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Beauty for Ashes

When I was at one of the lowest points in my life, I listened to a message by one of my favorite Bible teachers, Joyce Meyer, called “Beauty for Ashes.” After listening to that message over and over again, I don’t think my thought process about hardship and suffering has ever been the same. She shared that even though we may be dealing with some tough stuff, God will heal us and not only will He heal us everywhere we hurt, but He will also reward us for our trouble. Wow! That blew my mind. It made me think, “Okay, I can get through this because God is aware of what I’m going through. He knows my circumstances have burned me to the ground, but He will bless me in the end. I just have to hang in there long enough to rise up from the ashes.”

When something burns in the natural, in most cases, it cannot be restored. When our circumstances burn up, it is painful, and the burning of that painful situation can only leave us with more pain. Not only that, we’re left with emotional ashes…the remnants of what could have been. The difference is that a burning in our circumstances is not the end for us.

Our ashes may represent disappointments, missed opportunities, loss, heartache, grief, and much more, but God promises to give us His beauty for our ashes in Isaiah 61:2-3. It states, “…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 joy 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.