Shame To Glory
By Margaret D. Mitchell
Week of July 17, 2022
God is constantly working on our behalves to reposition us into the manifestation of the work He did in us during the last season.
So, as He has swept away our ashes, He will lift us into His higher beauty. As He has taken our mourning, He will lift us into dancing. As He has removed our shame, He will lift us into His greater glory.
God will give us opportunities to apply His wisdom as we stand on His Word above all else.
He will make our days brighter as we continue to reach out to those in need with compassion (Isaiah 58:8).
And in all of this, He will help us know, even more, the treasure He made us to be as we continue to grow in Him and behold Him as our greatest Treasure.
Just as Ruth encountered God's serendipity as she entered into her new domain, so too can we expect surprises along the way.
Ruth experienced a string of suddenlies: A trail that led her, built her and prevailed for her. A path that produced more than enough for her. So much so that God was able to overflow new life to her beloved, grieving Naomi.
Imagine rewards like this!
Ruth came to understand Psalms 116:11 ESV, which says, "You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
Ruth came to understand that, for her worst, most painful ending, God had a new, bright beginning just for her.
As she sought God forward in her desperation and followed His best wisdom, Ruth stepped into her greatest blessings yet—the restoration of a Godly family and all the inheritance that it comes with.
Isaiah 61:7 NLT is a key scripture here. It says, "Instead of shame and dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor. You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours."
The Word shame (Strong's #1322) here means "confusion" and is linked with idolatry. It refers to shame as a feeling, a condition and its cause.
We know that confusion leads to instability and that we do not serve a God of confusion but a God of truth, certain hope and a firm foundation.
So, for every false cloak of shame the enemy tried to force on us previously, God will give us double-portion honor as we have laid down idols and chosen His path instead (Psalms 109:29). He will give us rejoice for confusion (Isaiah 61:7 KJV). He will restore double blessings for whatever blessings we forfeited previously (Isaiah 61:7 AMP).
Another part of God's restoration plan is to deal with all who oppressed us.
Zephaniah 3:19 NLT says, "And I will deal severely with all who have oppressed you. I will save the weak and helpless ones; I will bring together those who were chased away. I will give glory and fame to my former exiles, wherever they have been mocked and shamed.
So, as we continue to focus on our Lord and walk out His restoration plan for us, He will take care of business behind us.
We won't have to look back.
We can leave it all to God.
I like how Job's friend, Zophar, says it so poetically in Job 11:13-20 NIV:
Yet if you devote your heart to him and stretch out your hands to him, if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, then, free of fault, you will lift up your face; you will stand firm and without fear. You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by. Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning. You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid, and many will court your favor. But the eyes of the wicked will fail, and escape will elude them; their hope will become a dying gasp.
So, pray with me if you will…
Thank You that, as we walk with You, Your abundance, honor and glory are our rear guard, according to Isaiah 58:8. Thank You that there is no shame as we continue to turn to You and Your ways. Thank You that, as you resurrect us and redeem our lives daily by Your grace, we are made stronger in You to share Your great compassion with others without shame. Thank You for a harvest of joy for those who sowed tears (Psalms 126:5).
Help us to receive Your wisdom and not be wise in our own eyes, since You allow disappointment, disgrace and disempowerment for the foolishly self-reliant (Romans 10:11 AMPC). Help us to trust in You and know that You and Your ways are enough.
In Jesus’ Mighty Name,
Margaret D. Mitchell is the Founder of God's Love at Work, a marketplace outreach purposed to share God's greatest power source - the love of Christ.
Originally published Sunday, 17 July 2022.