“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
Joseph, one minute was dining at his father’s table, enjoying the position of being dearly loved because he was the son of Racheal and the next minute found himself in a pit, bargained over like a piece of worthless article and sold to strangers. How could his life change drastically in a blink of an eye? All he came to do was deliver his father’s message to his brothers. Why was this happening? Who did he offend? You can find the story in Genesis 37-50.
Job was there too. This righteous man who loved and honoured God. Yet he lost everything. It collapsed around him, all he held dear. Everyone mocked him, even his wife tried to convince him to curse God but Job’s love for God wouldn’t let him. But he was devastated and felt defeated. And we find him in the beginning of the book of Job, “…he sat in the ashes.” Job 2:8
David beloved daughter, Tamar walked that road too. She was raped by someone she trusted so much and called family. She was betrayed and left to pick up the broken pieces of her dignity. 2Samuel 3:19
And they might have all wondered like you may be doing now,…
Where is God in all of this? Can He not see my tears or feel my pain? I have worshipped and served Him faithfully yet all these bad things are happening to me.
The shattered dreams, the never realised aspirations, the loved one who died, the job I got laid off from, the unending financial struggle. What did I do to deserve this?
Maybe if I have done something different.
Am I not good enough? No matter what I do, things still go wrong.
Oh God, where are you?
And in the thick cloud of despair, we don’t realise God was there all along. His word says He will never leave nor forsake us.
He went further to affirm that nothing-trials, tribulations, persecutions- can separate us from His undeserved love on us. God never left. We were the ones who shifted focus. Our eyes became cast down from the hills of hope to the valley of pain.
We stopped seeing God and searching His word and became consumed with the distractions of the pain.
It is true your heart may be bleeding, wounded. We may wish sometimes life goes back to the way we have always known. We want our normal back.
The fact is, a trial does not leave us the same. It is not meant to. A broken heart does not heal to return to its former state. It stretches, this time stronger and wiser. What is a new life without the pain of birth?
You were broken but not without purpose or direction. You have those battle scars to remind you of your pruning. So wear them with pride and hope
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.”
Romans 5:3-4 NLT
There are days I look back on all I have been through and realise I wouldn’t be who I am now without it. With each disappointment, it edged me closer to our Father. God didn’t necessarily cause it, some were as a result of disobedience, others were the actions of others that I had no say in- but He allowed it for a purpose. So I can mature into the person He wants me to be. To express certain traits I didn’t know I had or was capable of.
I became acutely aware of my strength and the spirit of resilience I had in me. My mindset experienced a drastic shift. I know my worth in Christ better now and how much He loves and approves of me so it defines my actions and decisions. It didn’t seem like it at the time but everything makes sense now.
I am aware trials will come as long as we live in this sinful world. The devil will keep coming after our faith but I am confident in the hope of my salvation. I will take the wounds in every situation and hand it over to God, to soothe me, nurse me and heal me in the way He knows best. My days are brighter. God is working in me, through me and for me.
Dear Friend, Are you in a season where you question the beauty of God in your life or you feel stuck, vulnerable, discouraged or fearful? Take heart. It is an onward match because, in Christ, we have great hope. Find the purpose in your pain. Joseph found the reason he spent those years suffering and sold to a strange land.
It was to preserve the life of thousands years after. He found his purpose because he kept the faith and persevered. He was God-centered, never letting his emotions make decisions for him. His fear of God didn’t waver even when it seemed it would have bought him his ’freedom’.
If you got heartbroken in a relationship, Or maybe you just found out your spouse is having/had an affair, it may be an opportunity to reach out to others still struggling in the same predicament.
If you have always had issues with weight control and finally overcomes, you could help others wallowing in a similar situation out of it. There are much more we could do when we look beyond the mess. Pain does not define you.
Turn over your ashes to God and He will give you beauty.
Pray with me;
Father, I lift up anyone who may be in seasons they don’t understand. I pray Your Spirit fills their heart with your love. Open their eyes to see the purpose in their pain. Saturate them with understanding and the strength to rise. May our lives Father be continually expressed for your glory. Amen!
I conclude with this-
“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.
Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.”
2 Corinthians 4:8-10 NLT
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 NLT
You are loved💜💙💚