When one surveys the world in its current state the findings may cause deep sorrow even depression. Immorality has become increasingly acceptable; the attitude and actions of people are steeped in wickedness and the regard for human life is almost non-existent. Grief is an appropriate response to these trends, so the Lord felt when He saw the same type of trend in Noah’s day. Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart, Genesis 6:5-6. When we grieve the decline of righteousness our hearts are in lockstep with our Creator. Yet, even in this grief, there is a prospect of something good. An often-overlooked concept of righteous living is its efficacy in unrighteous circumstances. It is when darkness envelopes our surroundings that light is most effective. A tiny candle in a dark cave can dispel darkness with relative ease. This power is not in the wax or wick but in that which it produces, light. Light is the antithesis of darkness; the two cannot coexist. Furthermore, darkness can never overpower light. For that to happen light must be completely eradicated.

The darkness of sin has not eradicated the lights of this world. There remains plenty of Christians who are intimately equipped to put darkness on notice (Cf. Genesis 18:26-32). In His Olivet discourse, the Lord made emphatic proclamations about His disciples. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden, Matthew 5:14. Pay careful attention to the definite article; the Christian is not a light in this world but the light in this world. Who else will aptly shine forth Christ and His Gospel? Who else will stand in the gap and speak for the cause of righteousness? Who will rightly proclaim the message of genuine hope to a world lost in sin? It is our duty to be the light in the darkness.  Furthermore, Christians have been proficiently equipped to address the plight of unrighteousness. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them, Ephesians 2:10. The Christian has been Divinely created to be a force for good in this world. Also, just like the wax and the wick, that force is not inherent in us. It is only through diligent study and application of God’s Word that we become perfect for every good work (Cf. 2 Timothy 2:15 & 3:16-17). A better-prepared people for this time there is not!

The world is lost in sin, there is a looming shadow looking to engulf it. What a time to be a Christian! When our neighbors lament the state of the nation, what a time to provide hope. When our family and friends are overcome with sorrow what a time to present the comfort of God (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). When mankind desires change, what a time to show them the ways of God. When people seek liberation from the guilt of sin what a time to show them the redemption of God. Just as light thrives in darkness, so too does righteousness. It is our time to shine; it is our time to be a beacon of hope to those who will listen. The only thing that can stop the light is the complete eradication of it. Hence, we cannot and must not allow ourselves to become defunct in our displeasure with the world. Keep in mind that we have been created and equipped to be lights and our worth in the cause of Christ is tied to that purpose. Jesus said, if we lose our savor, we become useless in His service (Matthew 5:13). If we don’t shine, as Christians we are good for nothing. The world needs Jesus as much as it ever did, but now might just be the time that many are more receptive to it. Now is not the time to hide under a bucket (Matthew 5:15) and pray for the end. Now is the time to boldly shine forth and remember, we are the lights in the Darkness!