To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.
~Isaiah 61:3 (NLT)
There is a lot in this world which can bring mourning. Death. Illness. Prejudice. The list this Christmas is endless. The only answer for peace is Jesus Christ. And that is not a politicized Jesus. Only Jesus, with nothing else attached, will give freedom. Just His Grace, which looks beyond our sin and brokenness and says, “I love you,” will bring healing.
Instead of mourning, Jesus replaces the burned-out ashes of life with a beauty only He gives. He imparts joy-filled blessings that wipe away mourning. He inspires festive praise instead of despair. Those who know Him have received His righteousness, and they shall have deep roots in His Truth. Because Jesus finished His work in Calvary, the Lord has planted each believer for His glory.
Is this what you experience? Joy in spite of the world’s plague? Peace no matter man’s hurt and bitterness toward his fellow man? You are planted in His Grace, but have you grown in revelation understanding? Until you have grown, your roots will give you little strength. Joy will be elusive. In fact, fear and anger will be your initial responses. Jesus is forgiveness. He forgave the world in spite of their hatred of him. But if someone doesn’t know that truth and hasn’t received His forgiveness, he will experience frustration and bitterness at man’s inhumanity to man.
Christmas is almost here, and we have a broken world desperate for peace and seeking the answer. Man doesn’t have the answer. Only the Grace of Jesus awakens a hardened heart. This Christmas let’s allow His Grace to awaken ours. Let’s receive His forgiveness in depths that we have never before received. This is our freedom to love an angry and hurting world as He has loved us.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26, NKJV).
©2020 Lynn Lacher