Hold the Feelings — Just the Facts
Now is our time to bring the light and live as children of light, with courage and steadfast faith.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it — John 1:5
The darkness will never overcome the light.
Though when it’s pitch black all around, that can sound like merely a fanciful sentiment. A fairy tale. If we just keep on believing, and so forth.
Fairy tales are not enough. At this point, humming a happy tune will not lift my spirits. The darkness around us is certainly not fiction, so the remedy cannot be fiction either. Victory will not arrive on the wings of a fairy godmother with her magic wand.
If there isn’t something rock-solid to believe in, there’s no point in believing.
I tend to be a melancholy spirit, and the older I get, the more I wish I was one of those ever-optimistic types, with their reliable cheerfulness. It is a constant battle to keep a faithful perspective on things and not be mired in gloom.
I’m not a big fan of our society at the moment. Frankly, I’m mad as a hornet that my children must grow up in this irrational, perverted culture. I wanted better for them.
Am I the only one who feels this way?
In case I’m not (and I do hope I’m not alone in this!), let me bring some harsh truth regarding facts vs. feelings into the equation. Ironic, isn’t it? The same admonition we need to give our coddled college snowflakes — facts don’t care about feelings — applies here as well.
The Fact is …
The fact is, Jesus Christ is Lord, now and forever. The fact is, He has conquered sin, death, and hell itself, now and forever. There is no chance that Satan will be victorious in the end. Satan has already met his end, and he is defeated. There is no possibility that the powers of hell are greater than the power of God.
No matter how dark the darkness becomes, the fact is, the light is still greater and will not be overcome. Not ever.
If I allow feelings of despair, anger, futility, and gloom to overshadow my conviction of these facts, then I’ve given undeserved power to feelings and turned them into impenetrable proofs. Faith is slowly crushed under the weight of sorrow or a sense of helplessness. I risk becoming persuaded that God has gone missing, or has finally, after all these centuries, decided He’s had enough of the human race and given up. Worse, I might just begin to suspect that the serpent is greater than the Creator.
Yes, faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, but faith is not wishful thinking. Rather, it is a decision to take God at His word. It’s a choice to not be steered by emotions, but to engage the will in following God in this moment. It is an act of trust in the Light that will never be extinguished.
For Such a Time as This
It is also a decision, a commitment, to accept the mission. You and I are called to be bearers of the light in our darkened world. I can be downcast about the state of the world into which my children have been born, but that isn’t doing them any favors, nor is it preparing them to take the baton when their time comes. God, in His wisdom, has chosen this moment in history for them. For such a time as this, He has decided they should live and be salt and light in the world.
This is our time, folks. We do not have the luxury of neutrality, since in the eternal economy, there is only yes or no. It’s God or nothing. It is truth or lies. It is freedom or bondage. Life or death. There is no middle ground. No ambiguous morality that permits “yours” and “mine” and “theirs,” all equally good.
This is our moment in history, for better, and for all the worse. There’s no point in denying all the worse, or pretending it doesn’t wear us down. I know it wears me down.
Worn down or not, the facts remain unchanged. Jesus Christ is Lord. He is the light that is the life of men, and the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:4-5)
We must fortify the walls of our hearts and take courage. We need to choose to believe the eternal facts instead of feelings. It’s not a Pollyanna optimism I speak of, but a deep, solid faith that doesn’t surrender to gloom and futility. Do I know Him whom I have believed or not? Is He the King of Kings or not? There is only yes or no.
It is dark outside, and the enemy of our souls seems to be gaining more ground every day, logging terrific victories in our morally bankrupt culture. Now is our time to bring the light and live as children of light, with courage and steadfast faith.
Jesus Christ is Lord, now and forever. He lives and reigns forever. He is victorious, and all power and honor and glory belong to Him.
Them’s the facts.