The heaviness in my heart was palpable, dampening my spirit, and darkening my mood. In a word, I felt defeated, reflecting on the loss of relationships, time, and even hope. Why? I wondered why I continued to pour myself into things that offered little freedom, healing, or benefit. I needed help and I turned to the promise of God’s restoration.
Settling in to listen to the Sunday message at church, weariness blanketed me like a fog. My sacrifices over the past months weighed heavy on my heart and mind. I wondered if they’d bear any tangible fruit.
My heart wailed, “What’s 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.
Divine Restoration in the Bible
A visiting missionary delivered the sermon that morning—it was a captivating message of God’s love and provision. He pointed to divine restoration in the Bible and shared personal stories of God’s care and generosity. His message proclaimed the love and care of our 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. God allows hardships but promises restoration.
He promises it.
What does it mean to be restored by God?
My mind traveled to Job of the Bible who lost his servants, children, livestock, livelihood, and his health. In the early chapters of this book, we’re given a glimpse of Job’s estate. It included 7,000 sheep 3,000 camels, 500 oxen, 500 female donkeys, and a very large number of servants (see Job 1:2).
After all the tragedy and loss Job endured, we see God’s restoration and learn that He doubled Job’s prior possessions. “The LORD blessed the last part of Job’s 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).
The Meaning of Restoration in the Bible
Unquestionably, the new possessions did not erase the horrific pain of prior loss, but God generously restored even more than Job’s sacrifice, and through the journey restored his hope and peace. The Lord counted Job’s cost. He measured it, and He restored it in double portion. To restore, in a Biblical sense, means to complete, to make amends, and to prosper. Just as we see in Job’s example. Or through the promise of Joel 2:25 (shared below). And we also see it in personal examples of our daily lives.
As I listened and reflected on the missionary’s 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 God’s perfect timing— and lasting fruit at that.
My heart found refreshing rest in the promises of God’s 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, HCSB)).
The promise of Joel 2:25a (ESV) says,
“I will restore to you the years
that the swarming locust has eaten,
Personal Examples of God’s Restoration
I began to recall personal examples of times God has proved this to me in the past:
God’s Restoration of Time
It’s not uncommon for me to wake in the morning and think, “I have too much going on today, there’s no 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, experience conflict, and I’m not on my best game. But when I get on my knees before the Lord—even when I feel I don’t have time— I see a level of efficiency and grace throughout my day that I recognize as God’s blessing. It’s no coincidence. God restores the sacrifice of time.
God’s Restoration of Finances
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 Lord’s direction, our needs are met in every instance. It’s no coincidence. God restores the sacrifice of financial giving.
God’s Restoration of Sacrifice
When we’re asked to give our time serving others, I’ll admit I’ve grumbled on occasion. After all, my own yard needs a tremendous level of attention, yet God asked that I help someone else with theirs. It’s humbling in such times to see God’s hand of returned blessing when a neighbor plows the snow from our very long driveway. It’s no coincidence. God restores the sacrifice of obedience.
God loves us with an everlasting love. He gives us all that we need at the precise moment that it’s needed. It blesses Him to restore our sacrifice with a lavished bounty. That’s a bit hard to grasp, but we see it played out.
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. He’s 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 you’ve walked a similar journey and have seen the Lord’s generosity. Your story is sure to encourage others. Please share it with us!