Dear Loved One,
We live in very interesting times! It is nearly impossible to watch the news or read a current headline without thinking, “Has there ever been a time like this before?” So much contention. So much suffering. If you’re not vigilantly staying before the Lord, it can be overwhelming to observe the changes in our society and culture.
Of course, there are also challenges in our own lives that can cause us to feel a sense of discouragement. And while they may not be strikingly devastating, they are certainly disappointing. Maybe you feel a long-held dream will never come true. Or perhaps you’ve simply lost hope that something, or someone, will finally change.
However, for God’s people, there is hope, restoration, and great potential for the future. As I have been praying about this recently, the Lord brought to my mind a passage of Scripture in Joel that I believe is particularly relevant to our world today—and to each of our lives individually.
“So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten . . . You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; and My people shall never be put to shame.” (Joel 2:25-26 NKJV)
These are powerful words! “I will restore to you the years . . .”
It’s important to remember that this message was to a society totally dependent on agricultural life. And, in this particular season, the land had been stripped bare by locusts. In the midst of that devastating situation, the Lord spoke through Joel to the people of Israel . . .
“Hear this, you elders, and give ear, all you inhabitants of the land! Has anything like this happened in your days, or even in the days of your fathers?” (Joel 1:2)
This verse raises a powerful question, which resonates even to today, “Has there ever been a time like this before?”
What came next was not a message about the Lord swinging a hammer of consummate and final judgment. The Lord wanted His people to confront the severity of their situation, so they would listen to His next message that was loaded with hope and promise.
Think about our present day situation for a moment. Many are saying, “Have you ever seen a time like this before? When has there been anything like this?”
Such an observation is not a matter of just announcing doom or being negative. There are a lot of beautiful things in our world, but mixed in is a horrible poison that causes destruction and loss. The irony of our human circumstances is that we tend to just mix it all in together.
The Promise of the Lord’s Restoring Rain
“Have you ever seen a day like this?” Joel asked, and as the people looked around, they saw everything had been stripped bare and nothing was left. It was a total loss. In this moment, the Lord said, “I’m offering you promise. I’m offering you hope. I want to give you a restoring rain.”
The Lord promised to restore not only what had been stripped away in the physical realm, but also in their spiritual life. This restoration would be eternal!
“And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions.” (Joel 2:28)
What a wonderful promise! Dear friend, is there an area the Lord is speaking to you about His desire to bring restoration? If so, I want to invite you to make a determination regarding your own life. I encourage you to say, “Lord, pour out Your Spirit on me! I am ready and available for your restoring rain.”
Receiving His Restoration
There is nothing beyond the reach of God’s grace to restore, but nothing can be restored beyond what we are available to receive. How do we do that? We must be submitted to what the Lord wants to work in us and trust Him as He brings about His marvelous work of restoration.
Restoration doesn’t just land on our heads, and God will not force it on anybody. Restoration is also not something that happens by osmosis, suddenly materializing around us and then penetrating our lives. Restoration comes when an open, conscious heart says, “Lord, work on me.”
You decide if you want His restoring rain to fall on your life. It is your responsibility to decide if you’ll welcome the Lord’s spirit of restoration.
Loved One, it’s important to understand: inviting the Lord’s spirit of restoration into your life does not mean there will be no more “rough” days. It is, however, a promise that the Lord will move into the things that have been, or will be, “rough” and bring restoration by the powerful workings of His Spirit.
The Lord is able to restore even the things that, in our minds, are the most unlikely to be restored.
As we saw in Joel 2, God said, “I will restore to you the years . . .” And in Isaiah, the Lord says, “Tell the people I will restore to them double for all their loss.” (Isaiah 61:7). What the Lord is promising here is that He can restore even the things that the passing of time has taken.
Now, you may be thinking, “How is that possible? There’s no going back in time!” Rest assured, Loved One, this doesn’t mean God is going to put you into some kind of time warp and quantum leap you back five or ten years ago to redo things.
What it does mean is that He is able restore things that have been lost in the past in such a way that it won’t take as long to get those things back. He is able to go beyond what you ever thought or realized was possible to recover.
There’s nothing more filled with hope than that promise especially when it seems like we have no recourse on our own!
The challenge is to not let doubt shake your faith in the Lord’s restoration. We can say, “I believe God will restore my economic situation. I believe God will restore my health.” But when the time comes to receive the restoration, doubt comes along and says, “That time is gone. You can’t get restoration for that.” We must rebuke those lies, as we hold on to His promises and declare His faithfulness!
The time to receive His restoration is now!
Loved One, I believe we are in a season of the Lord breathing hope into our spirits and bringing things back to life that have been quenched or ruined. I feel strongly the Lord is saying the time for us to be available to receive that work is now!
Kingdom power can only work as deep as the soul is willing to accept. As I shared earlier, this is not something we just drift into. Receiving restoration requires a decision, just as surely as receiving Jesus Christ as Savior requires a decision.
Of course, the fact is we oftentimes “make our own bed,” but God doesn’t stand in heaven and say, “Well, now you just gotta’ lay in it.” Instead, He promises to pour out the rain of His restoration when we turn to Him.
When we get under the rain of His divine grace and glory, the Lord will begin to flow His Spirit into the grieved places in our souls and flush them out. A flow of His glory will also come and burn out the areas where weeds have grown in our lives, so there’s room for the new life, beauty, and fruitfulness He wants to grow in us.
Our responsibility is to ask for the rain, to choose to live under His covering, and to be available for His transforming work. There’s not one aspect of life the Lord is not ready and able to restore.
So, make this declaration with me:
Father God, in the name of Jesus, I open myself to the outpouring of Your Spirit. I receive the promise you said is for me. I need Your restoration. So, I come in humility. Holy Spirit, refine my vision, correct my pathway, soften my heart, and let the seed of the Word, nourished by the rain of heaven, bring new fruitfulness in my life that will bring praise and glory to the Father. Lord, I open up to all Your rain, for all Your glory, in Jesus’ name, amen!
Now, draw closer to the Lord through worship, prayer and his Word, the Bible. And, be ready to receive His rain of restoration into your life!
Confident in His restoration,
P.S. Restoration can be yours because every believer, who is willing to receive, can be washed by God’s restoring rain! We’re ready to help you with some specially selected resources to show you how to release restoration into your life and receive the wholeness it will bring. Take a look at the information below to find out more.
In appreciation for your special gift of $35 or more, we’ll send you, Restoration! Whatever has been lost to the works of darkness, the Lord is ready to restore when we come wholeheartedly before Him. In this 5-CD set, Pastor Jack Hayford reveals that Jesus has a program of continuing restoration ready to rebuild us and bring us into a fulfilled life. While not demanding that we forget our history, God calls us to cease mourning the past and to begin rejoicing in in the destiny of grace that exceeds it.
The 5-CD collection includes: The Essence of Repentance - Regaining What is Rightfully Ours - Transmitted Authority - Waters to Swim In - Transforming Memories
As our “Thank You!” for your generous gift of $60 or more, we’ll also send you Pastor Jack Hayford’s classic handbook on restoration. With it, you’ll understand the process by which the Holy Spirit brings restoration. And you’ll explore life-transforming truths about renewal and personal restoration, so you can identify and effectively overcome obstacles. Plus, you’ll learn to walk fully and fruitfully in the Spirit-filled life, receive the Word of God without feeling condemned, and rejoice in God's faithfulness!