Have you ever felt worthless because of your past? I know I have. So many times we have a tendency to beat ourselves up because of past mistakes and circumstances that caused great pain and distress in our lives. You might even say that there were things that started out with great potential but later turned into “ashes.” It may have been a past relationship or a dream that turned into a nightmare. Whatever the case maybe, I have found that the word of God is true. In the book of Isaiah 61:3 it states, 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. (KJV) The Hebrew word for ashes is [’epher /ay·fer/] it means ashes and figuratively it means worthlessness. The Lord is making the declaration that He will give beauty for ashes to those who are mourning and feeling worthless because of the stains of the past or present circumstances.
Jesus Christ came to take away the worthlessness that represent the ashes of our lives and give us beauty. The way He does it is revealed in the next few verses of Isaiah 61:3. The Bible states that the Lord will give us, beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. The oil of joy is the anointing that we need in order to receive beauty for ashes. The word joy in this scripture literally means to rejoice and be glad. Whenever we decide to rejoice in the midst of mourning it begins the process of beautification. Smiling is often associated with gladness. A smile does more for the face than a ton of make-up or jewelry ever could! Smiling that comes from a heart of joy exudes beauty. Studies show that smiling makes a person appear more intelligent and adds beauty and radiance. Just as a downcast, frowning face can make the most beautiful person appear ugly. Joy is the Holy Ghost make-up that we need to put on every day.
Joy is not dependent upon your circumstances; it is actually a by-product of a Spirit-filled life. Whenever you have access to the Holy Spirit, you always have access to joy because He is the carrier of joy. It is He that anoints us with the oil of joy. The anointing oil for our lives is the Holy Spirit, so when He is present in our lives through our personal relationship with Jesus, He is ready, willing, and able to fill our hearts with joy at any given time! Wow! We have the power to heal ourselves by allowing the Holy Spirit to flood our hearts with joy. One way to access this joy and receive our beauty for ashes is found in the next part of Isaiah 61:3 that states, a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. When we praise God in spite of the circumstances; when we say, “hallelujah anyhow”; when we think of the goodness of Jesus; and open up our mouths with the fruit of our lips giving thanks; that allows the Lord to change our countenance, our circumstances, and ultimately our lives, and make us into those trees of righteousness planted by the Lord for His glory.
(Article based upon excerpts from Rosalind Y. Tompkins new book, “You Are Beautiful.”)
Rosalind Y. Tompkins is the author of “As Long As There Is Breath In Your Body, There Is Hope”, “Rare Anointing” and the newly release “You Are Beautiful”. She is the founder of the grassroots community-based, non-profit organization, Mothers In Crisis, Inc., a prophetic poet, a life coach, and the senior pastor of Turning Point International Church located in Tallahassee, Florida. For more information visit http://www.rosalindytompkins.com.