When I woke early this morning, the sky was dark navy, almost black. The birdsong was lively, the air surprisingly cold for April. As I gazed out the window, the eastern horizon slowly grew lighter. If I watched without turning away, the change was too gradual to measure, but if I glanced down for a moment, then looked up again, the difference was remarkable.
Our spiritual growth? Just the same. Morning by morning, we may not notice much improvement in our thought patterns or behavior. But as we take in God’s Word, as we worship, as we pray, as we fellowship with other believers, as we serve God with gladness, as we give away our resources to help others, the light of his love continues to rise in our hearts until it shows in our words and shines on our faces.
The path of the righteous is like the morning sun,
shining ever brighter till the full light of day. Proverbs 4:18
The path of the righteous…
Very promising, that word path. God doesn’t expect us to get where we’re going all at once. Relief. This “road the righteous travel” (GNT), this “way of those who do right” (VOICE) is a step-by-step process. A path, not an expressway.
As to being righteous? That’s the Lord’s work entirely. Righteousness isn’t about our goodness; it’s about God’s kindness. We can’t become “right-living people” (MSG) on our own. It’s his Spirit in us that prompts us to say or do the right things—to be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and disciplined. All that delicious fruit of the Spirit is produced by “those who are right” (NLV) with God.
…is like the morning sun,…
That “first gleam of dawn” (NIRV), that “early morning light” (NLV) is not only pure, it’s also sure. It’s certain. The sun never changes its mind, never chooses not to rise, never goes back to bed. It keeps going, tracing a steady path across the sky.
Even when dark clouds hover over us, even when wild storms rage inside us, high above those storm clouds, the sun is still shining.
Because of God, we, too, are able to keep going. Because of his Son, the Light of the World, we too can “glow with light” (MSG), despite our circumstances.
We are still his people. He is still our God. Nothing will ever change that. Nothing.
You and I are counted among the righteous not based on how we act, but on whom we trust. “The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does” (Psalm 145:13). What he does is shine. In us.
…shining ever brighter…
He who created light and called it “good,” created you and called you “righteous.”
If you’re thinking, “That’s fine, Liz, but things aren’t ‘growing brighter and brighter’ (EXB) at my house. I’m not ‘leading and shining’ (LEB) at work, and I’m definitely not feeling ‘brighter and clearer’ (AMP) with each passing day.”
I hear you. I’m with you. That’s why God calls us to lift our heads and look up. Rather than feel, he wants us to see what his Word clearly says: “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Romans 3:23).
Do you believe, dear friend? Then trust God for the “brightening” (YLT) that is sure to come. Don’t look in the mirror. Look in his Word. See? It’s coming.
…till the full light of day.
When the sun finally crested the horizon this morning and the whole sky filled with light, east to west, a sense of satisfaction washed over me. No more waiting. No more darkness. No more night.
Jesus promised, “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). His light. His life.
When do we reach “full light”? When we stand in God’s presence on that “perfect day” (ASV). Until then, we live “in the ever-brightening light of God’s favor” (TLB), with our faith expanding and our confidence strengthening.
One of the wonderful things about growing older is that we’re still growing. And, as Madeleine L’Engle said, “You don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.” Each day we begin with more knowledge, more wisdom, more experience. For those who love God, “the longer they live, the brighter they shine” (MSG).
The day will come—oh, just imagine it!—when we say, with our faces to the ground in awe, “Good morning, Lord.” May the anticipation of that glorious moment carry us through the gloom of Maundy Thursday, the heartbreak of Good Friday, the emptiness of Holy Saturday, to the jubilation of Easter morning.
When the hymns and praise songs rise to the rafters, and your heart is filled to bursting, may you exclaim with Mary Magdalene, “I have seen the Lord!” (John 20:18)
He is risen! He is risen indeed!
Now it’s your turn
- How did this verse encourage you today?
When you share what’s on your heart, we all benefit from your honesty. Thanks for taking a moment to Post a Comment below.
So grateful to celebrate his resurrection with you every time we meet!
Your sister, Liz
P.S. Have you perhaps read my latest? Mercy Like Sunlight moves from winter to spring, from darkness to light, and from sorrow to a deep sense of joy. It’s an eBook exclusive, easily read in an evening, and (this is the best part) at $3.99, it costs no more than a venti chai latte from Starbucks. Bless you for giving it a look. “This novella is captivating and delightful and the perfect read for the Lenten season.”