God will give us beauty for ashes, joy for mourning and praise for heaviness.
My job as a Housing Inspector II gives me many hours in my car. In fact, most of my day is spent driving from inspection to inspection in my district. This gives me lots of time for prayer, worship and listening to teaching tapes, which I do over and over and over!
Today, I was out in my car driving around, listening to my favorite Christian Contemporary radio station; K-LOVE and I heard a song that I havenít heard for a long time, ďBeauty for AshesĒ by Crystal Lewis. I love this song, and I love the Bible verses that inspired it.
The following is from Isaiah 61:
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 openings
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. (Vs. 1-3)
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... (Vs. 4)
Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, and instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion, therefore in their land they shall possess double; everlasting joy shall be theirs. (Vs. 7)
These promises are so rich to me. God WILL rebuild all of the ruins in our lives, He WILL give us double honor instead of our former shame, everlasting joy WILL be ours. He WILL give us beauty for ashes, joy for mourning and praise instead of heaviness. We WILL be solid righteous people that He may be glorified! This is so inspiring to me!
I started thinking about these promises and realized that in order for us to fully experience the joy, praise, honor, and beauty; we need to give to the Lord our shame, ashes, mourning and heaviness. We cannot experience all that the Lord has for us and still carry around with us all of our junk! We need to give it up, make it ashes, and die to it! We need to take it all and lay it down at the foot of the cross, and LEAVE IT there. Give it to Jesus, thatís the reason that He died--for all that stuff, for our shame, our heaviness, our mourning, all of it!
Here is a poem that the Holy Spirit inspired in me to write. It speaks of some things that I needed to make into ashes and give to Jesus. I pray that you be blessed by it.
BEAUTY FOR ASHES
Have you ever felt youíre crossed off someoneís list?
Just tossed aside - never to be missed.
And you thought you were so close,
A relationship that was unlike most.
One day you see them at a restaurant,
With old friends and what you really want,
Is to be accepted by them again,
And return to being a close friend.
The cold reality of it all sets in,
You realize itís just somewhere youíve been.
Theyíre moving forward - not looking back,
Youíre part of the past, thatís a fact.
You shared your life, you feel betrayed,
You pray that feeling will somehow fade.
You turn to God; you want to know,
How to forgive and let this go.
You fear having close friends again,
You donít want to let new oneís in.
The friends you have are precious and few,
You know (pray--hope) that they are really true.
Giving God our ashes brings beauty in return,
Itís a Kingdom principle we must learn.
Only when we lay our ashes down,
Does God provide beauty all around.