“And I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.” – Joel 2:25
Many of us wasted many years before we repented and surrendered it all to Jesus. At times, we might look back and be sad to realize that there were many years in the past that were eaten up by the locust, the cankerworm, the caterpillar and the palmerworm of sin and rebellion. Joel described perfectly what life was like before we repented, there was pain and suffering.
The good news is that God has promised to restore us from all the troubles of our past, the heartaches from broken relationships, the struggles from defeat, and the frustrations of our lives. All the times that we have felt broken beyond repair, God has promised to restore. We cannot change the past. We cannot go back and do things over again. But from this moment forward we can give over to God our anxieties about the past and trust Him to restore what has been lost. We can learn from sin in our past and resolve to live fully for Christ from this day forward. The Lord promised Israel through Joel that after a time of famine and blight, he would heal their land. God told King Solomon, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14. This is His promise to us as well.
Through repentance everything that had been lost by sin, is restored. In itself deadly sin is an irreparable evil. It deprives the soul of grace, of its hope of glory; it forfeits heaven, it merits hell. God, through Christ, restores the sinner, blots out sin, and does away with its eternal consequences. He restores the sinner where he was before he fell. God spoke through the prophet Ezekiel; “But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him” – Ezekiel 18:21-22.
As God restores our wasted years, He brings forth in us supernatural joy, revelation, peace and victory, far beyond our human abilities! He can accomplish more in us, for us and through us now than we ever thought possible. There is such power in repentance. It brings back to us all that the cankerworm destroyed.
The enemy will always be ready to intimidate and harass us but we need to do what Paul says, “forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus”- Philippians 3:13-14. In other words, we should forget our past and press on in Jesus! We need to take those old wounds, the worries and heart-naggings about our wasted years, and let God restore to us the very years that were lost. Then press on toward the prize of your high calling in Him!
The fact is, the closer we get to Jesus, the more we fall in love with Christ and when we turn our lives to Him, Christ blots out our transgressions, for His own sake, and remembers our sins no more – (Isaiah 43:25). He tells us to: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” – Isaiah 43:18-19.
Praise God that once we admit that we are sinners and cannot attain eternal life by ourselves. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” – Romans 3:23. Believe in Jesus Christ as God’s only Son who was crucified for our sins. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” - Romans 5:8. And confess that Jesus Christ is Lord of our life and believe in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead, we will be saved – Romans 10:9.
Thank you Jesus for taking our sins upon Yourself on the cross and for Your gift of salvation by Your shed blood.