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.

By Jennifer Hartline Published on October 18, 2017

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.

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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.

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  • Hmmm…

    I just read the article about the Californians who’ve lost their homes and communities. What you have here is the power they need. No matter how many times one has acted on what the word says and put it in their thoughts, you will have to do that same thing the next time … Hopefully, we strengthen and come to higher levels and retain that as growth. I’m thinking about David encouraging himself in the Lord after the devastating losses at Ziklag. He rehearsed his victories at other times. Things mightily turned around. Do it, it works; don’t, it won’t.

  • Jeremy L

    Religion itself is based on feelings, not facts. This whole little tirade sounds like a call for theocracy because you think your religion is “fact” and perceive non-Christians as creating a culture of “evil”. That is very disturbing, very Muslim-like, and very un-American. You’re scared of your kids being exposed to “irrationality”? You expose them to it every hour of every day. Give me a break.

    • Jennifer Hartline

      Thanks for a great laugh, Jeremy. If you knew anything at all about Scripture, or Catholic teaching and thought (I am Catholic) you might realize how absurd your comment is.

      • Jeremy L

        Scriptures and Catholic teaching asserting things as facts doesn’t make them facts.

        • Chip Crawford

          Right!! Good! Most people don’t know the difference between plain old facts and TRUTH.
          Be careful about truth though because … John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. But that’s God’s truth.

    • Chip Crawford

      Oh Jeremy, yes, do take that break, right away. In fact, you might think about taking some time off, having a good physical exam, a change of pace. Sure glad to give you a break from here. Maybe a nice cold compress on your forehead, leaning back in a recliner. Poor man!

    • Jim Walker

      Even I spoke like you before I became a Christian Jeremy.
      In fact, I’m worse than you. I pray one day you will come to know God. Amen.

  • faithful

    Jeremy its not about religion….its about relationship with God thru Christ; its real, its love and it fills all the holes of your heart. The only way you can find out is to have a talk with God about His son Jesus. He’s a big GOD, he can handle it….

  • PilgrimGirl

    “And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” John 1:5

    God said “comprehend”, not overcome. “The darkness comprehended it not”. “Perceived it not” as the Syriac version
    renders it.

    The deceiver changes the word of God to mean something other than what God has said.

    • Jennifer Hartline

      PilgrimGirl,
      “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. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light.
      The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not.” John 1:4-10

      I stand by my quotation of the verse. I’ve changed nothing and deceived no one.

      • PilgrimGirl

        You’re welcome to stand by your quotation but “overcome” in that translation is not consistent with the original Greek “καταλαμβάνω” meaning to lay hold of with the mind – i.e. to understand, perceive, learn, comprehend.

        Your translation is deceiving. Moreover, those who adhere to the religious
        system of Roman Catholicism are they themselves deceived.

        The god who loves everyone, the jesus who died to save everyone – the god of Roman Catholicism and many other forms of false Christianity – is not the true and living God revealed in Holy Scripture.

        • Jennifer Hartline

          Ah, I see. Good luck to you, PilgrimGirl.

          • PilgrimGirl

            Luck…no such thing, Jennifer. Another myth.

            “Thou shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins”. (Matt 1:21) And that He did. “It is finished.”

        • Jim Walker

          Devil is trying to corrupt the Word, this I agree.
          Using “overcome”, instead of perceive, comprehend, does not change the fact : darkness will never have victory. Its because the devil cannot comprehend or perceive, it will never overcome the Light.
          I’d hope you can explain to us what damages will result when we use “overcome”.

          However, I’m more concerned with some other verses instead of this one.
          Verses like Matt 16:18, in which NLT says Peter is the rock, or the original NIV use the Capstone and not the Cornerstone (thank God its corrected) and many others.
          Therefore as for me, I don’t read the Bible like a book, I read it, always inviting the presence of the Holy Spirit.

          • PilgrimGirl

            “In him [the Word] was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” (John 1:4-5) In verse 5 is the effect of mankind’s fall in Adam (Romans 5:12; John 5:40). Every man that comes into this world is lightened by his Creator, but the natural man hates the light and “loves darkness rather than light” (John 3:19). The unregenerate man, not having been born of God, is like one who is blind – he is in the dark, so neither comprehends nor apprehends the light.

            Likewise John 1:10-11…”He was in the world” (God incarnate) “and the world was made by him” (the Creator) “and the world knew him not.” (Isaiah 53:1-3; 1 Corinthians 2:7-8). “He came unto his own” (the nation Israel, his temple, his priesthood: the people who had awaited the Messiah for centuries) “and his own received him not.” (It began with no room in the inn and culminated with the crucifixion).

            A clear picture of the darkness and depravity in the hearts of all of us by nature.

          • Jim Walker

            Can you read my question again and answer to it.

          • PilgrimGirl

            You didn’t ask a question, sir. I further addressed the text in John 1 that’s under discussion. What is it that I didn’t address in my response that you want me to answer?

          • Jim Walker

            Sorry my question is
            “I’d hope you can explain to us what damages will result when we use “overcome”.

          • PilgrimGirl

            In John 1:5 is the word comprehend which is translated from the original Greek καταλαμβάνω meaning “to lay hold of”. The same Greek καταλαμβάνω is also translated comprehend (to understand, lay hold of with the mind) in Ephesians 3 when Paul writes “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” Comprehend not only fits within the context of John 1, it is consistent with the word of God as a whole.

            Had the writer intended to say overcome, the original Greek νικάω meaning “to conquer, to carry off the victory, come off victorious” would have been used, as it was in Luke 11:22; John 16:33; Romans 3:4, 12:21; 1 John 2:13, 2:14, 4:4, 5:4, 5:5; Revelation 2:7, 2:11, 2:17, 2:26, 3:5, 3:12, 3:21, 11:7, 13:7, 17:14, and 21:7. But it wasn’t.

            By changing words, the meaning is changed. Perhaps I should ask you: what damages will result
            from changing God’s word?

          • PilgrimGirl

            By changing words, the meaning is changed. Perhaps I should ask you: what damages will result from changing what God has said?

          • PilgrimGirl

            Had the writer intended to say overcome, the original Greek νικάω meaning “to conquer, to carry off the victory, come off victorious” would have been used, as it was in Luke 11:22; John 16:33; Romans 3:4, 12:21; 1 John 2:13, 2:14, 4:4, 5:4, 5:5; Revelation 2:7, 2:11, 2:17, 2:26, 3:5, 3:12, 3:21, 11:7, 13:7, 17:14, and 21:7. But it wasn’t.

          • PilgrimGirl

            In John 1:5 is the word comprehend which is translated from the original Greek καταλαμβάνω meaning “to lay hold of” as with the mind, the understanding. The same Greek καταλαμβάνω is also translated comprehend in Ephesians 3 when Paul writes “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” Comprehend (to understand with the mind) in John 1:5 not only fits within the context of John 1, it is consistent with the word of God as a whole.

          • PilgrimGirl

            Oh! what’s wrong with these religious websites that they detect legit posts as spam?? Once again I’ll have to respond in multiple posts so the system will allow me to post a response at all.

    • Chip Crawford

      It is also written that Satan is the accuser of the brethren …
      There is nothing about our helping him with that operation.

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