Arise and Shine
By: Gertrude Flynn-White
God’s plan for us is that we prosper and be in health even as our soul prospers. His plan, as revealed to the Prophet, Jeremiah, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jer. 29:11) NIV) The same words are echoed in 3 John 2, ” Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”
How can God’s plan be manifested in us? How can we fulfill God’s purpose? The command is given through the Prophet Isaiah, “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD is upon you.” Isaiah 60:1 (NIV) First, you must “Arise” and then you must “Shine” for your light is come.
Our journey may have taken us through the valley of adversity. We may have encountered sickness, loss of a love one, loss of job, financial challenges, marital problems, you name it, but God can fix it. He is still the Balm in Gilead and the great phicisian. He is still the good Shepherd who is ready to restore us and even prepare a table before us in the presence of our enemies.
In spite of our challenges, no matter how negative our past was, how disappointing the present is, and how uncertain the future will be, we are advised to arise and shine for Jesus who is the true light of the world has come. If we need a positive change in our life, now is the time to arise and shine. Now is the time to pick up the broken pieces and allow God to put them back together again. As stewards, we should not be weary in welldoing. The scripture reminds us to let our light shine before men, that they may see our good works, and glorify our Father who is in Heaven. Will you shine your light today?
How can we shine our light? As we seek to fulfill God’s plan for our life, we should endeavour to keep our light shining. 1. We should not murmur or complain. The Bible states, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and power to do what pleases him. Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you…” 2. We must try to be the light in a dark world. We are chosen and set apart as Romans 12:2 dictates, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” While others are chasing after the physical pleasures of this world, we must focus on that which is spiritual. 3. Our lives must reflect who we are. We live in a sinful dark world but our light should radiate the darkness. We should stand out and let God be glorified in our words and actions. 4. We should maintain a close relationship with God “for in Him we live, and move, and have our being”( Acts 17:28).
What keeps us from Shining? 1. We must be careful of the things we say. The tongue is deemed as being “a little member that is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3: 5-8) 2. We need to be careful of the places we go, what we do there, and who we interact with. 3. We need to be careful what we think of others and how we treat them. We should treat others the same way we want them to treat you. (Luke 6:31) 4. We should be not yield to temptation.