Scripture to reflect upon: Isaiah 42:5 (The Message)
“I have set you among my people to bind them to me, and provided you as a lighthouse to the nations.”
You—yes, you—are the hope of the world. You hold the answers to nearly every question people are seeking.
The purpose of a lighthouse is to bring mariners into the harbor during rough weather such as a terrible storm, or thick fog. According to Wikipedia.com: “Lighthouses are used to mark dangerous coastlines, hazardous shoals and reefs, and safe entries to harbors.” There’s even a range of light called, leading light. A lighthouse projects a bright light that boaters can see for miles out on the water. How does that relate to you as God calls you to be “a lighthouse to the nations”?
People of "the world" have honest, heartfelt, and tough questions about God. They want answers, and we need to be their lighthouse, guiding them safely into the harbor of God's Truth. Here are some scriptures to help you along the way:
1. When confronted by questions of non-believers who claim they just don’t believe in something they can’t see, quote Romans 12:2:
"Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do."
Challenge the non-believer to change the way they think in order to receive the answers they long for. Thinking in the flesh, or by the world’s standards, will always hinder our belief in God. Ask them to rid themselves of pre-judgments, and to fully listen with an open heart and mind.
2. When asked why God “hides Himself,” quote James 4:7-8:
"Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you…"
This scripture allows the non-believer to approach God freely, because God will never force Himself on anyone. God doesn’t “hide,” but He will back off and turn away from sin and those who reject Him.
3. When asked about suffering, remind them of John 10:10:
“The thief comes ONLY to steal, kill and destroy. I [Jesus] have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
God is not the creator of suffering. There are horrific things happening all around the world everyday. God’s heart aches for those who suffer, but man has created most of the problems of the world through control, power, and greed, but most importantly, by denouncing God in their lives. The Good News is Jesus came to restore those who have lost much, and as Christians we are called to help do God's work in that restoration process.
4. If they require more insight, send them to Proverbs 2:3-6:
"If you call out for insight, and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look…and search, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding."
When God is asked, He is sure to answer…even non-believers.
5. If they seek peace, give them comfort with Psalm 46:10:
"Be still and know that I am God."
The reality of the world is that there will never truly be peace, at least not the kind of peace most people seek. That is mainly due to the rejection of God in our lives and a society as a whole. We can be confident, though, knowing God will one day relieve all the suffering in the world when Jesus returns.
Guide the nations in. Too many people are lost in the terrible storms of life and are unable to see through the dense fog. From miles away you can lead them into safe territory.