For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (
There is a darkness that can creep into the mind—a dread that lengthens as the evening shadows. Deeper and darker it grows, until our soul is shrouded by it—what has been called, “the dark night of the soul.” Hope seems to eclipsed. Such feelings can overwhelm, and incapacitate us—if we yield to them.
We dare not! We may be sure that if a spirit of fear has gripped us with its malevolent, icy fingers, that this is a spirit from Satan and not from God. We may refuse it, resist it, and rebuke it by God’s grace—for what He has for us is power to sustain us in our difficulties, love to reassure us in our doubts, and a sound mind to focus us onward and upward against the distractions that dread places in our path.
There are going to be dark times to deal with—as sure as there is day, there will be night. This world we live in is a dark and dreadful place. Yet, consider the promise of God, “Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness; He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.” (
There is this caveat, however—we must be gracious, compassionate, and righteous if we would walk in the light with Him who is the Light of the World. Christ is all of that in perfection, and to walk with Him is to manifest this in progression. The upright are those who stand erect—no hanging the head in despair, or sagging the shoulders in self-pity. His spine is straight, and he steels himself against compromise of convictions. He or she refuses to sit down and sulk—having a pity party—but stands up tall and walks ahead with fortitude. The upright are not uptight. The one who is upright will do right!
Such an upright man has three characteristics that mark him as one who reflects these qualities that stream from the Lord of Light. He is gracious—brimful of God’s grace and being a channel dispensing the same to other weary souls. He is compassionate—a deep and abiding care for others redirecting his thoughts from the problems he faces and focusing instead on the needs of others. He will be righteous—a man of integrity, who doe the right thing. With such, God is pleased to shine His light on to warm them, to cheer them, and to guide them. He dispels the darkness of dread.
You know the fear that arises in my mind, at times—the dread that can grip my heart in its darkness. Drive it away! Instead give me a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline—soundness of mind in a world gone mad. Remind me that the darkest hour is just before the dawn. Make me a man of grace, compassion, and righteousness so that Your light may bring the dawn of hope. I bless You for Your grace abundant, compassion unfailing, and that You always do right!
I pray this in the Name of Christ, the Light of Life,