Monday, July 8, 2013

A Garment of Praise

"...A garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair…" (Isaiah 61:3b).

It is fitting to wear the garment of praise; it should fit us perfectly as Christians who have been draped and graced with God's promises. Jesus paid for our garment by living and dying for us. He personally wove a sacred garment for each of us, one threaded through with:

1) Faith -- Elijah told the widow her jar of flour and jug of oil would not run out, and she believed him (1 Kings 17:14-16); Abraham believed God would provide a lamb (Genesis 22:8); Jonathan believed, "Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving..." (1 Samuel 14:6b); the three Hebrews believed, "If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it..." (Daniel 3:17); and Paul believed wholly, "...For I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me." (Romans 4:20).

2) Hope -- This great gift is a brother to faith. "We are saved by trusting. And trusting means looking forward to getting something we don't yet have -- for a man who already has something doesn't need to hope and trust that he will get it." (Romans 8:24 TLB). God has promised; therefore, we can't despair, even if we don't see immediate results. Jesus weaves hope ever so carefully into our newly-clothed natures. What hope we have here: "See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you." (Zechariah 3:4).

3) Love -- This is the golden thread that weaves through our garment of praise. How can we despair when this cord binds us to God and to each other? It fills our hearts with chords of praise to know we are all loved equally by a just and merciful Father. How can we despair if we love a God because He first loved us?

Our spirit of despair cannot possibly weigh us down if we weigh His mercies as well as count them. He gives us heavy goods and light afflictions. Let us praise Him!

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