The Great Trading-Post

July 1, 2009 at 9:06 am | Posted in Bible Studies | 12 Comments
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The Lord God is the Creator of Life, and the Maker of Heaven and Earth. He has given us His Word and His Spirit, and He has not left us without hope. The Bible says that He heals the broken-hearted, and He binds up their wounds.

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 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.

Isaiah 61:1-3

Life is not always easy. Sometimes it seems like life is just a series of problems. Sometimes we are right in the middle of a problem. Sometimes we are coming out of a problem. Once in a while it seems like everything is going great, and then we have a problem, and we look back, and we see that time when we thought things were going great as just a time when we were about to go in to a problem.

I find comfort and hope in Isaiah 61:3 because it tells us that one day, if we submit our lives to the Lord, He has some great trades in mind for us – especially for those who mourn – who feel sorrow or sadness.

First, He says that He will take away our ashes and give us beauty. Ashes were worn on the head during times of grieving in the Old Testament. Beautiful head coverings were worn in times of great joy. Do you have a testimony of a life spent serving others? A willingness to serve others is a very good quality. Sometimes it doesn’t look beautiful to us, but the Lord says, if we place our trust in Him, and serve others, one day we will wear a crown on our head instead of ashes – a beautiful crown – for we will be children of the King.

Second, the Lord tells us that we can give Him our mourning – our grieving and sadness – and He will take that from us and anoint us with the oil of joy. Are you the kind of person that other people just like to be around? Would people use the words “loving” and “lovable” to describe you? In this world, we can’t have happiness all the time. But for those who will place their faith in Christ Jesus, He will anoint you with His Holy Spirit. And you can trade in your circumstances-dependent “happiness” for a “joy” that comes from Him living inside you.

Third, the Bible says that Jesus Christ can take away your spirit of heaviness, and clothe you in a garment of praise. Are you content? Do you have a tendency to be satisfied with the things you have? All kinds of problems – but especially financial problems – can make us feel heavy, like we are carrying a weight on our shoulders. Too often we picture a dollar sign as the answer to our problems. But it is as if the Lord says, “I’ll trade with you. You stop placing your desire on ‘things’ – stop being ‘covetous.’ Stop trusting in material things, and I’ll give you a garment of praise. I’ll clothe you in My righteousness, and you’ll be content in Me and want to praise Me.”

My wife is good at just about everything – except she doesn’t have a green thumb. She can kill the healthiest plant in the most fertile soil.

But God can grow the strongest plants in the least favorable conditions.

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.

Isaiah 61:3

The Lord knows that we are going to mourn in this life from time to time. He knows our spirits are going to get heavy. He knows we are going to feel like dumping ashes on our heads. But we do not have to feel that way. Just as an expert gardener can take a sad-looking, drooping plant, and water it, and care for it, and bring it back to life, so can the Lord give us new life – ETERNAL life, and make us, not just any old plants, but strong trees – trees of righteousness: THE PLANTING OF THE LORD, that He might be glorified.

Will you accept this comfort from the Lord? He has promised it to you if you will trust Him and Him alone.



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  1. Good thoughts! God knows the plans that He has for us and nothing can stand in His way. Our circumstances and our weakness can not stop God from fulfilling his promise in our lives. For that reason, we must trust Him in the trials of this life for He is working out something so far greater that our finite minds cannot hold its wonder.

  2. Marianne: Thanks for your comment. You are so right. What trial is too difficult when we know that the Lord is walking through it with us, and also waiting at the end to show us the good that it produced!

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  5. […] planted by God. You must stay faithful and content long enough to grow. Then God will show you the beauty in your life and make you fruitful, which is even better. That which hath been is named already, […]

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