I will give you a garment of praise in exchange for your spirit of heaviness.
Isaiah 61:3 (WEB)
to appoint to those who mourn in Zion, to give to them a garland for ashes,
the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
that they may be called trees of righteousness,
the planting of Yahweh, that he may be glorified.
Isaiah 61 is full of amazing promises from God that were fulfilled when Jesus came to the world two thousand years ago. Verse 3 alone contains at least 4 promises that we could take all day to talk about! But in this devotional, I will stick to the promise where God says that He will give us a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.
Many of the translations that I studied agree with the KJV that God promises a garment (or mantle) of praise for a spirit of heaviness (or despair - NIV). The Amplified version describes the spirit of heaviness as 'a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit' that God wants to lift off of us.
We all get discouraged. We all despair at times. Some of us struggle with this more than others. It is part of the human condition. I am thankful that modern medicine has helped us to better understand issues surrounding depression. Through the wisdom that God has provided, there are many helpful medical solutions to treat these issues. We need to be wise and continue to follow our doctor's advice if we are being treated for such a condition.
But what about those instances in life where a fearful thought or a discouraging thought makes us feel heavy and burdened? What can we do to combat these negative thoughts that come from the enemy of our soul? In today's promise, we read that God will give us a garment of praise in exchange for our spirit of heaviness.
I am not sure how it works for other people, but for me, when I take my eyes off my circumstances and begin to praise God, then I seem to get a new perspective on things. All of a sudden, my eyes are fixed upward rather than inward and my outlook on the problem starts to change.
My prayer today is that we would all see the bigness and greatness of our God and Father. I pray that we would all receive a supernatural perspective from heaven itself and the result would be that God would clothe us with a garment of praise in exchange for a spirit of heaviness.