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The snow came on Sunday and along with it a dark, gray day. Even though the snow was white, it looked dull and drab. It made me tired, but I didn’t realize how tired until Monday when the sun came out in full force. I said to my husband, Mel, “Wow! Look at the snow today! It sparkles! It didn’t do that yesterday.”

He replied, “Even a diamond doesn’t shine in the darkness.”

So true. Even a diamond doesn’t shine in the darkness. We are living in dark times. There are events in this country and this world that many of us never thought we’d see. Taking God out of everything. Not just the schools, the government, and our very fabric of society, but also out of family life. Growing up, it was rare to not see families in church on Sunday mornings. It’s becoming rarer to see families in church together.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t hypocrites in churches. There are hypocrites everywhere. Don’t let that stop you from finding a loving church home. We are all sinners in need of God. If you are a church member, go out of your way to welcome visitors. We don’t know what others have been through in this life. What incredible courage it may take to walk through those church doors.

Encourage them to bring their children. Remember what Jesus said. “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14).

Children’s ministry begins at home. If we don’t teach our children to love and follow the Lord, the world will teach them to follow a different path. One thing I’ve witnessed time and time again is that if someone isn’t following the Lord, they won’t be truly happy until they are. There’s an emptiness that only He can fill. When you are filled up with Jesus, you have a joy and a peace that does not depend upon circumstances.

Sad and unfortunate things happen in this world. There are shootings. Road rage. Natural disasters. Hate crimes and so much more. But those who know and love the Lord have an advantage. We know that our true home is not here on earth. We know that we do not go through this world alone. We are people of hope. We know that the Lord has plans for each one of us. Plans to give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

We are called to be beacons of light in a dark world. “Let your light so shine before men that they see your good works and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

When others look at believers, they should see that there’s something different. One of my regrets in life is that years ago someone asked me, “Why are you such a happy person? What’s different about you?” Instead of telling him about the Lord, I said something else. I was too shy to witness.

That’s why we are also called to be prepared to give an answer about the faith we have. We never know when someone may be ready to hear the Gospel truth. “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).

We are not to beat each other over the head with the Gospel. We are not to be arrogant and a know-it-all. But with loving kindness, with gentleness and respect, and also with the help of the Holy Spirit, to answer those who want to know why we are different.

Because we are different. We are “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that (we) may proclaim the praises of Him who called (us) out of dankness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

We are people of hope with a heavenly inheritance. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you””(1 Peter 1:3-4)

We know that there is no darkness in God (1 John 1:5). In fact, Jesus is the light of the world. “When Jesus spoke to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’” (John 8:12).

We are called to arm ourselves with light. “The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12).

We do not need to fear the darkness. We are diamonds shining in the light of Jesus.

Kathy Yoder is a devotional writer. She may be reached at kathyyoder4@gmail.com.

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