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Blog - Replace or Restore?

07 August 2022

Two piles of clothes. One is labelled 'discard', the other is labelled 'keep'.

Joel 2:25 NKJV

[25] "So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, The crawling locust, The consuming locust, And the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you.


Back in April, my wife Ciela and I travelled to India.  When we were looking at hotels in one of the places we were thinking of going to, it just seemed to me that was stuck in the 70’s!  Why did all the hotels within our budget look so worn out, tattered, outdated?  It seemed like I was scrolling from horror to horror - the thought of smelling that ancient furniture was already wearing me out, let alone having to actually sleep on it!


To my utter dismay, when I turned to Ciela, she looked so excited!  The words she used to describe the rooms couldn’t be more contrary to mine.  She would say things like authentic, traditional, classical, heritage-honouring!  Yes - I am the picky one in our marriage. Moving on…


I realised that although we were both looking at the exact same thing, she saw something charming that could use restoration, and I saw something hideous that needed replacing.  This very subject is the one I want to address, and the one that I believe that Scripture addresses beautifully.  Are you quick to want to replace things, or do you see the same restoration potential that God sees? 


In this week’s NT reading, we look at the end of the book of Luke and the beginning of the book of Acts.  What do we see?  We see a story of restoration!  God is a God of restoration! 


God did not replace the body of Jesus that was broken for us - He restored and glorified the exact same body, with the marks on His hands and feet.  God did not replace His broken relationship with humanity, but instead paid the greatest price through Jesus to restore it.  God did not replace His nation in the Old Testament, but instead He enhanced His nation by adding brothers and sisters to it through grafting us in from the outside! 


Even though restoration can take time, God did not change His plans to fill us with His Holy Spirit so that we could become His dwelling place in the earth.  It was around 600 years between the time that the prophet Joel wrote it until the day of Pentecost when God fulfilled it.  When we leave our mortal, fallen bodies, God is not planning to do away with them, but He has a plan to restore them and make them glorified bodies!  God doesn’t plan to replace our minds and souls, He plans on renewing them by His Word!


The only thing that God made new was our spirit.  Why?  Because the old sin nature was the only thing that separated us from Him, and therefore the only thing that needed to disappear once and for all.  


God’s love never fails and never gives up on us - His love is a love that restores.  He has a heart for restoration, and the power to make it happen!


So let me ask you, what are you trying to replace in your life that God wants to and is able to restore?  Is it a relationship?  Is it your work?  Is it a bad financial decision?  Look at the main verse - God is even able and willing to restore lost time to your life!


Take a moment this week to look at your life the way God sees it, and apply the filter of His restoring love to the things that you might be tempted to break.

Photo of Gilbert Massaad

Gilbert Massaad
Assistant to the Pastor
GoChurch Beirut