This past Sunday, I had the privilege of speaking to Plymouth Church in Raleigh. What an honor to spend the morning with them! In preparing for the message, God laid Isaiah 61.1a & 3 on my heart, particularly the phrase “beauty for ashes”.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me…to 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.”
God has certainly been faithful to provide beauty in place of ashes in my life, to take my mourning and put gladness in its place. It was humbling to share a bit of our journey with Isaac and a joy to testify to God’s faithfulness in that situation. He certainly has brought forth great beauty out of a difficult season.
His Word is so clear – God is able and desiring to work all things together for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8.28). As the song goes: “He gives beauty for ashes, strength for fears, gladness for mourning, peace for despair.” My prayer is that it will bless you, that the Bible would speak for itself, and God would draw you to trust Him further with any areas of your life that have been reduced to ashes. He has beauty in mind.