I must say that I really enjoy “Thankful Thursdays.” I find it refreshing and humbling to search my heart for my greatest thanksgiving of the week because it causes me to see how truly blessed I am. It is my prayer, whether you comment on this post or not, that you too will search your heart and look for the many blessings God has bestowed on you.
Today, I am thankful for the God’s restoration. I know that seems like a weird thanksgiving, but it is what it is. God is in the season of restoration in my life and I am seeing all things that were meant for evil being used by God for good.
I don’t want to go into much detail, but the last year or so has been hard for me. My relationships have been challenged, reputations questioned, and divisions developed. I was just beginning to grow strong in the Lord when the devil began his assault; however, during the midst of all the chaos, I heard these words of God over and over:
Matthew 6:33 (NLT): Seek the Kingdom of God[a] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
John 10:10 (NLT): The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
Genesis 50:20 (NIV): You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
[I can’t explain it, but some how I knew that he was going to restore all things to me. I felt God calling me to dig my heals in and trust in him. I wish I could say it was easy, but it may have been the hardest year of my life. I spent many nights sobbing in the bath tub: however, it was this brokenness that enabled me to completely surrender to Christ and to truly repent. What do I mean by “truly repent?” Well, when I first was saved I had a change of heart and tried to change some of my ways. I changed the obvious. I could not lie, cheat, steal, etc., but I still smoked, watched whatever I wanted on TV, read whatever books I wanted, and on and on. I guess you would say that I was holding on to God with one hand and the world with the other. When I totally surrendered to God, I started changing all my ways. I stopped watching inappropriate TV shows; I stopped reading books that were not Godly (ouch that hurt and still hurts); I started changing every thing God told me to change. I am not telling you all this to brag on myself because God knows I get it wrong more times than I get it right, but I am trying to follow God. If I make a mistake, I try to fix it or makes amends. Sometimes this is harder than just doing it right the first time. The point I am trying to make is that it was only when I totally surrendered that I began to see God’s restoration in my life.]
What is restoration? According to Merriam Webster, restoration is the process of bringing something back to its original condition. However, in biblical terms, restoration often involves bringing something back to a better condition than the original condition. Under the Law of Moses, if someone stole a bull or sheep, they had to repay it with five bulls or sheep (Ex. 22:1). God restored Job with double his loss (Job 42:10-12). Jesus told his disciples that everyone who left his family or land to follow him would receive 100 times more (Mark 10:29,30). There are many more times in the Bible where God restores things,countries, and people (Jer. 36:20-32; Joel 2:25-26,etc.), but my absolute favorite is when Jesus restores Peter after Peter denied him 3 times:
John 21:15-17 (NIV): When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.
I love how Jesus asked Peter 3 times if he loved him, which counteracts the three times Peter denied him. God is soo good!
I am so very thankful for restoration. I am so thankful for a God who loves us. How about you? What are you thankful for today? Come on, it only takes a minutes to share God’s goodness with others. Let us shine God’s light today by shouting his praises!
Have a blessed day,