The Exchange II
Isa.61:3 (Voice) “…God has sent me to give them a beautiful crown in exchange for ashes, To anoint them with gladness instead of sorrow, to wrap them in victory, joy, and praise instead of depression and sadness…”
The good news for you and me today is that the Lord is bringing an exchange. God is exchanging our ashes for beauty, mourning for joy, and giving us praise instead of despair.2 Cor. 5:21 (TLB) “God took the sinless Christ and poured into Him our sins. Then, in exchange, He poured God’s goodness into us!” (emphasis added). Everybody has challenges, so the fact that you have a challenge is not a big deal. Paul puts it this way, in 1 Cor. 10:13 (NKJV) “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man…”(emphasis added). It is a common affliction; it is not special. Yours is not custom made, it is very common.
When people look at you, do they see someone that God has poured His goodness into? Or do they see someone that they need to pray for? In our equation, to bring about joy, God adds something to exchange; ___________ + EXCHANGE = JOY. If you read those scriptures well, you will see that, before there can be an exchange there has to be a change. Mark 1:15 (NCV) “Jesus said, ‘The right time has come. The kingdom of God is near. Change your hearts and lives and believe the Good News!’” (emphasis added). You may read this and think to yourself, I believe the good news. What God is saying to you right now is good news and if you believe it, it would show on your face. But for it to show on your face, there has to be a change of heart. Your heart is going in one direction, you have to change your heart.
There has to be a change before there can be an exchange. The defeat transforming equation is CHANGE + EXCHANGE = JOY. The challenge sometimes is, we go through the change, but we do not allow the exchange. Sometimes, we go through the change, but we hold on to our moods. God wants to empty you of the moods and fill you with all His goodness. So, for your life to be filled with joy, you need to change and allow the exchange. When you change and allow the exchange, then you can experience the joy. The challenge with some of us is that when they say, John 3:16, your first response is I know that scripture. When they say, ‘let us look at Exodus 12:12′, you say I know that scripture. The challenge is, nothing can be poured into a filled cup. When you show up already filled, heaven cannot pour into you. But God wants us to empty ourselves so that He can fill us with His goodness.
Prayer (hymn): Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling. Naked, come to Thee for dress, helpless, look to Thee for grace. Foul, I to the fountain fly, wash me, Saviour, or I die. Amen!