Loving fathers teach and discipline their children. They offer wisdom, knowledge and their devoted attention. Fathers help to “shed light” on troublesome or difficult situations. God does this for us as well. He teaches and disciplines with a pure love, and yes, adversity is one of His most effective tools in our education. Affliction causes us to look up and increases our dependence upon God, rather than self. When circumstances appear impossible, faith reminds us that apparent impossibilities are wondrous opportunities for God to move.
During times of adversity, life may appear very dark and overwhelming. Hopelessness can grab hold of our heartstrings and lead us down paths of self-pity. “How could the Savior send such trouble my way? What did I do to deserve such hardship?” The Word tells us that God does not willingly afflict His children. He sends or permits only that which accomplishes His good will and purpose. Perfect love is always included in His equations.
“For He does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone.” Lamentations 3:33 (NIV)
Thankfully, there is always a light of promise and hope at the end of every trial. This light is Christ Jesus. By it we are propelled forward in our race, even through the darkest and most painful of sufferings.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:115 (NKJV)
JESUS is the living Word of God, the light that enlightens every man with spiritual truth. Those who perceive the true Light and choose to follow the source will never walk in spiritual darkness. Natural darkness is the absence of light and spiritual darkness is the absence of Jesus, the light of the world.
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12 (NKJV)
With earthly bodies reborn and filled with the Holy Spirit, we have a supernatural “light” living within us. Our God given light is not seen with human eyes but is still perceived and very apparent to others, when we remember to “shine it all around.” D.L. Moody speaks of our witness and compares it to a lighthouse. A LIFESTYLE witness should be obvious to others without our having to set off cannons.
“We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining- they just shine.” ~ D. L. Moody
Having been called to walk as “Children of Light,” seeking out all goodness, righteousness, and truth should therefore be our aim. Is it not wise to make a daily goal where we seek out what is acceptable to the Lord and then follow through with prayer and service?
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:8-10 (NKJV)
Sharing His love with others while living through personal times of adversity will not only point the lost to Christ, it will cause us to discover beautiful blessings found only in the fellowship of His suffering. Our capacity to love and forgive will increase, compassion and mercy will grow, and grace will abound. As our love for Jesus grows, so will our light within.
May the light of Christ Jesus shine ever more brightly within all of us, drawing the hungry, weary, thirsty, and lost to truth and eternal salvation.
“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” John 1:4 (NKJV)
“Soon we shall be up there with Christ. God did not mean us to be happy without Him; but God would first have us to be witnesses for Him down here, to hold out as much light as we can.” G.V. Wigram
“Christ cannot light a single spark in the heart of an individual, without that little tiny spark being for God. He gives the light, and has ordained that every ray of it is to reflect something for God.” G.V. Wigram