In the world’s mindset, the word restore provokes images of dilapidated old homes, famous works of art, antique furniture, or classic cars that have been carefully refurbished to return them to their original condition. Often, before and after pictures will be displayed to show the drastic transformation—from devastation to restoration. The Psalmist David cried to the Lord from a place of devastation that had resulted from his own bad choices: “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit” (Psalm 51:12).
Yet, how should we respond when the pain and loss are no fault of our own? Should we still hope
and pray for God’s restoration? Job, a blameless and upright man before God, experienced more
devastating losses and personal attacks than many of us could fathom. Even before he knew the
“rest(oration) of the story,” he fell to the ground and worshiped, saying:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked I shall return there.
The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21)
The writer tells us that “Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God” (1:22), but this didn’t keep him from feeling stripped naked and destitute for a time. Have you ever found yourself in this situation?
Although 2018 was a year filled with many hidden treasures and divine intervention, some of us
navigated through difficult transitions, spiritual attacks, physical adversity, and the death of numerous friends and family. I cannot recall a time in my life when people (me included) were more excited about turning the page on the calendar to begin a new year.
The good news is on the first day of 2019, I sensed the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart, “Restore!
This is going to be a year of restoration.” What exactly it might look like is uncertain, but I’ve never been more confident in a God who:
- Heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3).
- Gives joy for mourning and beauty for ashes (Isaiah 61:2–3).
- Releases prisoners to a position in the palace (Genesis 41:39–40).
- Returns exiles to their homeland (Psalm 126:1).
- Replaces finances (Psalm 126:4).
- Restores sight to the blind and a voice to the mute (Matthew 12:22)
- Repairs relationships (Luke 15).
- Renews hope (Luke 24).
Although these are only a few examples, Old Testament and New Testament terminologies for
restore refer to renewing, repairing, returning, or restoring to its original position or condition. We were created to walk in a personal, intimate relationship with the Lord of the universe, and anything less is beneath His best design for our lives. He does much more than redeem us from the curse of sin. We become joint heirs with Jesus Christ, enjoying all the rights and privileges that involves.
Our primary challenge is to not overlook Jesus in our situations and to remain focused on the Word of God that has the answers to life’s dilemmas. The enemy wants to keep us focused on our losses while attempting to steal our peace, kill our joy, and destroy our hope. BUT Christ restores us to right relationships with the Father and gives us His Holy Spirit, so we can experience abundant and eternal life (John 10:10).