Saturday, July 27, 2013

Beauty From Ashes

Psalm 124:8; 125:1-2 Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. … Those who trust in the Lord are as Mount Zion, which cannot be moved but abides forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, So the Lord surrounds His people from this time forth and forever.

As I reflected on a photo I took yesterday showing the smoke from multiple fires in the sunset, I also saw the rays of bright light shining above. This reminded me of the great hope we have in our God especially when the things we endure here seem so ominous. Sarah wrote about this for today in my "Jesus Calling" devotional. I hope to spend more time reflecting on it later today, but for now to know that my hope does indeed rest in the name of my Lord. He is my protector and the provider of my strength, just as He is for all who call upon His name. And as I think on this today, I will also be mindful of those who are are fighting those fires, those whose homes might become endangered, and the forests and wildlife that are threatened and even destroyed. Our God is capable of bringing beauty from ashes, just as a family we know of has been in the process of experiencing in a very literal way this week. And as we celebrate at a wedding this afternoon (which itself had to move its location due to another fire), I am mindful that our God continues to work and to bless.

Isaiah 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners;  to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.

Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young (7/27)

Hope is a golden cord connecting you to heaven. This cord helps you to hold your head up high, even when multiple trials are buffeting you. I never leave your side, and I never let go of your hand. But without the cord of hope, your head may slump and your feet may shuffle as you journey uphill with Me. Hope lifts your perspective from your weary feet to the glorious view you can see from the high road. You are reminded that the road we’re traveling together is ultimately a highway to heaven. When you consider this radiant destination, the roughness or smoothness of the road ahead becomes much less significant. I am training you to hold in your heart a dual focus: My continual Presence and the hope of heaven.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12

But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. 1 Thessalonians 5:8

God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain. Hebrews 6:18-19

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