I was perusing through some of my old bible studies and I came across one from Isaiah 9:1-3 and I felt like it was so appropriate for us in this season of uncertainty and darkness. There is so much despair and fear and fighting, it’s easy to forget that God is still present and still with us, that the aspects of His nature are still in working order.
But [in the midst of judgement there is the promise and the certainty of the Lord’s deliverance and] there shall be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time [the Lord] brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time He will make it glorious, by the way of the Sea [of Galilee, the land] beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great Light; those who dwelt in the land of intense darkness and the shadow of death, upon them has the Light shined. You [O Lord] have multiplied the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you like the joy in harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil [of battle].
Why is there no gloom? Because the joy of the Lord is with her. Though I go through hard times, though I may be put on trial and judged, even unjustly, I can remain in the joy. I don’t have to become depressed over what I am going through. I don’t have to look at my situation and only see hopelessness. I can look for God instead. Even if I can’t see Him in my present situation that doesn’t mean He’s not there. The stars still shine even when dark clouds cover the night sky.
In what ways can I see God even if it doesn’t seem like He is present? I can look back on the things He has done for me and give Him praise. Giving God praise will keep me rooted and grounded in Him.
On a moonless night what shines brightest? The stars. We hold God’s light inside of us but we are mere pinpricks of His greatness, of His light. However, when people don’t see Him they see us. We are still a source of light for people lost in the darkness. As long as we keep shining true, the darkness cannot overpower us. As long as we keep living for God we will bring light to a dark world.
I know that these verses are about Jesus’ coming, but God’s word isn’t just for the past, it rings true today. Even when all seems lost, God can bring great light to a horrible darkness. We don’t have to let the darkness increase but we don’t have to despair when it does. Instead we can keep rejoicing in God, we can keep trusting Him and praying that He will bring light to the dark. When all around us are despairing, we will be different in our rejoicing. People are going to notice our difference. They may not like it but they will notice it. Even when they don’t like it, we can still keep rejoicing.