Faith and Darkness

It takes faith to believe in darkness.

I know these words may seem foolish. Many would say that the darkness of the world is the one thing that we don’t need faith to believe in. It is all too obvious that we live in a dark world! True enough–but without biblical faith it is impossible to grasp just how dark this world is. While many may agree that the world is dominated by darkness, they also believe that somewhere is a glimmer of light that man can find by himself. They have an ongoing belief that as our eyes adjust to the darkness we will be able to see a tiny crack of light spilling out from under a doorway, and that will lead to a better life. Yes, things are dark, but there is light and hope, if only we will have faith in the human spirit. Christmas is one of those times people in the world think they see light spilling out from hidden doorways. This is evidenced by comments like why can’t the Christmas spirit last all year long? It takes faith to believe that the darkness is total, that there is no hope apart from the grace of God. Sadly, many come to ultimate despair when their search for light ends in futility. They give up because they believe they have failed to find light in darkness–they just didn’t look in the right places. The reality is that there is no light in a world without Christ.

The prophet Isaiah offers these words about darkness and light:

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;

on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,

along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;

I will turn the darkness into light before them

and make the rough places smooth.

These are the things I will do;

I will not forsake them. Isa. 42:14

The darkness of the world is total. The Bible likens it to blindness. People who are walking in darkness will see a great light. But this light comes not from the human spirit or the hidden spark of goodness in man, this light comes from God alone, through faith alone. As Isaiah proclaims, it is God who will turn the darkness into light. One of the ironies of the Christmas season is the countless displays of Christmas lights. These lights range from a few lights wrapped around a miniature tree to elaborate computer-controlled light shows that cover lawns and houses. But for all the bright lights, the darkness still dominates. These lights only serve to extend the darkness caused by sin and rebellion against God. That is why it takes faith to believe in darkness. There is no good in man, none at all. There is nothing we can do to rescue ourselves. Our blind eyes cannot see the true light of Christ unless they are opened by faith. Only after our eyes have been opened can we see that the supposed lights of this world are not lights at all. Jesus Christ is the light of the world. There is none other.

Take time to remind your children and yourself that life without Christ is deep, utter darkness. Praise God that true light came to earth. John 1:4-5 says “In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” In its utter darkness, the human heart believes there is light where there is no light. May God grant us faith to live by the light and turn from the false hope of darkness. May he grant that we will show the true light of Christ to others.

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