Can't Stop the Light

Well, it is 2:30am again tonight.
After considering
last night’s article, it seemed fitting and necessary for there to be a follow-up post.

Yes, it is true the darkness I have been facing in my life is great. Yet, there is another side of the coin that must be shown. For you see, the darkness CANNOT stop the light!

I’m human and because I am human, I so often lose sight of the long-term and start viewing things from a temporal, earthly perspective.
Sure, things have been incredibly rough this past year.
Yes, there are moments I want to quit and I fight those desires to quit EVERY DAY.

Truth be told, I praise God He doesn’t typically tell us in advance what trials we are going to face, for I am convinced we would always run in the opposite direction if that was the case.
Two years ago, if the Lord had told me where I’d be today, I would indeed have run in the opposite direction. I would NEVER have chosen this path, not in a million years. This path has been grueling, draining, lonely and extremely discouraging.

However, sitting here tonight, looking back in hindsight, I see the Lord’s fingerprints all over that which has been terrible for me to experience.

Below is a non-exhaustive list of the things the Lord has been working in my heart and life in all of this.

  • Emboldened me to speak truth in the face of great opposition.
  • Stripped me of my dependence upon self (still ongoing work being done on this one).
  • Deepened my heart of compassion for the lost and those in bondage.
  • Opened my eyes to so much truth from His Word, giving my heart a deep peace in things I have been wrestling over for years.
  • Taught me about the depths of His unconditional love and challenged me to love others the same way in His strength.
  • Opened my eyes to the many wolves that are amongst the flock of Christ, who are seeking to destroy the helpless sheep.
  • Driven me back to His Word when my world came crashing down and everything I believed was challenged.
  • What was in my life & beliefs from God's Word has been reaffirmed and that which was my own opinion or the opinions of others, He is lovingly working on removing from my life.
  • He has challenged me to confront sins and temptations in my own life that I haven’t been taking seriously or simply ignoring.
  • He worked a resolve in my heart once and for all, that I will die, if need be, or suffer whatever pain and suffering comes for the truth of God’s Word and the unadulterated, undiluted, pure gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • He has worked in me a deeper understanding of forgiveness and given me hundreds of opportunities to practice “7x70,” forgiveness without limits or conditions.
  • Finally, He has given me such a deeper understanding that only One can truly satisfy my aching and lonely heart, Jesus.

And I could go on and on.
How humbling it is to list those things out and remind my downcast heart, that God IS STILL WORKING!

Even in the midst of what has been the darkest time of my life, I repeat, the Lord HAS been working! His light HAS been piercing the night I have been facing. He HAS NOT abandoned me. He HAS NOT left me all alone. He HAS NOT forgotten me.
My God IS NOT finished! His work HAS NOT been stalled in my life, even if I feel like it has been.

Yes, I am still hurting tonight. Yes, the pain of my heart is not even remotely close to being fully healed. Yes, there are wounds I have received this past year whose scars I will carry for the rest of my life.
No, I will never be the same after all of this and actually, that is a very good thing.

For even in the midst of the night, when I have felt God has not been working, HE HAS BEEN WORKING!

So here, in the midst of what has been the darkest time of my life thus far, I turn my eyes to Him and Him alone. He is the Waymaker, He is my Captain and I will follow Him all the days of my life. To joy or sorrow, pleasure or pain, laughter or tears, life or death, I will not turn back.

I have decided to follow Jesus and even if none come with me, there is no turning back, I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back!

Not now, in the dark of night, not ever, so help me God!

We are fighting for the eternal souls of men, women and children. I’d rather bleed to death on the battlefield of life for this cause, than live for myself in comfort and bliss.

Dear friends, once again, I don’t know what you are struggling through, wrestling with or what pain you are going through.
Yet, allow me to encourage you with this, GOD IS WORKING!

“Nathaniel, how could this be good?! How could God be working in this?!” You might ask and I don’t deny the validity of those questions. I still wrestle with those questions myself…daily!

That is where trust in God comes in, is it not?
My heart has broken more times than I care to count this past year. The evils I’ve seen have shaken my faith in God. The losses I've experienced have caused me to question God’s goodness.

Yet, how quickly do I forget that sin exists in this world because of ME. It is MY fault. I and the entire human race chose our way over God’s and we as the human race brought sin and all its evils into this world.

Yet, what did the holy, pure, perfect and righteous God do? Let’s be clear, He owed us nothing but wrath and eternal punishment.
You and I, by nature of our sin, DESERVE the hottest fires of Hell.

But because of His great love for you and me, God sends His sinless Son to this earth to live the perfect life you and I could not live.
And then, He crushes Him under the full weight of His wrath on the cross. Jesus died a horrific death, because of me and FOR ME!
Jesus paid the price I rightly deserved for my sin.
(Praise God, Jesus didn't stay dead, but rose again on the third day! Hallelujah!)

Because of this, I have the hope of eternal life. I have the blessed hope this world is not the end. There is life beyond the grave for the Christ-follower.
All who repent of their sins and receive Jesus as Savior and Lord are forgiven, washed clean, dressed in His righteousness and have the blessed hope of eternity!

What greater hope, peace and joy could I have than this in the darkest moment of my life?

Isn’t the pain and suffering of this life so worth it FOR HIM? Isn’t the disgrace of Christ such an HONOR to bear? Is there anything more glorious than to know you have been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the name of Christ?! What is more wonderful than knowing you are being persecuted for the sake of the precious name of Jesus?! Could there be any greater honor than to suffer for the Lord who gave me the most precious gift of all time?!
Aren’t Christians the most strangest people on the face of this planet earth? :)
I can’t help but smile, what other group of people is smitten for the one they follow and rejoice they suffer for their Savior?
No wonder the world doesn’t understand the believer! God’s thoughts are so much higher than ours and His ways are certainly not ours, praise His name!

So yes, even the dark of night can’t stop the light!

Yes, I’ve been terribly broken, but may His light shine through my brokenness! May people see it isn’t me, the clay plot that is "incredible." No, for that is far from the truth.
Rather, may they see the incredibleness is
Jesus Christ in me. May they see He alone is worthy of all glory, honor and praise! May the lost come to Him as their Lord & Savior and may the believer be encouraged to a deeper dependence on King Jesus!

For the glory of Another, onward!