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The Comforting Promise of Isaiah 61

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Larry Huch

Read Time: 4 Minutes 23 Seconds

When Jesus was on the earth, He entered a synagogue and walked up front to read from the scrolls. He turned to Isaiah 61 and read a portion of this chapter out loud. Then He announced, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

It’s true. Jesus was sent by God to provide for us His divine exchange—all of our darkness for all of His love and light. Isaiah 61:1-3 is one of my all-time favorite scriptures. Let’s read His promises now in Isaiah 61:1-3:

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

I think everyone of us can relate to the example and understanding of “ashes”, “mourning” and “heaviness” spoken of in Isaiah 61:3. But do we understand how to receive the genuine exchange of our ashes for His beauty, our mourning for His oil of joy and our spirit of heaviness for His garment of praise?

I believe that Jesus’ words that day are still relevant to me and to you, right now in the world we live in! Yes, eternity is real and will be wonderful beyond our wildest imaginations. Yes, things will ease up and get better over the course of time. But God’s intentions for His people are to equip us, turn evil into good, heal us, bless us and fill us. Jesus’ anointing flows over us now that we are born again and we walk in His abilities. With our Lord’s anointing, we will see change in our circumstances and experience His supernatural flow of miracles by the moment!

Beauty for Ashes

In Biblical ancient times in Israel ashes exemplified loss and mourning. Believe it or not, if you were grieving the death of a loved one, the custom was to actually sit in ashes and sprinkle yourself with ashes. Sometimes people did this after a personal tragedy or a national disaster.

Although this particular expression of grief is foreign to us, we can all relate to the feeling of losing someone special to us. In biblical times, ashes were a representation of those feelings of loss, deep sadness or yearning for what once was. In the natural, ashes are the actual physical debris left over after things burned up in flames. Ashes are left after something is destroyed forever.

Oil of Joy for Mourning

We know that oil is always used as a symbol of the power of the Holy Spirit. Oil represents the release of God’s anointing—to smear—cover and fill us with His equipping and abilities and empowering us with His authority and dominion?

The oil of joy is an image of God’s loving, healing spirit running even deeper into our souls than the pain of mourning. God’s oil of joy cradles and comforts our mourning heart. When our Father applies His oil to His brokenhearted child, healing begins and the heart is stirred to believe that wholeness is possible.

Picture your own hands after a day working in the dirt in the garden, the dusty shop, barn or garage as they are parched, dry and cracked. Nothing feels better than rubbing them in soothing enriching oils or creams.

Now, take all these examples and apply them to your dry, parched, ragged, damaged, seized up, encumbered, weary, damaged and broken heart. God’s oil of joy for mourning can do the same thing only in the emotional and spiritual realms of your heart and soul.

I want you to take ownership of this promise, insert your own name in place of “they” and “those” and let the Holy Spirit touch you and speak to you personally.

“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor” (Isa. 61:1–3, NIV).

The preceding was excerpted from chapter 11 of Larry and Tiz Huch’s “Miracles By the Moment” (Charisma House, 2022). For more information, or to order the book, visit mycharismashop.com.

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Larry and Tiz Huch are the pastors of New Beginnings in Bedford, Texas, and hosts of the weekly television broadcast New Beginnings With Larry & Tiz Huch. The broadcast is changing lives worldwide. Over more than 45 years of ministry, the Huchs have planted seven churches in the US and Australia, and have written several books individually and together, including “10 Curses That Block the Blessing”; “Releasing Family Blessing”; “No Limits, No Boundaries”; “Free at Last: Breaking Generational Curses”; and “The 7 Places Jesus Shed His Blood.” The Huchs are dedicated to building bridges of peace, friendship and unity between Christians and Jews. To that end, Larry Huch serves on the board of the Israel Allies Foundation and has received awards from the Knesset Social Welfare Lobby for his generosity in helping meet the needs of the Jewish people in Israel. The Huchs have three adult children, a daughter-in-law and a son-in-law and four grandchildren.

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