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Intersection of Life and Faith

God Will Restore What You Thought Was Wasted

  • Whitney Hopler Live It Editor
  • 2002 25 Mar
God Will Restore What You Thought Was Wasted
Dreams die hard. A marriage you'd thought would last forever could end in divorce. A business you'd worked hard to build could fail, leaving you in financial ruin. A child you'd invested your life into for years could make choices that grieve you deeply. When your dreams are ruined, it can seem as if a swarm of locusts have invaded your life and gobbled up whatever sense of hope you have. But God promises to restore your hope - and your life - even if you've lost many years to the locusts of destruction.

Here are some ways you can turn to God for restoration:

  • Be honest with yourself and God. Freely express your thoughts and feelings about the loss you've suffered. Know that God genuinely cares, and won't be offended by any negative thoughts or feelings with which you're struggling.

  • Confess any bitterness, misdirected anger, or self-defeating attitudes or behaviors to God. Then ask God to forgive you for those habits, and give you His grace to let go of them and replace them with faith. Remember that God loves you deeply and unconditionally, and that He alone has the wisdom necessary to guide you successfully into the future. So decide to trust Him, no matter what your current circumstances.

  • Don't try to change the past - the past is gone and cannot be changed. However, commit to making choices in the present that will shape a better future for you.

  • Forgive others who have hurt you, and forgive yourself for mistakes you've made. This can be a challenging process, but the Holy Spirit will always help you if you ask. Know that forgiveness is absolutely necessary to rid your spirit of poisonous resentment that blocks your intimacy with God.

  • Surround yourself with supportive, godly friends. Don't be afraid to ask for help for specific things you need, such as listening, help with tasks you don't have energy to complete, advice, prayers, accountability, and more.

  • Be patient. When God transforms you, it's an intricate process that shouldn't be rushed. Be gentle with yourself as you move forward into your new life. Stick with God at His pace, walking alongside Him. Don't panic and grab at whatever new opportunities happen to present themselves; wait for God to give you what's truly best.

  • Expect and eagerly anticipate a better future once you leave this dark season. Remind yourself of God's promises to restore you, then take the time to celebrate and thank Him whenever you see evidence of His restorative work in your life.

  • When God gives you new dreams, don't be afraid to embrace them. Have courage to step into those dreams, trusting God to help you make them come true.

  • Ask God to use your struggles to help other people. Consider how you might tell others the story of how God is restoring you.

Adapted from After the Locusts: Restoring Ruined Dreams, Reclaiming Wasted Years, copyright 2002 by Jan Coleman. Published by Broadman & Holman Publishers, Nashville, Tenn., www.lifewaystores.com, 1-800-448-8032.

Jan Coleman is a former journalist, humor columnist, and legislative aide in the California State Senate. She's written features for national magazines and is a contributing author to dozens of book compilations such as the Chicken Soup for the Soul and God Allows U-Turns series. Active in their church, she and her husband teach seminars to help people find their passion and ministry. They live in Auburn, California.

How has God restored your life and sense of hope after you suffered a painful loss? What were some of the things you learned during the restoration process? Visit Crosswalk's forums to discuss this topic by clicking on the link below.

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