Recently one of my associates shared with me that in a short period of time and due to circumstances beyond his control, life changed dramatically. As a result, the financial situation for him became insecure, unpredictable and insufficient to sustain even their basic needs. Desperate fears of how to provide for the family pulled him into a pit of fear for failure and despair. Just because you have lost your job, just because your marriage did not work out, just because you did not get your financial breakthrough today, just because your business did not flourish today, just because you did not pass that examination, just because you did not see your healing today that is not the final word over your life. Failure is not final. Failure is never final. I have been a person who has seen a lot of miracles in my life from God and yet did not believe in God the way I should have until recently. God is a God of restoration. God has restored our relationship with him through Jesus Christ. Whatever you have lost in life-may be you have lost your health, may be you have lost your sense of purpose, may be you have lost your energy, your job and so on- I do not know what but I know this, I know God is a God of restoration and he does care for us. He can still open doors that no man can shut. He wants to help you. He is concerned about you.
Job chapter 42:10 says “After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before!” In the Bible we read, in one day, Job lost his 10 children along with all his possessions and wealth. Shortly after, he was afflicted with a horrible skin disease. When we read chapters 1 & 2 in the book of Job, we get the full story. Job didn’t understand why he had to suffer so much. Yet through it all-and despite his human emotions-Job never doubted that full surrender and trust was necessary. In Job chapter 1 verse 21 he even says, “The LORD gave me what I had, and the LORD has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” Despite his suffering, he trusted God’s will for his life and continued to praise Him. Eventually in Job chapter 42, we read how God blessed Job and his faithfulness in every way. Job 42:10 says, “the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the LORD gave him twice as much as he had before!” God gave Job a double portion of all he had lost. Whether it is our health, finances, relationships or lives that need mending, God always has a plan to heal and restore. Total surrender and faithfulness will always open the door for God’s restoration to begin. Whatever the enemy has tried to take away from you, God wants to restore it. God wants to make it better than before. That is the kind of Father He is. Every day we have choices put before us. We can be tempted to get hurt, wounded or depressed. We can complain and remain in the same terrible condition or we can Praise God, trust Him and be raised up.
You may have been through some trouble, but God is the one who brings restoration. Isaiah 61:7 says, “Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so, you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.” Joel 2:25, “I will restore you for the years the locusts have eaten -the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm my great army that I sent among you.” Some of you have lost years to a bad marriage, some of you have lost years to health problems or may be for such other things. But the Lord is saying “my mercy is greater than your mistakes, your problems, your difficulties, your life situations and our Lord is a master at fixing our problems or any disaster in our life.” God loves us so much that He can fix any of our problems. Whether we have done things that are our own fault, or whether it is the enemy who has stolen from us. God is still the Restorer. God wants us to have our dream fulfilled. He wants us to have joy. He wants us to have health in our body. God is a good God and He has got good things in store for us. Don’t let the devil steal anything from you. Declare restoration over your life in the Name of Jesus. Our God, by His very nature, restores lives. He is not only capable of restoring lives; He loves to restore lives.
When we look at the life of David in the Bible, David was certainly in need of being restored after his affair with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, Uriah. David’s life was broken due to his sin and the only one who could repair his life and bring him back was God. But to experience God’s restoration in our lives, we must begin with confession of our sin. Confession always precedes restoration. The reason many Christians are not experiencing restoration is because they have never humbled themselves and confessed their sin. This is why David says in Psalm 51 verses 17, “The sacrifices God desires are a humble spirit- Oh God, a humble and repentant heart you will not reject”. David uses three words for sin in Psalm 51 they are “wrongdoing”, “sin” and “rebellious acts”. He also used three terms for God’s forgiveness in this Psalm- they are “wipe away” “wash” and “cleanse”. These multiplied references remind us of the completeness and totality of God’s forgiveness. It is through our confession that God’s restoration process begins in our lives. Nothing you have done is beyond God’s ability to repair. Allow God to bring you back and experience the joy and privilege of being used by Him again and they come in many varieties. Lost years are fruitless years. A lot of hard work was done in the years the locusts had eaten but everything was destroyed. Nothing left for the all the hard work put in. Lost years are painful years. We had plans for the future, now we fear the coming years may be empty. Lost years are selfish years. Lost years are loveless years. Lost years are rebellious years. Lost years are misdirected years. Lost years are Christ less years. But take heart! There is hope, because God can restore your lost or locust years.
