Picture yourself in a spaceship hovering over the earth. You float in the stillness, gazing towards the planet you know so well. You can vaguely see the shape of the continents and the islands dotted across the vast ocean. But the view is dark. Nothing stirs except the clouds which cast an even deeper shadow over the face of the globe. There is no sign of life.
But suddenly, out of the corner of your eye, you see a small prick of light! A flicker that starts small, but grows stronger and stronger until it is a forceful beam casting its light into the darkness. And then you see another, and another, and yet another. Before you know it there are a multitude of these lights, shining brightly, breaking through the darkness that is determined to enshroud the entirety of the earth. The clouds thicken, the shadows gather, but their radiance cannot be dimmed. In fact, the lights continue to shine brighter and brighter.
Hope! The world is not doomed after all. There is life in the midst of the gloom.
What lights a dark world?
Now imagine God and Jesus looking down at the earth. The beauty of their creation has been cloaked in a darkness that has deepened and become more and more impenetrable as the years go by. A vast number of people have little or no concept of the creator of the universe – the author of life on earth. The world has turned from God, and become reliant on itself. It creates its own laws, it believes that science overrules creationism, it has no need of God. The darkness of sin and self-seeking have become the governing powers. Even much of what is labeled “religion,” and even “Christianity,” has become saturated with self-interest.
Can’t you imagine how heartbreaking this is?
But through the gloom of unbelief and sin a light shines through. Jesus looks to the earth from His seat beside the throne of God and sees a young girl standing in the circumstances of her life. All around her faith in God is all but non-existent. The spirit of the times reigns supreme. People live according to their lusts.
But here she stands, firm in her faith. She believes in Jesus, and what He has done for her, and she is willing to suffer all things for His sake. She will not be swayed by temptations to sin, she will not be drawn by the spirit of the times. She resists these because of her faith, knowing that she has a higher call: a calling to follow her Lord and Master Jesus on the way that He opened for her. Her desire is to follow Him, denying her own will, and taking up her cross daily. (Luke 9:23) She knows that this is the way that leads to eternal life with Him.
Power to shine
What joy that brings to Jesus heart! What a reward He has in store for this girl who is willing to shine for His sake! How He listens when she calls out for strength and power when she meets situations that take a battle; when trials come that are hard to bear. He turns to His Father on His throne and points to her. He’s been here on earth as a man. He understands temptation; He has fought against the same things that she comes up against in her life. Fear of man. Lusts. Pride. Selfishness. Vanity. He knows what it’s like.
“Help her Father!” he cries out on her behalf. He points out her faithfulness, her longing to be free from sin, her need. He intercedes on her behalf. And God, in His love, supplies all the power that she needs to stand, all the way through the trial. It’s like energy that fuels the light. Then she comes through triumphant and her light shines even brighter.
You are the light of the world
And over here a young man at university, and here a mother in her home. A cashier. A retiree. A mechanic.
As the world grows darker, as sin and the spirit of the Antichrist get more and more power over the earth, there are those who do not give in. They resist the influences of a world without conscience. They continue to shine – they continue to stand faithful. They have a Savior who loved them enough to leave His place in heaven and show them how they could resist temptation and overcome sin, and they are willing to give up everything on this earth for His sake. Because He loved them so much, they love Him in return by overcoming the sin in their own human nature so that He will have brothers and sisters. (Romans 8:16-17)
You can be one of these lights that shines! You can bring joy to Jesus! Your life can be a beacon of light in the darkness of this world! Your life can bring glory to God!
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16.