Don't miss the treasure in the camouflage

Before there were any humans God knew that humans would need food, water and light. So God created these things in preparation before He created humans. He did not create just seeds in the ground awaiting harvest but also produce ripe and ready for Adam’s nourishment and enjoyment.
I was thanking God for so many comforts, conveniences, provisions, etc. – all obvious blessings. I surprised myself as – Oh! a thought hit me! It came suddenly! I heard myself thanking God for the greater, richer blessings which at first may not be recognized because of camouflage. What is the camouflage? Here’s an example. My dear cousin Marian, now with the Lord, when she was quite young – in elementary school – received a birthday gift from her Dad. She was quite excited as she tore off the wrapping because she was hoping for - - Oh no! It was a large, raw potato and she picked it up to throw at her Dad when she caught a glimpse of something shiny, she took a closer look and saw that the potato had been hollowed out and inside – just what she’d been hoping for – a wrist watch!
Go as deeply as you can into this verse. I will give you (Isaiah 45:3) the treasures of darkness and riches hidden in secret places. Why darkness – why hidden – why secret? Because only faith can know that they are there and only faith is willing to pay the price and bear the cost which is necessary to possess them. What are these treasures? I believe it is the ongoing – deepening – progressively knowing God. “I am the Lord Who calls you by name”. That is personal and I love it and hunger for more.
Now back to my earlier question. What is the camouflage? Suffering in some form comes to all of us (physical, emotional, financial, spiritual, harassment etc. but can we see through the disguise and recognize the greater blessings? Of course none of us enjoys suffering but we can determine to see everything as part of the (Romans 8:28-29) “all things” of God’s good purpose. And then we will be thankful.
Listen! I hear someone groaning. It’s Abraham – what kind of a night is he having – sleepless, tossing, turning, weeping – but now it’s early morning so he gets up, gets ready and wakens Isaac. Not only must he take him to a specific mountain and offer him as a burnt offering but he must take the knife in his own hand and!!! slit Isaac’s throat. Wait! Hold it! Here comes God’s BUT! Weeping may endure for a night BUT (Psalms 30:5) joy comes in the morning. Your night may be longer than Abraham’s but for obedient trusting Christians there is always a sun-filled, joy-filled morning.
As I am praying for Godly wisdom, knowledge, insight, understanding and a deepening relationship with the Lord, these things do not drop out of the sky automatically. I must be prepared to receive them and God gives me a gift of preparation. For you have been given the privilege not only to believe but also to suffer. Job already told me (Job 23:10) that God has a goal for my life and after He has tested me will bring me out as gold which has survived the refining fire. During such periods we must guard ourselves from self-pity and be careful to maintain a submissive attitude, discipline and our fellowship with the Lord.
Do we understand why we are where we are and the reason for what happens to us? God is actually answering the prayer of Jesus (John 17:21) that we will be made one with God and this is one prayer that God must answer. So we can confidently (Romans 12:12) rejoice in hope, be steadfast in suffering and constant in prayer.
Pastor Brett McBride – “if we lift our eyes to heaven (Mark 6:41) God has everything we need for our situation.”
We must suffer with Christ (Romans 8:17) if we hope to share His inheritance and glory. If you don’t believe that richer blessings come out of suffering - - take your mind and heart to visit Gethsemane, Calvary and the Persecuted Church. Rich spiritual gifts and blessings come gift-wrapped in suffering.
Remember – the same God Who brings out His overwhelming array of stars to adorn the night sky - - used nail-pierced hands to serve breakfast on the shore.
Because I know that what I’m praying for is God’s will for me, Paul gave me some good advice. One thing (Philippians 3:12-13) single-minded, top priority, concentrated effort continually. My life is to be a relentless pursuit of ever-deepening and ever-widening knowledge of Christ. Dr. John Neufeld – “Christian works and service are not the prize. They are the means toward the supreme prize of knowing Christ. It is not a one-shot deal but progressive. As Jesus lives and works through us, the precious sweetness of knowing Him and companionship with Him continues”.
How can our assurance in all the promises of God’s Word be so absolutely bed-rock certain and sure? Because – Oswald Chambers – “the Ascension of Jesus is the consummation of the Transfiguration. Our Lord went back to His primal glory but He did not go back simply as Son of God. He went back to God as Son of Man as well. By His Ascension He entered heaven and kept the door open for humanity. As Son of Man Jesus Christ has all power at the throne of God. He is King of kings and Lord of lords from the day of His Ascension until now. There is freedom of access to the very throne of God by the Ascension of the Son of Man.” Do we hold the wonder of these truths in our hearts and even begin to realize the awesome privilege of prayer? Do we inadvertently under-value and almost overlook the Ascension?
It is not like finishing a job and then going home. If I finish my day’s work at the office, clear my desk and leave to go home - - my going home has nothing to do with my day’s work. But the Ascension is essentially different. The Son of Man did not just do what the Father sent Him to do down here and then pack up and leave earth. It is the Ascension of the Son of Man which makes the Gospel and all God’s goodness available to each one who will receive. His Ascension means that forever we’ve got a Man in heaven representing mankind and interceding for mankind.
When Jesus the Son of Man entered heaven - - He didn’t close the door behind Him! He left it open for all those (John 6:37,10:29, 17:6) whom the Father would give Him as a love gift because - - - He knew we were coming.
These incomplete thoughts have been beguiling me and I felt led to include them. Maybe your thoughts will take you farther.
We know that the Holy Spirit comes (John 7:39) wherever Jesus is exalted and glorified. We know that the MAN Jesus had never been to heaven before (Acts 1:9) His Rapture/Ascension. Can we even try to imagine what was happening in heaven during the intervening 10 days before Pentecost? Jesus was there with God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, cherubim, seraphim, and myriads of angels. Jesus was being glorified, raised to honour, receiving a Name that is above every name, being given all power in earth and heaven - - and? - - glory, praise, majesty, exaltation and much more beyond our grasp. May my adoration and wonder continually increase as I worship in the light of all this – at the feet of the One Who drank the CUP in Gethsemane and triumphed over the CROSS.
I have never understood so clearly before what Jesus meant when He said (John 14:12,28) because I go to the Father. No Ascension – no Pentecost, no Pentecost – no Church – no church - no Christians. Where would that leave you and me? I’ve never heard anyone preach on the Ascension, never heard it discussed in a Bible class and I don’t think I’ve ever heard a Christian mention it. Maybe we should take some time to meditate on the Ascension of the Son of Man.
A question has been knocking at the back door of my mind recently. When Jesus (John 13:5) washed the disciples feet, why did nobody at that time think of washing Jesus’ feet? Our lives are filled with plans, hopes, necessities, circumstances, people etc. Do they distract us so that we miss opportunities to wash the feet of Jesus and (John 12:3) fill our little worlds with fragrance.
For myself – if I –
- Continually seek to know Christ more deeply,
- Am taught and guided by the Holy Spirit as He unfolds the scriptures,
- Daily take up my Cross of self-denial
I would express it this way - -
- In sweet companionship with Jesus
- On the discovery path of sacred wonders
- Beneath the shadow of the Cross

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