When we open our shades at night, darkness does not pour into our house—the light shines out into the darkness. Light is stronger than darkness and will always ultimately prevail over it. As light is a metaphor for truth, we can be sure that likewise the truth will always ultimately prevail.
So, in the world it will seem that evil is prevailing and people prefer to believe lies rather than the truth. That is because in this age “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (see I John 5:19), who Jesus called Satan “the father of lies” (see John 8:44). Even so, from Genesis on there is a promise of a new day coming, a new age, in which Jesus who is “The Truth” will return and take authority over this world.
Biblical prophecies describe the time immediately preceding the coming kingdom as being “like the days of Noah” (see Matthew 24:7) when the thoughts and intents of men’s hearts were continually evil. Jesus said when we see this happening again, like in Noah’s time, we should look up and rejoice! How are we to rejoice in the midst of such darkness?
We are told in Nehemiah 8:10 that “the joy of The Lord is your strength.” We must never lose our joy in The Lord, which is rooted in the faith that He will ultimately prevail over all evil. For there to be a victory there must be a battle. It is also through the hope given to us in The Scriptures that The Lord loves to perform His greatest works when the odds against Him are the greatest. In this greatest conflict we will see His greatest works.
It requires ultimate faith in God to believe when it looks like the darkness is prevailing, much less rejoice. This ultimate time of darkness will be the greatest time there will ever be to display ultimate faith and trust in Him. Because Scripture says that we were created for His pleasure, and without faith it is impossible to please Him, we should see this as the greatest time there will ever be to bring Him pleasure.
Jesus and the apostles prophesied that this great tribulation would come upon the world like travail upon a woman in labor. The earth is in labor to give birth to the Day of the Lord, the age in which He Himself will rule over the world and restore it from all of the consequences of the Fall. Just as the travail of childbirth may begin suddenly, but it comes in waves that become stronger and more frequent the closer you get to the birth, we can see this pattern in what is now unfolding. In I Thessalonians 5:1-6 we are given an important exhortation about these times:
Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you.
For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.
While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.
But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief;
for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness;
so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober.
We are assured by prophecies, such as the one above that we can know and walk in that greater light of the age to come, now. That Greater Light is The Son, and as we follow Him we too become vessels of The Light that overcomes darkness just as He did.
The primary way we are told to prepare the way for The Lord and His kingdom is to make disciples, not just converts, and of nations, not just individuals. This is called “The Great Commission” of course. This is the greatest commission that we can have, and no other accomplishment will compare to those who have been successful in fulfilling this one.
Since The Great Commission was given, no nation has ever been a greater disciple of Christ than America, adhering to His teachings and ways. This is not to imply that we have been perfect disciples. Like the cycles of seeking God and then drifting from Him were the history of ancient Israel, we can see such cycles in America’s relationship to The Lord. As a nation, America has at times drifted from God, been lukewarm, and turned to darkness rather than The Light. Each time we have paid a dear price for our apostacy with discipline, and we returned to Him. This is the most important thing we can do now for ourselves, our families, and our country.
Jesus warned some of the most righteous cities in Israel that Sodom would have it easier in the judgment than they would. Why? As Jesus explained, if the light Israel was then rejecting had been shown in Sodom, Sodom would have repented. This indicates that the severity of judgment, or discipline from The Lord, is not based so much on the degree of evil a nation has fallen into as it is the degree of light that it has rejected.
How much light has America been given? How much have we drifted from it in recent times? How much more severe are the crises we are now facing because of it? It is no accident that one of the words translated “judgment” in The New Testament is the root word that we derive our word “crisis” from.
There are many kinds of judgment in Scripture, and only one of them is condemnation, and only one is destruction. All of the rest are discipline for those whom The Lord loves, as we see in Hebrews 12:5-8:
“MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM;
FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES...”
It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
People often take discipline as rejection. It is not rejection, but is actually a sign that God still loves us. Therefore, we should be more concerned if the judgment of God stops. Let us resolve that through these times we will not lose our joy in The Lord, rejoicing in whatever discipline He has allowed for our good, and that we have been called to live in such challenging times is a sign that He loves us as sons.
There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.
He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.
He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,
who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:9-13).