“…that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9
It’s pretty amazing that, as Jesus followers, we have been called out of darkness. Yet what does that actually mean when darkness seems to cast it’s shadow all around us? How do we escape it when discouragement tugs at our own coattails?
We are called by Jesus to walk differently. To share joy, show gentleness, have patience, bring peace, to have self-control and to walk faithfully. God gives us His Spirit to help us demonstrate these qualities of His light. Yet every one of us knows the temptation to dwell on the negative, be critical, let discouragement wash over us, or settle into a pity party. Things don’t always go our way and when they don’t it’s natural to feel the pull of darkness drawing us away from God’s light.
God knows us better than we know ourselves. Along with His Spirit, He gives us tools to help us live in the Light.
Tool #1 – Declare His praises. When the darkness of doubt, discouragement or just plain depletion of strength and joy creep in, turn intentionally to offer praise to God. Thank Him that He is your Rock, your Strength, your Shepherd who will guide you and prepare a feast for you even in the middle of that pull of darkness.
Tool # 2 – His word tells us to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness”, but rather to expose them. (Ephesians 5:11). We often think of “unfruitful works of darkness” as the big bad things. Yet when you feel that pull of darkness toward a pity party or embracing that discouragement, stop and ask yourself if you have opened the door to have fellowship with any unfruitful works of darkness. This could simply be entertainment that pulls you to the dark side; engaging in negative, critical thoughts and conversations; acting selfishly; forgetting to thank God for who He is. Recognize the doors you may have opened that lead you to unfruitfulness and ask for God’s help to close them. Lean again into His strength. Refocus your thoughts on thanksgiving – even if you have to start with the smallest bit of gratitude to Him. Once darkness is exposed to the Light it cannot remain. Find others to walk together with in the Light of Jesus’ presence.
Heavenly Father, I thank you that You have called me into Your light. I need Your help to live there consistently. When discouragement and temptations come to override me, please nudge me and help me to quickly back away and close the door to the darkness. Remind me to turn my eyes to You and praise You. Help me to refocus on the help and strength of Your Holy Spirit. Thank you that Your Light fills my life with peace and joy and strength. Thank you that I can expose the darkness and walk in the peace You give me. I praise You that darkness cannot remain in the Light of Your wonderful presence. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Thought: Is discouragement or temptation tugging you downward? If not thank Him for His wonderful Presence right now. When you do feel darkness crowding your soul, stop and ask what door you may have opened to the unfruitful works of darkness. Pay attention to your thoughts and the things you allow into your mind. Ask for God’s help in closing those doors so that you may remain in His light and walk peacefully and joyfully in His presence.
By Gail Rodgers
Used by Permission
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