Beauty for Ashes

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WHAT IS MOURNING?

WHAT DOES GOD PROMISE?

WHY DO WE HAVE TO MOURN?

SETTING THE STAGE

In Luke 4:13-19, the Bible says that soon after Jesus was tempted by Satan, he began His ministry in Galilee. He went into a synagogue in Nazareth, boldly stood up, and quoted scripture from the Old Testament book of Isaiah.

16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,[j]
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”[k]

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%204&version=NKJV



EVEN more amazing and reassuring is the fact that Isaiah (in the Old Testament) had spoken these same words about the Lord to his discouraged and heartbroken people:

Isaiah 61:3,4

3 To console those who mourn in Zion,

To give them 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.”

4 And they shall rebuild the old ruins,

They shall raise up the former desolations,

And they shall repair the ruined cities,

The desolations of many generations.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+61&version=NKJV


This is OUTSTANDING NEWS!

Jesus of the Old and New Testaments, and the Jesus of today and tomorrow consoles and comforts us anytime we are grieving or mourning.


WHAT IS MOURNING?

Does this just apply to death? I don’t think so…

Perhaps it also refers to the “ashes” left from sadness or mourning after the loss of:

  • a job
  • financial security
  • a relationship
  • a pet
  • our health, etc.

WHAT DOES GOD PROMISE?

In the painful, lonely, and debilitating process of mourning, God promises to give us:

“beauty for ashes”

Christ comforts us and sustains our most pressing needs. He knows we cannot stay in the “pit” of our sadness, isolation, anger, depression, and desire to give up.

Through

  • believing in Him
  • staying connected to Him through honest prayer (telling Him how we really feel)  
  • learning more of His limitless grace by reading and studying His Word (Bible)

We receive:

1. “the oil of joy for mourning” We are eventually able to feel joy and sadness again, instead of building a thick, “feel nothing” wall around ourselves.

In trusting that God is in control and knows what is best for us, we draw on our faith in Him. This provides the power to keep thanking Him and praising His Son until we receive:

2.“the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.”


WHY DO WE HAVE TO MOURN?

Then comes the hardest part for me to take…

The Reason For Our Suffering:

3.“That they may be called trees of righteousness,

The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

When we suffer and continue to trust the GRACE God supplies through faith in His Son, God uses us as trees planted and rooted in the Lord to glorify God. WOW!

This brings me to tears! 

Not only because I have to wait to see my son, Bart, in Heaven.

Not only because I still cry remembering his death and how much I miss him!

BUT BECAUSE:

When I accepted Christ as my Savior, mentor, and provider, I signed up to be a tree planted anywhere God chooses, so that He may be glorified.

Just as the high wind makes a tree’s roots grow deeper and stronger to support the tree, my grief and mourning have made me stronger.

MOURNING HAS FORCED ME TO DEPEND ON HIM MORE.

It hurts, it is painful, I didn’t want it, and I don’t understand it.

But, I TRUST God to continue to give me:

“beauty for ashes.”

“the oil of joy for mourning.”

“the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.”

This blog post was inspired by the July 14, 2016, daily devotional on the website, Our Daily Bread.


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