Monday, July 11, 2011

Beauty for Ashes

Isaiah 61:3
To console those who mourn in Zion, 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.

"But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ."

Gain. There are many things that are "gains" to me. I have numerous things that I take pride in, many things I put my confidence in. My accomplishments, my talents, my abilities, my knowledge - all of these are gains for me. Loss. But how can I lose my gains? How can I count them as loss? These are the things that define me. These are the things I've worked for. And yet I'm called to count them as loss.

"I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord."

However, when I count all these things as loss, I'm actually not losing anything of value. In reality, my gains are all nothing without Christ. I am nothing without Christ. But, I can trade my nothingness for His fullness, my rags for His righteousness, my worthlessness for His surpassing value.

"For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ."

He gives me beauty for ashes.

It's not a fair exchange, by any means. I do not deserve it, nor will I ever deserve it. When I count all things loss, I gain Christ. So why is it so hard? Why do I struggle with this everyday? Why do I cling to everything that's of myself? Because I'm trusting me. My confidence is still in myself. Therefore, I need to crucify myself so that Christ can live in me. I lose myself, but I gain a priceless treasure beyond all measure and worth.

He gives me beauty for ashes.

I lose my social status, but I gain Christ.
I lose my good works, but I gain Christ.
I lose my possessions, but I gain Christ.
I lose my reputation, but I gain Christ.
I lose my accomplishments, but I gain Christ.
I lose my relationships, but I gain Christ.
I lose my life, but I gain Christ.

He gives me beauty for ashes.



  1. Oh Oh Oh, I am so favouriting this post. I really need to remember and live it.


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