Light shines brightest in darkness. Light, even the smallest flicker of light, draws our attention in the midst of thick darkness. Whatever we focus on, we will ultimately see; will our focus be on evil and darkness or on goodness and light?
My husband and I have almost completed a total house renovation. Yes, it has taken almost ten years, but the end is in sight. The basement presented the last project challenge to check off our list. Divided into many compact rooms and a long hallway, light from three small windows had a negligible effect on the dark, clamminess of the space. Even the grandchildren were afraid to enter without the comforting hand of an adult.
Not anymore! With walls reconfigured, windows exposed, bright colors and an abundance of light, we tease, “Sunglasses needed below!”
What a difference light makes! Light shines brightest in darkness.
“The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Do you ever feel like that? Like it’s time for light to shine and be seen?
When light comes, darkness immediately disappears. No contest!
I’m no Greek scholar, but even I catch the drift of the power of light in this verse. καταλαμβάνω (katalambanó), translated “overcome,” violently declares, “Not today satan! You’re done!” The word means to seize so completely that the adversary doesn’t even comprehend what happened, to take captive so firmly there is no escape, and to overtake so decisively there is no opportunity for rebound.
Light shines brighter than darkness, always winning.
Not only does light always win, but light glorifies God.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Matthew uses simple logic. Who turns on a light and then purposely hides it? I do; we do. I don’t mean to offend, but it’s the truth. How often do I have an opportunity to allow Christ, in me, to be seen, but don’t? Honestly, too often!
Matthew points to us and says, “You’re it. You are the light the world desperately seeks. Without you, the light won’t shine.”
We, in false humility, stammer, justify and excuse our lack of light shining. Matthew’s words are anything but critical — only encouraging. “Heh people, remember that God is in you; He is with you; The Light occupies every part of you. Lift the bowl of disguise off your heads and shine. Shine where you are, so that others will naturally glorify God.”
In a darkened space, one never focuses on the candle, only the flame. Same for you and I. Others might be pleasantly surprised how much light flickers from these bent, dented, scarred pieces of wax.
Light shines undiminished.
Matthew quotes the prophet Isaiah,
“The people living in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow
of death a light has dawned.”
Both Isaiah and Matthew point to Jesus. One Great Light shines; His Name is Jesus. Those who live in the deepest darkness, under the oppressive “shadow of death” recognize Him, knowing His light is what they need. This Light came for all; He is Who we all need.
As I write, I sense that oppressive darkness hanging over many. I hear in the Spirit their heart weeping unseen tears, their voices long-silenced in squelched screams of agony.
“Come, Lord. Shine Your light! Expose the schemes and devises of the enemy. Rescue those bound in prisons of darkness. May You, the Great Light, shine brightly now — here, there, everywhere.”
“When Jesus spoke again to the people,
he said, ‘I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.”
Light shines in the world around us.
Light of Life
With light comes life.
James calls God, “the Father of heavenly lights” (1:17). Timothy tells us that God lives “in unapproachable light” (1 Tim:6:16).
“This is the message we have heard from him
and declare to you;
God is light;
in him there is no darkness at all.”
1 John 1:5
One of my mother’s favorite verses was,
“The LORD is my light and my salvation —
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life —
of whom shall I be afraid?”
Darkness conceives fear and produces death. Not here! Not where the Lord is! All the writers of Scripture knew beyond a doubt and declared through the ages, “The LORD is light! Don’t fear!”
Light shines, bringing life.
The psalmist wrote,
“Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path.”
This “word” was also “The Word” John said “shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome.” In Him resides no darkness!
Today, we contend against darkness. It taunts, lurking in shadows of evil; even disguised as an “angel of light.” Darkness produces confusion, discouragement, fear and death. Only for a season! Our contending will triumph through Christ.
God has prepared a place void of even the slightest shadow. Can you imagine it? I try. A place where light, the Light, lives and rules.
“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.”
We look forward to where,
“God’s dwelling place is now among the people,
and he will dwell with them.
They will be his people,
and God himself will be with them
and be their God.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
There will be no more death
or mourning or crying or pain,
for the old order of things has passed away.”
The longing of every heart fulfilled! Light shining with unending comfort and fulfilled hope.
Walk in Light
Do you long for more light to shine? I do. The Light within me, promises light to permeate my world, invade the strongholds of the enemy, and take territory back from darkness. Expect the unexpected when The Light shines.
“More light, Lord! Come Jesus, come!”
One candle affects darkness; a thousand even more; ten thousand light a city; thousands upon thousands our world.
I join my prayer with others who have gone before me, “May Your light shine indisputably within us, Lord. Set our feet on the path of light.”
“If we walk in the light,
as he is in the light,
we have fellowship with one another,
and the blood of Jesus, his Son,
purifies us from all sin.”
I John 1:7
Candles, my insignificant one and your larger one, joining together, purified from every darkened stain, shining “with one another,” making a difference in our communities.
Jesus welcomes us,
“Believe in the light while you have the light,
so that you may become children of light.”
Through faith in Jesus Christ, we become “children of light.” Children, not just renovated, but completely remade in His image as His children — children of light.
“Yes, Lord! Your light shines brightest in darkness, through your kids, your children of light.”