The greatness of God.
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
2Corinthians 4:6–9 NIV
The lament of darkness.
People are fragile, like jars of clay. Easily cracked. easily broken. crushed under pressure. But we don’t realize our frailties until we find ourselves in trouble.
Trouble. trials. tribulations. temptations. Whatever overwhelms causes us to see our great need for help. If we are wise, we cry out to our Creator when we find ourselves in deep darkness. Undone. out of options. out numbered.
O Lord, I call upon you; hasten to me!
Give ear to my voice when I call to you!
Psalm 141:1 ESV
Lament, when directed toward God, is the language of humble complaint. A time to give voice to our discomfort. It’s when our hearts long for Him to hear our need for a God bigger than us. Greater than our trouble. One who may yet be unknown to us. Quickly, Lord! Do you hear me?
Let my prayer be counted as incense before you,
and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!
Psalm 141:2 ESV
When all you have left is a prayer, your call to Him is offered as the final slaying of your own ability to save yourself. Humbling ourselves before Him, we hope He receives our plea as a sweet offering. You, Lord, are great — I am poor and needy.
Inclining toward the Light.
In lament we incline ourselves toward light and away from darkness. A recognition of the evil in the world. Seeing where our own agreement with evil — conscious or unconscious — has led to a world full of trouble. Our inclination is for an escape! A deliverance from our own evil-bent and the wickedness of others.
Our eyes begin to open to the great power of Light.
Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! Do not let my heart incline to any evil, to busy myself with wicked deeds in company with men who work iniquity, and let me not eat of their delicacies!
Psalm 141:3–4 ESV
The Light of truth guards us from the destruction of darkness. The psalmist asks God to set a guard over his mouth and a barrier to keep him set on the straight and narrow. Lord, guard my way with Your Light!
Seeking the power of Light as a guard against darkness includes welcoming those who come with words of warning about our wandering ways.
Let a righteous man strike me — it is a kindness;
let him rebuke me — it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it.
Psalm 141:5 ESV
The sorrows of living life in a dark world, make us appreciate the sting of correction from those who know the way of Light. Those who have learned what’s right. And love us enough to tell us. Bless me with a receptive spirit ready to receive Your Light, O Lord.
Life in the power of Light.
Light is a way of life. But one that doesn’t come until we learn our weakness — our true wantings — then we begin to desire others will find their way into the Light, too.
Yet my prayer is continually against their evil deeds.
When their judges are thrown over the cliff,
then they shall hear my words, for they are pleasant.
As when one plows and breaks up the earth,
so shall our bones be scattered at the mouth of Sheol.
Psalm 141:5–7 ESV
A life lived in the Light moves us to continually pray against the wicked work done in the world. Hoping for hearts to change. see the Light. avoid the pain of their chosen way. O Lord, save us all from the darkness of evil!
Yet on the day of the downfall of those who rely on darkness, the ears of others may open to hear the words of life and Light. Receive the warnings as good news. Pleasant and true words for a better way.
Seeing the destructive outcome of a life lived in the dark — shattered to pieces — the power of Light is seen as a good thing. a greater thing. the best thing.
But my eyes are toward you, O God, my Lord;
in you I seek refuge; leave me not defenseless!
Psalm 141:8 ESV
God’s Light — His truth, His knowledge, His wisdom, His way — is a haven in a world full of darkness and evil, corruption, and deceit. Living our lives in Christ, when trouble comes (and it will come!) we may find ourselves pressed, but our spirits will not be discouraged. Confused and confounded, but never without the light of hope. Abused and misused, but never left alone in the dark. Knocked to the ground, but not utterly destroyed. May Your Light be my refuge, O Lord, in the midst of darkness.
Light trumps trouble.
In this world you will have trouble. Jesus said it (John 16:33) and all find it to be true. No one is immune from the effect of sin. But in Him we may have peace. In Him we know He has a purpose and plan for our good and His glory.
And ultimately, nobody gets away with anything.
Keep me from the trap they have laid for me and from the snares of evildoers!
Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while I pass by safely.
Psalm 141:9–10 ESV
The evil and darkness in the world may seem overpowering. Appear to have the upper hand. But God turns the table on darkness. Turns evil on itself, has the audacity to use it for His good purposes. Lord, protect me by the power of Your Light!
Those who rely on the ways of the world become trapped in their own devices, tripped up by their own plans, and the truth sets those who live in the way of Light free.
Darkness thought he extinguished the Light of the world.
Nailed Him on a cross to die.
But the only one whose end was guaranteed when Jesus said, It is finished, was evil, death, and sin.
Light is greater than darkness.
It is the power of God.
The Way of life. hope. peace.
For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light — for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true.
Ephesians 5:8-9 NRSV
What darkness seems to be overpowering you?
What agreements have you made with the dark?
Turn to the Light. Lament. Incline. Ask Him to guard you against the dark. Find a haven in the Light. Trust Him to deal with those who seem to be getting away with a life lived in the dark. Trust His power of Light to be greater than any darkness.