Phew: what a year – 2020! We trust that we all, by the end of this eventful year, will be expressing a sigh of relief; as the Bible says, “the end of a matter, is better than its beginning” (Eccles. 7:8a).
There’s been no year like this in recent history. For most of us, the year started with so many promises and great expectations. It promised to be a year of DOUBLE: double blessings in favour, fruitfulness, finances, promotions, celebrations etc. And everything seemed to be going in that direction, until COVID-19 took the world by storm. What started far away in the backside of China, began to spread across the continents, to different parts of world! Then came the lockdowns that have crippled the global economy, affected lives and livelihoods, disrupted plans, and have drastically changed our lifestyles.
And all the negative experiences, and the gloomy projections, have also left some cynics saying, ‘how come nobody told us this would happen? We were only told it would be a year of double blessings!’ But there hasn’t been any time as this that God’s Word in the book of Isaiah, has been this relevant! It says, “Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you” (Isaiah 60:1-2). It seems to me that there’s a connection between the darkness that shall cover the earth, and the ‘shining’ of God’s people; because it takes darkness for light to shine. Light doesn’t shine in the light! Also, why would God tell us to arise, if we were not down and didn’t have reasons to be bowed down? The Amplified version of that verse says; “ARISE [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you–rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!”
The Bible says, “Light shines in the darkness for the godly” (Ps. 112:4 NLT). This is the set time for you to be favoured by the Lord; it’s your time to shine. “For the Lord will rebuild Zion and appear in his glory” (Ps. 102:13,16 NIV). This is the time for your horn (i.e. your strength) to be exalted with honour (Ps. 112:9); for God is the Glory and the Lifter of your head (Ps. 3:3).
Remember, it takes darkness for the light to shine! It took a famine in Egypt for Joseph to shine. Pharaoh sent for him in prison; “He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his possessions, to bind his princes at his pleasure, and teach his elders wisdom” (Ps. 105:21-22). Joseph told his brothers that God meant for good what they had meant for evil (Gen. 50:20); indeed, “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28 NLT).
The truth is that when there’s darkness on one side, there’s light on the other side – “the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you”. When the Egyptians were pursuing after the Israelites, the pillar of cloud came and stood between the two camps; “Thus it was a cloud and darkness to the one, and it gave light by night to the other,” (Ex. 14:19-20). Amazing – the same cloud that was darkness to one camp, gave light to the other! The Bible says, “When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up” (Job 22:29a KJV). Jesus was “destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel” (Luke 2:34b); it all depends on the side you’re on!
[Taken from the full article]
By Rev. Funke Ewuosho