Beauty for Ashes
To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair (Isaiah 61:3, NLT).
I have been amazed at the testimonies of some people when they tell me the way they used to be. I’ve looked at them and thought, There is no way they used to be that way. Jesus Christ has so radically changed them.
Isaiah 61:3-4 promises that God “will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory. They will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities destroyed long ago” (NLT).
For the person who has made a mess of his or her life — a pile of ashes, so to speak — God says, “I will bring beauty.” For those who mourn because of the wrongs they have done and the sins they have committed, God says, “I will bring joy out of it.”
Only God can take a tangled mess of a life, turn it around, and transform it in such a way that you wouldn’t even know that individual used to be a very different person. Not only that, but such a transformation gives hope to others who may still despair over the condition of their lives.
If you come to Christ and say, “Lord, here I am. Forgive me of my sin,” He can transform you and change you. He can take your mistakes and your sins, turn them around, and even use them for His glory. When you commit your life to Christ, putting the broken, stained, twisted pieces into His hand, He will transform it into a thing of beauty.
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