenced to a concentration camp—they continued to share Christ’s love even there. Mr. Bae found the promise of John 1:5 to be true: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

We know this world will be filled with heartaches and troubles - Jesus said as much in the gospels. Thankfully he didn’t stop there, offering this amazing promise to which we can anchor our souls and hope:

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33)

Most of us here in America will never face the kind of persecution the Bae family has experienced; however we will certainly face hardship, suffering and loss. Linda offers these words of encouragement for when the hard times come:

While many believers in Jesus haven’t experienced persecution on the level of that endured by the family of Mr. Bae, we can expect to face trouble. But we don’t have to give in to discouragement or resentment. We have a Helper—the Holy Spirit Jesus promised to send. We can turn to Him for guidance and comfort (v. 7). The power of God’s presence can hold us steady in dark times.