Romans 8:11 (ESV)
If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
Isaiah 61:1-4 (ESV)
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;[b]
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
3 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.[c]
4 They shall build up the ancient ruins;
they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
the devastations of many generations.
There’s nothing like a plot twist to captivate me as a reader or movie-goer! I remember the first time I watched The Hunger Games. I sat at the edge of my seat as I realized who the main villain really was. Not all was as it seemed.
Talented authors know how to engage and keep their readers in suspense from beginning to end. And no one tells a better story than God Himself. He is the greatest author of all time, authoring history itself into the greatest story ever told (and lived).
After just three years of ministry, Jesus’ disciples watched Him hang on a cross. It looked like all was lost, but then came the plot twist of all plot twists! Three days later, the One who died defeated death itself. Wow!
Now that same power lives in us. We were destined for death and God gave us life. He is always breathing new life into areas of our hearts we thought had died. As the bridge of the song “Graves Into Gardens” declares,
You turn mourning to dancing
You give beauty for ashes
You turn shame into glory
You're the only one who can
You turn graves into gardens
You turn bones into armies
You turn seas into highways
You're the only one who can
We can trust God with every scene, even in seasons of mourning, ashes, and shame. The greatest author of all time is weaving our story into His and creating a masterpiece.
Reflection: What are the areas of your heart that need new life? Bring those longings and aches to the Lord today.
Graves Into Gardens
By Elevation Worship
Written by Brandon Lake, Chris Brown, Steven Furtick and Tiffany Hammer
I searched the world But it couldn't fill me Man's empty praise And treasures that fade Are never enough
Then You came along And put me back together And every desire Is now satisfied Here in Your love (hey)
Oh, there's nothing better than You There's nothing better than You Lord, there's nothing Nothing is better than You
I'm not afraid To show You my weakness My failures and flaws Lord, You've seen 'em all And You still call me friend
'Cause the God of the mountain Is the God of the valley There's not a place Your mercy and grace Won't find me again
You turn mourning to dancing You give beauty for ashes You turn shame into glory You're the only one who can
You turn graves into gardens You turn bones into armies You turn seas into highways You're the only one who can You're the only one who can
Bridge 2 (x2)