For You will light my lamp; the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.
I ran across this verse today in my reading, and it immediately spoke to my heart. I've been going through a time of personal darkness, discovering strongholds in my life that need to be defeated, and this verse gave me such hope.
I wanted to fully explore its depths, however, so I pulled out my Strong's and looked up "enlighten" and "darkness." I wanted to see what it really meant for me, personally, that God promises to bring light into the darkness.
In the Hebrew, "enlighten" is the word nāgah, which means to glitter, to illuminate, or to shine.
"Darkness" in Hebrew is hōšek, which literally means darkness, but figuratively refers to misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, and wickedness.
The King James version of this verse reads, "For thou wilt light my candle..."
So, God literally sets fire to the wick of the Holy Spirit within us, causing our darkness, our sin, our sorrow, to shine.
I believer there are four reasons that He illuminates our darkness. There may be more, but these are the ones that God revealed to me this morning.
- To expose it.
What remains in the darkness cannot be seen, sometimes not even by us. But the Lord has purposed to reveal what remains hidden.
"He uncovers deep things out of darkness, and brings the shadow of death to light" (Job 12:22).
- To transform it.Once light is introduced, darkness ceases to exist. God brings the light of His love and His Word into the most wicked parts of our heart to cleanse them and sanctify us.
"Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23-24).
- To glorify Himself.Many times, the darkest, most turbulent parts of our lives are the times that God's magnificent and merciful work is most clearly displayed. We know that we would never be able to make it through the storm alone, and so does God. So just as we fear that we are going to sink, He walks out to us on the water, making it known that He saves us from drowning, not our own might or power.
"'Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the Lord of Hosts" (Zechariah 4:6).
- To use it in ministry.The hardships that the Lord lets us go through give us the ability to minister later on. God picks us up from the miry clay, washes us off, and then sends us out to tell people what He's done for us, how he delivered us. Moreover, having been in the trenches makes us more empathetic toward those currently at war. My battle with depression makes me more understanding to those who are currently in its throes. Your battle with "fill in the blank" makes you better able to minister to those going through the same trial.
When we are in the battle and all the lights go out, take heart; the Lord will illuminate our darkness, and transform it for His glory and our ministry.
Father God, I thank you that when I feel as though I am walking through the valley of the shadow of death, I can fear no evil because You are with me. You are my Refuge and my Deliverer, and just when I feel that I'm lost in my own darkness, You light a lamp and show me the way everlasting. All glory to you, the King of Kings. Amen.