“Then Jesus cried out, ‘Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me. I have come into the world as a light so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness”— John 12:44-46 (NIV).
Darkness and evil are rampant in our broken world. Mass shootings. Countries at war. Fractured families. Political division. Without hope, we find it difficult to find our way into the light.
But, if we truly believe Jesus is the answer, then why are we allowing the darkness to lead us to wring our hands in despair? Why do we point fingers and blame others for the ills of this world? Maybe we need to be pointing the finger at ourselves.
The truth is simple, and not always popular. We are responsible, as followers of Jesus Christ, to bring light into the darkness.
Bringing Light into the Darkness
In John 8:12, Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”
The source of our light is God’s Holy Word. Just as a lamp must be connected to an outlet to shine, we must be connected to our source to shine in the darkness, to lead others to Christ, and bring hope into a gloomy world filled with hate, uncertainty, and desperation.
Pastor and author Charles Spurgeon once said, “The Bible is not the light of the world, it is the light of the Church. But the world does not read the Bible, the world reads Christians! ‘You are the light of the world.’”
Finding it Difficult to Shine?
If you find it difficult to do what God has called you to do, remember this: “God doesn’t call the equipped. He equips the called.” This is the message I received from my pastor when I started receiving requests to speak before my peers.
While I had no trouble addressing teenagers when I taught high school, the thought of speaking before a group of women left me terrified. I can tell you God does have a sense of humor. The only “C” I made in college was in Speech.
One of my favorite ways to put the spotlight on Jesus is through volunteering at my church’s free clothes closet. It’s there that I can encourage and help those who need assistance. Often, in addition to their clothing needs, they just need someone to listen.
Shining the Light
I recently came across the following list titled “10 Ways to Let Your Light Shine Bright” by author and blogger Kelly Balarie:
- Remember your aim is to please the Lord, not man.
- Speak in ways that are right, true, honorable, and trustworthy.
- Listen to others’ opinions. Be slow to anger and quick to listen.
- Decide if others are pulling you into sin. You may need to retreat and bless them through prayer.
- Realize Christ has already determined your value—now you are free from the need to please.
- Authentically praise the name of the Lord when given the opportunity.
- Pray and trust that God will lead you in His ways.
- Speak the truth—no matter what. Balance it with love.
- Be who God created you to be, despite how others feel. God created you as you for a good reason.
- Daily immerse yourself in the Word of God.
Don’t be defeated and discouraged by the darkness. Let the Word of God ignite your passion to be a light for the Lord. 2 Corinthians 4:6 is a great reminder: “Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we’re proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is His messengers, errand runners, from Jesus for you. It started when God said, ‘Light up the darkness!’ and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful” (MSG).
I always love hearing from my readers. Please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts, or visit my blog for more inspiration at www.carolaround.com. If you need a speaker or workshop leader, you can contact me at the above e-mail or through my website. I’d be delighted to hear from you.
Photo credit: bbc.co.uk