God’s people have always had to wrestle with the things from the dark. As believers, the Bible tells us that we are in a permanent state of war. There has never been an armistice or treaty signed to my knowledge. Each of us are in the front lines. The devil has been practicing with a deadly form of “spiritual terrorism.” And he terrorizes many with his posturing and manipulation.
Life can get quite oh so dark, and desperately bleak. Many of us who struggle with a mental illness have been made very much aware of this situation. No one needs to educate us about the dark nightmare that is come. We know what has happened, in the ‘here and now.’
Over a couple of millennia, God’s covenant people have been harmed and harassed. Enemies are constantly manipulating and twisting–in a very serious way, mind you.
“And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.”
John 3:19, NLT
God has not been silent. And He certainly has not been passive. As we read our Bibles (and let our Bibles read us) our faith becomes a bit like teflon. Nothing can stick to us; even though so much is thrown at us. When life is really dark, and terribly bleak, we can protect ourselves and others and avoid an ugly spiritual injury.
There are times when we can sense nothing. Sometimes heaven is silent. But I believe, it is never, ever disinterested. We can read in our Bibles, Hebrews 12:1, (ESV.)
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,”
I believe each of us has an audience. Some say that this can’t be so. And I do admit that there is a bit of a challenge here. But if we look at the other parts of this verse, we simply can’t nullify the first part. We must take the whole verse at “face value.” We are not theologians, we are simple disciples. He knows this. He simplifies things in order to help us understand. He has little reason to complicate things for us.
I believe that we are “surrounded” by saints from all ages. They see in us a faith that justifies us. And I must admit, that helps me. I am part of a continuum. I now know that my simple faith, must always pass the test of discouragement.
But now the torch is passed, and now I must run with it faithfully and honestly. And when all is so dark, and things seem far too quiet, I still intend to hold up that torch and carry it all the way to my Father’s house.
“There was a castle called Doubting Castle, the owner whereof was Giant Despair.”
John Bunyan, “Pilgrims Progress”