Jeremiah 32:36-41 “Now I want to say something more about this city. You have been saying, ‘It will fall to the king of Babylon through war, famine, and disease.’ But this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I will certainly bring my people back again from all the countries where I will scatter them in my fury. I will bring them back to this very city and let them live in peace and safety. They will be my people, and I will be their God. And I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me. I will find joy doing good for them and will faithfully and wholeheartedly replant them in this land.
The scripture for today’s passage was a portion of our nightly Bible reading last night. Jeremiah the prophet had been warning the people with the word of the Lord that they would be overtaken by Babylon. The people had angered God. They were living evil lifestyles and worshipping false gods, gods that they had made with human hands. God was tired of the people living evil and corrupt lives, and He had promised to intervene and allow the king of Babylon to overcome the people for a period of time. He said that He would scatter the people. What we see in portion of this scripture, however, is God’s promise of restoration.
When we are in the midst of failures, sins, mistakes, and we are feeling broken and alone, we must remember that Jesus Christ restores. The term restore means to bring back or reinstate. When Jesus restores, He brings us back to Him, and we aren’t taken back to the way we were before we experienced the brokenness. No, Christ does much more than that. When He restores us, He leaves us much better than we were before. Christ will take away the pain and brokenness, and put our lives back together. He gets rid of what is wrong in our lives, and brings us back to a fullness with Him. Restoration is an amazing place to be. When restored through Christ, what is broken becomes whole.
I have heard a great number of times, “I can’t wait for this pandemic to end. I want things to get back to the way they were,” I’m not sure that we want things to get back to the way they were. Things weren’t going so great in this big old world prior to COVID-19 and have only gotten worse since the pandemic began. I don’t want to go back and settle for how things were. No, I want to see the restoration that comes from Christ. I want us to come out on the other end of this pandemic restored in Christ. When we go through difficult situations in life, we can either fall under the pressure, or we can grow from the experience. I pray that we are all growing. I pray that we are learning that God is in control of every situation, and I pray that we see His hand in the solutions.
God will restore us, if only we will turn our hearts back to Him. “I will bring them back to this very city and let them live in peace and safety. They will be my people, and I will be their God. And I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me. I will find joy doing good for them and will faithfully and wholeheartedly replant them in this land.”
We can begin the restoration process now. If we could simply turn our hearts back to God. We must stop living for the world and start living for things eternal. We must have one heart and one purpose which is to worship Christ forever. I pray, “please, Lord, put a desire in our hearts to worship You. Please, Lord, bring us back to you. Restore us.” We know that restoration comes through the blood of Christ. Our Savior has already paid the price. We can not continue to take advantage of the love and grace of our Lord and Savior. No, we have to turn our hearts back to Him.
Today, I ask that we pray for restoration. Let us be restored in Christ, individually and corporately. We need Christ now more than the breath in our lungs. We don’t want to simply get back to the way things were, we want to be restored. I know that my God can do that. He is bigger than anything in this world. He’s got our attention now. So what are we going to do? Shall we continue to live as we are, or are we going to pray for restoration? Are you satisfied with the way things were? Are you okay with the way things are now? I pray that you are not willing to settle for any less than God has planned for your life. Yes, let’s pray for restoration today!