‘To restore’ means ‘to return (someone or something) to a former condition, place, or position’ and is often used in the building trade to describe projects which return a house to its former glory. In effect, this is what God does to us; He restores us to relationship with Him, to fellowship with Him, bringing about reconciliation through the sacrificial death of His Son. As Aaron Shust puts it, ‘all that’s lost can be reclaimed.’ (‘You Redeem’) The plans of the enemy to take as many people with him away from God are ‘ruined, undone.’ We can enter into everything that God has for us; we can resume our identity as children of God and can know that we are now heirs with God and co-heirs with Christ. (Rom 8:17) Peter says that being restored makes us ‘strong, firm and steadfast’ (1 Pet 5:10); in other words, it becomes the foundation of our lives, the thing which enables us to stand and prevail, no matter what comes against us.
God Restores Our Souls (Ps 23:3)
The soul is the innermost part of a person, the ‘real us’, so to speak. It comprises our emotions and feelings and will; it’s intangible and invisible but an essential part of what it means to be human. Many years ago, there was an advert for Heineken beer which said, ‘Heineken refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach.’ Jesus is better than Heineken! He reaches the parts no one and nothing else can reach. We often think money, relationships, possessions, careers will satisfy us, but ultimately, only God can satisfy our souls. He provides the rest we need (spiritual rest or peace), the refreshment we need (promising us a banqueting feast like no other) and the replenishment that comes from His provision. (Phil 4:13)
God Restores Our Joy (Ps 51:12)
We can lose joy for many reasons. Sometimes (as in this case with David), it’s because of sin. Sometimes it’s because we have lost our spiritual perspective and are only looking at life from a human point of view, being weighed down by injustice, misery, hopelessness and fear. God’s joy, however, can be known in all circumstances and is the source of our strength. (Neh 8:10) We need to learn from children who can find joy in simple things (like rolling down a hill or writing a capital B!) Joy is the fuel which keeps us going and God is able to fill us with His joy.
God Restores Our Wasted Years (Joel 2:25)
In the middle of a passage about God’s judgment, seen through the ravages and famine caused by locusts, God promises restoration and hope, telling His people that ‘you will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you.’ (Joel 2:26) God is able to use everything in our lives for good (Rom 8:28)/ No matter what shameful secrets we have in our past, no matter what we have done or has been done to us, God can restore the wasted years, the failures, the mistakes, the sins. Justification means it’s ‘just as if we had never sinned.’ We have robes of righteousness to put on; though our sins were as scarlet, now we are washed white as snow. (Is 1:18)