Beauty is Already in the Ashes

Isaiah 61:3
To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.

What does grace look like?  Where is it found?  How do we apply it to our own identity?  Who defines who we really are? Society? Friends? Family? Significant others? Neighbors? Ourselves?  What about God?  Do we ever allow Him to define who we are?  Chances are the answer is no.  So often we seek approval from others around us whom we think we can trust.  We search out the answers to life by probing our closest friends who are connected to God when in all reality we should be talking straight to the One who is our Provider, our Healer and foremost our Creator.  Who should know us better than the one who created us out of love?

This world we live in is just filled with standards and not many of them even measure up to God.  We only can scratch the surface of the definition of beauty.  The dictionary defines beauty as:

the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).

It says beauty brings intense pleasure to the mind.  Hmmmm, let’s explore this for a moment.  Who defines intense pleasure?  Who really sets the standards?  Here again we look to media and others for the answers when we really should be looking at the Bible and choosing to live by His standards.

1 Peter 3:3-4
Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. 

God loves us just as we are.  Not because of how we dress or the makeup we choose for the day.  He does not see the outward appearances we carry around even though that seems to be our focus on a daily basis.  We try so hard to please those around us that we lose out on what God has for us.  Often the focus goes too far and then we begin to compare ourselves with those around us who we think are better than we are.  We look to super models and actresses as if they define beauty for the whole world.  Why do we do this to ourselves?

God created beauty from ashes.  He called us to reside with Him and He knows we are beautiful.  He sees our hearts and that my friends is all that matters.  If you are reading this and tears are beginning to flow, it’s because the Father is asking you to see your beauty.  He is asking you to surrender all of your insecurities to Him right now and allow Him to show you the beauty that is already in the ashes.  He is asking you to see yourself through His eyes.  When He looks at you all He sees is beauty.  Stop destroying yourself by judging what you see in the mirror, I assure it is not what God sees.  The next time you stand at the mirror, ask to see Jesus in your eyes.

Dear friends, beauty is truly in the heart and nowhere else.  It’s not on the movie screen.  It is not on the cover of the latest magazine.  It is not what your friends define it to be.  It is not what your spouse even sees.  Beauty is more than skin deep, it’s heart deep.  It is the very core of who you are.  Are you ready to allow God to let you see yourself exactly how He does?  Then go now to the closest mirror and ask to see Jesus.  If you trust in Him, He will show you.

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