Christianity 201

August 6, 2016

Times of Personal and National Darkness

We’re always learning about new (or in this case, new to us) websites and blogs containing great devotional and study material. A few days ago we discovered Exceptional Christian. After looking at newer articles, we discovered this not-so-recent piece* by Jason Lautzenheiser in the archives. Click the title below, or the one at the bottom of today’s entry, to see the rest of his blog.

times of darknessThe Darkness is Receding

I heard someone say not too long ago that “From deepest darkness, shines the brightest light.”  I’ve heard it before in different variations and I’m not really sure where it originated.  But regardless, think about that for a moment.  I’ll wait……

…. So here we sit, in one of the darkest times, at least in my estimation, in the history of this nation (at least perhaps in my generation).  I won’t turn this into a political debate or commentary on one party or the other.  Anyone who knows me, knows my opinions on those matters.  But the last two years have been dark for many people.  So many have lost jobs and lost their businesses.  They are struggling to pay the bills. Struggling to put food on the table and keep a roof over their head.  Yet between government taxes, school levies, and rising costs of just about everything (food and fuel most notably), it seems that the hole is getting deeper and the world is getting darker.

Let’s look at some quotes from the Bible about darkness.

Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness, prisoners suffering in iron chains, because they rebelled against God’s commands and despised the plans of the Most High.”  -Psalm 107:10,11

But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”  -Matthew 6:23

Wisdom will save you from the ways of the wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who have left the straight paths to walk in dark ways”  -Proverbs 2:12-13

But in all things the best way to destroy the darkness is to create a light.  Again let’s look at some Bible verses on light.

And God said, let there be light and there was light.  God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.”  -Genesis 1:3-4

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”  -1 John 1:5

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” -Psalm 27:1

I could go on and on, but my point is…We all go through our dark times, some darker than others, some last longer than others and some seem so deep and dark that it appears hopeless that we can ever come out.  But, the best way to defeat the darkness is to find the light.  Create it if you have too.  Strike a match, build a huge fire.  No matter how small the light, darkness always runs away from it.

Look at the darkness that is in your life right now.  What are your struggles?

Out of a job?  Take the opportunity to find a better job or learn a new skill.  Start your own business.  Create the light of hope that you will be better off in the near future.

In debt up to your ears?  Take the opportunity to learn to budget.  Learn to live within your means.  Find ways to increase your income to better your situation.

Health not what it should be?  Take the opportunity to start exercising, eat healthier.

About 10 years ago I went through a period of darkness.  I had a great job and then boom it was gone.  I once had plenty of money, now I had none.  I stressed and felt sorry for myself for a time…I lived in the darkness.  But then I created a light, I was determined to start my own business.  I created Malachi Computer.  I struggled for a time as any fledgling business will.  But it slowly grew and over a period of two years, I built it into something that I could support myself with.  Those two years were rough but we made it through it.  During that growing period, I created other business opportunities to supplement my main income.  Mainly I sold stuff on eBay.  I did OK with it, it got us through the lean times.  In fact that bit of light spread to others who started selling and helped to bring a little light to their darkness as well.

Now we face another period of darkness brought on by the poor economy.  Again, I wallowed in my darkness, forgetting those lessons of years ago.  But the light is brightening, the darkness is receding.  This bit of darkness has made me work that much harder to take my business to the next level.  Again, I’ve created other business opportunities with new found friends that are going to increase the light and spread it too others.  Exciting things are coming.  The darkness is receding.

Yes there will be tough times ahead, but God promises to never give us more than we can handle.

… And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”  – 1 Corinthians 10:13

There will be better times than these, you can make them happen with God’s help.  Strive to take the darkness that surrounds us, learn from it, grow from it and let that light of passion, innovation and excitement be that spark that ignites the blaze in your life that chases away your darkness.

The darkness is receding!!


* It’s interesting reading the introduction to this and then consider that it was written in 2010.  Most recently Jason wrote:

Look, you mockers be amazed and die! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it. – Acts 13:41

With all that is going on in the news these days, between the attacks around the world to the politics here in the US, I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard people say, “Where is God?” or “Why would God let something like this happen?” or “God must have abandoned us because of our falling away from him.” But, my friends, I fully believe that God is as active as he was yesterday and as he was the day before that.

But these questions still abound. Where is God and why isn’t he doing something. The verse above from Acts was something Paul said in response to those people who mocked and persecuted him and the other early Christians. Here he quoted the book of Habakkuk;

The Lord replied, “Look at the nations and be amazed! Watch and be astounded at what I will do! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it.” – Habakkuk 1:5

…continue reading the article, Awakening at Exceptional Christian

1 Comment »

  1. Paul, I’m Jason who wrote these posts and I want to thank you for reading and posting these. What’s really interesting about this is it took your post for me to link these two posts together. Even though I had written them, I didn’t put the connection through until you did. Both of these posts were written in some dark times in my life, but as I stated in the older post, the light of Christ needs to shine through us. I’m in a bit of a dark time now, but I see the light shining through and I’m ready and excited to see what God will do in my life and in this country.

    Thanks again for the post and I’ve read some other posts and enjoyed the blog.

    Comment by jasonlautzenheiser — August 7, 2016 @ 10:27 pm | Reply


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