When we hear the word “restoration” we think of something brought back to its’ original state like an old Queenslander or federation type of house that has been left derelict; maybe even an old painting, a piece of jewelry or some antique furniture.
However, the Biblical meaning of the word “restoration” has a much deeper meaning. It means – “to receive back more than has been lost to the point where the final state is greater than the original condition; someone or something is improved beyond measure.”
The reading from Romans 8:18-24 gives us a glimpse of the future hope of restoration both of the whole of creation (v22) and for ourselves (v23).
Deep within our human existence, there is a secret pain that tells us that something has been lost; something is missing. It is a mix of feelings – guilt, fear, rejection, hopelessness, emptiness, pain, lack of purpose and direction.
There is a saying that “our hearts are restless until they find their rest in God.”
It is this pain and emptiness in our society that leads to suicide, anxiety, drug and alcohol addiction and breakdown of relationships and the breaking of all God’s ten commandments.
Our planet is also suffering and longing (groaning) to be brought back to its original state of perfection as found in the Garden of Eden.
Peace and harmony have been lost because as Romans 3:23 puts it – ” all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” As a result in both humanity and all of creation, decay, corruption and futility reigns. Our original paradise is lost because of sin which touches all of us.
Everywhere sin, death and the works of Satan abound. There is no letup. The news we hear and read affirms this fact daily.
But praise God there is HOPE. The hope of restoration! It comes to us in the form of Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son. The great theme of the Bible, from beginning to end is the sin and guilt of all humanity and the restoration and reconciliation available to all who put their trust in Christ’s redemptive work on the cross.
God’s plan of restoration for a sin-sick world comes through the forgiveness of sins and the mending of our broken lives. His plan also promises resurrection from the dead and restoration too of our earthly bodies, which now know death and decay.
There will be a restoration of our physical home in the form of a new heaven and a new earth in which we will dwell forever.
When by faith we take hold of these wonderful promises, God, the Holy Spirit will begin His good work in us, changing us to reflect His likeness, and He will see it through to completion. This work of God in us takes away the guilt, fear, aloneness, and rejection that have controlled our lives and instead fills us with the strength, hope and joy of the Lord.
The message of full restoration is found everywhere in the word of God. It is like an electrical current flowing through it, giving us hope in a world that without Christ has no hope.
This hope promised by God of the restoration of all things is for each one of us today to take hold of by faith. It is our anchor for the soul in the storms of life that rage around us.
Psalm 23 is a perfect picture of God’s restoration.
The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul. He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Make Him your hope of restoration today!