There are times when I will ask people I counsel to give me their wish lists: the top 3 wishes they would have fulfilled if the sky was the limit. This often gives both of us insight into what is most valuable to the individual as well as what fears or struggles they would most like to avoid or overcome. Just recently, I reread through Isaiah 61 and found that most of my deepest longings can and will be fulfilled. Remember, Jesus read a portion of this passage to the Jews in his home town and claimed that this was prophetic scripture speaking about Himself:

1 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me,
      Because the LORD has anointed Me
      To preach good tidings to the poor;
      He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
      To proclaim liberty to the captives,
      And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
       2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,
      And the day of vengeance of our God;
      To comfort all who mourn,
       3 To console those who mourn in Zion,
      To give them beauty 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 the LORD, that He may be glorified.”

What is available to us through the power of Christ in our lives?
1. “Good tidings for the poor” – Isn’t it a comfort to know that in this time of economic struggle we have more to look forward to than just a bimonthly paycheck? Our 401Ks may dwindle, but God has an inheritance far greater that He wants to give us as His children. (Read 1Peter 1)
2. “Healing for the brokenhearted” – God not only has the power to heal us physically, but emotionally and mentally as well! No matter how broken our hearts may be, no matter what hurts we hold inside, the Great Physician can restore us to emotional health, often by simply reminding us of His presence in the midst of the pain. 
3. “Liberty for the captives” – What addictions have you chained? You know the struggle of trying to set yourself free only to fail again and again and again. God promises us freedom through His supernatural strength. The next time you think of giving up, FIGHT ONE MORE ROUND! God stands with you and victory WILL be yours!
4. “Beauty for Ashes” – Are you sifting through the ashes of your past? Do you look in the mirror each morning and hate what you see? God is the author of our stories and while you still have breathe, He writes on! He can redeem (make right, buy back, restore) anything that has been done. Even that which seems final to our finite minds.
5. “The Oil of Joy for mourning” – By nature of my profession, I see people everyday who mourn. Their sorrow leads them to seek comfort. I do the best that I can with the resources I have been given but I recognize that any relief I can provide is only temporary without the anointing of God’s spirit. His is the balm that empowers us to rejoice not just when our suffering is over, but even in the midst of it. That is nothing short of miraculous!
6. “The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” – A spirit of heaviness makes me think of those days when the stress of life has me dragging. You know you’re overwhelmed when you start having those dreams at night when you try to run and your legs feel like they’re stuck in quicksand. In those moments, we need a change of perspective. An attitude of praise to a God who has blessed us with all of the above can keep us from sweating the small stuff. (And we know the saying is true, “With God, IT’s ALL SMALL STUFF.”)
So the next time you have wishes that seem unfulfilled, go back and read Isaiah 61 and remember that the God who promises these blessings has promised them to YOU! Ask what you wish…and then, in good faith, accept them as yours!
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