Sunday, April 21, 2013

God will restore you

1 Peter 5:10 Now the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will personally restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little.

Several years ago I lost my job at the time, and after I took my wife to work the next Monday, I went to spend some time in solitude with God. This was the passage God took me to. It was the beginning of a 3 week journey that God used to teach me about myself, about who I am in Him, and about who I need to be to those around me.

At the time, what stood out to me was the fact that God must do the restoring, not me, and that He would personally do it, not "delegate" it to someone or something else. Isn't that amazing? The God of all grace will personally restore you. I am always moved by the personal touch of our Mighty God. He is the creator of all things, and He knows His creation so intimately that in my time of suffering, He brought me to a promise in His word that He would personally restore me. Praise God!

As I read this verse today, I saw it in a different light. Three things stand out to me. One, God will start with restoration. As my pastor is teaching in his current series, God sees what we can be in Him and what purpose He can use us for through restoration. The word translated here as "restore" literally means "to fit together, prepare". God pieces us back together and prepares us for His plan to come. This is a great promise.

Two, Peter uses three words that all basically mean the same thing - establish, strengthen, and support - to convey this idea: When God plants you in this new purpose He has for you, He will plant you firmly, supporting you from all sides, grounded and established in Him, strengthened for the purpose He has for you. As a favorite song of mine puts it, "no power of hell and no scheme of man" will be able to move you when you are established by God.

Three, what is necessary before all this takes place is that you suffer a bit. Sometimes I really wish this weren't the case, but we see it many, many places in scripture that becoming Christ-like through suffering is the way God does things.

Are you going through a period of suffering right now? Rest in the promise of this verse - After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace will personally restore, establish, strengthen and support you.