God can restore lost years by deepening our communion with Christ. Joel chapter 2:27 says “You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am Lord your God”. These people, who have endured so much enjoy a communion with the Lord that is far greater than anything they had ever known before in their religious lives. Christ can restore lost years by deepening our fellowship with Him. Why not ask Him for this? Let us tell Him, “Lord, I have spent too many years without you, too many years at a distance from you. Fill my heart with love and gratitude for Christ. Let the loss of these years make my love for Christ greater than it would ever have been. Restore to me the years the locusts have eaten. God can restore lost years by multiplying our fruitfulness. The harvests for these people had been wiped out for four years, but God restored the years that the locusts had eaten by giving bumper harvests. Why not let us ask Him for this? Lord, the locusts have eaten too many years of our lives. You have called us as your disciples to bear fruit that will last. Too many fruitless years have passed, now Lord, we ask of you give us some years in which more lasting fruit will be born than in all of our years of small harvests. God can restore lost years by bringing long-term gain from short-term loss. The effect of these great trials in our life will be that the tested genuineness of our faith may result in praise, glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ. The praise, glory and honour go to Christ because His power guarded us and kept us through the hardest years of our life.
Our sins, our grief, our sorrows were laid on Jesus Christ. Our judgement fell on Him. Our locusts swarmed all over Him. The life of God’s tender shoot was cut off. Isaiah 53:8 says, “He was cut off out of the land of the living”. He was cut off because he came under the judgement of God, not for his own sins but for ours. Then, on the third day, the Son of God rose in the power of an eternal life. He offers Himself to us and He says what no one else can ever say: “I will restore the years that the locusts have eaten”. God is in the restoration business. He wants to and can restore your life no matter what you have done or where you are right now. In Psalm 51 we see David asks God to restore his spirit and God to give him the strength to fight his battles and restore joy in his life. David then says he will take that joy to help others find God and lead them to a restored life. He has asked God for restoration and now he has the fire in him to go out and lead others to Jesus.
In Genesis, we read an early account of human trafficking in the life of Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his brothers. In Egypt, Joseph was a slave to Pharaoh, and was thrown into prison when pharaoh’s wife lied after being rejected. But even in the darkest times of his life, God was still with Joseph. God gave Joseph favour with Pharaoh and eventually he was put in a position to help his family. God also gave Joseph the opportunity to forgive his brothers and reconcile with his family. In the story of Joseph, we see an example of how God brought good out of a situation that was clearly meant for evil. We see that God used something that his brothers meant for evil and instead used it for good. This is a testimony of God’s redeeming and restoring work. God is with us in our pain. The scripture reminds us multiple times that the Lord was with him. God never abandoned Joseph. Joseph was betrayed by his family, enslaved, falsely accused and wrongly imprisoned but God’s presence was always with him. Though people disappointed Joseph, God never failed him. Even in his darkest, most painful circumstances, God was with Joseph. Wherever you are, God is there with you. God brings good from evil. Our God is a God of restoration. What others meant for evil, God was able to use for good. Sometimes others will try to harm us or use us for their own benefit. Sometimes they even succeed but God is never blind to our pain. God sees, God knows and God cares. God is able to bring both healing and restoration. God offers restoration to the vulnerable and exploited. Jesus wants freedom for people who are oppressed. Through Christ, new life is possible for those who are broken.
Read what the Scripture says in John 4:1-14. While journeying through Samaria, Jesus encountered a woman at a well. Jesus broke the socio-cultural norms of the day by talking with her. Not only was it unheard of for a man to speak to a woman in public, but Jews also hated Samaritans. This woman, who had five husbands and was now living with a man who was not her husband, was also rejected by her own community, which explains why she is drawing water at the hottest time of the day. Yet Jesus not only spoke to her, but discussed a deep theological truth with her. In her encounter with Jesus, the woman found acceptance, forgiveness, grace, restoration and a new beginning. Jesus did not define her by her past but as someone made in God’s image and worthy of love. Our past mistakes don’t have to determine our future. God always offers the chance for a new life. Jesus valued the woman enough to go find her. This was a woman so looked down on by her community that she preferred to face the noonday sun over the judgment of other women at the well. Yet Jesus cared enough to seek her out at that particular well during that particular time. Jesus knew the woman would be coming and He went there to meet her. Jesus helped the woman come to a better understanding of who God is. It changed her life. God is a rescuer; God is trustworthy and God seeks after the lost that no one is beyond the reach of God’s love.