Isaiah 45:2-3 NKJV
“I will go before You
And make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze
And cut the bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness
And hidden riches of secret places,
That you may know that I, the Lord,
Who calls you by your name,
Am the God of Israel.”
When we are faced with desperate times and situations we should “count it all joy.” We should continue to praise God – not for the problems or the situations, but because God can take every desperate situation and problem and turn it around for His glory and for good.
Our joy is not based on circumstances, but on our relationship with Jesus Christ. Therefore, our praise and thankfulness should not be based on our circumstances, but on our relationship with Jesus Christ and what He says. We serve a God that will do what He says that He will do.
Ephesians 5:20 NKJV
“giving thanks always, for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”
Psalm 31:1-3 NKJV “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NKJV
pray without ceasing,
in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
A Christian always has a reason for rejoicing. No matter what is going on all around you, God is still in control. Thankfulness should be reflected in a Christian’s life in every circumstance. It is God’s desire for us to remain thankful in everything.
Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
We can rejoice at all time knowing that the thoughts God has toward us are good. The plans that God has for us are plans of a future filled with hope. When we are faced with desperation we must remember that God has promised us that He will go before us, that He will make the crooked places straight, that He will break the gates of bronze, that He would cut the bars of iron, that He will give us the treasures of darkness, and that He will give us hidden riches.
I. God will go before us.
The Lord is our good shepherd, and as a shepherd He will go before us. Every place we go, He has already been there and He knows what lies ahead for us.
Psalm 23 NKJV
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
The Lord leads us on the paths that we should follow. We can be assured that wherever our road leads us, God has gone before us and is with us.
II. God will make the crooked places straight.
God will make the path that He has for us and our destination more accessible. With the Lord our destination is attainable.
Isaiah 40:4 NKJV
“Every valley shall be exalted
And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight
And the rough places smooth”
As a child of God we are in the hand of God’s providence and protection. God intervenes on our behalf. As we look back on our lives we can see where God has made the crooked places straight and the rough places smooth. Our very steps are ordered by the Lord. With the Lord’s help our destination (the one He has ordered for us) can be reached. As a Christian every one of our steps is planned out by God.
Psalm 37:23 NKJV
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD,
And He delights in his way.”
III. God will break the gates of bronze.
The Lord will break (destroy) the gate that the enemy has erected in order to keep you or your loved ones in bondage.
IV. God will cut the bars of iron.
Iron is a very hard, strong, firm and unyielding metal. Iron bars are very hard to get out of.
Psalm 107:10-16 NKJV
“Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death,
Bound in affliction and irons-
Because they rebelled against the words of God,
And despised the counsel of the Most High,
Therefore He brought down their heart with labor; They fell down, and there was none to help. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
And He saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death,
And broke their chains in pieces.
Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He has broken the gates of bronze,
And cut the bars of iron in two.”
No matter what type of iron bars we have put ourselves behind, or allowed the enemy to put us behind, God can cut them apart, allowing us to go free.
When we know the Lord we can call out to Him in our time of need and He will help us, even though we may have caused the problem (need).
VI. God will give us the treasures of darkness.
The greatest treasures come from the deepest, darkest valleys. Many want the treasures, but few want to go into the darkness to get them.
Acts 5:40-42 NKJV
“And they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.”
When the apostles were persecuted they were in a dark valley. They did not feel sorry for themselves or complain about their situation. They rejoiced because they knew that there was more going on than what they saw with their eyes or felt in their bodies. God used their suffering to bring people into His kingdom, souls were saved. Through their suffering, the disciples gained treasures from the darkness.
Matthew 5:10-12 NKJV
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
As we go through dark valleys God is not only moving on our behalf, but on behalf of others that are also in a dark valley. God will always take a bad situation and bring good out of it, for you and for others.
Isaiah 61:3 NKJV
“To console those who mourn in Zion, to give beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
When we allow God to, He will take us from sorrow to joy, from mourning to rejoicing.
Esther 9:22 NKJV
“As the days on which the Jews had rest from their enemies, as the month which was turned from sorrow to joy for them, and from mourning to a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and joy, of sending presents to one another and gifts to the poor.”
VI. God will give us hidden riches.
Many times we can not see the wonderful things that God wants to give us with our natural eyes.
1 Corinthians 2:9 NKJV
“But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”
Through our intimacy with God, He will show us many secret and hidden things.
God will truly go before us. He will lead, guide and direct us. When life throws us a curve, God will make the crooked places straight. By the power of God we can be set free from the prison that we or the enemy has placed us in.
Isaiah 64:4 NKJV
“For since the beginning of the world
Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear,
Nor has the eye seen any God besides You,
Who acts for the one waits for Him.”
There are many treasures and hidden riches laid up for us, if only we will reach out in faith and draw closer to God.
Psalm 31:19-24 NKJV
“Oh, how great is Your goodness,
Which You have laid up for those who fear You,
Which You have prepared for those who trust in You
In the presence of the sons of men! You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence
From the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion
From the strife of tongues. Blessed be the Lord,
For He has shown me His marvelous kindness in a strong city! For I said in my haste,
“I am cut off from before Your eyes”; Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications
When I cried out to You. Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints!
For the Lord preserves the faithful,
And fully repays the proud person. Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord.”