This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.1 John 1:5 (NLT)
It was my junior year in high school, and I was attending the final student association party of the year. It was being held in the backyard at one of the student’s homes. The theme was a Hawaiian luau. Everyone was dressed up in their finest Hawaiian shirts and dresses. Flower leas were worn, and tiki torches lit up the night. It was actually a lot of fun, until one of my teammates from football, Jose, walked over and engaged me in conversation. He was a senior, and we never really hung out, but there he was talking with me about life, sports, and a bunch of other small talk. He seemed genuinely interested and even laughed at some of my stories. After a few minutes of this, I was suddenly lifted up from the ground by four other senior guys. No, this wasn’t a moment of victory to be celebrated. They carried me over to the pool, which was right next to where everyone was enjoying the luau, and threw me in.
Jose had set me up. His smile, and his interest in me, even his laughter, was all fake. He was making sure I wasn’t looking while his buddies were sneaking up on me so that they could embarrass me in front of the entire school. It worked.
Perhaps you have your own story of someone appearing to be one thing, but turning out to be something else entirely. It’s not fun. Because of episodes like this in life, it’s no wonder most of us have trust issues.
Unfortunately, this lack of trust often times can erode our ability to fully trust God. Is He portraying Himself as this loving God who is interested in me, or is He really just setting me up for failure? Or, is He only nice to me when I do exactly what He orders, and then He will smite me when I screw up? Maybe you’ve never struggled with this. But, odds are you have. As our verse today, points out, “God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.” In other words, God is not capable of doing evil things. He doesn’t plot our downfall. He doesn’t seek to embarrass us. He doesn’t seek to condemn us when we sin. He’s not setting us up for failure. It’s not who He is. Instead, He is pure. He is Holy. He only has good, perfect intentions towards us. He has no agenda other than our salvation.