I had the words of Scripture pounding in my head today, like a memory I just can’t shake. I suppose that is why they call them “memory verses.” I’m getting a late start (as usual) to a challenge for this year, to memorize soul-sustaining verses from John … a year full of Jesus. Did I really expect the change to take long? I am already learning to cling to these words; to repeat them over and over when I find myself feeling weighed down by this world.
In the late morning, I read a chapter from this book and before I even had finished one page, I was shaking my head, just in awe.
“If the world is full of darkness … and darkness is the absence of light … where is the light? In Matthew 5:14-16 Jesus says, ‘You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.’ You and I are called to be the light. If the world’s such a dark and hurting place, perhaps it’s not because God doesn’t care. Instead, where are the people that He’s placed on this earth to be the light and carry out His purpose?” (Wake Up, Generation by Paige Omartian - page 147)
As I read this, I wondered what good I could do. In a world of darkness, I am just a spark, at best. I am not in a position to reach the lost. I felt positively smothered by the thought of what little I could do. Then it was like He whispered, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5) My memory verse from that very morning. It was no longer just a string of words to remember; that string had become my lifeline. Now I sit, still pondering these words, and my mind focuses in on one in particular: overcome. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Did you catch that?
It comes down to this: 1) We live in a dark world. 2) We are called to be the light to this world. 3) The darkness cannot overcome us. 4) Rather, God has overcome the world for us! There is nothing in this world that can defeat us when we are in Him; when we fight in His strength. We need not fear even death itself, for He has overcome the grave! He gives us eternal life. Just wrap your head around this. See if you can. The worst thing this world can do to us is kill us. And, in Christ, with Paul we can say, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21) The darkness has not overcome!