IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES
TOPIC:- BEAUTY FOR ASHES, OIL OF GLADNESS FOR THOSE THAT MOURN IN ZION
Rev. Innocent Chukwudi Peace Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM
“And provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”
What Does ‘Beauty for Ashes’ Mean?
Isaiah 61:3 is a beautiful picture of what Christ can do for the mourning people of Israel and the ones hurting today. When we examine the verse, we learn that Christ is the joy-giver. He gives a joy that extends beyond the surface. Christ releases us from the bondage that sorrow brings.
Our sorrows can leave us feeling defeated. When we fully give ourselves over to God, our view of the trouble and sorrow of life changes. The circumstances may remain the same, but we change the glass we look through.
It is possible to live while the storm rages, but God remains the calm in the storm. He gives us sources of joy to get us through. Everything we go through in this life contributes to the end when we spend eternity in heaven.
The phrases in Isaiah 61:3 make the meaning of this verse even more powerful. When Isaiah writes the words “beauty for ashes,” he uses Hebrew language that cannot be translated into English. The Hebrew word for beauty used here refers to a headdress, turban, or tiara. God is stating that he is going to wipe out the ashes upon your head and replace it with a beautiful headdress.
Isaiah also tells us we will be anointed with oil. This was a common practice in his time and was usually done in times of festivity. God is also going to clothe his people with a garment of praise. The language here is speaking of a garment that would be dyed in bright colors. Lastly, Isaiah speaks of oaks of righteous. Trees represent people, and the mighty oak of righteousness shows us that in Christ we are strong.
“To provide for those who grieve…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes.”
For He will never leave us or forsake us, His love for us is greater than we could ever imagine, though we live in a world where we face trouble many days.
Jesus reminds us in John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble, but take courage, for I have overcome the world.”
And that’s the key to the ashes that cover our days in this life. The deeper Truth that shines through every bit of our grief, and pain, and sin, is this, Christ came to set us free. Christ came to redeem. Christ came to bring hope. Christ came to bring beauty from ashes.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness 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.” Is. 61:1-3
He never intends for us to stay stuck in our sin, pain, or deep sorrow. He heals and restores, He calls us onward, He reminds us that in Him, we have great purpose and hope.
There’s beauty and greatness behind every mark of darkness. The ashes will fall away, they don’t stay forever, but His greatness and glory shine forever through every broken place and flaw we’ve struggled through.
He conquered death. He lives forever. He reigns in glory. And we have victory in Him.
Take courage dear friends who are facing deep battles. He is greater than any enemy we face in this life. We overcome because He has overcome and our lives are hidden in Christ. May God cover you with peace, may He bring healing in the face of hard news, may He bring deep, abiding joy that makes no sense to the world, may He bring comfort and care as He wraps you in His arms. The God of miracles fights for you today, and He is Mighty.
There’s still beauty ahead…straight out of ashes. Christ redeems. Grace.
Christ gives his mourners the beautiful garments of salvation, and the robe of his righteousness, and the graces of his Spirit, and his gracious presence, together with his word and ordinances…all which, as they are ornamental to his people, they yield them joy, peace, and comfort: and this is a beauty that is not natural to them, but is of grace; not acquired, but given; not fictitious, but real; is perfect and complete, lasting and durable, and desired by Christ himself, who gives it.”
…..you give me beauty for ashes And you pull me close to your heart You have turned mourning to dancing… That’s what you do That’s who you are Brand new eyes, brand new hands You have wiped away my past Brand new day, brand new life You have pulled me from the lies
I’m no longer what I used to be I am stronger, because you live in me The old is gone, the new has come I’m alive!
Beauty for ashes defines our hope. Because of Jesus, we no longer sit in the ashes of our own sins or sins against us. He saves, he gives, he loves, he renews.
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