My Dear Precious Friends,
On this amazing new day, this gift from God, we are so blessed to know we are still here because God has great plans for our lives to be used for His glory.
Let us not take this day this lightly and get caught up on our to do lists, and instead let's stay focused on our Lord and the work He has for us.
BEAUTY FROM ASHES... WOW POWERFUL WORDS.... Let's explore scripture to learn when this was written.
(Katie... this one is for you)
The phrase “beauty for ashes” comes from Isaiah 61:3 where the promise of the Messiah would be realized and those who mourned in Zion would be found joyfully singing praise to God. Remember that Jesus read this passage in the synagogue at Nazareth and declared that He had come and was beginning that day to fulfill what this passage prophesied (Luke 4:16-21).
In Bible times, ashes were a sign of mourning; the sorrow could be from loss (Job 2:8; 2 Sam. 13:19) or in repentance over sins (Job 42:6; Jonah 3:6; cf. Matt. 11:21). With all the bad news one can easily consume each day, remember the good news—the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ came and fulfilled Isaiah 61:1-3:
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me,
Because the LORD has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
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.”
All of the various pains we suffer as part of this life, whether it be from sin or from some other cause, can be turned into beauty by Jesus Christ. When Jesus came into the world, God entered into human suffering, and suffered for our sins so that we can be set free from them. The sins of Israel and the suffering they would endure in captivity would be turned into beauty at Christ’s first coming.
What this means for us today as God’s people is that today we can enjoy the wonderful grace in Christ and look forward to His second coming. As Christians, we must set our minds on heaven; glorify God for what He has done in Jesus Christ to exchange the ashes of this life for the beauty of heaven that will soon be ours.
The words of the hymn “Beauty for Ashes” written by Grant Colfax Tullar provide us a much-needed perspective:
Beauty for ashes God hath decreed!
Help He provideth for every need;
What is unlovely He will restore;
Grace all sufficient: what need we more?
God gives for sadness “garments of praise;”
Stars for our twilight, strength for our days;
Hope for tomorrow, care for today,
Light for our footsteps all of life’s way.
Beauty for ashes, gladness for tears,
Sunshine for darkness, faith for our fears;
Peace for our turmoil, concord for strife,
Heaven at evening—then endless life!
When we are at the end of our rope and exhausted all our resources. ..The waiting, the prayers, the tears and more tears... in fact countless tears.... when we know we've run the race, fought the good fight, and are spent. We've been patient and impatient. angry and found joy. After all this, at the end of the day, every single door has been shut and every single answer has been no. So what do we do now?
WE hold onto hope. We hold onto that hope so tightly because when all is said and done, we trust in Jesus and are confident in His plan, no matter how distant it is from ours and how different it is from what we dreamed up. There is still something beautiful that can come from this. He will still turn this into something amazing. So look back and find awe in the journey and look forward and find hope in our future.
To all who mourn in Israel He will give: beauty for ashes; joy instead of mourning; praise instead of heaviness. (Isaiah 61:3 TLB)
When he prays to God, he will be accepted. And God will receive him with joy and restore him to good standing. (Job 33:26 NLT)
May the God of great hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope! (Romans 15:13 The Message)
God, You turn ashes into beauty. You will turn our failed dreams into something beautiful. While I don’t understand it right now, I have hope! THANK YOU THAT YOUR WORD CLAIMS WHEN I HAVE ASHES, I HAVE YOUR PROMISES!!
WHAT GREAT HOPE I HAVE IN YOU! YOUR PROMISES ARE YES AND AMEN!
NOW MY FRIENDS, CAN I PLEASE HAVE AN AMEN???