Turning Shame Into Praise!

Zephaniah 3:19-20 (NASB) says, “19      “Behold, I am going to deal at that time
      With all your oppressors,
      I will save the lame
      And gather the outcast,
      And I will turn their shame into praise and renown
      In all the earth.
20      “At that time I will bring you in,
      Even at the time when I gather you together;
      Indeed, I will give you renown and praise
      Among all the peoples of the earth,
      When I restore your fortunes before your eyes,”
      Says the LORD.”
One of things that you will battle in your Christian life is shame. It could be the shame of a private sin you have committed that has been made public. It could be the shame of making the wrong decisions as a leader and it produces a ripple effect throughout your congregation. It could even be the shame of what Zephaniah mentions here in scripture, which is being lame or an outcast, or, in other words, dealing with rejection and oppression from people and being overwhelmed with a sickness in which you have yet to overcome. Either way you look, dealing with shame is a struggle, but it is not a place that God has designed for you to stay and remain. This feeling is only temporary, but God’s heart and passion is to forgive, heal, deliver and set free!
Here is what Zephaniah prophesied to God’s people:  He is going to turn your shame into praise in all of the earth! Throughout Israel’s history, they had to face exile and captivity over and over again. It was truly a national embarrassment, and it was rooted in the fact of going through cycles of disobedience and rebellion against God. God wanted to bless the nation of Israel above any other nation on the earth because they were originally His people! He wanted to bring them into their own land completely free from slavery and bondage to any other nation or empire. Once God reveals the source of their shame, then it was up to them to repent and break the cycles! Then, their shame could be turned into praise, and their fortune could be restored in the earth!
Today, as believers, we have been integrated into being a part of the kingdom of God! We are a part of a chosen generation and a holy nation! But it is hard to see ourselves as that when we are blinded by the shame of our past. What God longs for us to do is surrender that shame and step into our identity as sons and daughters of God. Once we do that, then we can truly praise God and thank Him for how He has transformed and transitioned us into being who He has called us to be! Let God turn your shame into praise today!