Joy That Lights Up The Darkness

It’s audio devo day! With this last episode in the Joy Series, it’s a wrap! … So lift up your cup to Heaven, and get ready for Holy Spirit to fill it supernaturally as you listen here:

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“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

Recognize these words? They form the famous opening to Charles Dicken’s classical work, A Tale of Two Cities. Though he wrote it in 1859, it almost seems like he was prophesying the times in which we are now living. I know – “the worst of times” part is easy to see. Today, however, I want to invite you to contemplate the other half of his description. These, my friend, are ALSO truly the best of times, for those who have eyes to see. For those who have ears to hear what Holy Spirit is saying to us all, these times are overflowing with hope.

With that in mind, let’s contemplate together another prophetic picture of our current chapter of history: “Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you” (Isa. 60:1-2, NKJV).

As the Prophet Isaiah foresaw, deep darkness is covering people of the earth today. The darkness is blatantly easy to perceive. As a result, we so often get hung up and stop there, fixated on the inky blackness of our distressing world circumstances. But Holy Spirit issues a clarion call to our spirits with these powerful words: “Arise, shine; for your light has come!” This may be “the season darkness,” my friend. However, the darkness only serves as an acknowledgement of how brilliantly God’s light blazes in and through our lives. The blacker the darkness, the more splendidly we His people shine forth in the midst of it! This, above all else, is “the season of light.”

As we ponder this, I want to draw your attention to an incredibly important detail in Isaiah’s prophetic declaration. Consider this part of his description of God’s glory dawning over us, a few verses later: “Then you shall see and become radiant, and your heart shall swell with joy…” (v. 5). In these words we discover a fundamental facet of our glorious shining during this murky, shadowy season. What is it that makes us shine so radiantly? It is… supernatural joy. Amidst deep darkness, Holy Spirit is going to cause us to emanate the brilliance of His supernatural joy.

Does it seem unrealistic of God to speak of this resplendence during such profoundly difficult days? He knows. He’s here. He is not detached. He gets how unsettling these times are for you and me. He well knows that daily we are staring straight into the face of “the age of foolishness” and “the winter of despair.” He knows that many moments have been gut-wrenching and heart-breaking. And yet, He has declared that His own glory is going to be on display over our lives in the middle of it all.

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