1, 2, & 3 John: Day 1

Light and Darkness

by

Today's Text: 1 John 1:1-10, John 1:1-5, Matthew 28:18-20, Numbers 14:18-19

Text: 1 John 1:1-10, John 1:1-5, Matthew 28:18-20, Numbers 14:18-19

Ever doubt your salvation?

I think I’ve got it right, but what if I’m wrong?
I know the gospel story, but do I really understand it?
I believe Jesus was who He said He was, but how does someone who really believes this live?

If you and I are asking these questions now, imagine how early Christendom must have wrestled with the newness of the gospel message—a message that stood contrary to the ‘salvation by knowledge’ gnosticism common in their Roman society.

John wrote three relatively short letters to assure the world then, and us now, that salvation is from God: the gospel is true. John’s Gospel is the historical, theological record of Christ’s life on earth, and his letters are the pastoral communication of the significance of Christ’s life. They build on what we already know.

John begins by using four words we honestly need to hear from him:

Heard. Seen. Observed. Touched.

We need to hear them because they are sensory, tangible. They communicate real events that were physically witnessed by many, including John himself. In short, they are proofs of the gospel.

You see, John was actually there for the Sermon on the Mount. He was there to hear Jesus’ own voice tell the parable of the prodigal son, and declare, “Before Abraham was, I Am.” John could still remember the sting of Christ’s rebuke about who should sit at His side in the coming kingdom. And “Behold, your mother!” are three words John would never forget hearing Jesus breathe out to him from the cross. John watched Jesus walk across the Sea of Galilee, and he was on the scene, actually partaking in the institution of the Lord’s Supper.

Heard. Seen. Observed. Touched.

John begins by assuring us that his Gospel account (the book of John) is true. Then, he invites us down a path of holy concern to examine whether the message of the gospel has actually changed our lives.

Do you say you have fellowship with Christ, but walk in darkness? Or do you have real, in-the-light fellowship with the Savior of the world?

Do you say you have no sin? Or do you actively confess your sin, believing Christ is able and sufficient to cleanse you and bring you into the light?

Do you fear the light? Prefer the darkness? Or do you live a life that combats darkness, seeking and shining?

These aren’t rhetorical questions. Let’s actually take some time today—real time—to ask ourselves and the Lord if we are actively struggling with darkness.

The struggle itself is not sin. Ask any seasoned believer and they will testify to this truth: the Lord is always working in our hearts to bring light (Philippians 1:6). As long as we are on earth, there will always be darkness to drive out. And as long as we have breath in our lungs, the process of sanctification will be present. If we are not actively struggling with darkness, it isn’t because there is no darkness in our lives. It is because that darkness has become comfortable.

The Christian life—the life of salvation through the gospel of Christ Jesus—is a life that will constantly battle the darkness until Perfection comes.

John’s letters are written to assure us of our faith, but as C.S. Lewis wrote, “The hard sayings of our Lord are wholesome to those only who find them hard.” As such, John writes both to comfort the afflicted, and to afflict the comfortable. He delivers the healing balm of the gospel message, but that message calls for an ongoing death to self that is anything but comfortable (1 Peter 2:24).

Are you comfortable today, when perhaps there is darkness in and around you that you need to see? Let the Word of God bring about holy affliction, a conviction of sin and complacency that draws you closer to Him.

Lord, afflict us with your Truth, that we may be comforted. Shine light in our dark places. Let us never stop pursuing holiness.

The gospel is true!

SRT-123John-Instagram1s

  • Kyrah Vandiver

    I definitely needed this today. I have been running from the Lord lately and living in my own darkness, but then today I decided to start this plan and what a God thing it was. I feel so convicted in such a good way and I’m ready to confess my sins to the Lord and be lead back into the light!

  • Addison Schindler

    I have been feeling darkness the past week and this tells me that I am not comfortable with the darkness and need to continue reaching out to God, asking for his light.

  • Angela Gilmartin

    Started this plan after a long break from (SRT and plans in general)….And then BAM! Not only have I just read my writing copy verse v.9 from the past week but also presented with this morning’s random “open your bible and read” verse (Numbers 14:18-19) which ended up being a 30-45min study for me. There are NO COINCIDENCES with God! God is so good!

  • Jessica LynnPrzybylski

    I have been walking in darkness in an unhealthy relationship where I am leading my boyfriend (or trying to). Today I learned that in order to take the fathers hand I might have to let go of this relationship. Not that I need to break up with him but that I need to grab hold of God and move toward walking in light. It’s a hard realization but no one ever said following God was easy..

    • Maycie Allers

      I put myself in a Christless relationship a little while ago that only ended in difficulty and hurt for me. God has since shown me that our earthly relationship with our SO should be a reflection of God’s devotion to us, and that can’t be so without Jesus at the center. Your relationship is another intimate form of worship. I understand how hard that decision has to be for you, but sometimes walking with God means making sacrifices. You will be blessed in following the Lord & prioritizing him above all else!

  • Evin Musgrove

    Thank you SO much for this. It was a great reminder to never become comfortable with the world. That comfort is a scary place to be. Thanks God for rooting for me, always. ❤️❤️❤️

  • Wyneisha Kinsey

    I loved the part about being afflicted in comfort. I’m in a part of my own walk with Christ, that I want to be radical with my light! I want to be uncomfortable if it’s means that God can shine even more! I think it’s even an amazing reflection place that John places you in the first chapter because it all starts with a beginning – a restart, a refresh. I want to get there – completing shining for God. ❤️

  • In Christ we find forgiveness and new life. Life that desires no sin and to be holy. If we don’t struggle with darkness then we aren’t fighting to be holy. If we don’t challenge our faith with truth we won’t grow but become stuck and comfortable with our darknesses. We must be willing to shed those dark areas in our lives to grow and to become what God has destined for us to become. In Christ we are stronger and greater than our darknesses. We are conquerors because Christ conquered darkness before us to show us a way to defeat our darknesses through Him.

  • Micah Taylor

    So good!

  • My dark place is giving up my stubbornness of unforgiveness. I am struggling hard with this lately and justify that I always forgive first and he basically gets off the hook. I am struck with guilt that this is not showing who Christ is in my life but I have not yet forgiven. Prayers appreciated

  • Numbers 14:18-19 such a great example / reminder of praying in line or according to God’s magnificent character. Found it thoroughly refreshing and need to do it so much more. Because it reminds me of how Big God is and how silly it is for me to doubt or second-guess his ability or desire to answer prayers based on my prayer-works!

    • Evin Musgrove

      It IS silly to think how much we limit God, honestly…. ❤️❤️

  • Meli❤️

    Wow this is great, I’ve had the app for a little more than a week and reading this tonight made me realize that yes we are constantly battling with the evil in this world and sometimes I forget to even pray. But I’m glad I feel convicted because it makes me want to seek Gods light. It’s something my life is in need of, I need God in my life. He is the reason I’ve become a better version of myself. I need to remind myself of just that everyday, that I am forgiven and that everyday is a battle but that I must keep going because this is what I want. I want God. So keep on fighting beautiful women of God, for God is the truth and the truth shall set us free. God bless you all!

