Everyone suffers loss from time to time. It is the way of the world. Some losses are from our own mistakes, while some are no fault of our own, victims of circumstance in a broken world. We often seek to point fingers, attempt to require justice for all the wrongs that befall us. However, our circumstances are “common to man” according to Paul in his letter to the Corinthian church:
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
We are additionally admonished by Paul in Romans to be encouraged when we suffer loss:
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
Despite all the obstacles thrown at believers, we are to understand the deep-rooted care our Father has for us. Romans chapter 4 states, “tribulation develops endurance.” Often our trouble reveals an undeveloped spiritual man that requires a faith challenge for future endeavors. We grow stronger each time we face impossibility and lean into the ever-enduring strength of our Father. So, we need the trouble to show forth the strength on which we rely. We falter when we rely on our own strength, intellect, and resolve.
But even when we fall on our faces, God does not simply chalk it up to “that’s what you get when you trust in something other than me”. God deeply cares about you and what you care about. That is why He has shown us His willingness to restore those losses to us.
God’s principle of restoration is deeply rooted in grace. Grace is the unmerited, unearned, undeserved favor and blessing of God! Imagine checking your bank statement and discovering a deposit that was put in your account by someone other than you! Or, perhaps going to make a payment on a loan and discovering someone paid it off for you! That is grace!
God’s principle of restoration is glorious. But what is restoration exactly? The conventional understanding in the natural world doesn’t correspond with how it works in the kingdom.
Restoration has many ideas that immediately come to mind for the average person. If a piece of property suffers damage, owners seek to repair it as close to the original state as possible. If something is lost or stolen, returning it has the idea of restitution. The prefix “re” relays the idea of turning back time as if the act had never been done. But the reality of loss is that the event has more than a physical or numerical loss. It has the tragic event that accompanies it. For instance, in a house fire, car accident or theft, the event often leaves a mental and emotional scar that may never go away. Simply putting it back doesn’t truly turn back the hands of time.
It is for this reason; we seek to obtain a deeper understanding of restoration – God’s way. He feels our pain and loss. In fact, Hebrews 4 gives every believer this promise:
This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. Hebrews 4:15
He reminds us to maintain a proper perspective of life and not allow the “stuff” to control us. Money, property, and even earthly relationships are ours to enjoy but should never come before our relationship with Jesus. However, when we do suffer loss, God loves to display His love and care for us through restoration. This grace principle has been shown throughout scripture again and again.
The law in Exodus declared that livestock were to be restored four to five times over depending on if the property was still in hand. Money was to be restored double; food seven times over! When we look at God’s principle of grace throughout the lives of the patriarchs like Abraham, Isaac and even the heel-grabber, Jacob, we see a God who gives abundantly to those regardless of their deserved-ness!
It is not limited to the Old Testament either. Look at the prodigal son story from Luke 15. He prematurely took his inheritance while his father was alive and wasted it in a far country. Upon realizing his fate, he returns and throws himself upon the mercy of his father back home and what does his father do? He restores him! He doesn’t punish him; he completely reinstates him from a place of sonship! This is just one of many cases in which God shows His willingness to restore us to a better place than we were originally!
The principle of restoration goes like this: anything that has been lost, stolen, forfeited, or destroyed SHALL BE RETURNED in greater kind, quantity, and quality!
Need more proof?
When Job lost all he had, how much was he restored? DOUBLE! (Job 42:12-17)
Let’s look at God’s declaration in Joel 2 after judgment had come upon Israel for their sin:
21 Fear not, O land; Be glad and rejoice, For the LORD has done marvelous things! 22 Do not be afraid, you beasts of the field; For the open pastures are springing up, And the tree bears its fruit; The fig tree and the vine yield their strength. 23 Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in the LORD your God; For He has given you the former rain faithfully, And He will cause the rain to come down for you--The former rain, And the latter rain in the first [month]. 24 The threshing floors shall be full of wheat, And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil. 25 "So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, The crawling locust, The consuming locust, And the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you. 26 You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, And praise the name of the LORD your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; And My people shall never be put to shame. 27 Then you shall know that I [am] in the midst of Israel: I [am] the LORD your God And there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame. Joel 2:21-27
God did not HAVE to do this huge turnaround; He did it for love! He did it to show them grace! He did it because this is His way! To bless you with superabundance when the circumstances of life have seeming ate your living up is a testament to how God cares for His own!
We have a choice. We can wallow in our trouble, place blame, deal with condemnation, or we can arise and lay hold of God’s exceeding precious promises and realize we are sons and daughters of God! Begin to expect His favor in your life! It is NOT because we are good, it is because HE IS GOOD! This restoration flows from His goodness!
Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? Romans 2:4
God’s goodness is who He is. What drew the prodigal son home, hatred for swine food? Disgust of his plight? The realization of loss of material wealth? Not a chance! What drew him home is the love, relationship and security of his father, his home, his identity as a son. Father’s love reached out to him at his lowest point and called him back to a place he couldn’t earn or deserve. He made him better than he ever was.
That is what Father wants for you.
Grace and peace to you!