Treasures of Darkness
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 45
I will give you the treasures of darkness (Isaiah 45:3, NASB).
A black night seems to make the moon brighter. Purple irises brighten yellow daffodils. And a dark gray Kansas sky makes the wheat look truly golden. So it is with us. It seems that God best displays the brilliance of His grace against the backdrop of our darkest and even blackest moments (Joni Eareckson Tada).
God gave this promise from Isaiah 45 to the Persian king Cyrus—150 years before he was even born! It refers to Cyrus’s conquest of Babylon while Israel was being held captive. A portion of God’s prophecy to Cyrus is that He would give him hidden treasures, riches that had been concealed from view.
Through the darkest night of suffering, in the midst of our deepest pain, there are hidden treasures of darkness that we will miss if we are not searching. God promised to give hidden treasures to Cyrus in order that His reality would be revealed—ultimately that He would be brought glory.
Cyrus did not receive these treasures as a result of his own suffering but as a result of a divine conquest. Likewise, when we are faced with pain, loss, and disappointment, God desires for us to unearth the valuable lessons that He has in store for us. We are to enter into a “divine conquest” to seek out what He has hidden in the painful season He has allowed.
Finding treasures in the darkness of suffering is more difficult than finding blessings in the abundance of sunshiny days, cool breezes, and smooth paths. But the treasures found in times of affliction are always of greater value; they are weighty with meaning; they are not easily forgotten.
As we set our hearts to seek God in the midst of the darkness, our trust in Him will be a visible demonstration to others of His reality. Our depending on His grace will allow others to know that He is trustworthy. Responding to the challenge of suffering with a heart of yielded submission will draw those who are watching to the beauty of Christ.
In every storm, every trial of affliction, there are hidden treasures waiting to be unearthed.
Take Time to Reflect
Work through Isaiah 45, noting each time God refers to the fact that He alone is God. God is not on an ego trip by repeating Himself so frequently on this issue. Why do you think He found it necessary to mention this so many times?
Can you recall times of suffering when God revealed to you His trustworthiness? Have you found treasures hidden in the darkness of affliction? Recount these times. If you haven’t written them down, record them in a journal to be read when the next storm comes. Use this record to build your faith in fearful times.