Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Better Way

I love that God's Word contains so much stuff that is applicable to our lives today. Wherever we turn in it, there is something for us to learn from it. Isaiah 61:1-4 is a passage full of amazing truths about Jesus's ministry in our lives.

"to comfort all who mourn and to provide for those who grieve in Zion" (vs. 2-3)

God is the greatest Comforter. He can ultimately provide the greatest comfort in the midst of anything that happens in our lives. Paul tells us this in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. God is the God of comfort in the midst of trials. God will provide what we need to get through when we are in the midst of hard times.

"to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes" (vs. 3)

God takes what is a mess and destroyed in our lives and makes it into something beautiful. It's God's specialty.

When God does this in our lives, it is an incredible gift from Him. A gift that He bestows on us when we are least deserving of it.

"the oil of joy instead of mourning" (vs. 3)

God wants us to have true joy in our lives. He wants to replace our mourning with His joy. His joy isn't dependent on circumstances, but is in the midst of whatever is happening.

It's not about being happy. It's about a joy that goes beyond what is happening. It's a joy that comes from knowing God and the freedom that He brings, not what life is like in the moment.

"a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair" (vs. 3)

Praising God is the ultimate antidote to despair in our lives. God wants to give us the ability to choose to praise Him in the midst of everything in life. When we choose to praise Him, that is when we discover the joy that is not dependent on circumstances, but that comes from our relationship with Him.

This part of Isaiah 61:1-4 paints a beautiful picture of what it looks like to have allowed Jesus to bind up broken hearts and bring us freedom from our captivity.

Previous posts in this series:
Message of Freedom
Broken-hearted Captives Freed
The Year of the Lord's Favour

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