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Singing Psalm 97 for joy that light overcomes darkness

“Let all of you who love the LORD hate evil.    He guards the lives of all His faithful ones.

“And from the hand of every evildoer    He surely rescues them.

“For light is cast like seed upon the righteous,    And gladness for the firm and true in heart.” ~ Psalm 97:10-11

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” ~ John 1:5

When you turn the light on in a dark room, where does the darkness go?

“Darkness is nothing, it is not a physical entity. Darkness is what you have when there are no/very less photons, and thus you can’t see anything.

“When you light a lamp, the photons from the lamp bounce all over the room, and hence the darkness “disappears”, so to speak. Absence of light doesn’t exist when there is presence of light.” ~ Hritik Narayan,  physics.stackexchange.com

“Darkness is not a physical entity in itself. It is simply where light isn’t. As it is not an entity, it does not have to go anywhere when you turn on a light, it just ceases to exist as light enters the place where beforehand it wasn’t.” ~ Stanley Dodds, physics.stackexchange.com

Light overcomes darkness. Only the good will remain like a light that is turned on in a dark room. Light makes darkness disappear. The light remains.

You see how darkness/evil and light/good comparisons converge as John illuminates that light overcomes darkness, but darkness hates light because light exposes its deeds for what they are – opposed to God – evil.

“For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.” ~ John 3:20

Jesus is the light of the world and also calls his followers the light of the world. Though you follow imperfectly and are not always good, his perfect goodness is imputed onto you, credited to your account, as if you are truly good.

Those who practice evil and love the darkness will be cast out along with the remaining evil within God’s people who love the light.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” ~ Matthew 5:14-16

Your candle is lit by his purifying fire that burns brighter and hotter than the sun.

Singing Psalm 97 for joy that light overcomes the darkness in your thinking

When you gently point out unreasonable thinking in a loved one and hear a barrage of false accusations in return only expounding the unreasonableness, by faith you know that light overcomes darkness. Think on Jesus and the false accusations he endured and you will endure the pain with a deep inner joy that no one can take away. You cannot mistake this for a Pollyanna.

It is supernatural joy bestowed on those who will be silent in the face of false accusations, tears, and deep pain, overcoming evil with good. Of course, the ability to be silent in these situations is also from the Lord in that he helps us to cooperate with what he is doing in the world. When you speak, he helps you to carefully, wisely choose your words, your goal being to bring about good for the one who spoke evil against you.

This is so countercultural, so counter your natural tendency to defend yourself. Accepting that you were created to be utterly dependent on the Lord for every feeling, thought, word, and action, you let him defend you instead. Not self-righteously either. You know your sinful thoughts to avenge yourself. Yet by his strength, you in weakness put aside your own desires for your own honor in order to honor God by doing his will. 

The goodness, righteousness, and holiness you display has been given to you on loan from the Lord, the only source of good. You are resisting natural evil with supernatural good. The devil will flee from you as light overcomes darkness.

You can be a good steward of every circumstance you find yourself in whether perceived by you or others as good or evil. That you can confide in the Lord when you are subjected to evil, that you think it is best to praise him no matter what the circumstance – these are new perspectives that bring about a new result.

The result is that God reigns rather than you, another human, or the devil. 

Goodness reigns.

You have love in the presence of hate.

You can take heart that light overcomes darkness. No matter how dark darkness appears. Always.

Singing Psalm 97 for joy that light overcomes darkness in your feelings

Light overcomes darkness — even the darkness you feel within you. Whether you are losing hope because of misunderstandings relationally, job woes, sickness, or finances, ask the Lord to help you look by faith beyond the circumstances to see his face shining. Light overcomes darkness inside of you as well as outside of you.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. ~ James 1:2-4

Father of lights

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. ~ James 1:17

Father of lies

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. ~ John 8:44

Every good gift comes from the father of the lights. Every gift that’s promised but is never given comes from the father of lies.

Lord, help us to think of you as you are: the Light that gets rid of the darkness within us and outside of us. Thank you for being so faithful, so wise, so mighty, and so good. Help us not to be unaware of the schemes of the father of lies and how he lies about you, how he never stops trying to make your people doubt your goodness.

One thing you cannot do, Lord, is what he continuously does: lie.

The darkness of evil is competitive, comparing, combative – always trying to be better than the next guy.

The light of good is compassionate, cooperative, collaborative – always finding ways to serve the next guy.

“And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.” ~ Revelation 22:5

You have joy in the presence of sorrow and praise him still now with an eye toward all he ultimately has for you and all his people together with him. Good overcomes evil as light overcomes darkness.

Singing Psalm 97 for joy that light overcomes darkness in your experiences

“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” ~ 1 John 1:5-10

“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

‘Awake, O sleeper,    and arise from the dead,and Christ will shine on you.’

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” ~ Ephesians 5:6-21

What are you to do now? What experiences ought you to pursue? Whatever it is that God prepared in advance for you to do. Not sure what that is? Are you “in the dark” so to speak? Ask him. Jesus who orchestrated that light overcomes darkness will show you.

Ask him to show you. There is no shame in needing him since he made you to need him in everything you experience. He made you for himself yet the father of lies lures you with thoughts of pride in your independence.

Jesus said: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” ~ Matthew 11:28-30

In Jesus, you have peace in the presence of uncertainty.

His light overcomes darkness.

Always.

In everything.

“I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.” ~ John 12:46

“His lightnings light up the world;    the earth sees and trembles.

“Now in the LORD be joyful all you righteous,And thank His holy name.” ~ Psalm 97:4, 12

December 3-9, 2022


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