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Beauty for Ashes
By Victoria Osteen - Jun 07, 2022
I think you'll agree that it's easy to get so weighed down with emotional baggage that's full of pain and heartache that we lose our passion and excitement for living. Unfair things happen. People hurt us, and we become offended. We experience loss. We make mistakes. We have a season of disappointment. We weren't designed to carry around the bitterness, resentment, and heartache, but too often we let those negatives define our lives. We open that old bag and see all the dirty stuff from way back when. When you are weighed down with all that junk, it's hard to see where you're going or to even be ready to get there. That's why the Scripture tells us to "lay aside the weights that can easily entangle us" (Hebrews 12:1).

I know a divorced woman who met a very nice man, and she was excited about the possibilities. But when she went into the relationship, all she talked about was her past hurts and pains. She was so stuck in her past that she couldn't move forward. The man finally decided to stop seeing her because he couldn't make a connection with her in the present. She missed the possibility of an opportunity for her future.

The Scripture says God wants to give you beauty for ashes (Isaiah 61:3), but you can't receive the beauty if you don't give God your ashes. Give God your hurts and pains, and then open up wide so that you can receive the beauty He has in store for you. Give Him your past. Let it go. It's better in the hands of God. Don't worry and fret. Don't let a negative season of your life define your life. God doesn't allow it to define you, and neither should you. He's not thinking that way, and neither should you. He's not saying, "Well, you messed up, so you're never going to get the good things that I want you to have."

Are you carrying weights of guilt? Weights of shame? Weights of regret? You can't do anything about what happened in your past--it's over with. But you can do something about today. That's why you need to refresh your emotional baggage every morning. You need to learn to travel light, because where you're going is far more important than where you've been. You're not going to be able to walk through open doors until you drop the negative baggage you're carrying. Decide that it's time to put your foot down and say, "I'm letting go of the past and moving forward with my life." Put it in the past, drop the weights, and travel light into your future. God has great things in store for you.
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