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  • Writer's pictureKaren O'Reilly

Devotional Bible Study: Beauty For Ashes Isaiah 61:3.

Welcome to Day 11. for one of our short powerful devotions from the 30 Bible Verses About God's Amazing Grace, bible reading plan. This short devotional is based on Isaiah 61:3.

Read 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."

Have you read Isaiah 61 before? Are you like me, wondering who are those that mourn in Zion?

Isaiah 61 is a wonderful encouraging chapter to read. It is a prophetic window into the future of our promised Messiah, Jesus Christ. Isaiah the prophet is speaking these words to the Jewish exiles that have just returned to Jerusalem. They had been just released from captivity by Cyrus of Persia. Cyrus had just defeated the Babylonians (they had held the Jewish people in captivity). Cyrus decided to allow the Jewish people to return home to Jerusalem and he even provides funds to finance the rebuilding of the temple!

However, upon their return, the former exiles find that Yahweh, who had heard their cry for mercy during their captivity and made it possible for them to return, had not seen fit to make their task easy!

The books of Ezra and Nehemiah tell the story of the restoration of Jerusalem and the temple. The returned exiles experienced opposition from local people and the project ground to a halt (Ezra 4; Nehemiah 4-5).

The Jewish exiles needed much encouragement to keep walking in their faith and to rebuild the temple.

The chapter begins with Isaiah prophetically speaking about the promised Messiah and in Luke chapter 4 Jesus stands up in the temple (that the Jewish exiles had built with the funds from Cyrus of Persia) and makes the amazing, outrageous statement " Today this scripture has been fulfilled", Luke 4:21.


Short Devotional:

What does ashes for beauty mean?

Do you ever wonder what this beautiful promise could mean in Isaiah 61:3?

Does God make beauty out of ashes?

He sure does, but when you are sitting in a pile of ashes, it takes great faith to dare to believe this promise.

Take that step of faith! God promises to walk with you through all that you are going through.

He made that possible by sending Jesus to the cross. Jesus walked on earth and experienced life. He knows how we feel. We have been given such grace to cope with all of the trials and tribulations that come in our life. When Jesus rose from the grave, we were left with the Holy Spirit to dwell in us if we invite Him to take up residence in our hearts. He will fill us with such peace even in the midst of crisis.

God wants to take your mourning and replace it with the oil of gladness, He wants to take your spirit of despair and turn it into a garment of praise. You get to give Him all your heartache and in return, He blesses you His joy!

Whatever you are going through, Jesus has gone before you to provide his goodness.

Life is not always happy. It’s not always easy.

Sometimes events happen that seem very unfair and maybe even cruel.

You may wonder where God is, or why He didn’t stop that difficult event or illness from happening to you.

I have to confess that I still sometimes ask these questions and that is after I have witnessed miracles in my life.

But you have to remember these truths:

God is good all the time and He loves you outrageously!

He knows you will be in despair, so he offers you His crown of beauty, oil of gladness, and invites you to put on the garment of praise in exchange for your ashes. You just have to invite Him into your sadness and allow Him to restore you.

Oaks Of Righteousness

Have you heard that quote before, "oaks of righteousness"?

Oak trees give us such a great visual representation of strength and beauty and fill you with a sense of solidity and permanence. A large oak tree has many roots, that go deep into the ground to keep the tree strong and steady.

This gives us a good word picture of God exchanging our weaknesses for His strength.

The mighty oak tree draws from the soil it is planted in, and grows and grows, from glory to glory until it is strong in those roots and immovable. Strong winds and storms may come but the oak tree stands strong because its roots are strong at the foundation.

We can be the same in our life storms. God wants us to dig down deep and get close to Him so that nothing can sway or move us! Because of God's grace, we are righteous once we believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay for our righteousness with His blood. We then can get rooted and grounded in God's truth in the Bible and then grow up strong, just like the oak tree, and then God's glory will be displayed in our lives!

You will have times of joy and times of despair. Just remember this wonderful promise of grace in our verse Isaiah 61:3, the Lord freely gives beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning, and praise instead of despair.

Are you ready to grow your roots down deep into God's word? Use the free printable and the following questions to help you put down some of those roots.

Today's devotional is based on Isaiah 61:3 which is from our 30 Bible Verses About God's Amazing Grace, bible reading plan. You will find a free printable PDF of 30 scriptures about God's grace in the Resource Library. It has the bible reading plan, guided prayer, and gratitude journal. Download this free printable or grab a notebook.

What is God saying to you through these verses?

What burdens do you need to surrender to God and trust Him with?

Write out your prayer request.

What are you grateful for today? Count your blessings!

Write out the scripture verse, it helps you to memorize the scripture and store up God's truth in your heart. Then in the last section of the prayer journal, there is space to record what God is speaking to you through our grace bible verse for today, Isaiah 61:3.

Scripture Prayer

We are called to pray without ceasing. That means we can talk with God at any time and in any place. You can chat with God throughout the day! Praying scripture is a powerful way to pray so join me in praying

Isaiah 61:3.

Thank you Father for Your promise to give beauty for ashes. Help me to surrender my life to you, to give you my despair and pain, to give you my ashes. Fill me with such expectancy of You redeeming my situation. Give me a renewed passion to study Your word and to trust that You are working in all my life situations and that You will cause good to come out of my trials. I want to display Your glory! Amen.

Related Resources:

You will find 30 Bible Verses About God's Amazing Grace (Free Bible Plan And Prayer Journal)HERE It will have the list of 30 Bible verses that we are using for 30 days that our short powerful daily devotionals are based on.

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xx Karen.

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