Everywhere on earth where it looks like God is losing, there’s one big reason for it, and it’s not what you think.
It’s not the Muslims. I share the concern about extremist groups, but their swords can’t extinguish the power of the Gospel. It’s not the Democrats or the Republicans. Their liberal/progressive/conservative/traditional views are not the problem. It’s not even Satan. He’s powerful, but not enough to beat Jesus. No one is. The truth is, God can’t lose. But sometimes it seems like darkness is winning.
The world may seem dark, but the darkness is not to blame, either. Those of us who are on God’s team sometimes feel like there’s a boogyman out there and it’s all his (or, in the spirit of gender inclusivity, her) fault. We point the finger at enemy x, y, or z. I get it. They all prove an easy target sometimes. There are plenty of horrible things going on. But none of those things — not non-Christians, not people with whom we disagree, not even Satan himself — have the strength to defeat the power of God. Everywhere on earth where it looks like God is losing is not for any of those reasons. There’s only one reason that explains what we see.
The reason it looks like God is losing is because the light has left.
In a world that seems to be growing darker with each passing year — where values have gotten all twisted and so much pain, hate, and violence dominate our lives — the only explanation is that the light is leaving.
Understand that the light is leaving, not being driven out. Darkness cannot drive out light. Light and darkness may be opposites, but they do not possess equal force. When given the opportunity, light always drives out darkness. Light always wins. For darkness to win, it’s not because it’s more powerful than light…it’s because the light ran out. So for it to seem like God is losing, it’s not because the darkness is more powerful.
It’s because the light left.
Pick the thing that you think is dominated by darkness and ask yourself a question:
Schools going down the tubes? Where are the Christian families, teachers, and students?
Government looking less than moral? Where are the Christian policy makers?
Hollywood filled with a bunch of trashy nonsense? Where are the Christians that are making movies and involved in the television business?
As Christians, we’re the ones tasked with shining the light of Jesus. If you’re tired of the dim view of things, there is an alternative to cowering in fear or complaining about the darkness.
Stop running from it.
This is tough stuff. But it may be time to stop saying that they (whoever “they” is) kicked God out of the schools and admit that there are many Christians who took their Bibles, faith, and witness and left voluntarily. The state of our country is worthy of much concern, but complaining about darkness does not eliminate darkness — shining light into it does.
Christians, we weren’t ever called to run from darkness, we were called to illuminate it. This behavior that I’m mentioning here — that I participate in as a believer sometimes — is expressly warned against in the Bible. Jesus himself says, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)
There is enough darkness in this world to leave us troubled, but we should remember that the Lord has overcome the world, and that should give us hope.
And let’s not leave with our light. Instead, let’s shine it into the darkness so that others will see it and know Jesus and the darkness will be illuminated until there isn’t any darkness left at all.