Refining Life, on Purpose

Hope and Light for Unbelief in the Midst of a Darkened World

Where do you stand with Jesus and your unbelief or belief? Are you trusting the engineer in the dark tunnel? Pay attention to the notices.

Sometimes trust comes down to belief and unbelief. In chapter twelve in the book of John, we get a pretty powerful collection of thoughts that serve almost as a final notice to skeptics. The statement weaves together many thoughts and themes from the whole book, the main lesson centering on salvation and judgment through Jesus. All of which, he explains, are ordained by God.

Jesus summed it all up when he cried out, “Whoever believes in me, believes not just in me but in the One who sent me. Whoever looks at me is looking, in fact, at the One who sent me. I am Light that has come into the world so that all who believe in me won’t have to stay any longer in the dark. – John 12:44-46 MSG

This verse is one of several examples of dualism that John uses to convey information about Christ and the need to believe in Him. Those dualisms include: life and death, light and darkness, love and hate, from above and below. In today’s case, we focus on belief/unbelief and dark/light.

What Jesus Says about Unbelief

Jesus describes two forms of unbelief. The first type of unbelief are people who hear his words, but don’t keep them. They hear the teaching, might even agree with it. However, they never adopt it into their lives… perhaps they lack any desire to even move in that direction.

The second kind of unbeliever Jesus describes is the person who purely rejects Jesus. The person who will not receiving his teachings. Utter defiance comes to mind here.

In a lot of ways, the first type of unbeliever can be the most frustrating. They seemingly have put things together and comprehend. However, they simply lack the momentum to apply what they believe. I think it’s easier to see ourselves in this category.

With the second kind of unbeliever, it’s easier to have a semblance of empathy because they truly are ignorant to God’s word. Either by choice or circumstance. Regardless, it just seems like the Spirit simply isn’t moving among them. The most we can do is pray.

We must be careful, though, to have compassion in instances of both types of unbelief. You see, in both instances, the battle for the loyalties of heart and mind are being waged. Whether by stubbornness, intellectual smugness, environmental conditioning, there is need for light in the darkness of unbelief.  

Emerging from the Darkened World of Unbelief

Where do you stand with Jesus and your unbelief or belief? Are you trusting the engineer in the dark tunnel? Pay attention to the notices.

Where do you stand with Jesus and your unbelief or belief? Are you trusting the engineer in the dark tunnel? Pay attention to the notices.

In several instances in the book of John, Jesus is shown to be light. Some of those verses include: “Light of Men” in 1:4-5, “True Light” in 1:9, “Light of the World” in 8:12 and 9:5. And Jesus again taught in John 12:35-36 that:

“For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light.”

Are We Becoming an Even More Darkened World?

I was continually reminded, while leading a study of the minor prophets, of the world before Jesus walked among us. As I studied those twelve books, I was struck by the likelihood that society was not much different from what is described in chapter 3 of second Timothy:

You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly… – 2 Tim 1-5 NLT

Before Christ, there was much darkness in the world. Likewise, a world without Christ is in darkness. Both spiritually and morally. Those that understand – and maybe even agree with His teachings – reject Jesus. Those that don’t understand, “they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him.(Eph. 4:18).

Jesus’ words of Final Notice

Dear brother or sister, meditate on the darkened tunnels of your own hearts. Have you heard God’s notices? Have your loved ones? Is he calling you? Is he calling on them?

It’s a call to rescue and salvation before the coming Day of the Lord.

Don’t ignore the notices!

About Chad Gramling

Chad Gramling makes his home in Indiana with his wife and three daughters. He’s the founder and primary blogger at 1Glories, a vision cast onto his heart and detailed in Listen Up Kids: Foolish Dreams, Syncing with God & Running to Win.