In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1: 4-5)
In light of recent events I'm hurt and angry. I'm devastated by the divide in our country, in our cities, and in our streets. My heart breaks for all who are hurting - black and white, Christian and non-Christian, law enforcement and civilian. I weep for those who are lashing out and seeking revenge because they are so consumed by and lost in their pain.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. - Martin Luther King Jr.
God is love, so we cannot overcome hate unless we have the love of the father in us. By his own choice, he uses to show his heart and love for humanity.
In dark times like these I'm reminded just how important it is for us, the church, as light bearers not to be silent or passive or fearful. We have the spirit of the Living Sovereign God residing in us. Through Christ we are given power to overcome darkness.
How? Through the Holy Spirit.
The fruit we bear by the power of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23): love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, patience, gentleness, goodness, and self-control - are not merely for ourselves, but aid us in becoming like Christ so we can carry light into the darkness.
We need not be afraid to stand out, stand up, and look foolish for our beliefs even if we are alone. We may be ostracized, criticized, afraid, or even martyred but that is the cross we have chosen to bear.
Jesus said that whoever follows him should lay down their life, deny himself, and pick up their cross (Luke 9:23). Our faith isn't about having an easy life or being blessed (though He does bless us). It's about laying down our preferences, our plans, what makes us comfortable, and what we think is best to pick up the will of our Heavenly Father. We are commissioned to share Jesus with our world and love all people.
We are servants. We are not greater than our Lord, who himself became man and served humanity.
We cannot pretend as if we don't know why these things are occurring.
We are at war.
And we fool ourselves if we believe otherwise.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12)
So let's not be astounded when the world acts like the world. When the media is blowing things out of proportion and people are promoting division and hate. They do not operate in the spirit of God. But we do.
Instead of pretending we don't know the answer to the pain in our world, we need to approach the uncertainty of these days with assurance. We need to display the fruit of the spirit in a real way no matter the cost. We need to pray first, seek God, and then act. We are the hands and feet of Christ predestined to do good works that bring glory to God. So we cannot say that God isn't moving if we aren't.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
So by all means let's protest, stand up, and speak out. Change doesn't just happen, it's fought for. But in the midst of it all remember that nothing will ever truly change unless we invite Jesus, the light of the world, into it.