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You Are The Light

My son has recently started saying he is afraid of the dark. As an adult, I try to explain to him that there is no need to be afraid of it, but I get no where with him. To help him out, we installed a night light and a lamp with a timer on it. Some nights he wants the bathroom lights on too. Having more light makes him feel more secure and allows him to rest. Later, when he matures, he will see there’s no reason to be afraid of the dark. It reminds me of the darkness that this world has and the light that you and I are called to be.

This world has been a dark place for a very long time. In fact, John wrote about it in the first chapter of his Gospel. He wrote, “The Word (Jesus) gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish it.” The darkness of this world cannot extinguish the light of Jesus. It has tried for two thousand years to put it out, but it can’t because Jesus didn’t take the light with Him to Heaven. Instead, He gave it to us.

In Matthew 5:14, Jesus said, “You are the light of the world.” He put His light in us so that we could spread light everywhere we go. Why then would we be afraid of the darkness of this world? Why wouldn’t we go to those who are in darkness and bring light into their world? Jesus said in the next verse, “No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket.” It wouldn’t make sense for me to put a cover on the night light in my son’s room and it doesn’t make sense for us to hide our light.

Jesus said in Matthew 5:16, “Let your good deeds shine for all to see, so that everyone will praise your Heavenly Father.” Just as He came into the world and brought the light of Heaven down, so He is asking us to share our light with others. He wants us to do good to those we meet. You don’t know what darkness they’re living in. It doesn’t matter really because the light you have inside can chase it away and ignite the light in them. You just have to decide if you are going to hide your light under a basket or to allow God to place you on a lamp stand for all to see.

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Building Up Your Inner Self

One thing I know is for certain: Life happens. The comedian Mark Lowry asked the question, “What is life?” He then responded, “Life is a series of emotions, a mountain after a valley, a wife to feed, a husband to clothe, children to raise, a boss to put up with, car notes, taxes, April 15th. Life is life. Christ said, ‘I’ve come to give you life…. more abundant!” He shared that as believers, we aren’t exempt from the things life brings. In fact, we might experience more of it. Our mountains seem to be higher and our valleys lower. It’s important in those times that you have the inner strength to endure what life throws at you.

Jude 1:20-21 says, “But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith, by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying at the center of God’s love, keeping your arms open and outstretched. (MSG)” Jude knew we would experience life and he told us to pray in the Holy Spirit. Building your self up to withstand what life brings starts with prayer because prayer keeps us centered with God. It keeps our eyes off of how big our problems are and on how big our God is. In those times, we can keep our arms stretched out in prayer for balance instead of pulled tightly to our side ready for the fall.

Another thing we can do to strengthen our inner man is to have others pray for us. Letting others know that you’re struggling is not a sign of weakness. There are times when we lack the fortitude to face alone what life throws at us. We need other believers who can pray like Paul did for the Ephesian Church in Ephesians 3:16. He said, “I pray that from His (God’s) glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength from His Spirit. (NLT)” Have other believers pray that God would give you strength to endure. When you don’t have the strength to lift your head to Heaven, others do. Allow them to stand in the gap for you.

Finally, remember what God has done for you in the past. Thinking of the times that God has brought you through already will build up your inner strength to get through life’s problems. In Psalm 42:6, the psalmist said, “My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you. (NIV)” He then finishes the Psalm talking to himself saying, “Put your hope in God.” He is the source of our inner strength and in times of weakness, His strength is made perfect. He hasn’t failed you yet and He won’t start now. 

You may not be able to see past what life has in front of you right now, but God can. You may not have the strength to endure it, but God can give it to you. When the waves keep crashing against you, when the valley seems too dark and you’re emotionally drained, God is right there with you. His Word will be a lamp to your feet and light to your path. His presence will surround you in the chaos and give you peace where there is none. You can be centered in Him in the middle of life’s biggest storms because of prayer and hope. Don’t let go. Remember the God you serves I’ll give you strength to endure. 

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