Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March 27, 2013 … Treasures in Darkness

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 86

Passage of the Day: Isaiah 45: 3 [In the context of verses 1-3] [NLT] …  
1 This is what the LORD says to Cyrus, his anointed one, whose right hand he will empower. Before him, mighty kings will be paralyzed with fear. Their fortress gates will be opened, never again to shut against him. 2 This is what the LORD says: “I will go before you, Cyrus, and level the mountains. I will smash down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. 3And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness—secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name. 
Contextual Study of today’s passage: Isaiah, Chapter 45 [NLT] … Go to this link …  ============

Reference Passage #1: Job 28 : [Mining in the mind (i.e., word) of God is mining for His jewels of wisdom.] …[NKJV] … Go to this link ...  

Reference Passage #2: 2nd Cor. 12: 8-10 : [Yes, sometimes Jesus will lead us into dark places to be able to see His glory.] …[NLT] …  
8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it [an unknown physical or emotional “thorn”] away. 9 Each time he said, “My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me. 10 Since I know it is all for Christ’s good, I am quite content with my weaknesses and with insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 

My Journal for Today: Have you ever prayed to God for Him to give you light in the midst of your darkness; … or maybe for relief in the midst of your pain; … or quite possibly to be able to come out from the midst of some heavy burden? If you’re a Christian, it’s not a stretch for me to bet that this has happened, as it has for me, on more than one occasion. And can you recall in some of those incidents, as I have generalized above, God giving you what I call a “glimpse of His glory?”

Os Hillman in his devotional for today describes a very dark time in his life when God led him, through the truth of today’s highlight passage from Isaiah 45: 3 to a light in his own dark place. And likewise, when Christ revealed Himself to me – at the time of my salvation, I believe – the Lord led me out of a very dark place into His light of saving grace; so, I know what it’s like to experience what God was promising to His children in today’s highlight passage, … that He, Yahweh, would lead them – by using an enemy King (Cyrus) - to bring them back to Jerusalem from captivity in Babylon. It must’ve been a hard thing for God’s people to believe … that He would use a Gentile ruler to release them from their captivity so that they could go back to His promised land and rebuild the Temple there.

Some time ago a contemporary Christian song writer and singer, Laura Story, wrote a song which captured some very dark times in her life and how God used those dark times to show her (and her husband who was suffering from a brain tumor) some blessings from the light of God’s love, shining for them in the midst of their darkness. Let me link you to that song on GodTube so that you can be impacted by the truth it espouses in such a poignant song.

Job had to learn that lesson too; and when he did, he wrote about it his journal about coming from darkness into light in Chapter 28 of Job, the book by his name. And in that Chapter, Job likens our search for God’s way, … for His mind, … as a search as in a dark mine where we are lowered into darkness to find God’s jewels or His precious ores of truth.

Yes, my friend, sometimes God’s greatest blessings come from those times when we’re covered by our most profound darkness. As Laura Story sings, sometimes God’s blessing come after He’s led us, by His grace, into some of the darkest places in our life; and we realize that God led us there to be able to show just a glimpse of His glory. Now, it is also true that God’s glory may not be seen on this side of His veil … that He may be leading us home to see His ultimate glory; but no matter where we are or what “thorn” we’re experiencing in life, as Jesus told Paul in the midst of a very dark time for the Apostle (see the passage above from 2nd Cor. 12: 9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” [NKJV]

 So, if you’re in a dark place right now, possibly experiencing pain or privation, God very likely has you in a place for you to search for, as Laura Story so eloquently sings, … “God’s blessing in disguise.”

My Prayer for Today … Lord, today I have mined for Your truth; and You have brought me a jewel. … Amen
Blogger’s PS … After I wrote my thoughts above, it dawned on me (God’s light coming on, I believe) that this day just happens to be the Wednesday of Holy Week). And I also realized that Os Hillman didn’t write his devotional in 2013; so it wasn’t written with any knowledge of it being published during Holy Week this year on the day when Jesus’ disciples, the ones who had witnessed His death on the cross, were about to get the greatest display of God’s light shining in the midst of their worst darkness. But on that fateful Wednesday, for them, Jesus was in the grave; and they were grieving the physical darkness of losing the One Whom they had believed was their Messiah. But in just a few short days, they would begin to see God’s greatest miracle of light shining through the darkness, because they would see – as we will celebrate Sunday – HE LIVES!!!

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