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Living in the Light for 2024

by Jill Penrod (guest blog) 

I keep hearing from every quarter that the world is darkening. Evil gets bolder every day. People walk in deeper darkness today than yesterday. I see the news and hear people talk in the grocery lines. I agree. The world right now isn’t flourishing.

I have Christian friends who gather and lament. And honestly, that’s a very Biblical thing to do. We can take our sorrow and pain straight to God and lament. He doesn’t turn us away when we come with tears and fears.

But maybe after we go to him and lay the darkness around us at his feet, we can step back into the world and reflect his hope and his light.

A Beautiful and Hopeful Kingdom

I love to think in terms of a kingdom. That’s my home. Not a distant, heavenly kingdom, but one being built right now. I can feel with the world, even cry over the world, but then I go back to my day job of building a kingdom. This kingdom is getting lighter, not darker. The world gets more hopeless, but this kingdom is ever more hopeful.

God put us in a garden, meant to grow and be beautiful and feed our every need, and he told us to be fruitful. To multiply. To tend and work toward something wonderful. Even though we sinned, I don’t see that he revoked that plan for us.

We still work. We still multiply. We still recognize beauty. In fact, I think we as Christians have a duty to spread beauty more than anyone else, because God gives us eyes to see it, to know what it means, to appreciate it. Maybe we can show that understanding to the world. Check out what David said:

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Psalm 19:1 HCSB

The world is beautiful, a reflection of God’s glory. Even the fallen world proclaims the work of his hands. I need to see and appreciate the glory of God in this created world and share that with others.

I Am In The Light 

As I hear Christians complain about the darkness, I want to cry out to my fellow believers that no, our world is not getting darker. We live in the light, light that the darkness will never overcome. Instead of fussing about the evil of the world, maybe we can live like people in the light, and others will want to join us. Look what Jesus said about himself.  

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12 NIV

As Jesus’s daughter, living in his Spirit, I am in the light, too. Always.

I Will Shine The Light

How can I shine light in a darkening world? Here are three ideas I hope to put into practice this year. I’d love to hear your ideas, too.

  1. Have fun. It doesn’t sound spiritual, but in a world that seems focused on the negative, for me to laugh and enjoy the gifts God has given this world—good food, company, pets, beauty, etc.—will make me shine like a beacon.
  2. Love without reservation. I am loved by God. I am shepherded and cared for by Jesus. I am secure, so I can take the risk of loving, even when that might not seem wise. Often we approach one another warily, fearing Covid or offending someone or being misunderstood. Imagine the shine of simply extending unreserved love to those in your sphere.
  3. Slow down. Kingdom life has already started. Jesus said it was at hand 2000 years ago, so I doubt it’s any further today. It’s my life now, not just later, and it should be a life worth living, a sustainable life.  I can take time for a hobby. A nap. A cup of tea with a friend. Jesus modeled a balanced life of quiet moments, meals with friends, and times of activity. If I, too, live a life of sustainable rhythms and balance, a weary world may be drawn to me.

Let's Flourish! 

To flourish this year, celebrate the kingdom more than you lament the world.

Show the world that it’s amazing to:

  • live in the light
  • experience joy
  • have an eternal purpose
  • live by the sustainable schedule of a God who loves you

I will do the same. Blessings.


Jill Penrod

Jill Penrod is a Christian novelist by trade, writing fantasy, romance, and YA books. She also hosts the blog site Bare Feet on Holy Ground about living a full Christian life. Although she focuses on all aspects of life, she especially addresses faith and anxiety since this is a recurring problem in her life. Check out her fiction at and her blog at

Blog Photos by Sixteen Miles Out on Unsplash