Light in the Darkness
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. —Deuteronomy 31:6 (Read Deuteronomy 31)
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? —Psalm 27:1 (Read Psalm 27)
Worship music brings peace to my busy days, so I often put it on when I study. One time, “Joy of the Lord” by Rend Collective came on. The lyrics of the chorus caught me off guard: “The joy of the Lord is my strength. In the darkness I’ll dance, in the shadows I’ll sing. The joy of the Lord is my strength.”
What came to mind was the unmistakable dread of walking alone down a dark alley. This feeling is not cause for joyful dancing and singing. But, usually, it’s not a literal dark room or shadowy alley that causes us to fear; the fabric of our lives—the past, the present, the future and the general unknown—is scary enough.
Maybe you are studying for a test and feel the anxiety rising. I didn’t study enough, I’m going to fail. Is it too late to drop out? Maybe you are applying for a job. What if I mess up the interview. What if I’m not qualified? Maybe you are feeling overwhelmed by all your responsibilities. If I don’t get this done now, I’ll never get back on track. And maybe, from there, you start to spiral, and things get even darker.
What if I told you this isn’t God’s desire for your life?
How would you feel if you knew that there was a Light at the end of the tunnel, an everlasting Hope that is always there even in our darkest hour?
Deuteronomy is the last of the first five books of the Old Testament, a series called the Pentateuch. These books describe the covenant that God made with His people. They show, time and time again, examples of God leading the Israelites from evil to goodness and from darkness to light. The Israelites still had fear in their hearts from their past and the uncertainty of the future; however, even when they didn’t know it or feel it, God was with them, God was protecting them, God was leading them, and God loved them.
Although God promised His favor several millennia ago, it still holds true for His children today.
You may have residual fear or anxiety from your past that affects your hope for the future, but God has never left and will never leave you, for His love for you has no end. It is so powerful that there is nothing of this Earth or beyond that can separate us from His love (Romans 8:38-39).
Let this be a reassurance that God is with you, God is protecting you, God is leading you, and God loves you.
The next time you find yourself in a dark place, turn to the Lord and ask for the strength, courage, joy and peace that he offers. Knowing that God, who is the Everlasting Light, is always with me is more than enough reason to dance and sing through the darkness.
—Joel Hinkle serves as a part of Wednesday Night Team on Cornerstone Leadership.
Cornerstone Leadership members will write a weekly devotional during Spring 2021.