“Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.” Isaiah 61:7 (NIV)
I have talked about this subject in the past but God has laid it on my heart lately so I wanted to use it to encourage others out there today. While I don’t know what you are facing today, God does, and I believe He wants to use this to encourage you.
There are multiple references in the Bible to how God restores. It’s always giving more than what was lost. The story of Job? He lost everything except his wife and a few “friends”; yet when the test as over, God gave him double of what was lost. Do you remember Hannah in the Bible? She was barren for years and cried out to God repeatedly to fill her womb. She promised Him if He chose to bless her with a child, after he was weaned, she would give him back to God to be raised in the temple and dedicated to God’s service. God did bless her with Samuel, and I always interpreted I Samuel 2:21 to mean that God restored her home with double for her sacrifice by allowing her to have two more sons and two more daughters.
I have clung to two verses in particular when traveling multiple trials in my life, when it seems as though there is no end in sight: Joel 2:25-26 when God promises that He will restore “the years the locusts have eaten” and also Isaiah 61:7 (above) where God promises His children will receive a double portion and will rejoice in their inheritance… “everlasting joy will be” theirs.
In addition, God has a special blessing for martyrs. In Revelation 20:4, John saw in a vision… “the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”
Since God is the same yesterday, today and forever, and He chose to show us through multiple examples the way He restores the evil of this world, we can be encouraged that God will do the same for us, no matter what circumstance we find ourselves in. The key
is in how we respond to the circumstances we find ourselves in. What if you are facing a serious illness or your spouse is facing a serious illness? I have a friend I grew up with years ago who is fighting the battle of ALS. As I watch how he and his family are fighting with faith and family, never wavering in God’s sovereignty or the possibility of a miracle, I envision when he sees Jesus face to face what he will be greeted with. While the locusts may steal some of the years he was hoping to share with his wife and daughters, I believe wholeheartedly that God will restore those years in a way that none of us can ever think or imagine.
What about the husband or wife who is patiently and lovingly caring for a chronically ill spouse? Or the parent who is lovingly caring for a terminally ill or chronically ill child? They may share many years together in this life, but those years are filled with heartache due to pain and suffering instead of joy. What about the faithful husband or wife who stays in a marriage that isn’t abusive but isn’t loving either? They remain committed, asking God for a miracle but that miracle never comes this side of Heaven?
I believe that God blesses here on earth as well – have witnessed it firsthand as well as heard many stories from others who have suffered how God showers blessings on those who suffer – whether in a closeness they might not have otherwise experienced, a maturity and deeper love for God or many other ways. However, today, I want to encourage those who don’t see an end in sight to the suffering. I believe God will restore the lost years. Remain faithful. Keep trusting that God is working a miracle – whether this side of Heaven or waiting for you when you see Him face to face. God sees. God knows. God is right beside you.
© Cheri Swalwell 2016