Living Life with God's Irrepressible Joy
Darkness can be a scary place. Whether it’s a child with a vivid imagination or an adult who has begun to grasp the depravity of man, lack of light can cause unrest and fear. This is why parents invest in night lights and adults buy flashlights. For darkness is vanquished when light appears. The two cannot coexist.
The same is true in the spiritual realm. As sin increases, so also the darkness becomes thicker. However, light can still pierce the darkness and break its power. And we are that light. We are God’s night lights in a sense and are called to shine with the brilliance of the hope that we have. As Paul exhorts us in Philippians 2:14-15:
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.”
According to Paul, how do we show the world the light within us? How can we shine as lights in the world? By doing all things without grumbling or disputing.
That’s a tall order! It’s not easy to go through life without a single complaint or without arguing with someone. But that’s what we’re called and commanded to do. If we want true joy in our lives then we need to work on this area. And if we want to be brilliant lights in the world than we need to learn to keep our mouths shut and not whine and grumble about mundane things.
If we do this, Paul tells us that we will be “blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish.” Wow! What a promise! I want that title and status before God, don’t you? And as children of God without blemish, we will shine as lights in the world. The Greek word for lights used here can literally be translated as “an illuminator or a luminary.” An illuminator sheds light on an object so that it may be seen. In the same way, we are called to shine so that God may be seen.
Just as physical darkness and light cannot occupy the same space because light chases out darkness, so also when spiritual light shines in the darkness, it breaks the blackness and brings warm, beautiful light. Our world is falling deeper and deeper into darkness because the light is slowly dimming and being snuffed out. We need to stand strong and shine all the more brightly, so that those walking and living in darkness may see the light and come to a saving knowledge of Christ. May God use us as light bearers so that by His power and grace this declaration may be true for our culture:
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.”
So let’s work on our grumbling and disputing that we may become blameless children of God and bright illuminators of God’s goodness and grace. Let your light shine!
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”