  • I thought I was the only one feeling the things i’m feeling. Reading this and all your comments makes me feel so much better :)

  • Kayla Brown

    I was worried that my struggling daily meant that I wasn’t a true Christian. Just as it was said, I feel comforted in knowing that my struggle is actually positive.

    • She Reads Truth

      Oh friend, you are not alone. Asking Him to keep you close and remind you of Truth.

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • Lisa Olsen

    I have been struggling with a besetting sin since childhood. I trust Christ and try to walk in His love and truth daily, but when I fall into my sin, I feel defeated and worried about my salvation. I have been on this cycle for years. I am exhausted. But I cannot lay down in defeat or the enemy has won. I am choosing to get back up, repent from sin AGAIN and walk towards Christ. If I don’t, I have lost my greatest love and purpose and meaning in life

    • Abby MacDougall

      Lisa, I have so often felt this with a sin I have fought for years, but when I finally realized that “walking in light” doesn’t mean walking in perfection (impossible this side of heaven), I felt so free. Walking in light means walking in transparency, and as long as we see our sin and confess (and, I believe, share and walk with others), we have fellowship and continue to be sanctified. We have died to sin (Romans 6:1-14) as authority, but we still sin in action–but you are right: we cannot believe the lie that we have been defeated because we are under grace, and Christ has already won! Thank you for sharing :)

  • trishalyne

    Dont let darkness become comfortable. I think we dont realize this and we need to always ask for forgiveness of our sins.

  • Maria Wright

    “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” What a comfort. He will not leave me, even for a minute. Even when I can’t/won’t feel His presence.

  • Jennifer

    I was just having these thoughts today. I am hopful while reading 1 John I can bring more light into my life. By bringing more light into my life I can shed light on to others around me. No one should be left in the darkness.

  • Naomi Wilfred

    I know I know what he darkness is. Judgement, insecurity, prejudice, anger, resentment. I just want to step out and see the light. I pray that God would wash the light over me. And that I would be able to see it. I pray that I would continue to separate light from dark. And that I would continue to do things I am called to do. Blessings everyone!

  • The dark has become normal for me. I am not stepping into the light of Jesus. I’m letting my bad ways get to me. I need to keep on going into The Word and keep this up.

    • Abby MacDougall

      Lillie, I pray that you continue in studying and that we, as a community, can learn to walk in light together–to make conviction and confession and habit as we run to the Father instead of hiding in our darkness.

  • I know I have sin, and I know that God is able to forgive me of my sins, but sometimes I become comfortable with the way that I am living. I want to keep things easy and I put a wall up to keep anything new from coming into my life. I am scared of failing in school, getting a bad grade and then not being able to fulfill the life that God has planned for me. In this process though, is where I am mistaken. My heart and mind knows that this is wrong. I am blocking out the Holy Spirit and the things that it is trying to tell me! Death of self is my prayer this week. That as I die of self, my soul is filled with the holy spirit. I want that uncomfortable battle with darkness. I am excited to see the things that God is doing in my life, I know that He is coming again, and I know that it is soon.

  • This reminded me to walk in confidence in the light. As someone whom believes in Jesus, I need to start acting like I believe in his power and that he can what he says he can.

  • I know I’m walking in the dark, but it has become so comfortable, so normal that I don’t even know where to begin to start walking in the light again. I need to. Not only because that’s what Jesus calls me to do but because walking in the dark is affecting so much more than just me. It’s affecting my relationships… it’s welcoming sin into my life. But I refuse to let the enemy have his way. May I be convicted of the darkness I dwell in and step into the marvelous, beautiful light of our Lord Jesus.

  • I know I’m in a dark place. I’ve popped my head out to the light and felt free and dared to push myself and now I feel like fear and being overwhelmed has pushed me back to my cave. I’m just consistently overwhelmed and disappointed or unhappy in even the small things.
    Lord, take me by the hand. Lead me gently out. Give me wisdom to know what is of you and to say no to what is not. Give me courage to breve the world around me knowing you are my strength and my shield.

  • My small group is following a sermon series on idols. As I read this bible study, I recognized my own lack of being able to see my idols is probably my comfortability with darkness. Failing to recognize our idols, the things we value and put above our God, is being comfortable in our darkness. Our flesh is weak, we will naturally struggle to keep God first and to love Him above all else. We can either admit that struggle, recognize the sin, or we can walk in darkness. We can become comfortable with God not being our all in all, and we will slowly be broken apart, price by piece, until all that is left is a pile of rubble. Thank God that He can restore that which was long ago devastated. May we forever work out our salvation, recognize the darkness and learn to strive for the light. After all, light is the only cure for darkness.

  • You ladies are really an encouragement. I’ve been living in the darkness for a long time now — struggling to break bad habits that distract me and ruin my relationship with God; bad habits that cause me to be angry and grumpy and hurt my family with my bad attitude. I just can’t seem to let go of my own agenda. I feel selfish. I feel childish. I feel like I can do better. I know I’m capable of more. I struggle with depression and anxiety and it eats at me, and makes me feel like I’m worthless and nothing. I thought I had battled these feelings, but as I grew farther and farther from God, they crept back in. They convinced me I’m just nothing. I need the light. I need Jesus desperately. I need to break this cycle of depression and anxiety. I need to be better for my husband, my daughter, myself. I’m sorry if I’m rambling. I have a lot of emotions flooding in now. Jesus, please help me. Help me to stop feeling worthless. Help me out of this dark place. Help me to get up off my couch and take care of myself so I can serve you and take care of my family. Help me to stop feeling comfortable going through the motions of life instead of living life. Help me to stop believing the lies Satan whispers in the dark. Lord, please, I need you. I can’t do this without you.

    • Naomi

      Thank you for sharing so openly and honestly, Angela.
      Praying along with you in all of it!

    • Kate

      Counseling is such a huge, massive help when battling these issues! I have been there and if I could encourage you to seek counseling – our church has an awesome program of certified people at a low cost. Maybe there is something similar in your area. God bless you wanting to be a better mom and wife! God can and will complete this work inside of you.

    • Stacy H.

      Angela, oh how I can relate! Sometimes it seems that all the random negative thoughts I have – are actually competing for 1st place! This only happens when I haven’t put Christ FIRST in my life by seeking him in prayer & reading His Word. Actually – that is the way I should start every single morning!
      I come from a family full of dysfunction. Both sides: Serious Depression & Alcoholism. Thank God I don’t like to drink, but I’ve battled depression most of my adult life. God knew the desperate state I was in – and a friend recommended her psychiatrist.
      After a thorough consultation – he prescribed an anti-depressant. And oh my gosh – that gray cloud that had been over me for SO long, lifted! He isn’t quick to write out a prescription for any anti-depressant as it’s individual to each person on basically a trial & error approach.
      But just as important is BRAIN HEALTH! He taught me so much about what our body and brains need to function optimally. A blood test will reveal our Vitamin D 3 levels as well as B 12. Both are an absolute! He recommended a brand, Superior Source (Amazon), which are sublingual supplements.
      Yes, counseling is wonderful – but if you’re serotonine deficient, anti-depressants can change your life. I still deal w/the negative thoughts creeping in at times – but I put on the armor of God, especially the impenetrable helmet of salvation which protects my mind from the enemy’s fiery darts! And I’ve also decided that if I have to take these meds for the rest of my life – then so be it!!! I am so thankful to be living in these times, and for the scientists to whom God blessed with the incredible minds to develop meds that help! You’re in my prayers Angela.

