Believer, are you somber or jubilant, serious or joyous? You have a great reason to live a life of elation.
Yesterday we read the first two verses of this chapter today we continue. Verses 1-4 read,
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
3 to grant to those who mourn in Zion--
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.
4 They shall build up the ancient ruins;
they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
the devastations of many generations.”
Look back at what God has done for you. He forgave your sins, healed you, comforted you, and liberated you. These verses also say that when you mourn He replaces the ashes of mourning with a beautiful headdress and oil of gladness. When the Jewish people mourned they would put ashes on their heads, tear their clothes, and wear sackcloth to express their deep grief. And we know there is sorrow on this earth. We experience it, but the Lord comforts us now and will change it forever one day.
We will no longer mourn. We will no longer experience death. He will anoint us with His joy and in place of ashes we will have crowns. Instead of sorrow we will praise Him. We will sing and shout and proclaim His majesty forever.
Now we taste it. When you first heard about Jesus and His profound love for you, you mourned over the sins that kept you separated from God. You grieved and repented and God took your grief away. He comforted you and forgave your sins. He anointed you and sealed you with His Spirit. He made you royalty right then and there.
He changed you. All the tragedies of your life, your suffering and difficulties, He used them and remade you to into a new person. He reshaped and restored you into a gifted strong person who being changed could change the lives of others.
You don’t have to concern yourself with the trivia of daily life, what you’ll eat or drink or how you will get gas for your car or whether or not you will afford the rent. After salvation you become God’s holy minister and you concern yourself with His Kingdom and let the minutia of everyday take care of itself. Verses 5-6 describe it this way,
“Strangers shall stand and tend your flocks;
foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers;
6 but you shall be called the priests of the Lord;
they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God;
you shall eat the wealth of the nations,
and in their glory you shall boast.”
Are you living the joy of God? Or do you trudge through life filled with concern for the things of this earth? You are not meant to live that small and solemn life. God has anointed you and appointed you with joy, truth, and eternal salvation. He took away your shame, your heartache, and worry. He replaced it with His Spirit, His joy, forgiveness, and love. Celebrate the miracle of your salvation. Live the fullness of that amazing gift. Verses 10-11 read,
“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord;
my soul shall exult in my God,
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,
and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up,
so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise
to sprout up before all the nations.”