31 Mar A Heart of Gladness- 3/31/20
Isaiah 61:3 – “…the oil of gladness instead of mourning.”
In yesterday’s devotional, God turned our sackcloths, our traditional clothing of mourning, into something beautiful. In light of today’s verse, God took our ragged, downtrodden clothes and gave us a party outfit! Contrasting against the ashes that were typically worn in a time of mourning in the previous line of verse 3, God anoints us with the oil of gladness.
A few thoughts from this verse:
1. Being anointed by oil would be directly opposed to wearing the ashes of mourning. In this sense, so should our souls be directly opposed to the state of despair. Instead, as Psalm 100 says, the whole earth should make a joyful noise to the Lord, for He is good, his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness is promised to all generations. No more must we live in mourning, even in uncertain times, for our God is always faithful, and His love does not waiver. His anointing abides forever.
2. This anointing oil of gladness flows from the Word, and is, as one commentator puts it, “is very valuable, of great price, and to be desired; and, being had, cannot be lost.” So too is the saving grace of Jesus, the effect of which is unspeakable joy, through our eternal hope in him. This oil is a gift, our salvation is a gift. Through these things, not physical comforts or assurance of life “returning to normal,” will we find our joy in this season, and indeed, forevermore.
- Praise the Lord for your salvation, a great, valuable gift that came at the highest price, the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. Pray for those who do not yet know the Lord, and do not yet have the supernatural gladness and joy in the face of adversity that is only available through Christ Jesus.
- Pray for those on the frontlines of this present struggle who may feel downtrodden, anxious, mournful, and fearful. Pray that their heads would be uplifted, and pray protection around them and their families.
- Pray that the Lord would anoint His people, that we would all know His faithfulness and steadfast love for us. Pray that those who struggle to see our Lord’s goodness amidst this trial would be surrounded in the prayers of this church, and know the eternal goodness and omnipotence of our King of Kings, from everlasting to everlasting.