"But after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called us to His eternal glory through Christ Jesus, will restore, support, strengthen, and establish you" (1 Pet. 5:10).
These were the words prophesied over me many years ago. They came back to my mind this week when a friend sent me a text. It was a reminder of how we ask God for restoration, but are not prepared for the process of restoration.
It made perfect sense to me.
In my lifetime, I have restored many pieces of furniture. As a result, I am quite familiar with the process of such a task.
I always begin by thoroughly cleaning the furniture to make sure all dirt and debris is removed. This will often require a great deal of scrubbing, but it is an important first step. Then the paint or stain must be removed.
It frequently takes a strong paint remover to strip all the paint off. This is my least favorite part. It is time consuming and messy. Even then, however, the restoration is not complete.
Next, I sand the wood. Sometimes a quick hand sanding will suffice. However, I have found if I want the best end result, a power sander is usually required. Once that is completed, it is ready to be painted or stained. The end result is a piece of furniture restored to its full glory.
It is, as you see, a process.
The Joy of Our Salvation
When we pray and ask God to restore to us the joy of His salvation, we are indeed, entering a process. (Ps. 51:12)
To restore the joy of salvation, the things that have hindered our joy must be removed. It is a process, just as restoring a piece of furniture is a process.
It will require that we first remove all dirt and debris from our lives. Next, we must be washed by the water of the Word. It may even take a good "sanding" by the Word and the Holy Spirit to smooth out those rough places to complete the process.
Hope in the Process
Zechariah 9:12 says, "Return to your stronghold, prisoners who now have hope. Today I declare that I will return to you a double portion."
We see from the Word of God that when we remain in hope through the process, our God will restore double to us. That, my friend, is great news!
Joel 2:25-26 says, "And I will compensate you for the years the locusts have eaten—the larval locust, the hopper locust, and the fledging locust—My great army which I sent against you. You will eat abundantly and be satisfied, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you; and My people will never again be shamed."
Ours for the Taking
Over and again, God has promised us restoration. It is ours for the taking. The question is, will we endure the process necessary for the completion of restoration? God will not force us. It is entirely up to us. Will we endure the removal of all the dirt and debris that has entered our life?
Will we submit to the washing of the water of the Word? We will allow God to cleanse us from all unrighteousness? Will we? It is the only way we will see full restoration.
Isaiah 43:2 says, "When you pass through waters, I will be with you. And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire,
you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame kindle on you.
"For You, O God, have proved us; You have refined us, as silver is refined. You brought us into the net; You placed distress on our backs. You have allowed people to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; but You brought us out into a well-watered place" (Ps. 66:10-12).
We, as believers, will go through refining times. We will go through times of testing. There is simply no way around it. However, if we endure the process of restoration, we will be restored. If we go through the fire and the water, we will come out to rich fulfillment. It is His promise to us. We can't have beauty without ashes. We can't have ashes without fire.
What About You?
I am one who has been crying out for restoration. What about you? My friend's text caused me to see exactly what I seek. I am not only asking for restoration to be released into my life. I am asking for the process of restoration to begin now. My eyes are wide open to this truth today.
May our heart's cry be this; God, remove everything from my life that would hinder me from walking in the fullness of Your blessings. If there is anything standing in the way of my restoration, Lord, I want it removed.
If I have learned anything from God this year, it is this: Everything in Him is a process. Very few things happen without a process. If we embrace the process, His grace sustains us and brings us through. Fighting against the process only brings delay.
Today, if you are crying out for restoration, embrace the process. You will come out to rich fulfillment. God will bring you out to more than you can ever think or imagine. It's His promise. And He is, after all, a faithful, good Father who is in the restoration business.
Kim Potter is the founder of A New Thing Ministries, which sends a daily teaching to over 10,000 people all around the world. She was ordained through Norvel Hayes Ministries over 25 years ago. Her message is a message of hope. She speaks to the heart of women and men who have become discouraged and disappointed by the circumstances they may face in life, imparting to them the desire and ability to stand against all odds and see themselves as victorious and able to overcome every obstacle through God. She encourages people to press into God and discover that He is who He says He is. For additional information, go to anewthingministries.com.
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