Don’t Despair: There is Light
Christmas speaks hope to those suffering in darkness.
Depression is from the devil, the enemy of our souls. Hopelessness, torment, endless worry — these things are not from God.
And yet we face them. We look into the eyes of another human, or even our own reflection, and see eyes without hope. Eyes believing all is lost. Believing that the grief of daily life is too much to bear.
Have you ever looked into despairing eyes? I know a woman whose pain is very real. She wonders if she can keep fighting, if her life matters, how she can escape. I wonder what I can do or say to help her.
She’s not the only one despairing. Last year suicide in the U.S. reached a fifty-year peak. Death by suicide and drug overdose drove down life expectancy. Instead of rising year after year as it had been, life expectancy in the U.S. turned down in 2015. As of last year it was still decreasing, albeit more slowly.
This time of year can be especially overwhelming for some, leading to the term “holiday depression.” The enemy of our souls is attacking and, it seems, prevailing. What do we do? What is the answer to this darkness?
There is light. When Jesus came into our world, He was a light coming into darkness. The darkness could not overcome His light. Shadows can’t put up a fight when light comes. The man plagued by thousands of demons — the man who we would think a truly hopeless case, truly overcome by evil — even he could throw himself at Jesus’ feet. Even he could become a new creation, set free and showing others the light. Darkness — no matter how strong or how long it has held onto a soul — is no match for God’s light.
The burden of lifting someone out of a pit of darkness is too much for me. I don’t know what I’m doing.
But this is what I know. I know that light defeating darkness is the whole of the Christmas story. It’s the whole of the Christian hope. I know that Jesus has never faced a demon greater than himself, and the same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead lives inside of me. I know God is mighty to save. I know that God’s mercy and faithfulness keeps chasing after us, time and time again. I know that God can heal any hurt. I know Jesus took every hurt upon himself on the Cross so that we can give our hurts to him.
I know that God loves to partner with his children in loving the world. I know that He who loves me is mighty to love others through me. I know that He has never given up on me. I know Jesus gave his life to make me God’s child, and I know God lives inside of me.
His life is the light that shines out of me. May His love overtake us and shine out of us and destroy darkness with every step we take. We can’t, but He can. He goes with us into every dark place and looks with us into every hurting heart.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
As we sit with the hurting, He feels their hurts and lifts their heads. When we look into eyes clouded by darkness, let’s tell the life-saving truth with hope and love. Let’s say:
Jesus is the light of the world. He came to earth to live with us, know our pain, and save us. He suffered torment from the devil and rejection from fellow humans. He was violently murdered. And now He is alive. So turn from darkness. Give yourself to the only source of life. Through Jesus, we will overcome.
I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.