    • Sydney

      Angela, thanks for sharing so openly, and I want to reiterate what the ladies before me have said. It’s important to acknowledge outrightly that anxiety and depression are not simply “feelings”- they are the symptoms of the brain’s chemistry. I,too, have carried heavy anxiety and depression for a number of years, and I can tell you firsthand that reducing them to ‘sinful’ emotions that I should be able to control, through prayer or personal resolve, only drove me further into it. I was believing untruth. I firmly believe we often need others to help escort us to truth and light, and this is exactly what counseling is for. I pray that you have a strong community around you to come alongside you and help you seek treatment and truth!

    • Lish

      Angela, I hope you find the dependence to lean on Jesus and let go of your efforts to do the things you wish to improve. Let go, let God. Tell Him your problems then don’t try to strive with your efforts. Let Him love you and trust Him that He will send you answers and solutions. It’s not easy but understand this. If he so willingly gave up his son for you, how will He not freely give you all things? He loves you, Angela. Let Him do for you like what you expect a father would do. Praying for you.

    • Colleen

      don’t worry if you’re rambling- we need more people in the church to be real, to bare all and be vulnerable. God wants you to ask for help!

  • Definitely not denying that I sin, but realizing that I fail to confess it! I need to bring it to God more often, to say out loud, “Yes, this is a problem. I struggle with this issue right here.”
    The darkness, my sins, my distance from God have all become comfortable.

    • Nicole

      I’m with you! I’ve got to recognize and own up to my sin before God more often. I think this is partially because I’ve forgotten how to pray. I haven’t been keeping in touch with God and don’t really know how to talk to Him right now.

      • Krystan

        Nicole, whenever I got out of praying everyday to God, I felt ashamed. I felt as if God didn’t care if I prayed to him or not. That’s not godly, but it is from the darkness. Start out simple: always thank God first before anything, pray for others and for wisdom, strength, and knowledge. Pray always for God’s will to be done even if it conflicts what your heart wants to do.
        When I catch myself thinking negative thoughts, I pray for God to remove those thoughts and replace them with love and kindness instead. It’s an ongoing battle, and I still gossip about others more than I should. I’ve been working hard, and I know God will be there for me if I continue to press in.

      • Christina

        God won’t hold against you how you pray. Sometimes having an open discussion or conversation with him as if He is physically sitting right next to you is Good way to start :) I speak to God like this all the time and it is a form of prayer. He longs for us to have this type of relationship with Him. Sometimes when you’re on your knees and you don’t know what to say or pray for, asking the Holy Spirit to pray on your behalf is wonderful and actually mentioned in scripture regarding prayer. He knows that there are times where we don’t know what or how to pray.

  • I feel everyday that I’m battling the war of darkness. Something every morning and throughout the day is in my soul trying to tell me something. The way I live is not right by god and I feel it’s because I’m not listening or understanding what is being said I am suffering because of my own doings. I am trying to reach out with a heavily heart to become more spiritually devoted for my self and my children

  • Ashlynn Owen

    ❤️

  • Love that C.S. Lewis quote. It’s assurance that things may be hard but the Word is TRUTH.

  • “That message calls for an ongoing death to self that is anything but comfortable”. Amen.

  • This message is pure gold. I’ve been struggling a lot with finding my identity in Christ and I tend to stand in the shadows a lot cause i feel like i’m not a good enough Christian/person to be a daughter to the king. This message is a start to being made new once again. God is so good, his love endures forever.

    • Kylee

      Amen! I struggle with this sometimes too, Payton, as I think we all do — so happy to be here learning the truth about the gospel with you!

  • Holly Jelly

    I’m readily prepared to apply this message generously in my day and life. God is good, is He not ladies? I love this message. The darkness isn’t welcome anymore and I won’t ever stop in my hungry pursuit for the light!

  • Christina

    I was saved and baptized the summer of last year and ever since then I’ve constantly struggled with doubting my salvation. I felt that if Christ wanted perfection I should be closer to it like those “other” Christians, etc. And I would constantly beat myself up over the shame and doubt that followed after it, doubting if I was even on the right path. I felt like I shouldn’t struggle this much with questioning my salvation–it’s freely given–and I even wondered on occasion if God was rejecting or if I needed to work twice as hard since I have sinned so much despite knowing the gospel and despite what God’s word says about who I am–the daughter of the Most High, loving God who loves me and cherishes me and adores ME! So much so that He sacrificed His son to say me from my sins so that I could be near Him regardless of my past. So thank you for this message! Lord, I pray that you continue to afflict me with your truth and humble me and comfort me with it. I never want to be complacent in pursuit of Christ-like holiness <3

    • Mary Joe

      I am rejoicing in your salvation, Christina! I understand the weight on past sin. Please know that no matter the decisions that you made, even if you hadn’t made them, you are worth no less to Christ the King. Neither our filthiest sins or our holiest actions can make us worth any more or any less to Him- we are already worth so much!! And we were even then. Praising God this morning for your transformation, and praying that His truths would cover you.

    • LadyofJoy

      If we could be perfect Christ would have never died on the cross! Because He did die on the cross we are counted right even though we’re not righteous

    • Edna

      Christina, I understand what you mean when you say you struggle with doubting your salvation . I have been a Christian for very many years but only last year I started to doubt my belief in Christ…I kept saying Lord I know the bible ,I know what it says to be true but I don’t believe it !!.. I did the only thing I knew, I asked Christ to help me get my belief again, to help me stop doubting …I said it in Faith and I let it go and also asked him to let me not worry about it. Guess what I cant tell you when it happened …but I no longer doubt, I truly believe his word. Christina, just ask him its as simple as that …Ask !

  • I so needed this today! I’ve been raised in church my whole life. I got saved as a teenager and have served God since. A few years ago I was in a very controlling marriage, I was not physically abused but verbally to where I felt I had no worth…. I divorced. And I know that Biblically its a sin. But since then I’ve struggled with doubt and concerns of my salvation. I know I’m saved and I can’t loose my salvation but some days doubt creeps in and makes me feel like I’m nothing all over again….because I divorced..and it’s something I have to live with my whole life.
    Some days are hard and people can be so mean….Because they label me because I’ve been divorced…. Thank you for today’s devotional!! ❤

    • Rachel

      Thanks for sharing Haley. I have been struggling to survive through a similar marriage. Makes me feel comfort to know I’m not alone in my experience. I hope and pray you continue to feel God’s love and peace.

