It’s no secret that watching the sunset can be a wonderful grounding experience, but did you know it can also be an extremely powerful tool to strengthen your faith in God?
Every sunset is also a sunrise. It all depends on where you stand. – Karl Schmidt
Here’s how a sunset can strengthen your faith: We all experience times of doubt. Is this difficulty ever going to end? Am I ever going to get well? Will I get the job I need? Sometimes we may be betrayed by a loved one and we find it difficult to trust again.
For some reason when my children come to me with doubts about their futures, it all seems so very clear. Of course they will pass through the tests they now experience. Of course God will see them through. He always has in the past, so what would stop Him from stepping in now? The sun always rises and sets, right?
When it comes to myself, the way isn’t always so clear. My rational mind acknowledges that God has helped me out of some pretty harrowing situations in the past, but my uncertain, skeptical mind says this time could be different. So what makes me think anything has changed? God hasn’t changed. He is changeless and eternal. What has changed is that I am giving in to doubt. The Baha’i teachings ask us to forego doubt by finding faith and certainty:
O Fleeting Shadow! Pass beyond the baser stages of doubt and rise to the exalted heights of certainty. Open the eye of truth, that thou mayest behold the veilless Beauty and ‘exclaim: Hallowed be the Lord, the most excellent of all creators! – Baha’u’llah, The Hidden Words, p. 25.
Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
So with the inspiration of enlightened souls and the Baha’i teachings, I came across the powerful secret of making a practice of watching the sunset each night whenever possible. I found that even a brief moment to acknowledge its setting is enough. What this does is show us, on a very profound level, that God is always going to be there for us. As we watch the sun go down each night, we know without question that with each dawn it will rise again, and our faith is strengthened. Chattering, doubtful minds cannot challenge such strong proof and promise of a new day to come. If this small manifestation of God’s power and constancy cannot be disputed, how much greater are the other myriad signs of His love manifest in this world?
You want proof there’s a God? Look outside, watch a sunset. – Frank Peretti
God is always seeking you. Every sunset. Every clear blue sky. Each ocean wave. The starry hosts of night. He blankets each new day with the invitation, ‘I am here.’ – Louie Giglio
When I admire the wonders of the sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator. – Mahatma Gandhi
The Baha’i teachings say that sunsets and sunrises are times that symbolize new beginnings, new chances and new realities:
After each sunset comes a sunrise. The spiritual light of the world has risen again from the eastern horizon. The night is finished; the day is come and the first rays of the dawn are destroying the shadows, dispersing the clouds, making the plants to grow, the trees to become verdant and ornamenting the flower-beds with roses. – Abdu’l-Baha, Divine Philosophy, p. 80.
To make this kind of meditation even more powerful, awaken, even if just for a moment, at dawn. The soothing silence of the dawn brings with it clarity, peace and trust:
When the sun appears above the horizon the next morning, even if you’re asleep when it happens, your body will be attuned to the earth’s rhythms. You’ll click with the fact that as promised, your friend has returned. The sun has risen every day of your life. It will continue to do so for the rest of your time on earth. Connecting with this truth that the sun will never let you down, the soul will relearn critical trust, which will activate healing energy. – Anthony William
Believe in God like you believe in the sunrise. Not because you can see it, but because you can see all it touches. – C. S. Lewis
Evidence suggests that early people observed the rising and setting of the sun in their daily spiritual practice. For many years the Native Americans have stayed in tune with the harmonies of nature by observing changes in sunrise and sunset positions. In undertaking this practice, you will repeatedly witness proof that the sun will indeed set and rise again, just as it always has—just as God’s love and protection is there for us every moment of our lives. If it were not so, we would scarcely survive for an instant:
What outpouring flood can compare with the stream of His all-embracing grace, and what blessing can excel the evidences of so great and pervasive a mercy? There can be no doubt whatever that if for one moment the tide of His mercy and grace were to be withheld from the world, it would completely perish. For this reason, from the beginning that hath no beginning the portals of Divine mercy have been flung open to the face of all created things, and the clouds of Truth will continue to the end that hath no end to rain on the soil of human capacity, reality and personality their favors and bounties. Such hath been God’s method continued from everlasting to everlasting. – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, pp. 68-69.
With each sunset we witness an ending, but with each ending comes a new beginning—a fresh new start full of hope, new possibilities and a chance to renew our faith. So when you watch the sunset tonight, above all else, be comforted and assured, that just as you know it will rise again at the break of dawn, you’re absolutely certain that God’s love for you will remain forever constant, enduring, and true.