“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105 (NIV)
Picture the scene as the psalmist walks along a dark path with a single lantern lighting the way. It reveals obstacles that might cause him to stumble and dangers that could cause him harm. Every life has difficulties to overcome and dangers to avoid. And we all face seasons of life when challenging circumstances make it hard to see our way. Today’s stanza of Psalm 119 contains two key elements for moving forward in the dark.
First, reaffirm your commitment to follow God’s “righteous laws” (v106). We can be confident in Scripture’s ability to guide and direct us in every situation. As the old saying goes, “Never doubt in the dark what you believed in the light.” So while the lantern doesn’t reveal the entire path ahead, its light is more than sufficient for the next step.
It shines light on temptations that could cause us to stumble and snares of the enemy that would cause us harm (v110). We’re not wandering around in the dark searching for God’s will. As His Word sheds light on our path, each step we take in obedience is His will.
Next, practice “willing praise” and maintain a teachable spirit (v108). Moving forward in the dark has as much to do with our outlook as with our steps. Praise is about who God is, not where we are. Intentionally praising God when our path gets more challenging helps to keep our hearts open, teachable, and even joyful.
Happiness in life comes and goes. Joy, however, is not dependent upon circumstances, nor does it wait until we reach our destination (vv109-111). We can have joy in the journey simply because we’re traveling with the Lord and His Word is lighting our way. That kind of confidence in Scripture’s ability to guide and direct results in a lifelong commitment. “My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end” (v112 NIV).
Are you having trouble moving forward in the dark? Have the difficulties of life stolen your joy? You can start practicing praise right now by simply saying out loud, “You are good, and what you do is good” (v68 NIV). Then identify your next step of obedience and take it! Regardless of what your path looks like today, you can walk it in confidence, knowing that God’s Word provides all the light you need for the next step. And it will keep illuminating your path one step at a time—“to the very end.”