October 31, 2023

Joel Hernandez
"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."
Isaiah 61:1-3

The heart of this passage lies in the transformation it promises. God offers to replace the ashes of our despair with a crown of beauty. When we’re in mourning, He provides us with the oil of joy. In our darkest moments, He clothes us in a garment of praise. Even when we don’t understand, God continually works things out for our good for His glory.

In this passage, we can see there is a deeper purpose – becoming “oaks of righteousness.” Just as oak trees stand tall, deep-rooted, and unshaken by the storms, we are called to stand firm in faith and righteousness. This steadfastness is not just for our benefit but for God’s splendor. By being oaks of righteousness, we display God’s glory to the world.

In our lives, God is the Master Restorer. He takes our brokenness and turns it into a story of redemption, a testimony of His grace. As we embrace our calling to be “oaks of righteousness,” may we reflect God’s beauty, strength, and unwavering love in a world that so desperately needs it.