How Darkness Turns to Light
I pray That we would experience the promise that after darkness comes light.
By David GOodrich, Middle School Principal
“When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’ The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad. Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the Negeb! Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy. He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.”
Psalm 126: 1- 5
OUR GREAT HOPE
In his work Revival, Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones implores the church to plead for revival. This call, he contends, must be motivated by three principal concerns: “first a concern for the glory of God, second a concern for the honor of the Church herself, and third a concern for the heathen outside.” As I consider the words of Psalm 126 and Dr. Martin-Lloyd Jones, I am overwhelmed with grief at the current state of our culture – a culture that seeks to glorify licentious behavior, moral relativism, and the exaltation of self. What is at stake other than the destruction of our marriages, biblical manhood and womanhood, children, and the church? Are we as a covenant community immune to these pressing forces? Are we prepared to withstand the battle when it arrives on our beachheads? What hope do we have in this world?
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
What hope do we have? Apparently, great hope! Take heart for He has overcome the world. What a glorious truth! Amid our tribulation and declining culture, we are comforted that our God has overcome - not will overcome but has overcome - the world. So, take heart, we are in a season to rejoice! We are to remember that the perfect lamb of God bore our sins and imputed to us His righteousness. He conquered death, and He rose from the dead and secured our eternal freedom. Therefore, let us live as a people who are free: free from the bondage of slavery, free from the delusion that counterfeit glories can satisfy, and free to love our enemies as ourselves. Let us live according to our calling, pursuing the glory of God, the restoration of the global church, and the liberation of the captives.
LIVING IN FREEDOM
Yet how do we live in this freedom and the assurance of our future hope, when the world around us is moving deeper into darkness? Interestingly, Jesus selected a few to disciple and equip for the expansion of his church and kingdom. As fellow heirs, we are called to live in community and to bear one-another’s burdens, training them and equipping them for battle. Proverbs 27:17 explains, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” I have experienced this first hand and pray that my own journey is being used to encourage others to soldier on and find freedom.
A little over thirteen years ago, I found myself in a state of despair: newly married, new career, new home, and a not-so-new desire to belong. Although I had a great understanding of the theological tenets of the Christian faith, those truths had yet to penetrate my heart, leaving a young man without purpose and meaning. Unfortunately, I am ashamed to say, my beautiful bride was caught in the wake of this despair. My marriage was on the brink, and I was desperate, skeptical, pessimistic, and one hundred percent reluctant. Nonetheless, I joined a discipleship group. Eleven years since that inaugural day, my life has been and continues to be changed by the supernatural work of God. As a group, we are wholly broken, but each of us inextricably feels the call for revival in our lives, marriages, kids, and community. It is a beautiful thing to watch each member imperfectly striving grow in holiness and seek reconciliation for the things broken by our sin.