“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
1 John 1:5-7
There is so much darkness in this world, so much darkness that at times it seems like it’s just so hard to see…
Amidst all of the chaos, all the pain, all of the suffering and sin and iniquity, amidst all of the transgressions that surrounds us we are left to wonder where is the light? Where is it in this world as we look to the wicked deeds of wicked men who work their wicked ways throughout this world and in this world? Darkness, it seems so encompassing, so transcending, that it subjugates us in its bitter tyranny and bleak oppression, seeming to move through all that we see around us without check, without trouble or problems.
Here we are left to wonder as to the promises of the Lord, as to the words that He has handed down to us in the blessed assurances of His devotion to His children. Where is the love that shines through in the love and the compassion and the mercy of our Heavenly Father? Why does it seem as if it is so far off as peace is set to flight and solace seems so far off, as comfort appears to be so distant from the needs of those who find themselves in such bitter estate, such painful agony and harsh anguish? We know the love of Christ, a love that set captivity captive, ransoming us from the power of the grave that sin, death and the Devil would no longer have its hold over us, gripping us in the clutches of its evil and vile powers. And if God is capable of such a divine rescue then why? Why do so many suffer amidst the captivity of this world?
Why are there still slaves who are held at the end of a whip, beaten and abused by their masters as they are held in such contempt, used as nothing more than livestock and cattle to build the fortunes and the wealth of those who hold the dignity of humanity cheap?
Why are there still hostages taken, ransomed off, their bodies broken, as they are traded, bartered for as if they were nothing more than a commodity for the political or economic agendas of evil men who hold their lives with no worth but what it can be traded for?
Why are there still girls ripped from the streets to be used for their bodies, their innocence torn from them as they are drugged and beaten, kept far from their homes, never to see their families again, murdered when they have been used up, serving no more purpose?
Why are there still prisoners taken by brutal regimes that torture and kill, using oppression and tyranny, fear and hatred as the weapons at their disposal to assert their authority above the authority of God, robbing innocent men and women of their rights for no other reason than they can?
There is just so much darkness that is all around us, more than it can seem that we can bear at times, and the truth… the simple truth of it all is that we don’t even know the worst of it, because we watch from our homes, far distant from these evil places that try to hide themselves from the Lord and from His commands.
Yet, for all their evil, for all their vile ways, for all the wickedness that they seek to inflict on the hearts and the souls of men as they try to break their bodies and their spirits, we know that there is an ever present God, a God of righteousness and justice, a God of strength and mercy who is set above all the powers of this world, and though darkness may dwell in the hearts and minds of these men, there is no secret, hidden place that cannot be illuminated by the Lord. Through Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior, He lit a fire unto this world to shine His truth and His righteousness in all places, through all things and there, to protect and to guide His children even in the darkest of days.
Yes, there are going to be wicked men of brutal iniquity until that day of Christ’s glorious return, when he comes again in judgment and power, majesty and glory, to put down the rebellion of the spirit and the soul that seems to guide our way in this world, yet we know that God does not contend with the cause of the unrighteous, He is far distant from the struggle of evil men, battling on, fighting on to work His ways with His children held in such a harsh realm. Through the power of His Spirit, He gives ease and comfort to their spirit, shining light and love, compassion and peace upon their souls, healing the wounded, broken parts of their heart through the mercy He has for them.
We may not always see the light of God, we may not always recognize it in this world, but by the love of the Savior we know that it is there and it contends with the cause of the captives, just as He did as He came upon this world to illuminate all of our souls in the divine reconciliation of his encompassing sacrifice on the cross.
Know therefore that the light of our Heavenly Father is present in this world, even when we see pain and sorrow all around us, and know that it does not dwell in the hearts of darkness that seek to live according to their own laws and their own wills believing that the judgment of the Lord is far off or that it will never come. Know that, by His truth and His love, by His compassion and mercy, all things will be made possible in the struggle for the captives and that He shall work His ways to ensure their freedom according to His devotion to His children. There we know that we have the blessing of a loving God, a loving Father who never abandons His children, regardless of how harsh the struggle may be or how bleak the days may seem. He is there, in all things, through all things to give strength unto the weak and to deliver the subjugated according to His faithful promises, those promises He has always kept, even from the earliest of days in our fall to sin.
What a wondrous comfort, what a gracious miracle that is for our lives and for the lives of all who seem so lost to the sin and iniquity of unrighteousness amidst this world.
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.