For the third time in as many days, storms dominate my local weather. Winds tug trees into writhing dances and scuttle slate clouds across the sky.
It doesn’t take much of that to move me to pray about the darkness enveloping our land today.
When I did, God nudged me to John 1:5. At the same time, footage of the prayer ride for Linda Stolzfoos was being broadcast. Then I saw John 1:5 on the windshield of a black Ford Explorer participating in the ride. “Point taken, God,” I said. “I’m listening.”
Let me pause to say:God excels in teaching us what we think we already know Click To Tweet
And, when He does, we far exceed what we understood before.
Here are six truths and promises God taught me about darkness.
The world’s darkness has limits.
John 1:5 (NIV) says, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
1 John 1 :5 (NIV) adds, “in Him there is no darkness at all.” Worldly darkness can extend only so far. But God’s light has no limits.
No darkness is thick or deep enough to hide us from God.
Most of us have experienced the darkness of depression, loneliness, abandonment, despair. Job was in the throes of all that and more when he confessed that profound truth found in Job 34:22. What a promise! God sees us, pursues us, loves us, and carries us through our darkest times.
When God causes darkness, nothing in the world can make it light.
No darkness compares to what God did to the Egyptians. Egypt’s ninth plague was three days of darkness (Exodus 10:21-23). God commanded it to be a palpable darkness—literally touchable (vs 21). Verse 23 further describes it as thick—so much so that no Egyptian could see anyone else. Even with candles or torches. (Exception: The Israelites had light.) How scary is that? Egypt’s darkness lifted only when God allowed it. After He’d shown His power.
God does not let darkness last.
During the Crucifixion, God forsook Jesus as three hours of darkness covered the land. The darkness lifted when Jesus died (Matthew 27:45-51). (We know it got light again that day because verse 57 says Joseph of Arimathea went to Pilate “when it was evening” to ask for Jesus’ body.) Darkness cannot last when God invades it. With the Resurrection, God invaded darkness in a way the world hadn’t experienced since creation!
God sent His Son so no one need remain in darkness.
That is why God sent Jesus Christ to earth. (See John 12:46.) I still can’t fathom that love, but I’m eternally grateful for it.
God uses darkness to reveal His plans.
Almost every major Bible character spent some time in a dark place, physically and emotionally. Lot in the mountains southwest of Zoar. Joseph in jail. Jeremiah in the bottom of a well. Jonah in the belly of a great fish. Samson in blindness. Elijah and David in caves. John the Baptist in prison. Jesus in the wilderness. Going through darkness was necessary before God could do a greater work through them.
We all visit darkness, whether by choice or circumstances. When God ordains darkness, His purpose is to move us beyond it. Caveat: moving beyond darkness starts with a change of heart (Psalm 51:17; Joel 2:13). God calls us out of the what-ifs of darkness to live in the light of the I AM.
We can fight darkness with confidence because God promises His light is greater:
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. For behold, darkness covers the earth, and thick darkness is over the peoples; but the LORD will rise upon you, and His glory will appear over you. (Isaiah 60:1-2 BSB)