Beauty for Ashes

“…we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

Romans 8:28 NKJV

One of my favorite verses in all of God’s Word has always been the one above. It always bring peace and hope in times of trouble and doubt. It is a great comfort to know that the Father is always at work in my every circumstance to bring about good!

There are a number of phrases in the Bible that remind us of how God can turn even the bleakest circumstance into something better. Not just better—GOOD.

Beauty for ashes. The oil of gladness for the spirit of mourning. The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Mourning turned into dancing. Double honor for shame. Joy in your possessions rather than disgrace. Joy in the morning after tears in the night. Restoring the years that the locust has eaten.


“Look for the silver lining. There is always a silver lining.”


I often said this to my kids as they were growing up and something that seemed dreadful had happened to them. I still say it often, and even have to remind myself of this sometimes. We can often see the first glimmers of hope for the good things to come immediately following the storm. Like a rainbow after the rain. There can be no silver lining without the clouds.

Joseph and Job are extreme examples of God’s silver lining after the perfect storm. Joseph spent years as a slave and then a prisoner before being exalted to the second position in all the land of Egypt as he administered the plan he set in place to feed the hungry during the season of famine. He remained faithful to God during the years of suffering with no indication that deliverance would ever come.

Job had one of the biggest reversals of fortune imaginable. He lost all his possessions, his children and his health, and all his friends told him he was suffering because he was a sinner who needed to repent. Job, too, remained faithful to God during this bleak time of unbelievable suffering and at the end, he was vindicated and all his fortunes were restored. In the closing verses of Job’s story we learn that the Lord gave him twice as much as he had before and his latter days were more blessed than his early days. God gave him seven more sons and three more daughters for those who died. Since our spirits are immortal, God gave Job ten additional children, because the first will be reunited with him in eternity. What a beautiful picture of God working all things together for good!

God does not promise that we will not go through dark days of suffering or fear. Jesus told us that we would have trouble in this life, but He also gave us reason for hope.

“Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.
But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 NLT

God has promised that He will work all things together for good. This does not mean that all the things that happen to us in this life are good, or that He brings bad things into our lives just to turn them into good. No, our Father knows that in our troubles He will come to the rescue.

“The righteous person faces many troubles,
but the LORD comes to the rescue each time.”

Psalm 34:19 NLT

Joseph and Job had to walk through the dark days in order to see the good days. So too, we will have to go through times of trouble as Jesus said, but we can take heart knowing that the One who overcame the world will bring us into the good days. Even if we don’t see the good when we expect it or the way we expect it, we will see it. King David expressed it this way:

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.

Psalm 27:13

And again he said,

“Taste and see that the LORD is good!
How blessed is the one who takes shelter in Him!”

Psalm 34:8 NET


What is the take away for us today as we weather the storms of life? Don’t lose heart! Remember that you will see God’s goodness in the here and now. Remain faithful to Him and take shelter in Him and you will be blessed. And, always look for His silver lining!


Your Turn

Take some time today to remember when God has brought beauty for the ashes of your burned out dreams. How He turned your mourning into dancing or filled you with joyful praise that sent away the clouds of depression. Meditate on His Word and gain courage from His promises.

Prayer

Father, You can bring beauty from the ashes of my life. I trust You to do Your work to bring good in all my circumstances and to complete Your purpose in me. In Jesus name, Amen.


I would love to hear your stories of how God has fulfilled Romans 8:28 in your life. Tell your experience in the comments below.

If this post has touched you or resonated with you, please consider liking, commenting, and sharing it with a friend.


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