I keep a thesaurus tab bookmarked on my computer. When I am struggling to find the right word or want to use a word I have not used twenty times already, I type in the word I do not want to use and search for a suitable synonym.
Restore is one of those words I find to be Spirit-breathed. In my heart, anyway. But when I was reading Psalms 69, 70 and 71 the other morning, I was drawn to certain words. Over and over, David used the words, “answer me,” “rescue me,” “deliver me,” “redeem me,” and “restore my life.”
Answer. Rescue. Deliver. Redeem. Restore.
“Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.” - Psalm 71:20 (NIV)
After I read Psalm 71:20, I decided to go back and read those three chapters one more time. This time, I was searching for what David was praying.
David’s enemies were coming after him and they certainly were not playing fair. Then again, do people with evil hearts and motives ever play fair? Nope.
So as I read David’s words, it hit me. It has nothing to do with us when evil people attack us; but everything to do with them. It is a reflection of their own hearts and motives, not our own hearts and lives.
“Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter ....” suddenly made more sense to me. David’s faith only increased as he grew older; in spite of how awful his enemies were.
When people lie about us or steal from us or withhold what is right … God is not punishing us; He is refining us. He is working in advance to restore what was taken or destroyed.
As I typed the word, “restore” in my thesaurus search, these words really stood out to me amongst the many synonyms: bring back, recover, reestablish, renew, replace, rescue, revive.
When I went back to read those chapters again, I circled the words when I saw them. I felt the sense of urgency David felt as he called out to God to, “come quickly,” over and over. When David asked God to deliver him from the hand of the wicked, He said, “Be my rock of refuge to which I can always go.” - Psalm 71:3.
Then, in verse 14 he said, “But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.”
God has been recovering what was taken. God is replacing our troubles (many and bitter) with love and faith. You know what else? God is rescuing us and reviving us.
When we are on the spiritual battlefield in life (which is every single day) the enemy wants us to feel alone. The enemy wants us to feel defeated. But as David reminded us, we will always have hope because we pray to our God who is our rock of refuge, to which we can always go.
I do not know what you are facing on your spiritual battlefield, but I know Papa answers. Papa rescues. Papa delivers. Papa redeems. Papa restores. The enemy is a liar and says we are forgotten and alone. Papa never lies and He always keeps His promises. He is our rock and our hope.