    • Jewel

      Haley, I pray that God will show you his love every day (Psalm 143:6-11). I almost went down that same path in my marriage a few years ago. While I was struggling through a separation, I was greatly encouraged by a ministry at my church called DivorceCare – and the testimonies shared by divorced believers. If you need the same encouragement – http://www.watermark.org/dallas/ministries/divorce-care

  • That last line ‘the gospel is true!’ Oh that I would shout that from the rooftops today and every day! Lord help my life shout this, help me to love as you loved, speak as you spoke, be patient as you are patient. Every day I fail in this but you know my heart, cleanse me of everything that is not of you and help me honour you and bring you glory!

  • Samantha

    Please make that last verse a lock screen! 1 John 1:5

  • Jennifer

    “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” – Psalm 139:23-24

  • Christina

    Where would I be without the sweet and abiding love of the Lord? In that darkness, lost. He is so gracious to give me that choice moment by moment. Sometimes in gentle ways and others through his Word that makes me question, stretch and choose to be complacent or shine with His light. The verses today and the writing and comments were exactly what I needed… Thank you and I hope I never stop being surprised at how much better His plan is than mine.

  • Marci Brekke

    I woke up today feeling defeated in my sin, unfaithlessness, and disappointment. This really helped me understand my struggle. I’m so grateful for My Savior.

  • Elizabeth Hogan

    I woke up feeling hopeful. Today is going to be a good day. Nothing is going to get me down, not even my two hour commute or smashing my finger in the car door….. And when work was rough by 10am, I turned here. This really hit home. Just what I needed to read to help center me.

  • Kena Hardin

    Grief has a way of keeping one in the darkness, and I am only recently coming out of that darkness. I find it harder than ever before to fight the darkness but I want and WILL lead a Christian life, and I will always seek the light of God. I am thankful for this post.

  • Payton Cambia

    Woke up and felt completely awful, taking the time to go through this devotional helped reassure me with God. So thankful for this.

  • I am a newer Christian and this is something I struggle with, why can’t I just trust, if I did then I wouldn’t feel the struggle. everyone says its normal but it doesn’t feel normal. This truly helped put it in a different light. Thank you!

    • Meg

      The struggle is always there. I’ve been a Christian my whole life, and I still have questions about my salvation. But faith is about trusting and believing even when you can’t see or don’t have all the answers. When you have those times where you struggle with trusting in God and salvation, the best thing you can do is pray. We’ve been in a series at church called “Finding your way back to God” and it’s been awesome even for us “seasoned” Christians. The prayer our pastor has been having us say every day is “God if you are real, be real to me.” We all need that daily talk with God and so just talking to Him can help us get past the uncertainty.

  • This gospel issue is a big epidemic! As a girl who was born into a Christian home, attended church each time the doors were open, attended Christian school and Christian college I can attest to the fact that without a true understanding and living out the gospel there is no freedom. We will continue to search and not find. We will continue to fill our deepest longings only to come up feeling empty time and time again. This is a REAL issue that is worth digging into if you feel as if you have not really experienced the extravagant love and relationship with Jesus!

  • Carla Azevedo

    I couldn’t agree more! Actually it was comforting to hear the message since I feel like I am constantly struggling with my sins and temptations with wanting to be right with the Lord. So I guess that means I must be doing something right ❤️

  • Kasey Summers

    Amen!!

  • Brittany

    The Gospel felt so real, more real than it has in a while after reading today’s devotional. To think about how much light Jesus brings into this dark world, simply amazing. i was so deeply convicted about being comfortable, God placed on my heart to write about it in my blog… a blog i had promised to post on every monday, and i was two weeks behind. Today it’s back, and it’s just a glimpse into my story. Praise Jesus that He alone is the almighty comforter

    https://conqueryourgiants.wordpress.com

  • I love “John writes both to comfort the afflicted, and to afflict the comfortable.” Such truth. I lie here and wrestle with my own dark, but also rest in knowing that He has already won.

  • I struggle with depression every day. Does this mean that I could possibly struggle with this darkness for the rest of my life?

    • Ashley

      We all, as believers, struggle with the darkness of sin every day. We pursue holiness and seek to become like Christ, but we won’t achieve perfection this side of heaven. So, in that sense, yes–you will probably struggle with darkness for the rest of your life.
      In terms of depression, though, there are absolutely steps that can help you defeat that struggle. Depression is a real illness that is caused by chemical imbalances in the brain–that can be treated with medication! Counseling, learning healthy coping mechanisms and finding a network of support will help immensely.
      If you haven’t done so already, please talk to your doctor about your depression. Reach out for help–you are not alone!

    • Channy

      Maybe. I wrestled with it–and it nearly won–for a season of my life, but it’s now just a remembered time. I have friends who deal with it regularly, even everyday. But His light shines in the darkness, even our own personal darkness, and the darkness will not overcome it. That is TRUTH.

      • Channy

        And I second Ashley’s thoughts–depression isn’t something to be ashamed of. Find support, because it’s there. Reach out, in spite of everything that tells you to shut down.

    • Barbara

      I too, struggle with depression. I used to feel guilty, because I didn’t have enough faith to get out of my depression. This was just another one of the enemy’s lies. Just as someone with severe enough diabetes may need medication, you too may need medication. I am praying for you!

    • Tracy

      You are alone! I suffer with bipolar type 2 disorder, with depression much of the time. Satan has whispered in my ear more than once that if I was really a child of God, I wouldn’t feel this way. That if I was really redeemed, I would come out of this. But those are lies. You have a story, and that story may include depression. Medication, prayer and daily intentional work to do the best you can. Some days that is better than others, but actively seeking God’s face is step 1. I am always here if you ever need to talk. I’ve been there.

    • Liz

      Not sure if you’ve try progesterone replacement therapy? I had severe depression and progesterone taken daily certain times of the month made me sooo much better! It’s part of Naprotechnology if you ever want to look it up. God bless you!

      • Naomi

        Yes Liz, natural hormone therapy has helped me so much. I had severe insomnia and anxiety along with muscle weakness and thank God he has used bio-identical hormones to heal me.

  • Sierra Solley

    You bring life, You are love, You bring light to the darkness! Great are You, Lord!

  • Carly Benavides

    Romans 13:11-12 ” beside this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.”

  • Do you think that revisiting a past sin over and over and replaying it in you head is darkness? Sometimes I’ll remember a past sin and it’ll stick with me for days, reminding me of who I was and what I did… that seems like darkness to me. Anyone else struggle in that area?

    • Ashlyn

      Halee, I do that a lot too.. I think the question about confessing our sins and believing God will cleanse us kinda answers that. Yeah we have ugly sins and things we did wrong – but when we confess those we must believe God is able and willing to forgive us. We must latch onto that truth – even though it’s really hard. Because believing we are not forgiven and feeling guilty for something God has said is no more, is darkness.. I don’t know about you but I literally feel icky and dark when I think and dwell on those things.. living in light is so much better..

