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Beauty from Ashes

Isaiah 61:3

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord that He might be glorified.

I’ve been concerned about a besetting sin that plagues me most days: the desire for constant affirmation and self-worth. I look for these things in the wrong places – – outward beauty, physical performance, and mental focus – but it is not satisfying. There is always someone more beautiful or capable than me, outwardly and inwardly. So, from where does my worth come? If I could hone in on that idea and resolve it, I would have victory over that difficulty and live a more peaceful life.

Jesus says in John 15:5 Apart from Me, you can do nothing.

2 Corinthians 3:5 By ourselves, we are not qualified to claim that anything comes from us. Rather, our credentials come from God

Philippians 2:13 For it is God Who is producing in you both the desire and the ability to do what pleases Him.

So if I were to get down to a simple fact about this, I would see that I am absolutely nothing without God – filthy rags and ashes, but because of Him and His sufficient grace – He makes beauty from ashes and clothes me with white robes. Anything good about me is because of Him.

C.S. Lewis said, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.”

The truth of God’s grace humbles people without degrading them and exalts people without inflating them.

Some religions have weakened and removed vitality from people in the name of humility. Humility is not exalting yourself – it is exalting our God! Any beauty or worth of a creature brings honor to The Creator. I am created in God’s image and His likeness. Whenever I demean myself, I talk badly about the Artist and the Model. The truth is that the beauty of creation gives glory to the Creator.

My prayer today is – Take my life and let it be, consecrated, Lord, to Thee. Take my hand, Lord, and lead on.


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