I recently found myself thinking about the great contrast between light and dark and equating that contrast to our walk with Christ. When I sin, I have stepped out of light into darkness. When I am walking with Christ, I have left the darkness behind to live in the light. There is a contrast there, and an important one.
Now I am not necessarily one to focus on the “bad” – but as you deal with your times of darkness, let me encourage you in this; instead of moping about in the darkness, let those experiences draw a contrast that accentuates the light of Christ. What does that look like practically? Not a day goes by when we don't sin – either actively or passively. We must grieve over that sin, and by the grace given to us by Christ and the conviction of the Holy Spirit, we have the ability to do so. But do not remain in grief - let the times of walking in the darkness make walking in the light so much sweeter. As the old adage goes, you never appreciate your health so much until after you've been sick. You can't fully appreciate the depth of your salvation until you have seen the depths of your own sin and darkness. Not that our focus remains there – but when you have a deep knowledge of what you have been saved from, you will see your walk in the light become immeasurably precious through that contrast.
As I was thinking about this, I found a good article by John Piper entitled Let Us Walk in the Light of God. In it, he talks about being “new creatures” and walking in the light with Christ. I think this is a fitting concluding remark from that article - “The mark of the new creature in Christ is not a rosy self concept. It is brokenness for remaining sin mingled with a joyful confidence in the super-abounding grace of God in Christ.”
Let that contrast deepen your joy in Christ this new year.