“To comfort all who mourn to bestow on them… the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness… for the display of His splendor.”Isaiah 61:2b-3
God’s magnificent displays of splendor are visible all around us—in sunsets and mountain ranges and waterfalls and prairies. But His tender mercies run deeper than we imagine and beyond what we can see. He is a loving God who comforts and consoles, who gently replaces our mourning with praise, joy, and beauty. In the midst of deep grief over loss through death, over our sin and its consequences, and over tragedies that befall us or our loved ones, we have a Lord who shows us in mighty oaks and delicate flowers that He is in control of it all. He will give joy in the midst of pain.
Hard times make our roots grow deeper in the Lord. You seek His pool of grace when the ground is parched (see Isaiah 35:7) with hardship. Your roots sink down into His spiritual waters. The heavy burdens of life can leave a person feeling depressed, withered, and stunted in growth. But when the saving love of Jesus Christ becomes your nourishment, you are an oak of righteousness, “a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.”
Let the Master Gardener plant within you His beauty, His joy, and His praise