Day 11

The Glory of the Lord

from the Advent 2017: Joy to the World reading plan

Isaiah 9:2-5, Isaiah 60:1-5, Matthew 4:12-17, John 8:12, 2 Corinthians 8:9, Revelation 22:1-5

When both of my daughters were born, I remember having to take them into a darker part of the hospital room so they could open their eyes to see me. After being in darkness for the first nine months of their lives, the light was blinding to them. Now, years later, neither of them are particularly fond of the dark. They get scared when the lights are out. Without light, they feel abandoned, vulnerable, and endangered.

Four hundred years went by between the ending of the Old Testament’s events and the incarnation of Jesus. Four hundred years of darkness. Like a child in a dark room, God’s people must have felt abandoned, vulnerable, and endangered. God hadn’t sent another prophet, and the Messiah had yet to appear on the horizon. In the meantime, pagan forces had seized their land.

The Bible tells us that when the Father sent the Son into the world, “the true light that gives light to everyone, was coming” (John 1:9). After years of darkness, God spoke, and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). Israel felt abandoned, alone in silent darkness. But the truth is, the whole world walked in spiritual darkness. There was no hope in sight, but God was working all things for good (Romans 8:28).

It’s easy at times to feel as though you’re walking in darkness. Life is crazy. Work is frustrating. Relationships are strained. And yet, God tells us that the darkness will not last forever. Right here and right now, we can be children of light through faith in Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:5). In the face of Jesus, we see the glory of God. This glory lights up all of creation, and darkness’s only response is to retreat.

One day, Jesus will return and darkness will be eradicated once and for all (Revelation 19-21). All our striving will cease. We hope in that day, while keeping our eyes focused today on God’s goodness to us. Though Satan wants us to keep us in darkness, this Advent we can remember Paul’s words of encouragement found in 2 Corinthians 4:6: “For God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ.”

Written by Brandon D. Smith

Post Comments (8)

8 thoughts on "The Glory of the Lord"

  1. Mynor says:

    Grateful that even in our darkness Christ, although we may feel abandoned & insecure, Christ has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. I’m grateful that I don’t have to do it alone but that He sent His son to show us the truth, the light, the way. Selah

  2. Andrew says:

    Thank you Lord God for the light of Christ.

  3. Matt Baker says:

    God’s promise of a day without darkness is so comforting. With the turmoil that surrounds us as Christians in the world today, it is even more so. Definitely counting this among my blessings today!

  4. Brian says:

    This reminder is so timely. Yesterday was an abnormally dark day. Struggle, bad news, disappointment. Shine your light Lord Jesus in this new day!

  5. Stephen Perry says:

    Thank you Lord that darkness while real will never overcome the light of Christ. Thank you for allowing me to SEE A GREAT LIGHT! I love you Lord and I thank you for loving me too. Help me to walk in the light today!

  6. Jeff M. says:

    Wow, in a season that is marked by a general busyness right now at the church – how precious it is to pause this morning and remember that the Light has come, and the darkness has not overcome it. I loved this line from the devo especially: ‘Though Satan wants us to keep us in darkness, this Advent we can remember Paul’s words of encouragement found in 2 Corinthians 4:6: “For God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ.”’

    6 years ago this light shone into the darkness of my wicked heart and though it began with a squint, I crave that light every day. Thank you Lord for choosing to shine the Light to me, not on the basis of ANYTHING I can do or have done, but by your loving grace! How much I look forward to the day when I am face to face with you, my Maker, worshipping you and Your glory being the Light we need.

    Save me from the overwhelming busyness to reflect and enjoy You each day!

  7. Colt Duppen says:

    I feel that in the first verse, when it says “walking or living in darkness.” is talking about man dwelling in sin. I believe that the light here, since this is in the Old Testament, is talking about Jesus Christ. It is telling about the things that are to happen in the future, but it is talking about it almost as if it is in the present tense.

    It is amazing to see how Jesus made himself poor so that his followers, us, could be rich through him. It’s incredible to know that we have the opportunity to be spiritually rich because of his sacrifice.

    As the sermon talked about today there are often times of great darkness, struggle, strife, whatever words you would like to use, before light or even a sign of light is showing through. To me especially in the place I’m in at the moment these words could not of been more powerful!

    Who wants to be 25, living with their parents, feeling like they’re in limbo between schooling, a potential career, student loan debt, and to add to that a little bit of strife in a relationship that I value incredibly. It is easy to get bogged down in times like these and not see an end. In reading these verses today, it shows me that my worries are often not menial but also not as important as having trust in Jesus and knowing that these things take time.

    Another thing that I have to work on on my expectations towards people, especially those that are the closest to me. Often I can be overly critical of not only myself when I get these feelings, but can be of friends and family. There are more constructive ways to deal with what I view are issues and most of them stem inside of myself. Receiving a message from Kristen really opened my eyes last night. Like she said she wanted to, I need to focus on having a mindset that is more positive and believing in the best of those I surround myself with. I’m done with having a negative mindset because it only leads to frustration for myself and the people that I surround myself with. In terms of light and darkness in my own life, the time with family, friends, Kristen’s family, and Kristen are incredible, so I need to fixate on those positive moments instead of the few instances of dark that are often on my mind.

    I know this is just my interpretation of how things are going in my life. I also know that this is not the direct translation of what this verse means, but it draws strong parallels to life and what we have to go through sometimes. Which is why this verse is so powerful, because it can relate to us on not only a local level, but an all-encompassing one as well.

    Another interesting thing I learned through the sermon is that it said Man had to dwell in darkness for hundreds of years, before they had the light shown to them. If they were able to make it through that, I am confident that I will make it through this small amount of struggle through believe and our Lord, Jesus Christ.

    “They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 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.”

  8. Nick Crawford says:

    I’m so thankful that Jesus came to be light in a dark time where God’s people had not heard from God in 400 years. To fulfill all that we could not accomplish in the law on our behalf, and to take on the punishment that we rightly deserved, so that through Jesus we could live in the light of Christ in this present day. That darkness no longer has power over us in Christ’s light. That we have a hope to cling to of a place where light forever reigns. Thank you Jesus.

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