Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
What we so often forget, or is not taught frequently enough, is that GOd’s LIFE is opposed. Your life is opposed. Never forget that key and important point. We have an enemy that is no less at work than when he arose against the life-giving work of Jesus Himself. In this world, we live in the middle of a war. And the battle is over our mind and what we are going to believe. Jesus was clear as to the aim of Satan …
"The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.”
Some would say, “Why is God doing this? Why would He be allowing this?”
Dear soul ... those questions are understandable, amidst crisis, but are misplaced accusations against the good heart of God. Let me explain. If you have a biblical worldview, you know that no theft, no death, no destruction flows from the heart of God. All that has darkened the earth, and diminished our lives, flows from the deceptive hand of Satan. COVID-19 is the rotten result of Satan’s dark heart. It is the inevitable outflow of his corrupt and vile character. And potentially even his influence on those who may have had a hand in engineering it. Whether it was a terrible act of nature, or a terrible act of man … we may never know its exact origin. But we know who ultimately set death in motion.
Of course, we hear the accusatory whisper of Satan (whose name actually means accuser) and he would tempt us all to make an agreement with him against God. That somehow God’s character is to be questioned, or His heart is a shade of grey, instead of the brilliant white light of LIFE. Reject that voice. Remember … Jesus came to us because of God’s love for this world and His desire to redeem it from deception, wrong choices and death. Jesus died in the place of us all. To give us LIFE again.
In all the talk of death and disease, it can be easy to get depressed. The heart needs hope. I know that mine does. So, I remind myself to make sure I have my context right. First, we are in the middle of a spiritual war. Second, God is about LIFE. Third, I have a real enemy who opposes the LIFE of God, and also my life. Fourth, the enemy wants to use the darkness he creates to veil my own heart from God’s goodness. Fifth, Satan tries to get me to make an agreement against the goodness of God.
I must reject Satan's hideous scheme, and remember the LIFE and goodness of God, that continually flows, and is available to me at all times. I will choose LIFE and TRUTH! It’s interesting how our mental outlook and emotional condition will change when we stop and remember the truth of what is going on, and the goodness of God.
I was recently moved by a video from John Eldredge. He made a simple statement, but it profoundly touched me and resonated deeply, especially at a time such as this.
John recounts a terrible wild fire that burned thousands of acres, right up to his very own property line. When the fire finally expended itself, he spent time walking among the ash of death, destruction and desolation. The barrenness of the landscape—once gloriously beautiful—threatened to take his heart and his hope. He recounts, however, how the following spring he hiked up to the ridge behind him and was stunned to find the canyon and hillsides alive with colorful beauty of new growth and wild flowers. The wildfire had given way to wild flowers of immeasurable glory.
We are all going to get through this difficult time. And it is difficult. People are losing their jobs, their stability, their lives. There is suffering of all various degrees in this life. There is a promise though, from the "God of a good heart". For those who are God’s own, those who love Him, all things are being worked together for a good end and result. Satan is a liar and destroyer. He has set his intention against our lives. Yet, Jesus already overcame Satan, death and all this corrupt world-system represents. When we are in Him, it no longer can ever ultimately define our LIFE, for our LIFE flows from God and there is nothing that comes against us that can separate us from the love of God and the LIFE He has purchased for us.
Jesus read the opening portion of Isaiah 61 when declared that He has come to heal the broken-hearted and to provide freedom for those in spiritual captivity. Just a little bit further in the chapter, Isaiah tells us what the result of Jesus' LIFE would be for those who believe in Him and received Him as Savior. His good heart is described in all its beauty … gracious hope to all who will receive. He will …
“… comfort all who mourn,
Console those who mourn in Zion,
Give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness …”
As a result of God’s gracious LIFE poured out in us, we will, in turn …
“Rebuild the old ruins,
Raise up the former desolations,
Repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations.”
The good heart of God poured out in us can give us a new and good heart, a fresh perspective and an eternal purpose. His righteousness can be imparted to us through His glorious salvation! Then we become moved to bring LIFE to everything around us. This truth, this promise, this opportunity changes the context of the life we are currently enduring. And that is very hopeful indeed.