Jesus gives…..”beauty instead of ashes, festive oil instead of mourning, and splendid clothes instead of despair. And they will be called righteous trees planted by the LORD to glorify Him.” Isaiah 61:3
Greetings beautiful DIVAs! Be strong and cast aside all things that hinder you today from being the Divinely Inspired and Victoriously Anointed daughter of the King you are meant to be!
Another way of saying ‘beauty instead of ashes’ is ‘beauty in place of ashes’ or ‘beauty is the reversal of ashes’. It speaks of reversing the deep sorrow of suffering to the glorious freedom of restoration. Praise God!
Do you know the joy of your salvation? That specific joy that surpasses all understanding? The kind of authentic joy that has no bounds nor does it for an instant bow to the human intellectual rational? Jesus Christ Himself is the joy of your salvation!
We can all identify with the sort of superficial joy that proceeds from fleeting, single-dimensional happiness. We can somehow possess laughter while the heart grieves. This is superficial joy. Let’s keep in mind that even this laughter is welcomed but it is not what your Father has fathomed for you.
According to Merriam-Webster, joy is defined as ‘a source or cause of great happiness; something or someone that gives joy to someone; success in doing, finding, or getting something.’ This is a description of joy that is surface and does not have the power to penetrate the deep place in us that craves an everlasting joy. The kind that does not depend upon our circumstances, other people, or our situations. Do you find yourself satisfied with the superficial joys that Jesus had no part in delivering? If so, your soul longs to be awakened to this authentic joy whether you recognize it or not.
Can you imagine the scene…you are imprisoned by your own sin, your own bitterness, your own anger, your own sadness, or your own feelings of unworthiness. Then here comes Jesus. He frees you from your imprisonment, brushes off the ashes, and your beauty is revealed. You no longer are a slave to your worst self. You anoint your forehead with the oil of gladness and you are given the robe of righteousness instead of the robes of despair. Beautiful.
Our circumstances might not change but we instead are the ones that experience the magnificent reversal and are then invited to be a witness of this reversal to others; all for His glory! We draw from the joy that resides deep within us. The joy that allows us to view our situations through a different lens ~ the lens of faith, hope, and love. “Though the fig tree does not bud and there is no fruit on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will triumph in Yahweh; I will rejoice in the God of my salvation!” (Habakuk 3:17-18) Now that is a joy clearly not dependent on current circumstances! Amen! Thank you Lord for your Spirit that invites this to be a reality in my life!
Receive the authentic joy of the Lord. This is your enduring strength. One of the definitions for the word ‘tree’ in Isaiah 61 is ‘anything strong‘. Receive the joy of your salvation, receive the righteousness of God (an exchange provided for by the Cross of Christ), receive your strength ~ you ARE STRONG. Your LORD has planted you in your situation so that you (His child) have an opportunity to bring Him glory. Bring it child!
- How do you feel knowing Jesus, your first love, takes the ashes (the residue of something destroyed) of your circumstances and creates beauty from it? Will you give your ashes to Him full of anticipation of what He will do?
- How can you show yourself strong in the Lord today?
In His grace,