2020 was quite the year. For many, it brought great waves of anxiety and depression. Lack of social interaction, stress over finances and lay-offs, worry over potentially getting sick, low grocery stock in stores, and loneliness were just a few of the anxieties that many people across the entire world shared. We fought over toilet paper, we fought over politics, and we fought over the right way to handle a very unprecedented crisis.
“Alone, together” as one commercial put it. There was nowhere to go to escape the new reality that America—and the world at large—found themselves in.
It seemed as if a curtain of darkness consumed most of 2020.
And yet, at the end of the year, my social media newsfeeds were flooded with posts of thankfulness. Users asked their friends to comment and share something good that happened during the year. And there was good. Babies were born. Engagements were made. Weddings were performed. Goals were met. People built houses, wrote entire novels, learned new crafts and created new recipes, knocked off several “honey-do” items around their home, got cleaned out and organized, memorized Scriptures, and more. People were thankful for milestones achieved, accomplishments made, and relationships enhanced.
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Our Weapons against Growing Darkness
I believe that’s the key to all that consumes us—gratitude. A thankful heart pushes back the darkness and allows the light in. And gratitude is tied closely to perspective. There’s plenty of negative things to obsess over—that’s easy. But what about the positive? What about those shiny silver linings to the looming storm clouds? That’s harder to spot, but worth the effort.
Instead of focusing on the darkness, we can take a deep breath and choose to focus on the light. Even if it’s a pinprick, even if it’s a tiny candle in a massive damp cave, it’s still there. It counts. Hang on to it! For Christians, we know from the Bible that the Lord never forsakes us. We know that He is light and truth. We can rest in the promises that God is sufficient for our needs. We can trust that He is Provider, Healer, Sustainer, and the Lover of our souls. We can wait for the hope that is to come in eternity.
And despite an uncertain, ever-changing world, we can be assured of God’s unchanging character and sovereignty. Jesus was and is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. 2020 didn’t alter that, and nothing that we might experience in 2021 will change that truth, either.
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What Part Will You Play This Year?
This new year, I challenge you to devote more time to Scripture than to social media. Go to the Lord before you go to gossip. Default to prayer instead of to worry. Constantly renewing your mind with national news, negative perspectives and fear will only weigh you down and fan the fires of anxiety and depression. But renewing your mind with the word of God, with prayer and Christian fellowship and the truths of the gospel, will shine light into the darkness.
Carry a lantern and be a bearer of hope in the night rather than a spreader of fear and shadows. After all, as Christians, we’re called to always be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15).
As we go into the New Year, may these twenty verses encourage you with the solid truth that you are never alone, that you are seen and held, and that the light of Christ has overcome the darkness. And may you go forward with that inspiring message of hope to the masses.
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20 Scriptures to Bring Light into Your Darkness:
Psalm 18:28 For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness.
Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
John 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.
John 8:12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
1 John 1:5-7 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
Psalm 119:130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.
Ephesians 1:16-21 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
Revelation 21:23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.
1 Peter 5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
Job 12:22 He uncovers the deeps out of darkness and brings deep darkness to light.
John 12:46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.
Psalm 112:4 Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
Ecclesiastes 2:13 I saw that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness.
Matthew 5:16 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.
Habakkuk 3:4 His brightness was like the light; rays flashed from his hand; and there he veiled his power.
Isaiah 60:1 Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Genesis 1:3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.
Photo Credit: © Pexels/Joy Marino
Originally published Friday, 08 January 2021.