30 Mar Beauty for Ashes- 3/30/20
Steve and Grace Kaczowka
Isaiah 61:3 – “To grant those who mourn in Zion – to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes…”
We know that we are not alone, and God is very present in our lives. Today’s verse helps us understand one of the ways God reveals Himself and changes our lives.
God sees our suffering. “To grant those who mourn in Zion…” God sees our mourning here on earth and the mourning of His people. He empathizes with our pain and does not ignore or looks past our suffering. God sent His Son specifically to those who are brokenhearted and bound so He can set them free! He is here with us, and our suffering does not surprise Him. God is a very present help in these times. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
God creates beauty out of our sin. “…to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes…” In the Old Testament we see that the Lord’s people would cover themselves in ashes acknowledging their sin and suffering, and to indicate their humility before Him (Daniel 9: 3). But God offers to take away our ashes (our mess and sin) and places beauty on us instead. He replaces our suffering and sin with joy and beauty. He exchanges our sin for the righteousness of Jesus, and our disobedience for Christ’s perfect obedience.
- Pray that you would run to God in times of trouble, suffering, and sin. Acknowledge your ways before God and let him speak boldly over your life. Accept His unchanging and unending love for you despite your sinful ways.
- Pray for our church, that we as a body would represent Christ well during these times of struggle, sin and pain. May we offer each other the encouragement of beauty for ashes as we seek to do good works in faith.
- Pray for our city, that they would know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. That everyone in Falls Church and Annandale would know and trust in the beauty and redeeming love of the one who saves.