Loss and grief have to be the most painful experiences I have ever had; you know that deep hole you feel when someone or something so incredibly priceless is missing from life? Thankfully as Christians, there is a beautiful and comforting benefit in store for us whenever we feel we’ve been robbed.
For me, coping with illness was only part of the problem. Underneath the physical was the torment of going through life alone with no family, the loss of career, finances, holidays, ability to walk and even sit…I felt like loss was my cruel companion. The life that was once ahead of me no longer existed.
Today I wanted to share with you, the one thing that has kept me going throughout all these years of pain: God’s promises of double restoration.
If you’re also living with long term illness, you’ll be no stranger to the world of loss and grief yourself: loss of health, finances, abilities, self-esteem, work, friendships, relationships…..I guess the list is pretty in exhaustive. What you’re dealing with has a habit of spilling out onto other areas of life.
According to Scripture, if you’re living with a deficit in any area, then God has not given up fighting for you. God has promised to replace those ‘‘ashes with beauty’, and wants to release favour into your future.
GOD PROMISES DOUBLE RESTORATION
If you remember the story, Job lost everything; his children, his businesses and his health. Fast forward to the end of the story, we see God restoring double to Job. “the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.” Job 42:10 This is the benefit of loss and grief…at least for those in the Kingdom of God.
This is awesome for those of us who are living in a place of loss right now. Rather than allowing loss of life to consume you, dwell upon the promises of double restoration. I don’t for a second mean stick your head in the sand and ignore feelings. I just mean, elevate the promises of God despite your feelings.
“So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten…”
FAITH REQUIRES POSITIVE IMAGINATION
What exactly has the enemy taken from you? Your health, relationships, finances, career….. It is in these areas that God was to bless you like never before. Our challenge is to get a feel for it and sense it before we see it in the natural.
This is where vision boards are really useful as they cause us to focus our thoughts and eyes upon the good things God has in store for us, rather than looking at our situation in the here and now. Oftentimes, we want to protect ourselves and ‘think reality’ by not getting our hopes up. This isn’t faith. Faith requires positive imagination in the right direction.
Our brains are used to homing in on the things in our lives which aren’t right. But there’s no power here. We must focus our thoughts on what we do want.
Scientists say it is possible to retrain our brains (neuroplasticity.) This can also cause positive chemicals to release into your cells and which cause you to feel good emotionally. The key is to do this again and again. Our thinking patterns change with repetition.
THE VALLEY OF BLESSINGS
My favourite Bible character is Joseph, sold into slavery as a boy who lost it all; his home, family and freedom. Fast forward to later on in the story, we see an amazing leader, 2nd in command to Pharaoh. God had restored double.
This double blessing which results from your suffering, can also be referred to as spoils of war. It looked as though King Jehosephat and his men were about to lose in battle, but in obedience to God, they sang praises to his name, ensuring their victory against the enemy.
After the battle, they went into the battlefield and gathered the spoils of war. “There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it” They called this battlefield the “Valley of Berakah” (blessing). 2 Chr 20:25-26
Your valley of Berakah is waiting for you! Keep on trusting and listening to God without dulling your senses by listening to the natural realm. Lean on his understanding and not your own. Pro 3:5-6
GOD RESTORES PLUS BLESSINGS
When God restores he restores plus blessings. He never restores something to the same value. If you take your family heirloom to be mended, it will have lost value, it won’t be as good.
God’s restoration is the opposite of this. He doesn’t heal us, he makes us whole, a greater blessing. God never blesses us according to the natural realm. He restores us according to his resources. The Creator of the universe has unlimited supply. Phil 4:19
The Prayer of Jabez
The name Jabez means pain but he believed that God was good and would restore double any damage his name had caused him. He prayed ‘Lord will you bless me indeed….’ and God honoured his prayer. 1 Chr 4:9-10
Have you lost your joy? God wants to give you double the amount of joy in return. Did you lose your peace? Allow God to restore to you double the amount of peace.
This is God’s heart; to bless you more than you can ask, think or imagine. Eph 3:20 This is more than a double blessing, this is a blessing x1000. How crazy does that sound? This is the type of blessing I want to believe God for. I don’t know about you, but I certainly could do with 1000 times more health, abundance, peace and excitement for life.
Genesis 50:20 tells us that what the enemy meant for harm, God turns around for good. This is how God increases us when we cope with loss and grief.
Our challenge is to not allow our circumstances to contain us. This will stop us from believing God for increase. We tolerate the way things are and accept this is all there is.
WE’RE PRISONERS OF HOPE
“Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.”
You may feel right now trapped in a prison of hopelessness and ill-health, but God says you’re actually a prisoner of hope. He sees your future, he sees all the good things he has in store. Don’t you just love it? You can read more on Bible Hope here.
In the Old Testament, anyone who had been robbed, could expect under the law of restitution, to gain back 120% of whatever was stolen. (Ex 22:1) At the cross, Jesus became our trespass offering. This means that anything the enemy has taken away from us, like our health, God is now legally obliged to restore back to us so we become gainers.
Because of this, you can be confident that your future is awesome. If you’ve lost years due to illness, you’ll receive 120% more back in quality or even quantity. The next time you’re dwelling on all the things you’ve lost, remember this truth. You will be better off as a result of what you went through, just like Job. If this doesn’t encourage us to keep on going through loss and grief, I just don’t know what will.
“The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.”
We can expect our world to get brighter and brighter, not because of our goodness but because of what Jesus has done for us. Always expect greater and walk in that belief; our cooperation starts with enlarging our thinking. He’s a great big God, so to expect anything less is a dishonour to his name.
Can you imagine all the people who are coping with loss and grief embracing this belief of double restoration? The joy it would produce in their hearts that would encourage them along the way. The best is yet to come. Our challenge is to believe it.
Have a good day.
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