When The Light Rises

Have you found yourself struggling with unbelief?

Maybe you are wrestling with an apparent dichotomy between what you see with your eyes and what you know in your heart.

Perhaps you have been waiting for God’s provision in your hour of need and you are becoming discouraged, wondering where God is in your trial. And maybe you even feel like giving up in the face of this dark night of the soul in your life.

How can your experience of the darkness of unbelief receive a fresh wash of relief with new light?

Peter talks about this very thing in his second letter addressed to Christians who are set in an earthly context filled with corruption, false teaching, heresy, temptation, deception, immorality, arrogance, and vanity (2 Peter 2:1-3:3). When you are surrounded by such a world, how can you stand strong in truth and the light and power of Jesus Christ?

Peter desires to encourage and build up those who have placed their faith in their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He wants them – and us – to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). He wants us to be on our guard and “not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness” (2 Peter 3:17).

I think the words of Peter are just what we need for the times in which we live.

I recently had the privilege of participating in the memorial service for a great man of God who finished his race well. I was greatly challenged and encouraged by the testimonies of men who were profoundly influenced by the faithful life of this one man. C.T. Studd has said, “Only one life will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” We want to finish our race well, don’t we?

How can we be revived, restored, and renewed when the things of the world are tempting us to despair, discouragement, and disbelief?

Christians need to pay attention to the influences they allow into their lives. This not my idea, but God’s idea. Listen to these words of Peter to believers in Christ —

So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
2 Peter 1:19-21

Peter is telling us that we need to “pay attention” to the Word of the Lord “as to a lamp shining in a dark place.” The Greek word for pay attention is prosecho and means to hold the mind or the ear toward someone. As a nautical term, it means to hold a ship in a direction, to sail towards or to hold on to one’s course toward a place. What Peter is saying is that our hearts and minds need to hold to all that God says in His Word in the same way we would rely on a bright light in a very dark place.

Have you ever been in darkness and reached for a flashlight so you could see what was going on? Oh how wonderful the light is for such darkness. It lights up everything around you. And if there is anything beautiful, the only way you can see it is with the light. Light dispels darkness and brings color to every dark thing.

I have seen the power and beauty of light many a morning out in the desert. I remember a particular day when the clouds were forming in the sky. I thought we might have something beautiful in the sunrise and I did not want to miss the opportunity to catch just a glimpse of God’s glory with my camera. So out I went with my Nikon D800E and tripod for a sunrise photoshoot, hoping for some beauty and inspiration. The clouds were dark. And the sun began to rise. Just when I thought there would be no effect from the sun shining through the clouds, some color began to appear. It was so quiet and beautiful to watch the Lord paint the undersides of those clouds with pink and yellow casting a beautiful light all across the desert floor.

And the same thing happens for us. We must remain stayed upon the Lord, eyes fixed on all He says in His Word. Even if you do not see how He is bringing all He promises to pass in your life and in the world, you must stand strong in Him rather than listen to things that aren’t true, believe the godlessness of the current age, or doubt the promises of God. The Lord Jesus Christ will cause the day to dawn and bring light to your heart in His time and in His way. His delays are not denials (see 2 Peter 3:8-9).

These words from Peter are an encouragement to my own heart when I am believing Him and all He says in the midst of great winds of adversity. Oh I think we all need them for today as we desire to grow in our relationship with the Lord Jesus. I think when we hear these kinds of things from Peter we can certainly then not be surprised when the world around us at times grows dark.

Even Paul told his disciple Timothy —

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power.
2 Timothy 3:1-7

As I think about these words from Paul, I think about the kinds of things the media offers in the world today. Certain movies, particular television shows and even soap operas have story lines that are often shocking and would have never even been entertained maybe even 10 years ago. These are the kinds of influences in the world and we do not want them to be allowed to have a voice in our world. We need the influence of the Word leading us away from the unbelief we may be struggling with instead of the world which may be filling us with all kinds of doubt. And if the world is too much with us today, then let us get back to the main thing and heed the words of Peter — pay attention to the Word as to a lamp shining in a dark place.

Oh how much encouraging light comes from the Lord in His Word for us! The Lord promises “rivers of living water” in our thirst (John 7:37-39), deliverance from our fears and troubles (Psalm 34:4-6), hope for every sadness (Romans 15:4, 13), and peace when we are worried and anxious (Philippians 4:6-7). When we fill our mind and heart with God’s promises, we will discover that He transforms us by changing the way we think (Romans 12:2 NLT).

So dear friends, let us pay attention to the kinds of things that are influencing us. Let us study God’s Word and allow the Holy Spirit to apply it to our lives that we may run our race well — by faith and with endurance. May the Lord be honored and glorified. And may we all one day hear those words from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, “Well done good and faithful servant.”

God bless you dear friend, as you continue on in the great adventure of knowing Him.

♥ Blessings and Grace to You!

Catherine

myPhotoWalk Technical

  • Title: When The Light Rises
  •   Request This Image > SmugMug Image Request
  • Description: Early morning sunrise photoshoot in Palm Desert, California, USA.
  • Creator: Catherine Martin
  • Date Created: 10/31/14
  • Camera: Nikon D800E, 24.0-120.0 mm, Focal Length 40.0 mm, f/8.0, 1/10, ISO 100.
  • Photoshoot: An early morning myPhotoWalk photoshoot at sunrise in Palm Desert, CA, USA.
  • Post-Processing: Adobe Photoshop, Nik Software
  • Copyright ©2017 Catherine Martin — myPhotoWalk™ — Quiet Time Ministries. All Rights Reserved.
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