Friday, December 28, 2012

God’s Light Will Shine through the Pain of a New Year

“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned”
(Isaiah 9:2).

Lights are an important part of holidays, particularly during the Christmas season.  We put lights on Christmas trees and candles in the windows.  We enjoy looking at outdoor light displays.  We light advent candles at church and sing Silent Night by candlelight on Christmas Eve. We may even welcome New Year’s in with fireworks.

God is associated with light throughout Scripture.  His light began the creation of the world. The light of a star led the wise men to Jesus.  The light of angels announced His birth as well as His resurrection.  Jesus called Himself the Light of the world, and this Light has been given to us.

Living with the uncertainty of health struggles or other problems, this coming new year may appear more dark than light.  “Living in the land of the shadow of death” may seem an accurate description for the fear of our unknown future or the grimness of our ongoing battles.  Yet we have seen a great light.  We just celebrated the coming of that light to earth, and the repercussions of that light give us the hope and perseverance to enter another year.

Isaiah wrote these words during bleak times for Israel.  They had endured much suffering and captivity.  In the preceding chapter of Isaiah, he says that people saw only distress and darkness and fearful gloom.  That may be an accurate description of how we see our personal lives as well as the world in general.  But God’s answer to that is the light of Christ’s birth, death, and resurrection.

That light will give us the direction we need to face whatever the new year holds.  There is no darkness of pain or the unknown that God’s light will not reach to offer us hope and guidance.   So light a candle this New Year’s Day and rejoice in knowing that the coming year is already illuminated with the loving light of God’s comforting and eternal presence.

Prayer:  Lord, give me hope as I begin this new year, praising You for the assurance that Your light will guide me through whatever my come.  Amen.


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