But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound…
Romans 5:20 KJV
I need to be reminded that sin is no match for grace, because the world works VERY hard to keep that a secret. This verse also reminds me that when I see the darkness revving up, there is a corresponding move of God that dwarfs the best Satan can do. It’s an awesome thing to contemplate, that fearsome power of God! When darkness falls on us, Light rises.
When Darkness Falls on Us as Fear
The entire Bible is a warning against quailing based on the numbers. No good ever comes from fixating on numbers – God really doesn’t like it when we do that. We’re sheep, creatures of the herd, and a tiny flock is not preferred if a larger one is at hand. We constantly let the numbers sow doubt and fear and blur our perspectives. But God loves the numbers that tend to give us heartburn. Our God blooms in the wasteland, provides feast in famine, and waits for the darkness to confidently encircle His children before obliterating it. Our God loves long odds.
Gideon’s army went from thousands strong to the headcount of a fancy wedding reception. Elijah was one man going up against hundreds of Baal prophets. Paul, as an apostle, was a prolific church planter and evangelist, yet Scripture tells us that most of those seeds never sprouted or were stolen by the enemy. And if you look at the numbers of Jesus’ ministry, it’s horrifying by the world’s standards. Eleven disciples, some family, and a handful of followers? If the numbers speak louder than God, then fear will take me and doubt will rule me. And I’ll miss the miraculous revelation of the God who shines brightest when darkness falls heaviest.
When Darkness Falls and Light Shines Brighter
John’s post yesterday beautifully revealed what it is to ‘be of good cheer’ in a time of great lawlessness. Satan attacks Jesus’ admonishment to ‘be of good cheer’ by drawing my eyes to the numbers. So many attacks, so much death, so much pain, so much anger and bitterness—where is Peace? Hope? Joy? Sacrifice? LOVE? Are we so outnumbered by evil that you can’t even see those of us who believe? In a sea of rage and rebellion, the numbers do not bode well for us. What do we do about that? Rejoice!
The worse the numbers look according to the world’s standard, the more we can anticipate God’s glorious move. He delights to confound and even annihilate expectations using tiny flocks or a single sheep. When darkness falls, Light ALWAYS rises!
“All right, they’re on our left, they’re on our right, they’re in front of us, they’re behind us—they can’t get away this time!”
Lt. Gen. Lewis “Chesty” Puller, Marine Corps legend
Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.
Micah 7:8 KJV