Hope is a tricky and fragile thing. We live in dark times with the world seeming to be in a constant state of conflict, infighting, and general hatred. At first it seemed to be a passing fad, but now it seems as if the darkness is the world is the way things will be. The problem with living in a world of darkness is that eventually you begin to lose hope that there is anything other than the darkness. You may fight it at first, searching eagerly to get out of the darkness, but eventually, as hope fades, you relegate yourself to the life of darkness. You give up thinking that something greater could be coming along. This is your life now. And it isn’t getting any better. Hope becomes lost.
The message of Jesus Christ, however, is one of hope. Where there is darkness the light of the world comes in to reveal His saving grace. Wherever we find ourselves, whatever our struggles may be, Jesus Christ came to draw us out of the darkness and offer hope where previously none was found.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
– John 8:12, NIV
Out Of The Darkness of Despair
The sinful state of humanity places each and every person separated from God and living in darkness. Not one person can claim that they have done enough righteous things to merit everlasting life or earned salvation. For many of us, we struggle with habitual sins and other decaying thoughts. The longer we stay in our sin, the more complicit we become with the darkness. Rather than being uncomfortable, we slump into the fact that we are where we are and that will never change.
This is the situation that Jesus enters. Before Christ’s intervention in our life, we were content to live in the darkness of our sin and separation only because
we did not know better. Darkness never appears dark until you step into the light of day. With the coming of Jesus Christ, the light has come into the darkness to show a better life is possible. There is hope is coming out of the darkness.
Into The Light
You cannot come out of something and not go in to something else. While we typically feel these are two different processes, they are done simultaneously. We can have hope that we will not stay in darkness because the God who is the one true light has conquered the darkness. We may even fear that our past time in the darkness defines us. Yet the rescue mission of Christ is not to condemn us for our past but to release us from our past and secure our future. We become children of the light, of the High King of Heaven, ushered through our newfound identity in Jesus Christ.
When we reside in Christ and put our identity in Him, we choose the hope of the light over the decay of the darkness. Yet, with our newfound identity, we cannot take everything with us. We cannot bring the things that belong in the darkness. They will not work. Our sinful life, must be left in the darkness. This is the process of our sanctification. In releasing our sin, we take hold of the hope of a renewed life. When faced with the decision to let go of the familiar of the darkness or grasp hold of the hope of the light, step into the light.
For whatever darkness you feel you are facing or whatever situation you feel will never change, there is hope. We are not define by our past. We take hope and come out of the darkness and into the light.