“Unto the upright
there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.”
Our 4-year-old clung to his daddy’s hand as we descended the cave’s depths. I held his younger brother’s hand and wondered who would hold mine. The tour guide warned us we would not be able to see our hand in front of our face. When the lights went out our oldest let out a cry. I could hear him trying to climb up his daddy’s legs? I could not open my eyes wide enough to let light in where there was no light. My breathing grew heavy as our youngest patted my hand. Why did I agree to this? I don’t have a clue. I’m not afraid of the dark but I am claustrophobic. Our oldest and I wanted the lights back on.
When sin entered the world darkness claimed the heart once filled with the light of the glory of God. We read in my previous post, “Healing for the Broken Hearted”, how God provided a new heart for those who receive Jesus as their Savior – a heart made righteous by the blood of Christ.
“The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in him;
and all the upright in heart shall glory.”
We are the upright. A light has come into our darkness.
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying,
I am the light of the world:
he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness,
but shall have the light of life.”
Jesus is the light rising in the darkness. He is –
Gracious: “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9
Full of compassion: “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;” 2 Corinthians 1:3
And righteous: “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.” 1 John 3:7
The light of the glory of God shines in the heart of the upright firmly establishing it in the righteousness of Christ. It is revealed in acts of righteousness.
- “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD:
- and he delighteth in his way…Psalm 37:23
- A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth:
- he will guide his affairs with discretion…
- he shall not be moved for ever:
- the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.
- He shall not be afraid of evil tidings:
- his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.
- His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.
- He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor;
- his righteousness endureth for ever;
- his horn shall be exalted with honour.” Psalm 112:5-9
When the lights came back on in the cave Brian stayed in his dad’s arms, Clint toddled along humming a song, and my heart slowed to an acceptable rate. Like my heart, the upright’s heart is fixed to beat with a new rhythm. No longer does it beat in step with the darkness of this world but in step with the kingdom of light.
“God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin…
He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.
He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.” 1 John 1:5-7; 2:9,10
The foundation of the upright heart finds its footing in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. In essence the upright heart is a chip off the Rock of our salvation. It walks in the light of the glory of Christ by:
- Delighting in God’s way
- Showing favor to others
- Living discreetly
- Not being moved by the darkness
- Standing courageously against evil
- Trusting the Lord
- Giving to the poor
- Having fellowship with God
- Being exalted in honor
- Loving others
And these things just get us started walking to the beat of an upright heart.
What is your heart fixed on? Does it stand firmly in Jesus Christ? Or does it stumble in the darkness?