When the Light Changes?
Written By: Chris Mace
A bright light broke out dispelling the thunder storm and the fog.
Experiencing life often seems like living within weather patterns. Our joy, our moments of contentment and security are caught between the abrupt and distressing, between storms and mysteries. We are vulnerable to relentless change, some of which is expected and good but frequently is surprising and unpleasant. We seek stability and look for excitement and adventure only when we want it. However, what happens is often not our choice because it turns dark and painful or mysterious. And when we look for meaning but hear and see only silence and emptiness, our default positions are hopelessness or “faith.”
We all live within the realm of “faith” when it comes to whether or not we believe in God. That thought raises the knotty question of whether there is an enduring, consistent Reality who providentially lights the way through our earthly experiences? The voices of nature, morality, intuition would suggest so. Revelation, and Jesus speak loudly in the affirmative.
God is a steadfast, unchanging reality: “I the Lord do not change” (Malachi 3:6a). His purposes are good (Isaiah 43:1). His Word is true and ” a lamp to guide (our) feet and a light for (our) path” (Psalm 119:105). Those qualities are established, eternal, and meaningful to us. Even when we do not understand fully, His character is consistent. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever (Isaiah 40:8) (Matthew 24:35). Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21).
Not only is He reliable, the Apostle John wrote that “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). James describes God as the creator of all the lights in the cosmos but “with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” Daniel (of lions’ den fame) knew Him as one who reveals “deep and mysterious things and knows what lies hidden in darkness, though he is surrounded by light (Daniel 2:22). The Apostle Paul spoke of Him as living in “unapproachable” light, perhaps meaning that our imperfections do not allow us to approach His holy character apart from His mercy and grace (1Timothy 6: 15-16). Those thoughts speak to God’s omniscient, pure, dependable character and the reality of His just but grace and mercy filled purposes for us (Jeremiah 29:11).
Justice and mercy are the reason He sent Jesus as “the light of the world.” He shows us our need and it’s cure and has begun righting the wrongs (John 8:12). “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it… (The light) became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:4-14).
During a recent visit to a children’s museum, I saw a sign that said “Hope begins where there is truth.” We can have full confidence in what is true. Jesus claimed to have come from the God who is true, that he is Truth and Life, and that one must come to God through him. (John 7:28; 14:6) He stated his mission: “I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true” (John 18:37).
Those claims should not be summarily dismissed but carefully considered because not only does Christ reveal God and our redemptive needs to us, he does something about it. He relates to us so deeply that he died for us and took the condemnation for our sins. “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”(Romans 5:8). There could be no deeper love or act of love.
So, even when the clouds threaten with ominous rumblings or lingering doubts and questions roll into our minds and dim the light, God’s sovereignty and faithful goodness will sustain us. It is faith that taps into that power and guarantees His presence where His love is immeasurable and unwavering. (Hebrews 11:6)
The Psalmist lived in that Light even in difficulties. He did not fight the darkness alone: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling” (Psalm 46:1-3).
God’s promises are rock solid. His redemption is sure and eternal. A future with Him is forever. All honor, power, and dominion are His. He is unchanging Light.