After Darkness, Light

“Post Tenebras Lux.” This is the Latin phrase that became the motto of the Protestant Reformation. It literally reads, “After darkness, light.” It referred to the breaking forth of gospel light that had been largely veiled throughout the middle ages. The motto is rich because it captures a profound truth about God’s mode of operation. Darkness is often, if not always, the prelude to God’s blinding grace.

From the first page of Scripture to the last, God is conquering darkness with light. In the beginning, he speaks piercing light into the blackness. In the end, God’s presence eclipses the sun and gives light to the new earth. In the between, we find God’s light consistently following darkness. In the kingdom of God, darkness will never have the final word.

Note a few texts that capture this hopeful theme.

“But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD will be a light to me” (Micah 7:7-8).

“Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning” (Psalm 30:4-5).

“Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous” (Psalm 112:4).

Darkness is certain in this life…painfully inevitable. For the people of God light is just as sure. The night will always bow to the day. Death will ultimately be swallowed by resurrection. Every experience of light conquering darkness in the present is a foretaste of the time when darkness will be no more. That day is coming…may it come soon. If you are walking in the darkness, hold tight, light is coming.

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