In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth. With those words we are swept from boundless darkness into the glorious illumination of the countenance of God; from the brooding silence of an empty cosmos we are made the audience of the indescribable melody of God’s voice as He spoke Creation into being.
And though deceit, destruction, and death entered His world through the very ones He lovingly created to walk with Him in bliss, the grand and eternal themes of restoration, reconciliation and redemption triumph again and again.
From Adam to Peter, from Nineveh to Jerusalem, God’s hand ever seeks to bring forgiveness and relationship with Himself through what are at times discouraging, depressing and even painful trials.
In Genesis chapters 37, 39-41, God begins to work mysteriously in the life of Joseph, one of the sons of Jacob whose father Abraham had been the recipient of a special covenant with God. Because they choose to drink the sour elixir of jealousy, Joseph’s own brothers cast him into a pit and sell him into bondage, delighting in his humiliation. Joseph could be ruined by resentment and defeated by hopelessness after such an ordeal, but God has other plans.
Though rejected, Joseph’s trust in God remains and God blesses him. He works hard and with integrity follows this new path on which his feet must trod. But suddenly he is beset with false accusations and is punished as a criminal. Joseph could be poisoned by discouragement and broken by despair after this second wave of failure in his life, but God has other plans.
Profoundly moving in the faith and character of Joseph, God takes him from the bottommost pit of his life and sets his feet on the path toward renewal. Surely you see the hand of God moving Joseph closer to where God would most use him. By allowing him to be falsely accused and imprisoned, Joseph finds himself in the company of Pharaoh’s royal prisoners. Then, as God works through Joseph to reveal Himself to the royal attendants, word is ultimately taken to the most powerful leader in the world at that time and Joseph becomes his closest advisor and chief administrator!
Although things are not the same as before trials invaded his life, Joseph is ushered into an amazing restoration! Once rejected, he is now held in very high regard indeed.
Once falsely accused and wrongly punished as a liar and philanderer, he is so thoroughly trusted now that the supreme leader of the land entrusts him with power nearly equal to his own.
Though the wounds of his past have left deep scars, Joseph has been restored beyond his or anyone’s wildest expectations.
Joseph deeply suffers at his brothers’ hands, but a day finally comes when he and his brothers are reconciled. Unbelievable that after such suffering at their hands, Joseph one day falls on their shoulders, weeping with joy over receiving again the brothers he had lost.
And because of his faith in God’s promises and his obedience to God’s will for his life, Joseph’s suffering becomes the means by which the “world” is redeemed from famine and God’s covenant people are preserved in order to ultimately inherit all the promises that God had made to their forefathers.
Today, God’s heart still beats with the pulse of reconciliation, restoration and redemption for His creation. And we do well to listen to words spoken by the Savior to a people who thought that God didn’t care anymore… “My Father is always at His work even until now…’” (from John 5:17).
Restoration? Yes! God grieves over the brokenness of our lives and desires that we be lifted up and restored to the high and noble life for which He created us. “My steps have held fast to Your paths; my feet have not slipped. I call on You, O God; for You will answer me; incline Your ear to me; hear my words. Wondrously show Your steadfast love, O Savior of those who seek refuge…” (Psalms 17:5-7a ESV).
Reconciliation? Yes! God desires to renew again our unfettered fellowship with Him through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. Keep in mind that this reconciliation is supremely centered upon our relationship with God Himself. “For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life” (Romans 5:10). But it spins off for us both a capacity and a desire to love one another as He has loved us (John 15:12).
Redeemed? Yes! Our Father hates that we have been overpowered and enslaved by sin’s soiled enticements. Even now He yearns for our release and works in human hearts to break the bonds of selfishness and self-satisfaction so that sin may no longer be our master. “…He entered the Most Holy Place once for all by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:12b). Christ came and died and lives again that the world may have hope in spite of its brokenness and helpless condition.
Are you in the midst of a pit of discouragement or doubt? Are you haunted by humiliation and defeat? Have you been falsely accused or feel abandoned? You might be discouraged. You might even be defeated.
But God has other plans for you no matter how wildly things around the world may seem to be spinning and no matter how out of control your own life may feel. For any life that is surrendered to Him through Jesus His Son, there is reconciliation, restoration and redemption. As you allow God to unfold His plans for you, his power transforms your life and the lives of others in eternal ways.
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him Who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:18-21 ESV).
Copyright © Thom Mollohan