Thursday, August 3, 2017

God's Promise of Restoration

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The heaviness in my heart was palpable, dampening my spirit and darkening my disposition. In a word, I felt defeated, reflecting on the loss of relationships, time, and even hope. Why, I wondered, did I continue to pour myself into that which did little to offer freedom, heal hurts, or prove beneficial?

Settling in to listen to the Sunday message, weariness blanketed me like a fog. My sacrifices of the past many months felt significant and costly but were bearing little if any tangible fruit.

My heart wailed, Whats it all for? Why, Lord, am I going through this? A full-blown self-pity party threatened to overtake me and I wondered if the Lord had any encouragement to offer.

He did.

A visiting missionary delivered a captivating message of Gods love and provision. Story after story proclaimed the generosity and care of a loving Heavenly Father who poured out compassion in the most distressing, hopeless situations.

I felt I was in a distressing, hopeless situation too. Would the Lord show me His mercy?

The missionary shared countless Bible verses but one delivered a spark of hope to my hurting heart:

And everyone who has left houses, brothers or sisters, father or mother, children or friends because of My name will receive 100 times more and will inherit eternal life. Matthew 19:29 HCSB

God's Promise of Restoration 

The Lord sees our sacrifice. He is keenly aware of what we give up for Him and will replenish our dry cisterns. He allows hardships but promises restoration.

He promises it.

My mind traveled to Job who lost his servants, children, livestock, livelihood, and his health. In the early chapters of this book, were given a glimpse of Jobs estate. It included 7,000 sheep 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys and a very large number of servants (Job 1:2 HCSB).

After all the tragedy and loss Job endured, we see Gods restoration and learn that he doubled Jobs previous possessions. The LORD blessed the last part of Jobs life more than the first. He owned 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters (Job 42:12-13 HCSB). 

Unquestionably, the new possessions did not erase the horrific pain of prior loss, but God generously restored even more than Jobs sacrifice, and through the journey restored his hope and peace. The Lord counted Jobs cost. He measured it, and He restored it in double portion.

As I listened and reflected on the missionarys testimony, I realized the question is not IF God will reveal blessing, but WHEN. I felt the Holy Spirit providing assurance that the offering I considered sacrificial would bear Kingdom-sized fruit in Gods perfect timing and lasting fruit at that.

My heart found refreshing rest in the promises of Gods Word. I received and embraced the encouragement I believe He meant for me.

God's Word says that when we walk in obedience, He will restore your fortunes, have compassion on you, and gather you again (Deuteronomy 30:3). 

I began to recall personal examples of times God has proved this to me in the past:    

            Its not uncommon for me to wake in the morning and think, I have too much going on today. I dont have time for Bible devotions. On days when I listen to that logic and forgo my time in the word, my day is nearly always in disarray, with one appointment crashing into the next. I run late, I experience conflict, and Im not on my best game. But when I get on my knees before the Lord even when I feel I dont have time I see my day progress with a level of efficiency and grace that I recognize as Gods blessing. Its no coincidence. It is God restoring the sacrifice of time.

            There are times when the Lord prompts us to financially give beyond what we feel we can afford. When we allow human logic and a glance at our bank account to lead us to a decision, we struggle to make ends meet. But when we obey the Lords direction, our needs are met in every instance. Its no coincidence. It is God restoring the sacrifice of financial giving.

                  When were asked to give our time serving others, Ill admit Ive grumbled on occasion. After all, my own yard needs a tremendous level of attention, yet God asked that I help someone else with theirs. Its humbling in such times to see Gods hand of returned blessing when a neighbor plows the snow from our very long driveway. Its no coincidence. Its God restoring the sacrifice of obedience.

God loves us with an everlasting love. He gives us all that we need at the precise moment that its needed. He restores our sacrifice with lavished bounty.

Hope for Today

If you are struggling as we all do sometimes, wondering when the Lord will restore what you have sacrificed, I encourage you to abide in the Lord and trust. God sees everything that you are doing. He knows your heart, your motivation, your level of weariness, and your breaking point. Hes right beside you, providing strength and perseverance to go the distance. Hang in there and wait with expectation. In the fullness of time, He will reveal His plan and show you the fruit of your faithfulness.

Maybe youve walked a similar journey and have seen the Lords generosity. Your story is sure to encourage others. Please share it with us!

Leave a comment below or continue the conversation on Facebook or Twitter. I cant wait to hear from you!

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