      • Hannah

        I completely struggle like that. It’s hard to know sometimes if it’s conviction or the devil but contemplating the cross and the finality of Christ’s death and resurrection helps. It brings ‘the light’. I have ‘dark days’ and they are usually because of just what you describe – revisiting old sins and feeling terrible guilt. Thanks for writing. It helps to know others feel the same. X

      • Jeannie D'Amico

        I think it is important to forgive yourself. Knowing that God has forgiven and forgotten our past once we accept Christ’s atoning sacrifice, is our stake in the ground. The enemy who is “the accuser of the brethren” will throw our past in our faces, but we can say”NO, I am washed, I am justified. Christ Jesus made the atonement for me. I am forgiven. Here is my stake in the ground!!” I physically took a piece of paper and wrote things from my past which I struggled with, and put scripture before and after the list. I signed it! Signed, sealed and delivered!! Now when Satan reminds me of my past, I take out that envelope. I don’t even have to open it, because on the front it says: “and blotted out the charges proved against you, the list of His commandments which you had not obeyed. He took this list of sins and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross.”Colossians 2:14 TLB

    • Zoe

      To dwell on your feelings of guilt is to affirm the notion that your sin is greater than God. The opposite is true. Don’t feed feelings of guilt. Pray about it. Ask God to help you overcome your feelings of guilt, but remember that God has already overcome your sin! I will be praying for you.

    • Bev

      That is the enemy talking and telling you his lie, “Jesus is not enough”. Jesus died on the cross and forgives you of that sin — He has completely forgotten it, “as far as the east is from the west”. I pray the enemy and his effects away from you, Halee and that you will claim the truth and see yourself as Jesus does: completely forgiven. Amen!

  • Jeannie D'Amico

    WOW! just WOW! Lord make the darkness so uncomfortable that I flee to the Light!

  • Missy Brown

    Oh…something to truly strive for…to be a light seeker. May we never be comfortable with darkness around us. Just what I needed to read today. He is so amazing!!!

  • Keri McCue

    “If we are not actively struggling with darkness, it isn’t because there is no darkness in our lives. It is because that darkness has become comfortable.” I mean if that’s not a “mic drop” moment, I don’t know what is! SRT, you are constantly convicting and encouraging me, always pushing me towards Christ even when I want to ignore my sin!

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

    • Kimberly Nelson

      I had the same moment! I was trying to copy it as fast as possible so I could remember and look back at it later.

  • “If we are not actively struggling with darkness, it isn’t because there is no darkness in our lives. It is because that darkness has become comfortable.” Wow. Today’s message is so convicting and powerful. Thank you for sharing the hard to swallow truths, SRT fam!

  • Thank you Lord, for reminding me that I am a “city on a hill” and a “lamp on a stand.” Your light shines through me even in the darkness. And the darkness “has not” overcome the light. Let my light shine bright today, so others can see you through me. Amen.

  • “The Christian life—the life of salvation through the gospel of Christ Jesus—is a life that will constantly battle the darkness until Perfection comes.” Such a great, yet difficult, reminder. God did not call us to live a life of comfortability.

  • “Shine light on my dark places” is something I will be holding onto today. I feel that I struggle a lot to comprehend Christianity as I’m beginning my walk with God. But it brings me comfort to know that I am not alone with those doubts and questions.

  • churchmouse

    Raechel, thank you for shedding Light on these Scriptures and the context in which John writes. I too struggle with taking the peace of my quiet time into the turmoil that is the world. So often I return to my prayer closet at the end of the day with my head hung low, feeling more like a failure than a woman of faith. I am really good at kicking myself! Your words today are ones I will ponder for many days.

  • I’m a new nurse on an oncology unit at a faith based hospital, and I often find it hard to bring words of comfort to even my patients who are believers. Sometimes the cancer and the prognoses of the disease take so much from these people. And a lot of times their cancer isn’t the only issue their dealing with in their lives. These scriptures reminded me that no Matter what darkness we walk through, by truly leaning on the Lord and knowing that this life is nothing compared to eternity, we can find comfort and light in any form of darkness.

    • Mo Jeffrey

      This is really encouraging Bentley thankyou!

    • She Reads Truth

      Bentley, thank you for sharing these encouraging words today. I’m sure your patients are grateful for your heart, too.

      xoxo-Kaitlin

    • Tracy

      Bentley, I am an Oncology nurse as well… Not a new nurse at all, but only 2 years in Oncology…. I share your struggle. Remember a hug, smile or other small gesture goes a long way to patients that are dealing with cancer on top of life… And as u get to know your patients, it’s almost like God puts words in your heart for a specific person and will let you know what they need that day. What we do is by no means easy or glamorous but it is a calling. Praying for you!

  • “If we are not actively struggling with darkness, it isn’t because there is no darkness in our lives. It is because that darkness has become comfortable.”

    Love this challenge to continuously pursue after Jesus with everything we have.

  • Lily Ballenger

    Today is the day to rise up and take care of the darkness around. ❤️

  • Jennifer W.

    I think my greatest doubts come as a result of the fear, restlessness and selfish unhappiness I see in myself. I wonder if I am really one of God’s children, because I struggle so much with having constant peace, joy and love like the Bible talks about. The only solution is to fix my eyes back on Jesus. I keep walking toward Him, even if sometimes I don’t understand why His power is not transforming me better. I feel that internally, I am so far from where I should be at this stage of my Christian walk. I could easily fake it- I am quite practiced at the external characteristics of a godly woman. But I still often lay awake at night in fear for my child’s life, not because she is in real danger, but because something could happen and I know God’s children suffer along with everyone else. And I know this fear is sinful and steals my joy in Christ. And I pray and ask God to change me. But I still struggle too often. I struggle with selfishness toward my husband too often.
    I am past thinking that the goal of the Christian life is buck up and be better today than I was yesterday by my own strength. I want to see the power of Christ unleashed in me. That is my prayer. I don’t know if it is bold, crazy, theologically unsound or what! I am just so ready for the interior of my heart to be more like Christ’s. And that may very well mean that all of my midnight fears will come true, in order to mold me into His image. Joy and peace aren’t flowing at that thought, but I suppose surrender is the place to start.

    • NICOLE A BENITEZ

      God bless you . Will be praying for you. You are not alone.

    • Hannah

      This is refreshing and comforting to read. You’re not alone in feeling like that.

      • Michelle

        I too cry myself to sleep thinking of other children’s suffering and transferring them into fears for my child. Recently, I realized the majority of my thoughts and efforts and instructions to my child were related to their physical well being and not their SPIRITUAL well being. I have missed the most important thing of all and in trying to keep them in my hands, I have resisted putting them in God’s hands. You aren’t alone and I am trying to surrender too.

        • Jennifer W.

          I hear you! My daughter is 14 months old, and most of my efforts have thus far been very physical in nature. She is just starting to turn the corner to learn how to obey. I pray that God gives my husband and I wisdom and presence of mind to focus on her spiritual growth and not just on helping her survive her wild antics! (Though, somedays, I think it’s OK if that is all we manage! God is gracious!) I feel that the biggest thing is that she is watching us. Our choices will become her choices, and we must make them with her best in mind.

