I keep going back to one of my very favorite Bible verses – the amazing promises in Isaiah 61:3 that give us great insight into the restorative powers of God. This week we have been looking at what it means to be ‘royal and dignified’ as children of God – our rightful place and identity regardless of temporary circumstances that may strip us of earthy dignity.
What happens in life when we feel we have lost our dignity like Beth thought she had? You may be well aware of some of the terrors that can come against men, women and children in our world – events and circumstances that can shatter earthly dignity in a number of ways. Yet Jesus Christ comes to us to restore our dignity. He has radically different and life-giving plans for us all! Here in this verse, the prophet Isaiah gives us some clue as to what this restoration and identity in God looks like…
To all who mourn, God comes and clothes us with a ‘garment of praise’ instead of a spirit of heaviness. He bestows a ‘crown of beauty’ upon heads that are covered in the ashes of shame. He generously gives the ‘oil of joy’ to heal the wounds of the broken hearted. He plants us as ‘majestic trees of righteousness’ for the glory of His name!
It seems clear from this passage and many others throughout scripture that God desires not only to restore dignity, but He wants us to BE Majestic in our royal position as His redeemed children! If you have the opportunity, please read all of chapter 61 this week. If you have suffered a disgrace, read verse 7 and enjoy with all who believe in God a ‘double portion of honor’! Verse 6 tells us that all who belong to God are ministers of this restorative grace and peace. Yes, He uses His people to help restore dignity too. He wants to use you and me to remind people that they are not some random accident of the evolutionary process over billions of years. Each human being was created for dignity and worth, with unique design and specific purpose for eternal good and glory! Let’s get in with what God is doing and ‘take up’ our royal position – with the authority, privilege and responsiblity that comes with such an honor!
Let us BE Majestic in our thinking and in our deeds. The definition for majestic reads like this: MAJESTIC – having or showing impressive beauty and dignity. Friends, this statement sums up Beth in the midst of her suffering and one of the main ways she displayed this beauty and dignity was the way she treated others as majestic too!
To finish, I would love to share with you a favorite thought from C.S. Lewis. A powerful truth that comes from his essay The Weight of Glory. Here is a challenge for us all that is not easily forgotten…
“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal… it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors!”
Viewing and treating myself as royal and majestic in Jesus Christ has been life transforming. But to go the next step and view every single person I meet as an eternal human being with the potential of being ‘immortal royal heirs of God’ challenges me to the core. The truly majestic are known for their beauty and dignity because this is exactly how they view and treat others too.
Songs to encourage you:
Shadow Feet by Brooke Fraser
King of Heaven by Charlie Hall (Isaiah 61)
Books to build you up:
Some great ‘royal’ books that we highly recommend are the His Princess series of devotionals. Sheri Rose Shepherd writes beautiful, biblically based prayers, straight from God’s heart to yours! (Don’t worry boys – there are ‘prince’ books for you!) Beth adored these books and they affirmed to her the truth that she was indeed royalty! Her dignity could never be stolen away by this cancer because she was a daughter of the Most High – a Royal Princess who would inherit the title and treasures the King created for her! The good news is that there is a royal place in the Kingdom of God reserved for you too! All those who are adopted into the family of the King, purchased by the blood of His precious Son, are indeed royal princes and princesses! So let us take hold of this incredible truth and live with the royal majesty this position demands!
A website to check out:
If you are struggling with self-identity issues and desire the freedom Beth found through her ordeal, check out this website which is filled with encouraging Bible verses. These particular scriptures help us look further at our majestic identity in Jesus. Dear friends, I encourage you to pray these verses over your life and believe them!