Darkness Has Not Won — CJ Quartlbaum
John 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
We are living in incredibly exhausting times, which the older I get, just seems to be the norm. We’re coming out of a pandemic on the brink of war, facing climate crises, and of course our own personal dangers and turmoils.
Despite all of this, there is hope. There is always hope. I think back to some of the hardships I faced in childhood and my mother would always quip: “We’ve lived through worse.” She’s right, weeping endures for the night but the morning always comes. I find these words in John 1 to be incredibly comforting at times like this: the darkness has not overcome.
The darkness has not overcome means there is still hope. It means no matter how bleak things may look, we can continue to trust in the God who said he would never leave us or forsake us.
This is important. Right now it’s easy to despair and feel as though all hope is lost. But darkness has not and will not overcome.
This is the good news we have to put our hope in. We serve a God who is sovereign over all things. None of the tragedies of this world catch him by surprise. Of course that can lead to the questions of why and I wish I had good answers for why but I don’t.
When God says he works all things together for our good, that includes the hard things but it does not diminish the pain and anguish that is felt as we go through them.
But suppose we did try to put our hope somewhere else. What could we reasonably turn to? Hoping for the world to change? The last 100 years alone are proof enough that we can’t save each other and our natural inclinations seem to be more towards dominance than collaboration. Maybe we believe in our own excessive goodness and want to hope in ourselves. Has that ever actually worked for any of us? Maybe we think public policy is the answer but two things are true in that realm. The first is you can’t legislate heart change and the second is we can’t agree on anything.
Of course there is always the most nihilistic view that says: “eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die.” But even that falls short because there is something beyond tomorrow and we would be foolish to live as if it doesn’t exist.
In the end, our hope is going to be placed somewhere. Of all the options available to us, there is only one that has stood the test of time.
Light Bearers Matthew 5:16 (CSB): In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
In a world consumed by darkness and tragedy, it’s the job of the believer to shine the torch of hope for the world to see. It’s how we move, breathe, and act that is a testament to this ever changing world what hope in a God who remains the same yesterday, today, and forever, looks like.
How do we display this confidence and security? The first thing we do is pray. While that may seem like the cheesy, Christian cop out answer to things, it’s actually the ultimate sign of trust in God. The ability to step back and declare our confidence in him is huge. In prayer, we also lay aside our anxieties. I know how fearful thoughts can enrapture our hearts and minds but there is a level of worry that is unhelpful.
Lastly, we give ourselves to helping others. What do you have that you can give to others in this time of need? What would it mean for you to be sacrificial with your time, talents, and treasures for the glory of God and good of others. The life of the Christian is poured out in service to others. As we face the same dangers as everyone else but put our confidence in God, we are able to give a greater witness.
Over the weekend I was talking to some friends who know Christians in Ukraine. They were giving an update on how they’re doing. Two things struck me as they talked about their friends. One is the general humility that seems to characterize many Ukrainians. The other was their calm. That even though tomorrow was uncertain and there are a million reasons to be afraid, they continue to trust their unknown future to a known God. And that is enough to see them through each day because Romans 8 is still true and if we are in His hands, nothing can take us out.
Originally published at https://www.cjquartlbaum.com on March 4, 2022.