Isaiah 61:3 To all who mourn in Israel He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair.
Isaiah 61:3 is so well known and so easy to misunderstand.
We may look to the end of our most testing times at the rewards to come, when good and beautiful things can be found hidden in the mix of our most challenging situations.
I live in a built-up concrete jungle, surrounded by grey buildings and sometimes not very happy people who are rushing around.
Honestly speaking, It is hard to find any beauty or anything particularly likeable in these surroundings, but they are there.
One day while walking to the local supermarket, my daughter shouted, “Mummy look! Look, at the beautiful flowers”. There they were, a wall of beautiful flowers and plants, in front of a large high-rise block of flats on our high street.
That day we stopped, and took photos, like tourist, admiring the blooms of spring. We talked about the beauty that we could have so easily walked past. People looked at us like we were crazy. I still have the photos of that day, they make me smile.
Sometimes we overlook the beauty of what God is doing in our lives because of the difficult, challenging, and uncomfortable times. What is God doing right in the middle of your most challenging time?
Sometimes the beauty is not at the end of the trial when the victory has been achieved, its right in the middle when we are being stretched.
We can become so distracted with how uncomfortable things are, that we miss all of the wonderful things that God is doing in our lives.
As Christian’s we will face challenges, that’s the reality.
When life presented me with challenge, after challenge I had to change my approach, and viewpoint, otherwise everyday would have been miserable.
Being connected to God helps us see things differently. Simply put, talking to Him throughout the day and staying conscious of His presence in exceedingly difficult times, is something beautiful.
We can approach Him from a place of appreciation in our broken and vulnerable state, and even experience joy and delight mixed in with the difficulties.
Who else can we be real with, and not hold back? God covers us in His unconditional love. He carries us when we feel we cannot go any further, providing grace. He plants seeds of hope in our hearts, when we doubt or feel we want to give up.
Through our relationship with him, He reveals the beauty of His character and hears the cry of our hearts in every moment. He takes time to mould and shape us through the situation we are facing.
I take pleasure in knowing He has me in His heart, and so should you.
This is something to stop and take note of during our trials. The beautiful nature of our loving Father and how He relates to us, how He brings us through by His faithfulness and awesome purpose for our lives.
We need clear vision to see this beauty, it is so hard to see it at times when things look bleak. But we can ask God to help us to see the good and beautiful things amid difficulties.
I found slowing down and reflecting, which gave me time to lay out my thoughts helped. Most importantly, turning to His word can help us make sense of challenges and help put things in proper perspective.
Psalms have been such a blessing to me. Praise and worship put’s a spin on challenges that can blow your mind!
Praising God even when things seem to be going wrong, is such an act of faith that refreshes, revitalizes, restores and gives faith and strength to keep going.
The enemy will be so confused when we see things this way and change our response to the difficulties that come at us.
Life can be so much more joyful when we approach it this way.
Instead of wallowing in worry and negativity, as we all have, we can draw on the deep joy that only God can give, and recognise the beauty of the trials and things around us.
Let’s ask God to help us see more clearly the beauty in our trials. The beauty of a life that is secure in Him, no matter what our circumstances are. It’s a challenge to all of us. But we must remember that Jesus said it is finished. The victory has been won so let us walk in the light of that victory.
We can walk with our heads lifted high focussed on the blessings that we do have, and all the things promised to us in God’s word.
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