“ You will have suffering in this world. Be of good cheer! I have overcome the world.” -Jesus ,John 16:33.
This “Garments of Praise” blog idea came to mind after Tracy and I attended a funeral for a brother in the Lord that was filled with rejoicing and hope as every funeral for a believer should. One particularly hope-inducing, encouraging song that was played was Garments of Praise by Robin Mark. You can listen to it here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oG2q6bGoGk . We observed that the wife and family of the brother who went to be with The Lord were filled with rejoicing despite the great loss. And the words of the song coupled with her joy in particular were lessons to all of us there. “Put on the garments of praise, for the spirit of heaviness. Let the oil of gladness flow down from Your throne. Your strength is my strength alone. Make these broken, weary bones rise to dance again. Lord our eyes are fixed on you, we are waiting, for your Garments of Praise, as we praise Your Name.”
The song was adapted from Isaiah 61:3. “To appoint to them that mourn in Zion, to give to them beauty for ashes, the oil of gladness for mourning, the 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.”
In the New Testament, Jesus reads from this passage and declares with authority that as He was reading it that day, in the synagogue, that it was fulfilled in their hearing!
Jesus Christ is the One who binds up the broken-hearted, Who releases the captives, Who grants Liberty of Conscience, Joy, Rest, and Peace. Tracy enjoyed what she saw and heard at that brother’s funeral because Jesus got all the attention.
She knows that the only way to encourage people truly and lastingly it is to point them to Him so that He would replace their spirit of heaviness, and their mourning, and their ashes for praise, beauty, and gladness!