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‘To give them beauty for ashes.’ Isaiah 61:3 NKJV

The world is not going to devote itself to making you happy. Only when you accept that, can you begin to move forward. Life doesn’t always work the way you want it to. Paul wrote, ‘I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain.’ (Romans 15:24 ESV) But it seems unlikely he ever got to Spain; instead he landed in one of the worst prisons in Europe. But from there he wrote the epistles.

Your disappointment may turn out to be God’s appointment. The Bible says, ‘We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.’ (Proverbs 16:9 NLT) What a relief! God’s in control of our lives! We can let the philosophers argue over why life works as it does and just focus on how to live it! If you live to be a hundred, what good is it if resentment and regret keep you from enjoying it? And what good is more time, if you’re only killing the time you’ve got?

Know how an oyster makes a pearl? When a grain of sand gets into its shell and irritates it, instead of resisting and resenting it, the oyster wraps it in layer after layer of beauty, till a pearl is formed. Maybe that’s what God is telling us about the things that irritate us and get under our skin: make ‘pearls’ from them.

God is working in everything you’re going through today, for your good and His glory. All you need to do is trust Him. If you do, He’ll give you beauty for ashes.

SoulFood: 2 Kings 24–25, Matt 20:29–34, Ps 144:1–8, Pro 14:1–4

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2024

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