Beloved: Grace and Peace
Elkmont Baptist Church
Dearest and Beloved
Garments of Praise for a Spirit of Heaviness
Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. One Wednesday night when we went caroling, my wife referred to a verse which says, "To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the
Grace to you.
garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness
, that they might be
called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified" (Isaiah 61:3; bold added). Lest you think this applies only to the nation of Isreal, remember He is the Vine, and we are the branches.
Solomon tells us, "
in the heart of man maketh it to stoop: but a good word
maketh it glad" (Proverbs 12:25; bold added). How often do the Psalms express what we feel so perfectly? "Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked
to take pity, but
none; and for comforters, but I found none"
(Psalms 69:20; bold added). Sometimes all love can do is listen.
Paul, in speaking of his kinsmen, says, "That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart" (Romans 9:2). Paul wanted them to be saved. Many of us may have heaviness in our hearts for the same reason.
Peter tells us, "wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:" (1 Peter 1:6). Sometimes it helps to remember that heaviness caused by trials endures only for a season.
The writer of Psalm 119 says, "My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word" (Psalm 119:28). Many times the Spirit will use the Word of God to strengthen us in times of trials.
Ezra tells us, "And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the LORD my God," (Ezra 9:5). We see this Old Testament saint rising from his heaviness with a determination to pray. Prayer often will remove the heaviness from us as we cast our cares upon Him who cares for us.
I trust that God in His perfect timing will send you comfort and hope and put on you and me the garment of praise in place of the spirit of heaviness.