Beauty Out of Ashes 灰烬中的美丽

To give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”
(Isaiah 61:3 NKJV)

Isaiah 61 carries a powerful promise in the Old Testament. When the Messiah comes, sorrow will be replaced with joy. He promises “beauty for ashes”. Laying in ashes often signified the humbling of God’s people. A time of mourning for sins. Yet when Jesus comes, something miraculous happens. When we lay down our sorrow in the “epher” (the Hebrew word for ashes), God turns them into His “pheer” (which is Hebrew word for beauty). God can take our ash heaps and make something beautiful out of it. This is the promise of His Kingdom. That’s a beautiful picture, but how does that happen?

Firstly, beauty comes when we live a repented life. The wonder of it all is that total forgiveness follows repentance (1 John 1:9). Whatever the sin, the blood of Jesus is more than sufficient to cover it. There is no longer any need for animal sacrifices or sackcloth. It is done! Our relationship with the Father is restored. We cry, Abba, Father! How beautiful is that? And it’s all because of Jesus.

Secondly, beauty comes when we choose to live under grace and forgiveness, and not under condemnation. We see God not as a belligerent Father out to punish us or put fear into our lives. When we see Him for who He is in the loveliness of Jesus, we live a life of love and freedom. Grace beautifies us!

Thirdly, beauty comes from choosing to live a life of gratitude. When bad things happen to us, we have three choices. We can blame God, and turn away from Him. Or we can get angry that He is not solving our problem immediately. But here’s a third choice: that we see this troubled time as a means of shaping our character and growing strong in faith. He WILL see us through in His time! For He will bring beauty out of our ashes.

赐华冠与锡安悲哀的人,代替灰尘;喜乐油代替悲哀;
赞美衣代替忧伤之灵…,叫祂得荣耀。
(以赛亚书61:3)

在旧约里,以赛亚书61章持有强大的应许。当弥赛亚来到,喜乐将代替忧伤。祂应许“美好将取代灰烬”。躺在灰烬之中往往意味着上帝使祂的子民谦卑的过程;是为罪哀痛的时刻。但当耶稣来到时,奇妙的神迹就发生了。当我们把忧伤摆在“epher”(希伯来文的灰尘)上,上帝便将它转为祂的“pheer ”(希伯来文的美好)。全能的上帝可以把我们的灰堆转化为美好的事物。这就是祂国度的应许。那是多么美丽的画面啊!但是该如何成就这美好的画面呢?

首先,当我们活在悔改之生命中时,美好的生活便会随之而来。在这当中,奇妙的是当我们承认自己的罪,那罪就会被赦免(约翰一书1:9)。任何的罪,耶稣的宝血都足够将它洗净。我们也不再需要任何的畜生献祭或披戴麻布了。因一切都已成就!我们与父神的关系也被修复。我们呼求,阿爸天父!那是多么美好啊?而这一切都因着耶稣。

第二,当我们选择活在恩典和饶恕之下而不是斥责之下时,我们亦能够成就美好。我们不视上帝为挑衅的神,一心只想处罚我们或让我们陷入恐惧当中。当我们在耶稣温柔的爱里去看待上帝,我们便能活在慈爱和自由当中。恩典让我们美好!

第三,美好的生活来自于持有感恩之心。当不好的事情发生在我们身上时,我们有三个选择。我们可以埋怨上帝然后选择离开祂。或者生气上帝为何没有及时解决我们的问题。但其实有第三个选择,就是当面临困难时,我们把它当成是塑造我们的性格并且在信心上有更大成长的机会。上帝必定按照祂的时间点带领我们度过难关!因祂必定把我们从灰烬中成就美好的事。

Ps Dr Philip Lyn 医生牧师

By | 2019-06-04T14:19:52+00:00 June 2nd, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments