The Ugly Side of Life

To consider 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.’ – Isaiah 61:3

Life is full of ugly experiences. Let me name a few; being falsely accused for something you never did. Betrayal by those close to you, being abandoned by those you trust in your time of need, shattered dreams, failed relationships, businesses and projects.

There’s also an ugly side to our lives people don’t see or know about. Outside people could see a well-dressed, packaged and successful person, but inside is a person with a horrible past or a person that is terribly insecure or a person who struggles with harmful addictions.

Our hearts can harbour ugly stuff like malice, bitterness, jealousy, envy, resentment, no mercy, no forgiveness and lustful thoughts.

Whether it’s an ugly experience, an ugly side to our character or ugly stuff hiding in our hearts, we have a God that can bring beauty out of ashes, a God that can bring beauty out of the ugliness in our lives.

God is beautiful beyond description. God makes ugly things beautiful. Only God can take dry, ugly looking bones and turn them into a powerful army (Ezekiel 37: 1-10). Joseph’s experience from the pit, to being sold as a slave, to being locked behind bars for a crime he never committed, was an ugly experience, but God was able to bring something beautiful out of that ugly experience. The unique elevation of Joseph to the position of Prime Minister of Egypt and the saving of many lives including his brothers that had been so cruel to him, from a famine that could have ravished many lives (Genesis 50:20).

When Naomi returned back to Bethlehem, the people of the city were excited to see her, but she told them ‘Do not call me Naomi, call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt bitterly with me’. (Ruth 1:20). Naomi made this statement because when she looked at her life, she couldn’t see anything beautiful. All she saw was an ugly experience; the pain of losing her husband and two sons in a short space of time. But God stepped into this ugly situation and brought something beautiful. Naomi received a fresh reason to live, the joy of being a grandmother and the honour of being a part of the lineage of Christ.

God does beautiful things as we pray. So never be ashamed to lay the ugly before God. No situation in your life is too ugly for God to cover with His grace and beauty.


Lord, You are beautiful and glorious. I lay before You all the ugly experiences I have been through, the ugly side of my life and character I hide from people, and all the ugly stuff in my heart. Touch me, purge me, breathe on me and bring something beautiful and glorious out of the ugliness in my life, in Jesus name I pray. Amen!



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