Restoration sounds so peaceful and tranquil. It’s what we hope, seek, and pray for. Restoration is good and we should want it. It is an important aspect to our walk as Christians and it comes in many forms. We desire to be restored to God, to be restored to our families, to be restored in our health, to be restored in our finances. All of these are God given desires. We have been hard wired in our minds to sense how things should be. We eagerly ask God and wait for these things. True to our nature, we view the actual restoration instead of the process of it. The product of restoration is peace, but the process is anything but. I think that this is often what catches us off guard when God begins the process of restoration in us and our circumstances. Instead of rejoicing, we tend to freak out. Let’s just be honest, this isn’t what we were expecting.
The process of being restored, instead of being a peaceful and tranquil deal, often times is the opposite. It is violent. Throughout the Old Testament, we read time and time again of God’s restoration plan for Israel was stated only after rebukes, warnings, and ultimately judgement on the land, if the former two could not bring about repentance (see Zephaniah 3 for a good example). It ultimately ended in Christ’s death. This was God’s plan for restoration to come to its complete fruition by way of a violent crucifixion. Peaceful? The earth shook. The veil was torn. People were driven to fear and trembling. Not so much a serene scene at the point when Jesus said, “It is finished.”
That’s what it took. A violent shaking loose the hold that sin had taken on mankind.
So what does that mean for us? We, who are believers, should forever now be walking in sweet tranquility here on out once we follow Jesus, right? That’s a nice thought. We’ve all had that conclusion at one point or the other. But we soon realize that is simply not the case. Those of us who are serious in our walk will soon find that even though our salvation was free, our walk comes at a price. In order to become Christlike, to honor and glorify Him, we have to commit to the journey of God’s consecration of us. The shaking loose the fleshly parts of us that have no part in His plan or purpose for us as well as the things that simply get in the way of our relationship with Him! He desires us to not model after the first Adam, but to model after the second Adam, Jesus.This requires the shaking loose of the flesh, the sin, the generational curses, and it is anything but tranquil and peaceful.
Jesus didn’t promise that we would have an easy stride when we choose to follow Him. However, He does promise to never leave us for forsake us. He promises that He has overcome the world and that greater is He in us than he that is in the world. He promises the victory is His. He promises that God will work all things out for those who love Him. He promises that if we come to Him, His burden is light. He promises that we will overcome by His blood and by the word of our testimony. And yes, restoration is promised.
So, let’s keep these truths in mind as God is doing a work in our lives. It isn’t always a pleasant process. But when we choose to set our gaze on and hold onto the One who is steady and unmovable, we find that we are as well. I will leave you with some of my favorite scripture in the Bible that assures me when I struggle to persevere.
“I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices my body also will rest secure,..” ~ Psalm 16:7-9
“Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,so the Lord surrounds his people both now and forevermore.” ~ Psalm 125:1-3
“Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens, you who have done great things.
Who is like you, God? Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.” ~ Psalm 71:19-21
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For,
“In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.”
“But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.”
But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved. ~ Hebrews 10:36-39