Sunday, July 25

Restoration for the Soul

The phrase, "restoration," which is only used in the Psalms, in the Bible. It is found in Psalm 23:3, which says, "He restores my soul." The word restore means "to repair, renovate, or return to former condition."

Psalm 100:3 refers to the Shepherd (Jesus) who leads his sheep (His Saved) to "green pastures,” “quiet waters” and “paths of righteousness." God is the only one who can restore our soul. God is the one who created us, therefore, he can restore us.

Only God knows what our souls need for restoration. Let me clarify but telling you that I am not referring to restoration, as in, redemption - salvation, but restoration as in, say there is a car that has been saved from the compacter, and it is restored.

The Psalms give an insight into restoration, since King David, who wrote many Psalms, faced many dark times in his life. These Psalms can be a source of encouragement when we are depressed, discouraged, tired, weary, whatever the dark time may be. The men and women of Bible times give us many examples of restoration.

Times of trial and tribulation are not uncommon, as is the same with times of discouragement. King David prayed, "restore unto me the joy of my salvation," which is why the 23rd Psalm tells us, "He restores my soul." So, how can God restore your soul?

For those struggling Christians, I would recommend praying for restoration. If your soul is not restored immediately, it may not be God's Will at that moment: God knows our lives, he knows everything about us, so he knows if restoration will help us at that particular moment, because he's our Father, he wants what is best for us in the long-run.

How can we know how to restore our soul? God has given us the answers in the Word of God - The Bible. (2nd Timothy 3:16-17) While there are all many different kinds of books, written by men offering worldly wisdom, only God’s Word is truly capable of restoring our soul and giving us hope in times of distress.

Restoring the soul is ONLY possible for those whose souls have been redeemed - saved, through Jesus Christ. In Matthew 28:11, Jesus promises this: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Many take this promise to mean that there will never be trouble in life.

But Jesus did not say it would bu full rest in this life. He wants us to turn as many people as we can to him, because he is not willing that any should perish, but that all should turn to Jesus and be saved. What Jesus promises is rest after we "die." The moment you die, if you have accepted Jesus as the only one who can save you, you will blink, and your next conscious thought will be in Heaven.

However. If you have not accepted him as your savior, since he is the only way to get to heaven, you will not be going there. Thankfully, God provides for us when we face discouragement, trials and tribulation, as well as temptations. God has given us three primary sources of strength and encouragement.

First off, God has given us the Bible to guide us, to lead us, to encourage us and help us grow in faith. As Christians, we need to spend time reading the Bible, hearing it preached, and above all, obeying the word. "Blessed are those who keep his statues and seek him with all their heart." (Psalms 119:2)

In Proverbs 3:1-2, he tells us, "My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity." In other words, follow his Commandments - the Commandments of Jesus and the 10 Commandments. Second, God gives us the power of prayer. (See Matthew 7:7-11; Mark 11:24-25; John 15:7; Hebrews 4:16; 1 John 5:14).

Our problems, our weariness, our discouragement, we need to take these things and pray about them, keeping in mind that God loves us and that he cares for us. Lastly, we have brothers and sisters in Christ (Other Christians) to support, encourage, and build us up. (See Ecclesiastes 4:9-19; Ephesians 4:29; Hebrews 3:13).

As I talked on in the previous entry, it is very important to belong and regularly attend a well-balanced Church, and take part in fellowship with other believers - but it should be a church that teaches that Jesus is the only WAY, TRUTH, and the LIFE. There are many other Christians who have gone through similar things, whether it be divorce, matters of the heart (regarding relationships), work, school, evangelizing, the list goes on.

So, 1) Read God's Word, and pray that he "opens [your] eyes that [you] may see the wonderful things in [his] law." (Psalm 199:18) 2) Pray for the things in your life. Pray for rest, for help, for restoration. 3) Consult and talk with fellow Christians. I hope this entry has helped you in some way, I realize that several of these recent entries are more "direct," then others have been, but these are needed, just as apologetics are as well, as it helps some more than others.

There is an artist, Jeremy Camp, who was shown to me several years ago. He recorded a song called "Restored," based on the difficulties he's had in life. Here are a few lyrics from the song, which I feel compelled to share with you, "All this time I've wandered around, Searching for the things I'll never know, I've been searching for this answer that only will be found in Your love, and I feel it my heart is being mended by Your touch, and I hear it Your voice that's shown my purpose in this world - You have restored me from my feeble and broken soul, You have restored me."

God restores, and it is evident in my life that even in the darkest times in our lives, God is still there, and he continues to restore me whenever I need restoration. For those who feel this was written to and for them, while I may not know you personally, I pray that you come to know the wonders and grace of God.

Troy Hillman

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