    • Naomi

      Jennifer you are so not alone. I almost feel like I could have written that. Thank you for your honesty. Blessings to you my precious sister in Christ!

  • “The Christian life is one that is constantly battling darkness…” Today’s darkness comes in the form of inpatience which reared it’s ugly head at my daughter before school. All was going well, happy people heading out the door and then she got frustrated with shoes which made me angry, but it really didn’t have anything to do with her. I made the mistake of starting my morning with balancing budgets (which never balance and are always in the red). A constant struggle in my mind that came out against her. I found myself saying “Why do I do the things I hate?” So, good timing to read this this morning and believe that my confession and apology to my daughter will allow me to try to shine again. Do you find that light frequently blown out only to have to relight it again and again?

    • Amanda Massey

      Suzy, your response touched me and I have also struggled with the same thoughts when I constantly do the things which I hate. Paul wrote of this same struggle in Romans 7 & 8 that so beautifully illustrates the battle we wage in the flesh and of our minds. Our flesh is weak but we are called to take captive our thoughts and put them into submission to God. Does that mean we will never have bad thoughts or say something we regret? No. It means that we have been given the Light and can See when we make a mistake, we are no longer blind to it walking in darkness, and we can come to our Father in heaven and Know, trust He is faithful in forgiving us.
      10 “The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. 11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
      13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
      21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” ~ROMANS 7:10-25
      We know God is Light and the Holy Spirit is of God. The Holy Spirit is Light. Acts 2:38 says we will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, “God’s living Light”, when we repent and are baptized in the name of Jesus. Because we know God is Light and His Spirit is light, it seems appropriate that when reading, we could substitute Spirit with Light and they are one and the same. I added Romans 8 below and it was illuminating for me to do that.
      “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
      9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
      Heirs with Christ

      12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”~Romans 8:1-17
      The rest of Romans 8 is amazing too if you want to finish it out. I tried to save space here! Lol. I just want to encourage you sister that your Light will never go out. But in fact He has enabled you to SEE and take your thoughts captive. We are battling darkness in this world but I praise God that His Light in us has overcome the darkness in us and shines light on our shadows so He can work on them with us!! With His Light in us, we SEE and we shine so others that are in their darkness can SEE while being near to us. The fact that you can SEE your moment of fleshly weakness is the Holy Spirit working in you! Praise God! He will also give you the power to make reconciliation with your daughter and in that, His Light shines through us. In our weakness, His strength is shown. Wow…. God has taught me so much this morning as well. Thank you and I hope you are blessed as I have been blessed by you this morning! ♡

      • DebbieinAZ

        Wow Amanda. Great answer. Thanks for taking the time to post this. It well sums up the human condition and Gods answer t it.

        • Suzy

          Amanda, thank you for sharing. I love the reminder that my guilt is there to point to point me to those dark areas in my life. I was once told that guilt is not a bad thing, shame is. Guilt may be a reminder not to go down a bad path again, but shame is more of the enemy trying to tell you that you’re not good enough and Christ dying for you was not enough. Thanks for the reminder that I would rather feel bad about my words and actions and ask for forgiveness than feel no remorse. And, yes, I was able to model for my daughter repentance and ask for her forgiveness and she did:)

          • Amanda Massey

            Exactly! ♡ so glad you got to share that moment with your daughter. Thank you for sharing Suzy!!

  • Caroline

    Before Abraham was, “I am” He is the great I am! Thankful that there is no darkness found in Jesus Christ!

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • Amanda Massey

    I loved this passage today. It also brought upon another question for me… Do I believe that God has washed me of my sins and indeed given me His Holy Spirit to dwell in me? God is Light and has placed His light within me. Do I live like I believe that or am I still living in the darkness as if He hasn’t forgiven me? “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill can not be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all those in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”-Matthew 5:14-16. Am I walking in the light? Am I letting His light shine through me? God’s Holy Spirit dwells in me. I pray that I will let His light illuminate my every shadow and shine brightly for others to see Him and not me. Thank you Father for this amazing, indescribable, victorious gift.

    • Michelle

      Great perspective, Amanda. You made me question if I walk in the light each day and how I can improve. I’m praying for you and all of our SRT sisters. Happy Monday!

  • Amen!

  • Seek.and.Shine…. I’m great at the seeking part- boy I struggle when it comes to shining. I need to let go. I’m going to change my mind-set…. There is so much bitterness and ugliness in this world. So much pain. Everywhere. Precious Lord, thanks you for The Shes. Remind me constantly that I am she as well. Thank you for loving me.

  • Janessah

    Very Lovely Devotional!

  • “The struggle itself is not sin. Ask any seasoned believer and they will testify to this truth: the Lord is always working in our hearts to bring light (Philippians 1:6). As long as we are on earth, there will always be darkness to drive out. And as long as we have breath in our lungs, the process of sanctification will be present. If we are not actively struggling with darkness, it isn’t because there is no darkness in our lives. It is because that darkness has become comfortable.”

    this part really got me! I’ve been feeling the soul-struggle lately and have been feeling like somethings wrong with me (or my theology or christian walk). but the struggle is on-going so long as I live here on Earth. and if I’m comfortable, then maybe I’m comfortable with the darkness in me. woah. definitely needed this reminder today – its oddly comforting. :)

    • Crystal

      Agreed! Those words really hit me as well. Am I struggling with darkness or comfortable in it. Whoa Lord. Thank you for being gracious and loving and kind once again. For allowing me to see my need of you. Be encouraged sisters and friends. He’s not finished with us yet!

    • Rochelle

      Amen; that really got to me, as well!

    • Mika

      Felt the same way! The fact that we sense that struggle confirms that this world is not our home. As painful as the struggle is, it is a sweet reminder that we truly are children of God.

  • Stephanie

    Today is hard. Found out my dad just up and quit his job last week w/ no back up plan or idea, just that he wants to start his ministry, and my mom is super stressed about this. I don’t even know how to pray for this sitch. Any prayers y’all could do would be much appreciated

    • Rhonda

      Praying…

    • Heydi

      Good Morning Stephanie,
      You and your family are in my prayers. I know it’s easy to say, don’t worry, and it’s difficult to not worry, but trust and believe God will handle it. There is a reason why your father decided to do his ministry now. We are all in need of God. So I pray for your family to support your father and trust and believe God is leading him down an amazing path. In the end, you all will understand. With love & God bless. :-)

    • Michelle

      Stephanie,
      Sometimes God calls us to take leaps of faith and completely change our lives. These seasons of doubt and uncomfortableness with the great unknown and what if’s help us to be more faithful to God. Coming out of these difficult times helps us be more thankful for what we have and can change our perspective on life. Prayers for you and your family.

    • She Reads Truth

      Stephanie, I’m grateful for the opportunity to pray with you. Keeping your family in my prayers during this transition. Love to you, friend.

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • I am so overcome my fear and grief today. Worry haunts me. Please pray for me that I can remember there is no darkness in Jesus. That I can find hope in that.

