Beauty for Ashes
Isaiah 61:3 says, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to… give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”
This passage is often seen as a prophetic foreshadowing the ministry of Christ. I have paraphrased the passage a little bit to draw attention to verse 3, but at the same time, place verse 3 in the broader context of verse 1.
When I was a kid growing up at Joppa Road Baptist Church, we sang the words to verse 3 routinely during our worship time.
I love singing scripture.
There is no better way to memorize the words of God.
Once firmly rooted in your mind, God’s word will come to you when you need it most.
Matthew 5:45 tells us that God “makes his sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust.”
In other words, no one is exempt from good moments and not so good moments.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said, “In everyone’s life a little rain must fall.”
No one is exempt from sadness, sorrow, or mourning, but as believers, we have the promise of God that He will “give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.”
In Psalm 30:11, David said, “Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing.”
I have found that in the darkest moments, the presence of God seems the sweetest.
We live in a dark moment right now but be encouraged because God is still on the throne.
We don’t depend on people for joy; we rely on God, the maker of all things, and God never disappoints.
When you feel “the spirit of heaviness,” come over you, make a conscious effort to seek God, and put on “the garment of praise.”
The world seems to change when we praise His name.
Suddenly the problems that seemed insurmountable pale in comparison to His glory.
We live in the already, not yet.
We live in a time when the Kingdom has come but not yet.
In this time of overlap, we can live in the fullness of His Kingdom when we choose to make Him King.
Lift your voice in praise today.
Sing your praise unto the Lord, and He will lift your spirit.