“and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth.”
This is Jesus. Well, Jesus did not speak these words but he is in them. It is crazy to me how sometimes I can read a passage in the Old Testament and completely ignore the character of Christ that is practically bursting out of the pages. For example, Zephaniah 3.
I have been listening to A LOT of Stefany Gretzinger lately and she mentions this passage relatively often in her worship. She is typically highlighting verse seventeen so that is how I arrived here. I read through chapter three, highlighted that verse, and looked up the Hebrew meaning behind the word “rejoice”. I was about to shut my Bible and go to bed until I came across verse nineteen.
“Behold, at that time I will deal
with all your oppressors.
And I will save the lame
and gather the outcast,
and I will change their shame into praise
and renown in all the earth.”
The words “change their shame into praise” really struck me. Those words were written for the outcasts, the heavy-hearted, and the hopeless. The idea of changing my shame into praise is why I write. I have always been a pretty emotional person and I have not always had a healthy outlet for stress (or my shame). My mom always encouraged me to write and journal so, I guess you were right about this one too mom. And even though I effortlessly filled all the pages in the journals I had, I never really shared it with anyone. A lot of it was pointless stories, feelings I wanted to document, and questions/prayers I had for God. I never thought any of it could be considered “praise”
I would write out prayers and prayer requests so I could look back on them to remember and acknowledge all that God has done. I so often pray and pray for something, God answers the prayer, and I completely forget to even say thank you. Being able to look back at the beginning of the struggle that turned into an answered prayer a week later or even a year later gives you some crazy perspective.
But there are times even now when I can write and read and still question God and His faithfulness (sorry Y’all). Let me be clear, I do not question the existence of God. But there are times when my humanness gets in the way of my ability to be hopeful and seek God in a situation. The one way I have genuinely been able to really work through some of my questions for God is writing. Sometimes it is writing on here, others it is simply a hodgepodge of journaling mess, and sometimes it is letters to God. That is one of the reasons I started blogging. My desire is to show other people who might be struggling with the same thing, the same doubt, and the same shame, that it is okay to feel that way. And through that God can be glorified.
“and I will change their shame into praise
and renown in all the earth.”
: a state of being widely acclaimed and highly honored: fame
I hate to break it to y’all but you will probably not be renown. I would tell you that, but I am not one of those preachers who will promise you an easy life just because you gave money to my megachurch (to fund my next trip to Cabo). Satan wants to deceive us into thinking happiness/ fulfillment/whatever can be achieved if we make ourselves renown. But it doesn’t work like that, everything will never be enough without Jesus.
God doesn’t change my shame into praise and renown of Jordan in all the earth. We live to make the name of Jesus renown.
This is something that God has been speaking into my life (okay, more like screaming). Today God told me that this was something that I couldn’t keep to myself. I haven’t been writing on here lately, but I felt God so clearly tell me that someone needed to hear, “You are chosen. You are not a mistake. You are not defined by what you have done or even the mess you are still stuck in. You are a CHILD OF GOD.” and that is a truth that Our Father is singing over our lives.
How different would you live each day if you knew you were living the story where God is continually transforming your shame into HIS GLORY and singing over you?