The original article, published on October 9, 2018, can be found at the Mercy Multiplied blog.
It’s a heavy thing to consider what we’ve lost because of sin. When we turn from God and choose to live selfishly, there are often consequences, and in this life, some consequences are much worse than others, so it can be hard to imagine that God will restore what was lost during our times of disobedience.
God will restore what was lost
In Deuteronomy 29, Moses delivers a stern rebuke of the people for turning away from God and worshiping false idols. They had been delivered out of Egypt and wandered in the wilderness for 40 years because of their disobedience, but their story didn’t end there. In the next chapter, Moses delivers hope for the people from God. If they will return to the Lord,
then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have mercy on you, and he will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you. (Deuteronomy 30:3, ESV) When we turn toward God, He restores, even after a lifetime of separation from Him.
God will restore the lost years
In the first chapter of his book, the prophet Joel describes a plague of locusts that have devoured the land, consuming all the crops that the people and their animals depended on. They are in agony because they turned from the Lord.
In Chapter 2, Joel calls on the people to mourn and repent. Joel 2:18 (ESV) says,
Then the LORD became jealous for his land and had pity on his people. God responded to their repentance with mercy, something we’re used to seeing throughout the Bible. He’s a very loving and merciful God. But then God told them something that can often get overlooked.
I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten… (Joel 2:25, ESV)
God promised to not only deliver the people from this plague and famine, but to give to them all that they would have had during that time—because they chose to come back to the Lord.
To redeem and restore
Mercy Multiplied walks alongside women ages 13–32 as they work to overcome life-controlling issues by the power of Christ. In my short time with this incredible group of people striving for a less broken world, I heard countless stories of redemption. God uses the pasts of these women as weapons against the enemy in unimaginable ways.
In the same way, God wants us all to bring our sin and shame to Him to redeem and restore. He will turn our past guilt into weapons for His glory, and like this passage from Joel, the time we’ve lost to shame and darkness will be restored to us. God will restore what was lost.
Graduates of Mercy Multiplied have gone on to do amazing things that their families, Mercy staff, and they themselves couldn’t have imagined before Mercy Multiplied. They work in ministry, in business, they become speakers and authors, they go on to break the chains off of hurting people. All because they encountered the living God who restores what has been lost.