Wednesday, October 17, 2007
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.
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. . . . ”
God will bring joy instead of mourning and beauty for ashes. 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 are mourning 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 would not 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 be that way. It provides a powerful testimony.
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, He will clean your life up. And He will do a great job of it.
For more relevant and biblical teaching from Pastor Greg Laurie, go to www.harvest.org.
Copyright © 2007 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions,