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 are things in this world that can bring mourning. Death. Illness. Prejudice. Circumstances. There is just one answer for peace. Only Jesus Christ gives freedom in the hard times in life. Just His Grace, which looks beyond our sin and hurt and illness and loss and says “I love you,” brings healing. When we believe in our hearts the freedom Christ has purchased for us, our whole perspective changes. We view life differently. The power He has given us is greater than our circumstances. We believe in His promises.
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 praise instead of despair. Those who know Him receive His righteousness, and they have deep roots in His Truth. Because Jesus finished His work on Calvary, the Lord has planted each believer for His glory.
Is this what you experience? Joy in spite of the world’s pain? Peace no matter man’s hurt and bitterness toward his fellow man? You are free in His Grace, but have you grown in revelation understanding of His Grace? Until you have been renewed in your mind by the power of the Word, your roots in your faith will give you little strength. Peace 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 allowed Christ’s forgiveness to change his heart, he will experience frustration and bitterness. He will be unable to forgive and experience freedom.
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.
“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).
©2021 Lynn Lacher