Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- April 17, 2011
“Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.” Psalm 71:20-21
Restore means to bring back into existence. An old dilapidated house can be restored with fresh paint, wood and a lot of hard work. Antique furniture stored in a dusty but dry barn can be brought out, cleaned up, stripped and restored to its original look and design. Restoration is a beautiful process to watch. The old passes away and new becomes front and center. It is a metamorphosis, a changing of the guard. Objects are restored all the time, but few people take the time to restore their lives.
Just like a soiled piece of wood, the stain from your sin needs to be removed. It may take some abrasion from God’s heavenly sandpaper to remove its effect. Your bad habits may cover your life like dust on an original oil painting. Begin the process of letting God and others clean off the surface of your life and then work their way down into the depths of heart change.
Restoration can happen, but it takes time. What took you years to “behave yourself into” will probably not experience a full restoration overnight. You need to stay committed to the process and stay engaged with God, because He is the father of restoration. This is His expertise, and His completed work is breathtaking. the restoring work that God can do with a submitted life is truly amazing.
You have tasted the freedom of God’s forgiveness. It is still there for the taking. Do not let your shame keep you from asking for forgiveness. Restoration begins by asking for forgiveness. This is foundational. Restoration is predicated on honesty. You have to be honest with God, yourself and others about your blind spots, bad habits and wrong perspectives. Honesty is the best attitude for restoration.
You have to understand where you are and what needs to happen to move you forward. Restoration implies that it will not be pain free and it will cost you something. But it will be more than worth the effort. It may take gallons of stripper to clean away the mess in your life, but be patient. The beauty below the sin is what God has intended for you all along.
If you allow God to do His thorough work (which He does so well), there is a good chance you will receive more honor and comfort than you have ever experienced. A restored life is a broken life pieced back together by the grace of God. Your pride is weaker than before. Your faith is stronger than before. Your gratitude is much more abundant than before. Your expectations are based on God’s character, not your selfish whims. This is the beauty of a divinely restored life.
You are more appealing than the original. No longer is your faith tentative. By faith, you now allow Christ to unleash Himself through your everyday living. People are in awe of God because of His beauty in your life. You are almost unrecognizable compared to the old you. In Christ all things have become new. God has restored you for His purposes!
Taken from Dose 51 in the 90-day devotional book, Infusion.
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