Conversations lately about the state of the world and the terrible things that are happening in it sure are gloomy. It doesn’t take too long to think about before I can get downright depressed. Thankfully, when I look at scripture, I’m encouraged to do just the very opposite. Isaiah 60:1-3 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. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.”
“Arise,” says the Lord through the prophet Isaiah, though “the darkness covers the earth and deep darkness the people.” Darkness is a fitting word to describe the condition that our world is in today. Yet, it is in this time of darkness that the Lord exhorts us to “arise and shine for our light has come.” And we can because Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world, he who follows Me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” We have been given the light for this purpose, to shine. To shine in dark places and bring hope, so that others will see and not stumble or get lost.
“Arise” He says. It is an action, to get up! Don’t get discouraged from all that we hear. Rather, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Those who are in darkness need the light just as we once did (Ephesians 5:8).
When you arise and “go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Matthew 16:15), you shine the light of Christ in dark places and His glory is seen upon you; so much so that the gentiles, or the nations, shall come to your light. Let’s pause for a moment and ponder on what you look like in this scenario. The word glory in Hebrew is kabod. It means splendor, greatness, might, wealth, abundance, honor and majesty. That will all be seen upon you.
Matthew 5:14-16 says, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” That is why we must shine. To glorify the Father in heaven. As you seek the presence of the Lord in your daily walk, “His light shines in your heart” (2 Corinthians 4:6), to be reflected in you and through you to others, and in turn glorify Him. You are where you are to bring glory to God. Don’t get discouraged, look up, arise, shine.
— Laura Lawrence