“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.”
Psalms 42:11 NKJV
Darkness before the dawn
I am an early riser. I get up way before the dawns early light. I like the stillness of the early morning, as the world has not yet begun to stir and there is a peace. I also like the sight of the darkness giving way to light, as the new day arrives.
These days, it seems as if we are in a perpetual spiritual darkness, as our world is wrapped in constant turmoil, and there is no place on earth that is not experiencing some kind of upheaval. It is easy to get lost in the times and find oneself overwhelmed.
As I read Psalm 42:11, I was reminded of many of the darkest times I have experienced. I have had the deep blessing of trials and much darkness. Perhaps that is why I love the early morning. I can point to so many times when my life was seemingly unbearable, when I felt that there was relief from the trials. I also remember the moment when the light began to show, as dark hues gave way to lighter grays, and the first perceptions of color began to appear.
Over time I learned that I could truly hope in God, that I could rely on Him to deliver me through whatever storm I encountered. Regardless of outcome, I knew that God would be by my side.
Doing the work of the Lord can be very lonely at times, as one can feel isolated, thinking that there are no others who have the same commitment and desire. Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet with some gentlemen from my church, as we went through a reading of a book. It was awesome to be amongst others who loved the Lord as much as I do. It was also a reminder that I am not alone.
“Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.””
Acts 18:9-10 NKJV
The apostle Paul had been given a hard mission, as he would go to the gentiles to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He would also face much opposition for the Jews, as they pursued him from place to place, seeking to end his ministry and even his life.
But, he had he assurance of Jesus, meeting him in a night vision, reminding him that he was not alone. Like Elijah before him, Paul was reminded that God has people everywhere.
“Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.””
I Kings 19:18 NKJV
It is becoming hard to stand for Jesus in this dark world, but we are in the dusk of this wicked age, and the dawn of Christ’s reign is coming. The night is indeed darkest before the dawn, but somewhere, the light is beginning to shine.
We who know the Lord and have been saved from our sins, know that the light of Christ shines in every human heart that has been born again.
When we come together in fellowship, the light is magnified.
Brothers and sisters, let us rejoice in the darkness of these present times, looking forward to the soon coming of the Son, that will brighten the world, casting away darkness.
Let us meet in fellowship, basking in that magnified light, representing the greater light to come.
Let us also project that light in this dark world, that those who have not come to know Jesus can have a way shown to them. Jesus has made us to be the light of the world. He has made us peculiar, standing in stark contrast to this world. As those called out to be different, there will be trouble, as we do not belong to this world, but we know that God is with us.
““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 NKJV
Stand tall and brightly my people! Show your light to all people, tell of the Lord Jesus who came and lived a sinless life amongst the sinful, went to the cross to die a brutal death for those sins, was buried and rose again.
Share the message of hope and light. It is surely dark right now, but light will be streaming into the darkness, and soon the Son will be up!
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