To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion–to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit–that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. Isaiah 61:3, AMP
In Isaiah 61:3 a great exchange occurs. God gives us His beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of morning, the garment of praise instead of a heavy, burdened and failing spirit. Friend, I don’t know what you have been through in your life, but I do know that Jesus gave His life for you on the Cross. He exchanged your sin, sickness, and every curse and nailed it to the Cross in exchange for His mercy, healing, grace and salvation. One day while reading Isaiah 61, I was led to write down all that God had exchanged in my life and I pray that it will bring encouragement to you today.
I know what it’s like:
To be abused, but I also know what it’s like to forgive my abuser and to be set free
To have thoughts of killing myself, but I also know what it’s like to carry the life of my daughter inside my womb.
To be full of fear to the point of rocking back and forth with my Bible in hand just to make it through the night, but I also know what its like to see God’s angels moving on my behalf.
To feel alone in this world, but I also know what it’s like to have the honor of Jesus being my EVERYTHING
To live in depression and despair, but I also know what it’s like to be pulled out of the pit for God’s glory.
To worry to the point of almost losing my mind, but I also know what it’s like to be renewed in my mind through God’s Word.
To barely get out of bed, but I also know what it’s like to experience God’s joy that comes in the morning.
To wonder if my dreams will ever come to pass, but I also know what it’s like to have faith that God never withholds anything good for me but He only sets me up to be blessed.
To be diagnosed with liver-failure and need a liver transplant, but I also know what its like to have Jesus miraculously heal me.
To only have oatmeal in my pantry to eat for dinner, but I also know what it’s like to see God provide all of my needs through the body of Christ.
To run for my life to an abuse shelter, but I also know what it’s like to have God make purpose out of my pain and know that my best days are ahead of me.
To be told that I am stupid and invaluable, but I also know what to read in the Bible that Jesus died on the Cross-for me and that I am the apple of His eye.
My question for you today is: What do you need to exchange?
It is my prayer that we will embrace the Great Exchange this Easter Season.