    • Joanna

      I am praying for you, Kristy. That you would be reminded throughout the day today that YOU are a child of the LIGHT. The I AM is near you today. Every moment. I will strive to continue to pray for you today, my sister. You are not alone.

    • Kim

      I prayed for you Kristy. That you will rest in the knowledge that God is bigger! Bigger than your fears, your grief, your unknowns, your worries. He is Bigger!

    • Rhonda

      Praying for you…

    • Heydi

      I’m praying for you now. Please know and understand you are loved. :-)

  • Amanda :)

    Thinking about the message that I have to proclaim, God is light and there is forgiveness found in Him. Lord, send me where you want me to proclaim that message because anywhere without you I’m in darkness.

  • Robin W.

    Conviction. I often say that I’m in a good place, but today causes me to stop and ask, “Am I just comfortable??” Sweet Father, reveal to me where darkness exists. Help me to see what the world says is ok but you say is not. Help me to love, truly. Help me to live a life that honors you. I desire, Lord, to be in the light – fully. Help me see beyond my own security. Reveal your Truth. Forgive me, Lord, for my ignorance. My selfishness. My complacency.
    Thank you, Jesus. ❤️

  • The reading this morning reminded me of this song and that the best way to combat darkness may not be with rhetoric or a sword but instead with joy, compassion and forgiveness.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fxAUmNjWaIs

  • Katarina

    John 1:5 “That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it”

    Now that is something to remind ourselves every day! The smallest flicker of light can be seen and noticed amongst complete darkness, yet a flicker of darkness in the light goes unseen.
    Sometimes the embers of life may feel burnt out, but if we remember to simply breathe on them, the words of hope and light, the embers will continue to glow and spread light.

    I am thankful for those small flickers of light the grow from the darkness that life can bring. Praise the Lord!

  • Thank you Lord, for your timeliness! I have been hiding in the shadows for months, overcome with grief, fear, and anxiety. Mental illness can take you to some seriously dark places, and there are days when I feel like I’m just not going to make it. Instead of growing closer to the Lord I used easy distraction to make myself feel better and that turned into sin. At one point I was ignorant enough to think I could hide from that. But God. Our loving Father. Gently urging me to seek forgiveness and the only thing that will ever remain constant and that is Him.

    I was just thinking yesterday how I need more light in my life. There are so many things and people that can pull us down to the dark side. I refuse to stay there! I am a child of the light!

    I repent of my sin, oh God, and I’m sorry. I will also not let Satan hang onto my ankles and let him make me feel sorry for myself, blame myself, riddle me with fear and worry that keeps me from fellowship. I will not let him make me comfortable in darkness.

    I am turning the light on!

    http://youtu.be/JGYjKR69M6U

  • Sarah_Joy

    So ironic. I thought, whew!, we are through Hosea. New Testament equated warm fuzzies and easy reading. Is that the life Jesus invites me to live? Have I become comfortable? Or is that my goal? In these letters John “like any excellent pastor, he writes both to comfort the afflicted, and to afflict the comfortable. He delivers the healing balm of the gospel message, but that message calls for an ongoing death to self that is anything but comfortable.”

    I will never arrive at perfection this side of heaven. Instead, I struggle daily with sin, temptation and apathy. The Holy Spirit desires to convict me if I can listen to His voice and respond to His loving redirection. Today, I ask am I struggling against the darkness? Because I never want to stop pursuing holiness.

  • 1 John 1:5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

    John 1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.

    Our life is hidden in Him. I love how these verses relate the Light to Him being in our lives and in us. We are His active Light walking around everyday shining His Light in the dark places not only of our own lives but others, everywhere we go.

  • ” If we are not actively struggling with darkness, it isn’t because there is no darkness in our lives. It is because that darkness has become comfortable”

    A few evenings ago, my daughter commented that it seemed later than it was. She went on to observe that while she was obliviously enjoying a show, the room had become darker and the sun was nearly gone, all while she sat comfortably ignorant to it all. Fortunately, she leaned over and turned on the light. Sin in our lives is a lot like that. It doesn’t come with a loud warning system, it tends to slowly ease it’s way into our lives, casting shadows on corners we didn’t know existed, sneaking into the crevices of our hearts until a dimness is prevalent … all while we sit comfortably unknowing. Praise God that despite ourselves, He is not overcome by the darkness and He is faithful to illuminate our dark places. I am prayerful that when I sit in darkness, I see it, that I see the sin in my life and that it becomes a tangible part of my sanctification, allowing me to know it exists, allowing me to consciously choose to shed it, to ask for forgiveness and enabling me to reach over and turn on the Light. :) ~ B

    • Heather (MNmomma)

      Amen! Amen! Amen! Joining with you in this prayer this morning!!!!

    • Victoria

      Amen!

    • Betsy P.

      “Sin in our lives is a lot like that. It doesn’t come with a loud warning system, it tends to slowly ease it’s way into our lives, casting shadows on corners we didn’t know existed, sneaking into the crevices of our hearts until a dimness is prevalent…all while we sit comfortably unknowing.” YES! This is such a great illustration of how prone we are to wander without even realizing it (it makes me think of the Casting Crown’s song “Slow Fade” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QASREBVDsLk).

      Praying with you today that God will help us to be more mindful and attentive of the darkness creeping into our lives.

      • ~ B ~

        I have to say I am also a Betsy P, Betsy Pittman to be exact, nice to meet ya! :)

    • Shelia

      The same sentence jumped out at me this morning. I see this darkness creeping in so many places that it frightens me sometimes. Amen to your prayer, as it spoke for me this morning.

    • Amen

      “…prayerful that when I sit in darkness, I see it, that I see the sin in my life and that it becomes a tangible part of my sanctification, allowing me to know it exists, allowing me to consciously choose to shed it, to ask for forgiveness and enabling me to reach over and turn on the Light.”

      Amen!

    • Rhonda

      Amen….thanks for sharing. A very good visual to remember.

    • Kelly R Smith

      So good, B! Give your daughter a hug from the SRT sisters for that incredible lesson!

  • “Let the Word of God bring about holy affliction…shine light in our dark places. Let us never stop pursuing holiness”

    Thank you for these words. Praying them today!

  • Thank you, Jesus, for bringing light to my darkness–over, and over, and over–what grace and mercy! This morning’s study reminds me of the song “Great Are You, Lord.”

  • What is your darkness ? Mine is fear – mostly fear of death – which I struggle with and for this reason often question my faith quite a bit. Over the past 2 years, God has given me light in this darkness – at the same time – I have also thought – “this is just gonna be my thing” I live with – but NO this scripture tells me quite different. Do not become comfortable you this darkness – the struggle does not mean failure – it means God is working and desires freedom for me in this fear. I so needed this verse – bc I desire hope that this fear will not ALWAYS be my thing – that as I read Gods word, strive to be in his light – and work – He will release me from it ! I want HIS light in my darkness !!!

