Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 ESV
Shining bright on the darkest days is possible.
Though we’re living in some awfully dark days right now, this is nothing new for God. He’s been shining His light into the world since time began. Fortunately, because we have the Holy Spirit living inside us, we have everything we need to shine bright on even our darkest days.
During the Christmas season, we talk a lot about ‘spreading cheer for all to hear.’ We sing songs of joy and give gifts to those in need. Yet, we can’t possibly meet everyone’s needs with a tangible present. There’s some level of pain only Jesus can alleviate. He, alone, lights up the soul-weary darkness hovering over the deepest, darkest hours. His presence offers the present needed in the here and now. When we see others drowning in the depths of darkness, John 1:5 in The Voice translation, tells us there’s ‘light that blazes through murky bottoms; it cannot and will not be quenched.’ There is hope.
Emmanuel Shines Brightest on the Darkest of Days
Yes, there is hope because a baby was born; God’s only Son came as Emmanuel, God with us. Hope lives within our hearts enabling us to shine bright. And, when we shine bright on the darkest days, others see Jesus in us. In fact, hope is the greatest gift we can give on any occasion. Because hope allows us to see a way out of whatever’s troubling us the most. Unfortunately, it is dark out there in the world, but the good news is we carry the Light of Christ with us.
The Thrill of Hope Shines Bright in God’s Word
How can we illuminate our dark world with God’s light giving people the thrill of hope they so desperately need this Christmas? The how-to of helping you shine bright on the darkest days is found in the Christmas story in the lives of people like you and me. How can we illuminate our dark world with God’s light giving people the thrill of hope they so desperately need this Christmas? The first step to shining bright is to reflect God’s own light. Much like a solar panel, we must be exposed to the Light to radiate in the dark. Absorbing God’s love and goodness through time spent in His Word fills us up to overflowing. The light we spill out diminishes the darkness giving a glimpse of what’s ahead. Isn’t it so much easier to find your way when there’s just the teeniest bit of light?
The Light of the World Shines Bright on the Darkest Days
In John 8, Jesus calls Himself, the Light of the World. I love how this passage reads in The Message Bible. The late Eugene Peterson, lead translator for The Message, wants us to see how easy it is to miss the big picture. Jesus stood right in front of the religious men of the day and they looked right past Him. They were blinded by their own self-righteousness and couldn’t see the light God sent in His Son.
You’re Missing God in All This
Jesus once again addressed them: “I am the world’s Light. No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness. I provide plenty of light to live in.” John 8:12 MSG
Shining bright on the darkest days is easier when we follow Jesus. That’s the second step to help you shine bright in this dark world. Just keep in step with Jesus, following Him instead of the world. No one wants to stumble around in the dark and because of Jesus we don’t have to. In a world where having the most followers is the key to success, following Jesus keeps us on the brighter path.
Shining Bright for All
My favorite part of the Christmas story is when God send an angel to appear to the shepherds in the field. I imagine, they’re just ordinary men doing the same mundane job they’ve done every day of their whole lives without much hope for the future. But, with one word from God everything changes.
A bright light, the glory of the Lord, shone all around the shepherds; they were terrified. But, the angel reassures them, “Do not be afraid. I bring good news of great joy for all people.” Then, with the thrill of hope, the angel announces the birth of Christ. In the dark of night, the sky filled with shining, bright lights. All at once, a choir of angels appeared.
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:13-14 NIV
Immediately, after hearing the Word of the Lord, the shepherds run towards town in hope of finding the One who is the Light of the World. Their hope is found following after Jesus and ours is too.
Shining bright and offering hope is the most cost-effective way to give this season.
The how-to of helping you shine bright on the darkest days is found right in the well-loved Christmas story in the lives of everyday people like you and me. Spending time with God doesn’t cost us anything. Following Jesus is free and brings the greatest freedom one can know. The free gift of hope, our overflowing light, happens in these two easy steps: get in God’s Word and follow after Jesus. Tis’ the season to spread some cheer for all to hear.
Be bold. Speak life. Offer hope. Dispel the darkness this Christmas. Shine bright.