Treasures in the Darkness

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I am currently a graduate student at the Baptist College of Florida. I won’t lie, it is hard. I am older and I think many of my brain cells have atrophied. Still, for reasons I don’t know yet, God said “Go back to school.” He even gave me a job right here so that I could do it for free. But I am also working on my doctorate. Surprised? My Masters will be in Christian Ministries with a concentration in Biblical Studies, but my Doctorate will be in Life Lessons and I’m studying at the School of Hard Knocks. The truth is, in one degree or another, we all are.

The ancient Psalmist declared, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word” (Psalm 119:67). He emphasized this in verse 71 saying, “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.” Though we’re not privy to the details, the Psalmist was clearly in some kind of distress – apparently self-inflicted (as are most of mine). From his struggles and the consequences of his actions, he came away with a hard-won wisdom and probably some battle scars as a continual reminder. I’ve got a few of those too.

While I wish I could just do the right things in life and not have to learn these hard lessons, I’m grateful that God doesn’t waste them. He said, “I will give you the treasure of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord” (Isaiah 45:3). He works in every difficult season with one objective in mind – that you may know Him better. What a treasure!

I don’t know what you’re struggling through right now. I don’t know how you came to be in this hard place. It may have been by your own hand or through the actions of another. But I know two things for certain: God is faithful and He will not waste a single tear. He will “bestow on you a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” (Isaiah 61:3). Beloved, that’s the treasure in the darkness.  

The Auction

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“Now if we are children then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory” (Romans 8:17)

A wealthy husband and wife traveled around the world collecting costly works of art. Their home was filled with the finest sculptures and paintings. In time the wife passed away and their son grew up, joined the military, and went off to war. One day a knock at the door brought the terrible news that his son had been killed in battle. The man shut himself away, alone in the house with all his valuable treasures. Soon a friend of his son from the military came with a brown-paper-wrapped package – a portrait he had painted of his son shortly before he was killed. The father thanked the friend and placed the painting of his son in its place.

When he died his estate announced a great auction and the most important art collectors and dealers from around the world came. The auctioneer gaveled the auction open and displayed the first painting – the simple portrait of the man’s son. The auctioneer asked for a bid. No one said a word. He asked again, who will give me just $25 for this painting? No one moved. They weren’t there for sentimentality, they were there for the great sculptures and beautiful paintings. Finally, one man in the back raised his hand, “I didn’t come here to buy anything, I just wanted to watch, but I’ll take the painting for $25.”

“Going once, going twice, sold to the gentleman in the back for $25.”

Then the auctioneer rapped the gavel on his stand and announced, “The auction is now closed.”

“Closed! There’s a whole house full of treasures to be sold.”

The auctioneer said, “The old man’s will declared that only one painting would be sold – the painting of his beloved son. Whoever takes the son gets it all.”

God sent His beloved Son to redeem lost souls. He said that whoever believed in His Son would become His child and would have rights to all He owns – heaven and earth and all the universe and eternal life. The Son is the Way to all the treasures of God. Actually, the Son is the greatest treasure of God. All those treasures can be yours if you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. It’s an incredible offer – you trade your sinful life for the glory of Christ. Don’t pass it up, Beloved.

Whoever takes the Son gets it all.