    • candacejo

      Proclaiming the scriptures over you today, Ivey! Jesus does want to drive away your fears and there is power in His Name and the Word to conquer them. Satan has to flee when you use the Name of Jesus and His Word. Take authority over your fears by the power that lives within you. I like to put my own name in the scriptures and claim them as mine, seems to be real to me that way, especially in the Psalms. Find scriptures about fear, such as Isaiah 41:10, and pray them over and over until you believe it for yourself. I am believing with you today!

    • Alnicia

      Thank you so much for sharing, I loved your comment on the struggle is not failure.

    • Maria

      Ivey: Thank you! I believe many of us walk in the darkness of fear(myself included). Time for us to allow His light to cover the darkness.

    • Alexis

      “THe struggle is not failure.” Oh I needed to see this. I’ve have been struggling with something this year and felt as if I failed. God just informed me otherwise, and that if I had given up, I would have failed. Such reassuring words. Thank you.

  • Alexis Maycock

    “Shine light in our dark places. Let us never stop pursuing holiness.”

    Whew…that hit me like a ton of bricks as a “seasoned believer”. We assume because we are not in active sin that we are okay. We forget the pursuit…the hidden things that we have pushed down or aside and yet needs to be unearthed.

    Thank you Lord for for the exposure of your Word. May we never get comfortable…always seeking your Truth and your Light.

    Amen

  • “It is because that darkness has become comfortable.”

    And the only antidote to this poison–this dark comfort,
    Jesus.
    His Salvation.
    Me remaining in His Word, His Light, His Truth.

    May I never be fooled by false comfort.

  • God truly has a sense of humor and always has a way of making you go “I hear you Lord or I know that was you” in the moments you need Him the most. As a person who struggles with replaying my mistakes in my mind like a bad movie it was so comforting to read “The struggle itself is not sin. Ask any seasoned believer and they will testify to this truth: the Lord is always working in our hearts to bring light (Philippians 1:6). As long as we are on earth, there will always be darkness to drive out.” A nice reminder and on-time message from the Father that our sanctification isn’t a one and done thing but a continuous process; and rather than beating ourselves up over the times we mess up we should be joyful that a) God loves us enough to convict us and b) we love God enough to keep working on getting it right. Often times we let the enemy sit back and laugh at us as we condemn ourselves. It’s time to accept the grace God provides and forgive ourselves as God forgives us. I pray today that we’re all kind and patient with ourselves as darkness is driven out and replaced with His light.

    • cjof8

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You have written out the expression I had in my own heart. Dropping my own stone of self unforgiving in prayer and repentance for the pride that thinks Jesus isn’t enough. He is all.. and in all.. who believe. Be blessed today sisters.

    • Anne

      Amen!!

    • candacejo

      Love your A) and B)!!

    • Joanna

      Amen!

    • Cecelia

      Your comment reminded me of the YouTube videos I’ve been watching a lot of lately. Todd White preaches the simplicity of the gospel – believing God is who he said he is and did what he said he did. A few nights ago I watched one and he was talking about ‘what if when the enemy accused us of things instead of buying into those lies or even rebuking the devil, we allowed it to bring us closer to Jesus?’ Like when we hear something about all our sins and stuff we have done we would immediately go to a place of thanking Jesus for forgiving us and washing us clean. That our old man is no longer who we are in Christ Jesus.
      This is something I struggle with but I love it. God shining light. The darkness HAS to leave.

    • Blair

      completely agree! I consider this the “just keep swimming” mentality because I totally beat myself up but I can’t stay there for too long….I gotta keep on swimming towards the light!

  • Kelly R Smith

    “[John] invites us down a path of holy concern to examine whether the message of the gospel has actually changed our lives.” I held my breath a bit right here. First, because I am convicted that the gospel hasn’t changed my life enough. I have allowed complacency to take its place. But also because this is my heart’s desire–to be completely and irrevocably changed by the gospel. Lord, shine your light on me. Expose the darkness.

  • ” If we are not actively struggling with darkness, it isn’t because there is no darkness in our lives. It is because that darkness has become comfortable.” How very true and convicting. Let us pray today that the Lord will bring to light what we have comfortably kept in the darkness.

    • Emily

      This line struck right to my heart as well! It’s easy to become comfortable and complacent, not realizing that this life is not meant to be “comfortable.” If I’m cruising along, then I’m not reaching out enough, I’m not sharing my faith, I’m not being challenged spiritually, and I’m not confronting my sin! Spending some time this morning in quiet confession as I decide to live today out of my comfort zone!

      • Tanya Clark

        I asked the question earlier, but you answered. Living outside of my comfort zone. Breaking my familiar!

    • Julie

      Amen!

  • The truth is, I am much more comfortable in the shadows. This aligns with the series my pastor has been teaching the last few weeks called The One, about being fishers of men and about how we were brought to faith to bring others to faith. I can’t help but think I can’t very well be a fisher of anything in the shadows. I can’t tell someone my story from the shadows. For years I have said it feels like there is a spiritual war in my heart. It feels like Satan tries his hardest to grab my heart and take me down into the shadows and keep me there. But God reminds us that He has already beaten death, and as hard as Satan tries, he will not succeed. God has already won.
    Sorry, I didn’t mean to start preaching this morning :) my whole point is God’s work isn’t meant to be hidden in our shadowed comfort zones. It’d meant to be lived out and shared with others. I hope you all have a blessed day ladies.

    • candacejo

      Awesome.

    • Tanya Clark

      How do you break that feeling of darkness?

      • Nikki

        Tanya, through God’s power. Feed yourself the Word of God. The more light in, the less room for darkness. Sometimes, when I have a specific burden, I also pray and fast. My God guide you.

      • Tracy

        I wish I had that answer, Tanya. I don’t yet… But all I do have is the knowledge that in my own human heart and mind there is a lot of darkness and shadows from mental illness. Satan uses this when he can to try to get a foothold. I know who I am without Christ… So daily, I open His Word and try to bring light in. That’s the only way to combat darkness right? With light. Some days are still a struggle. And if I don’t seek out God constantly, that darkness WILL sneak back in. Prayers you you… I hope this helped.

      • Melissa P

        I definitely agree with both Nikki and Tracy. I can personally testify that reading the Word makes all the difference in life. I started reading the word daily with sincerity about 2 years ago and the difference in my relationship with God, people and myself is stark. I was in a desperate situation when I started reading the Word, but unfortunately, that’s typically how it happens for all of us. We get desperate enough for God and then we finally move. Tanya, I know the days seem long, and the process even longer, but a year of faithful reading and prayer, will create the biggest difference in your life. I’d bet money on it. (And I don’t gamble.)
        Just start with 10-15 minutes a day, like I did. Now I can go for 1hr-1hr 30 with no problem. It’s amazing the transformation. I don’t even know how God was working, but He was, and I see the difference now.

    • Jeanette R.

      Thanks for sharing that. I feel that way all the time.

  • Awesome. Don’t let the darkness become comfortable! Great statement to reflect on and make sure we are always asking for forgiveness. I always pray that God forgives me of any thing that I’ve said, done, or thought. Be blessed sisters.

  • Beautifully written. The light is meant to expose and remind me always I’m in need of a Savior.

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