Peter was writing his first general letter, it is believed, between 58-62AD and from the book and knowledge of the time there was growing persecution against Christians. Persecution gets tiring and wears one down. Peter reminded these Christians that God “called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). It was light in the heart where we sometimes feel overwhelmed with darkness. When we are rejected by others, and we know we did nothing but good and do not deserve the rejection, we have two options: 1) Let their dark behavior and ignorance flood our hearts so that we see nothing else, or 2) we can let “the Light of the world,” Jesus, dominate our thoughts. The darkness is easier to forget when we have someone so wonderful who loves us and thinks we are worth dying for. The “marvelous light” on the inside must not be allowed to go out by letting the darkness of people’s ignorant rejection of you overwhelm the “marvelous light.” It is “marvelous light” regardless of what is happening to you at the hands of ignorant people. Their darkness must not diminish your light. Your light must carry you through the darkness of this world.
Paul explains what he had in his heart that kept him from “losing heart” when he had so much working against him even in the church. He talked about “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” and it’s power to “shine on them” (2 Cor.4:4). He said he preached not himself; that it wasn’t about him. It was all about Jesus and he was just a servant of Jesus, his light (v.5). God who commanded light to shine out of darkness in the beginning when there was darkness on the face of the deep is the same God Who has “shone in our hearts” (v.6). The darkness of fear, rejection, loneliness, and depression has a remedy. God “has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (v.6). There is knowledge of the glory of God to fill our dark hearts with light. Are we letting it in? There is knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Are we looking to Jesus? Have we let the darkness hide Him from view? Paul said “we have this treasure” (v.7) and even though “we are hard pressed on every side, yet we are not crushed.” We are persecuted, but not forsaken! We are struck down, but not destroyed! Why? We have a treasure inside and a light that is greater than the darkness trying to take over our hearts. Are you tapping into the same resource Paul had? Paul said that we can have the same knowledge he possessed if we read what he wrote (Eph3:3-5). This man had been in perils and weariness and toils, many times unappreciated even by brethren, but he learned that God’s grace was sufficient “that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Cor.12:9). The treasure, the light, the grace so sufficient, all kept him taking pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake, “for when I am weak, then I am strong” (v.10). Paul did not let the darkness of men overshadow the light of Christ in his heart. It was “marvelous light” to him, and that light must shine in us in our darkness as well. We must let it!
How “marvelous” is that light inside you? Can people take it from you? Do you forget it and let rejection consume you? If people in the dark can cause you to forget what you have inside so easily, do you really have that marvelous light? The light of the gospel should be glorious, precious, and marvelous, and the ignorance of others should not extinguish that light inside. Jesus is that light. Paul talked about how he handled the darkness of opposition and rejection in 2 Cor.4. He had light inside that came from knowing Christ, the true light, and that light kept guiding him through the darkness of rejection from ignorant men. It kept him going because he knew he had something “marvelous” inside that no man could take from him. Do you have that “marvelous light” that guides you through the darkness of this world? Do you have the “treasure” inside that Paul and Peter had? If not, you need to obtain it. The same God who commanded light in the beginning to shine on a dark world has designed a “marvelous light” to shine in the darkness of our weary and hopeless hearts. God wants that light to shine marvelously in your heart. That treasure is in the gospel of Christ. Have you found that light? May we study it with you?
— Terry W. Benton