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.”
For we do not want you to be ignorant of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death…
2 Corinthians 1:8-9a
These two passages above appear to contradict one another, don’t they? Jesus says that those who follow Him will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life. Yet the apostle Paul, who is probably the greatest example in history of someone who followed Jesus, stated that when he was in Asia carrying the gospel into unreached places he felt burdened beyond strength, as if he had received a death sentence.
Paul mentions in another place that he was at times “perplexed.” This word in the Greek language means: 1) to be without resources, to be in doubt, not to know which way to turn, to be at a loss with one’s self, not to know how to decide or what to do. There were times in Paul’s life & ministry when he didn’t know what to do and felt like he was going to die.
But didn’t Jesus say that if we follow Him we would not walk in darkness but would have the light of life??? If He is the light of the world, why do we sometimes feel like He has led us out in the middle of a hopeless desert and it is pitch black all around us?
Look at Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 1:9b-10: But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. Here, Paul clearly states that there was a purpose behind his perplexity– to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.
What you need to realize today is that though things do sometimes appear to be dark for us, Jesus truly IS the light of the world. All darkness in our lives is as the light of day to Him. Psalm 139:12 states:
Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.
Jesus did not lie, and these Scriptures do not contradict one another. He IS the Light of the world. He sees EVERYTHING the same way, dark or light. Nothing is hidden from His sight, though sometimes He ALLOWS things to be hidden from ours—so that we will learn not to rely upon ourselves but upon GOD who raises the dead!
If you find yourself today in the midst of a dark perplexity, you’re following Jesus but you have no idea what He is up to in your life, hear the word of God from Isaiah 50:10:
Who among you fears the LORD,
Who obeys the voice of His Servant,
Who walks in darkness and has NO LIGHT?
Let him trust in the Name of the LORD
and RELY upon his GOD.
Faith is not a sight, nor sense, nor reason. It is simply taking God at His Word. (Christmas Evans)