By: Norma Guevarra

Beauty for Ashes

Isaiah 61:3 living bible – To all who mourn in Israel He will give: Beauty for ashes: Joy instead of mourning: praise instead of heaviness. For God has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for his own glory.

How many things in life, other than a death, do we mourn? We mourn a broken relationship, job loss, money, illness, or a rebellious child.

The dictionary says, ashes are: The remains of a fire: The powdery substance that has been burned.

How often do we get hurt, or as they say “burned”, and become like a pile of ashes, not wanting to move forward in our lives. We give up or stay STUCK, creating a personal habit. We become captive, but with God, “out of the ashes we will rise.”

God has told us, He has created each one of us with a perfect plan for our lives. But sometimes, when we get hurt, we settle for the ashes. We live our lives with the hurts and because of this we are held in bondage to our thoughts; they take residence in our hearts.  In other words these thoughts make their self at home in your heart and mind. Yet the Lord can give us so very much more because the victory starts in our mind.  Even when things are going bad, that doesn’t mean God has stopped doing good, or loving us.  It means He’s rearranging things in our favor and we need to continue loving and trusting Him. So I ask you, do you believe, John 14:15-16 and 15:7? Jesus says if you love Me, keep My commandments, and I will pray to the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever– Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. The Holy Spirit will help you to reprogram your mind, but you have to ask and put it in action.

Ashes (With Out God)       God gives beauty

Fear                                           Peace – 2 Timothy 1:.7

Loneliness                               Comfort – Isaiah 40:1

Weakness                                Strength – 2 Samuel 22:3

Unworthy                               Chosen – 1 Peter 2:9

Rejection                                God’s love – 1 John

Confusion                               Wisdom – James 1:5

When we have been hurt, we might cry out to God for help, and reading the promises, we might even believe, but do we put the promises into action? We keep saying, “I’m alright, everything is fine” but all the time our hearts are breaking. Then we get to the point of giving up on God and saying, “He doesn’t even care, so why believe.” Now, if you are at this point, how’s it working for you?  What has to change? How do you put all this in to a positive action? How do you go beyond this?

First admit you are hurting and that you need help; Satan’s motive is for you to keep all your thoughts to yourself. You say; I’ll deal with it myself, or it’s my problem and nobody could understand. You pray and nothing changes so I ask you, has God changed or have you?

Repent and surrender. Talk to God even if you are upset, confused, or think you’re not worthy. Go to a church or a bible study where you can learn more of God’s word, rather than the rules and activities of the church. The word of God is more important that the churches fellowship and rules because His word is our life. When you go to a church service or bible study come out knowing more about the word Than when you went in. Reprogram your mind to believe in the promises, how can you believe in God, if you don’t know what He says in His word? You have to read and study His word and start speaking Gods promises over yourself. We have a tendency to speak the negative, over and over again, stop doing that! The words of your mouth can control the direction of your life, whether you like it or not, or whether you believe it or not. Satan can bombard your mind with thoughts, John 13:2 “the devil put the thought of betrayal into Judas”. The only power Satan has over us, is when we believe his lies. Luke 10:19-20 says, behold I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy (Satan) and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.

God can also put thoughts into your heart and mind by His Holy Spirit.
The difference is that God deals with your spirit, and Satan deals with your mind. Romans 8:7 says, because the old sinful nature within us is against God, It never did obey God’s laws and it never will. Renew your mind with God’s word and censor your thoughts. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, casting down imaginations or reasoning (negative thoughts not in line with God) and every high thing that exalted itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. Your life will follow your thoughts. God words create your power.

Every believer will be challenged; there will be things that happen in our lives that we don’t understand and ask “why God, why?” When you feel helpless, turn to your heavenly Father and ask Him, what are you trying to teach me in all of this and ask yourself, what am I doing to get closer to God? We don’t grow by hoping, we grow by believing. Remember His words in Rom. 8:28 – we know that all things work together for good, to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Do you believe this or are they just words? Do you really love God?  Think about people you have believed in and loved, and how they can let you down. Your Heavenly Father never lets you down, His answer may not be what you want to hear, but believe me, He knows what you need. He can say yes, and give you what you asked for, He can say no, because He has something better in store for you or He can say wait, because He is rearranging things for your life.

Thank Him for what He has given you already and thank Him for what He is going to give you even before it happens. That’s faith!!! Become spiritually mature and talk to Him intimately, from your heart, as you would a best friend, that’s prayer. Talk to Him all day long and thank Him for the yard that you have to mow, the dishes you have to wash, the clothes you wash, and the job you go to for eight hours. Thank Him because you have a yard, you had food to put on the dishes, clothes to wear and a job.

To get the beauty God wants to give us out of the ashes, remember His word in Isaiah 40:31 – but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint. Read the next verse yourself, and read it out loud putting your name in the beginning, Isaiah 41:10-13 Don’t you want this help?

Remember that you may not be able to control what happens to you, but you certainly have control over how you respond to it.  Give Him your hand; He has His arms out stretched to you, because you are His child.

Believe me, He is not past history, God is real.

Norma Guevarra

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