Isaiah 61:3 Beauty for Ashes #176
I have read Isaiah 61 over and over this past week and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon as it contains such powerful truths. For purposes of this post, I am just going to reference the latter half of Isaiah 61:3 which says, “He will bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”
The chapter starts out with Isaiah prophetically speaking, which was later shared in Luke 4, and acknowledging the ministry of the Messiah. And within this chapter, Jesus offers such a sweet exchange. He wants to take your ashes and give you a crown of beauty. He wants to take your mourning and replace it with the oil of gladness, he wants to take your spirit of despair and turn it into a garment of praise. You get to release all your heartache to him and in turn he blesses you his joy! Does that encourage you today?
Whatever you are going through, Jesus has gone before you to provide his goodness. You see, he knows you will face hard times, but he doesn’t want you to be stuck. He knows you will be overcome by ashes, so he offers something better. He knows you will mourn, so he offers something better. He knows you will be in despair, so he offers you something better. The crown of beauty, oil of gladness and garment of praise are yours!
The verse ends with saying you would be like “oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” When you receive the gifts of joy and praise he has to offer you, you become like an oak tree. I envision these oak trees are huge, with strong roots into the foundation. In the same way, when you root yourself in him, no trial that comes your way will tear you down. And it’s not just any oak tree, but one of “righteousness.” You are a planting of the Lord and guess what? It is all for his glory! May his splendor be on display because of all the ways he has restored you.
Don’t stay stuck in the ashes, or stay stuck in a state of mourning, or stay stuck in despair when God has something so much better for you. Let him redeem and restore your situation and accept the wonderful gifts he has to offer. And when you do? His glory will be revealed!
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