"Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12, ESV)
Are you afraid of the dark? For me, the darkness is the scariest when I have no access to any source of light. Put me in an unfamiliar room, or worse, a cave with no flashlight…. No, thank you. John 8:12 is talking about a different type of darkness, rather, a spiritual darkness. In Genesis 3, sin entered the world and darkness became the starting point for all of mankind. We were each born into a broken world with sin bound up in our infant hearts (Psalm 51:5). But, by the grace of God, He did not create us to remain in darkness. He gives us a glorious flashlight in the midst of our sin filled caves of darkness.
In Matthew 17:24-25, Jesus says, “if any one would come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me, for whoever would save his life would lose it but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” There is a point in the life of every believer where the Holy Spirit removes the veil from our eyes and bursts through our hard hearts making us aware of our need to deny ourselves, take up His cross, and follow him. The way to freedom is to step out into the light before God where He exposes our sin and desperate need for Him. Jesus is that source of light shining to save us from our sin, not condemn us. Follow me, He says, and you will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. As we follow Him, we receive the light of life just as John 8:12 promises.
What about the darkness that remains in the world? Romans 8:35-39 gives us hope. “Who shall separate us from the Love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered” No, in all these things we are more than conquerers through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither life nor death nor angels nor rulers, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height or depth nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Dark days and trials of various kinds are ahead for all of us (James 1:2). We must remind ourselves of Romans 8:37-38, that no amount of darkness can separate us from Christ. God will show up in the hard things for us. His grace awaits us in the darkness. He has given us everything we need to follow him, For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6). Look to Christ, follow Him, and have the light of life.