He Makes Beautiful Things - The Crosswalk Devotional - February 1
The Crosswalk Devotional
By Amanda Idleman, Crosswalk.com
He Makes Beautiful Things
By Amanda Idleman
Ecclesiastes 3:11, "He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end."
God is doing the work of creating beauty not perfection. A part of the Christian faith looks like growth, change, and obedience. We are always looking to our Savior asking him to make us more like Him. If we are not careful this holy process of sanctification can quickly transform into us striving for perfection. We stop relying on God as the one that creates new things out of our lives and start believing that by our own strength we can become “good enough” to earn our own salvation.
Shame and guilt can distract us from the work of grace that God is doing in our lives. When all we see is how we are less than perfect, we can get distracted from the hope that is alive in our world. Our hope is that He makes beauty from our ashes.
As a parent I fall short yet amazingly I can behold so much beauty in the lives of my children everyday. As a wife I make mistakes, oftentimes over and over again, yet the perseverance and love that is enduring in our home is stunning. In my friendships and with my family, I don’t always have the right words but I am grateful for the way the stories of our lives are being written together. As a Christ-Follower, I often fall short and lack wisdom but God is still doing a good work in my life.
Our hearts can be encouraged by the knowledge that even though the headlines in our world and sometimes the headlining thoughts in our minds are filled with negativity, ugliness, and darkness; God is still alive and active in our world. His light is illuminating the dark places, showing his ability to redeem his fallen creation. He has not given up on us.
Genesis tells us the story of how God formed our world. When he finished and finally breathed life into his creation, he paused to say “It is good” (Genesis 1:31). This world began as something good but soon sin and death entered the scene and began to cast a shadow on God’s work. Since then the story of the world has been God coming down to Earth doing all he can to rescue, redeem, and illuminate his fallen creation. Beauty is being made of us despite our fallen nature.
The book of Revelation tells us that one day God’s beauty will be forever in our sights. We won’t have to struggle under the shadow that evil casts on this world. The new Heaven and new Earth will be our eternal home, with our God set securely on his throne of grace (Revelation 21). Our souls long for such a peace filled day! For now, we are a part of his work to bring His Kingdom down. His Kingdom is a place of creativity, beauty, light, and vibrance. Let’s be those that look for that beauty everyday, fighting against the urge to fixate on the problems.
May the Holy Spirit illuminate the beauty of God’s creation for you. He is making everything beautiful in his perfect timing. He offers hope, peace, joy, healing, redemption, reconciliation, and comfort to his children even in our profound brokenness. His grace is enough for us (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Intersecting Faith and Life:
Pause and journal about the ways you have seen God’s beauty around you. Write down ways God has brought healing even when you have failed. Recount how he has protected you when you faced a dangerous situation. Think of how God has taught you and grown your character during a difficult season. Note how God’s creativity and beauty is on display in creation and the people in your life. Perfection is not required for beauty to exist.
Gungor “Beautiful Things”
What Does it Mean That There Will Be Beauty for Ashes?
Photo credit: Unsplash/Pedro Saraiva
Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She writes devotions for My Daily Bible Verse Devotional and Podcast, Crosswalk Couples Devotional, the Daily Devotional App, she has work published with Her View from Home, on the MOPS Blog, and is a regular contributor for Crosswalk.com. She has most recently published a devotional, Comfort: A 30 Day Devotional Exploring God's Heart of Love for Mommas. You can find out more about Amanda on her Facebook Page or follow her on Instagram.
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