Those who grieve in Zion

Isaiah 61:1-3

"The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified."

The people of Judah are grieving even though they have returned from exile. God promises them through the prophet that he will continue to heal, equip and restore them.   As Christians we also grieve and lose our joy and hope when we realize that we cannot meet God's standard. God promises that He to will give us joy and hope by continuing to work in our lives.  This process is called sanctification.

Firstly, God heals our broken human nature by restoring us.Even though we despair at the sin we find in ourselves we can have hope that God will gradually heal us.

Secondly, He continues to change us as we grow to be more like Jesus. No matter how impossible the goal of Christ-like love seems, we can be confident that it is God's will to make us like him and that he has the power to do so. 

Thirdly, Our hearts are changed as we grow to be more like Jesus.  Our joy is made complete as God works his purpose through our freedom and rewards us as sons for doing his will. 

Lastly, Hope starts a an act of the will that preserves through difficulty and becomes a habit.
We are ceased to be plagued by anxiety, despair and fear and we are filled with joy knowing that God is all he says he is.


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