Beauty for ashes


Isaiah 61:3 – “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”

When we’re faced with depressing circumstances, we do one of the following: cry our hearts out in our rooms, immerse ourselves in work to forget our troubles, or do something mindless like eat a lot of food, or watch a lot of TV. In the olden days, people mourned very differently than we do now.

In the Old Testament we see several men and women of God grieving by wearing sackcloth instead of regular clothes, and heaping ashes on their heads. Some of them spent days in sackcloth and ashes, fasting and praying for God to work a miracle and turn things around. And guess what? God always came through for His people.

In today’s verse we see God’s promise to us – He will turn our ashes to beauty. Are you mourning the loss of someone in your life? Are you grieving over something that did not come to pass? God promises you His joy in return for your mourning. He will turn your heavy heart into one that’s filled with praise. God will turn your life around and make it beautiful for His glory. Hold on to this promise and let it fuel your prayers today!