“For the time being [Jesus] must remain out of sight in heaven until everything is restored to order again just the way God, through the preaching of His holy prophets… said it would be.” (Acts 3:21, MSG)
For a few years now, I believe the Lord has been prophetically speaking of bringing us into a season of accelerated restoration in the earth.
While restoration of this magnitude has not yet been seen and can only happen supernaturally, those who align with the Lord’s purposes concerning this will see it miraculously released.
Stuff Happens For A Reason
“We can be… sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” (Rom. 8:28, MSG)
I used to cringe a little when I heard someone say, “Stuff happens for a reason,” but not anymore. While I don’t believe God authors destruction in our lives, if it isn’t God, He wants to redeem it, which is what Romans 8:28 promises.
God uses even the tough, tough things in our lives to shape us into His image (v. 29). Personally speaking, even though I was a believer, I would never have truly come to know the Lord if it had not been for desperate circumstances that almost killed me. Then, after hope and life were restored, I gave my life completely to God.
Restoration Of Hope
“Sing, O barren, you who have not borne! Break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you who have not labored with child! For more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married woman.” (Isa. 54:1)
To experience this degree of supernatural restoration will require renewing our hope and expectancy in the Lord. Many in the body of Christ have expected to see or do things that have not come to pass.
Isaiah 54:1-8 is a powerful passage in this regard. Someone who is barren in a spiritual sense has not seen the fruit or fulfillment of what they have hoped for. For some this could mean there’s been a season of little or no fruit—for others, perhaps even a lifetime of disappointment.
Those who have not borne fruit are instructed to “break forth into singing, and cry aloud” with the expectation that they will not be barren any longer (v. 1). In Hebrew, the root meaning of the phrase break forth implies to break out in joyful sound—break forth into joy. The implication is it is important to believe and receive the word and sing (rejoice) before increase has happened. (See also Hab. 3:17-19.)
The barren are instructed to “enlarge the place of your tent”—because now they are to expect a large family. In addition to enlarging their expectations, they are told, “Do not spare.” This conveys not holding back, or not playing it safe out of fear of further unmet expectations. And the expression “strengthen your stakes” is an exhortation to take courage in the Lord in order to prevail, conquer, overcome, or press in (see v. 2).
It’s important to acknowledge the disgrace of previous rejection and disappointment—the kind of disgrace that happens when the door seemingly gets shut in your face. Over and over again in recent months I have heard the Lord say, “You will not be put to shame” (v. 4). It’s a time to shake off the dust of past rejection and go up again; remember, even the Lord Jesus Himself was initially rejected. (Ps. 118:22-23)
The youthful wife of Isaiah 54 was rejected—her expectations unmet, but the Lord says it was “for a mere moment” that she was forsaken. In His everlasting kindness, He will gather those who have not borne fruit and have mercy upon them! (See vs. 6-8.)
A Ripple Effect
In my own personal process of having life restored, as mentioned earlier, my entire family was also reconciled, which is another key to God’s last day restoration plans.
Isaiah 54:3 states that “your descendants will inherit the nations,” revealing an integral piece of the Father’s heart regarding restoration. Your personal restoration is intended to spread to your family, your territory, and even to nations. Hence, your restoration is intended to lead to reconciliation, both for your family and for those who don’t know God. (See Mal. 4:2-6.)
Joseph is an incredible example of God’s plans in this regard. Not only did Joseph’s trials prepare him to rule (just as we are being prepared to reign with Him on earth), they also ultimately brought the reconciliation of his family and saved many people from perishing.
Standing before his brothers, Joseph spoke an anointed precursor to Romans 8:28, saying:
But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you… And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. (Gen. 50:20-21)
Suggested Points For Application
There are believers who feel much like Joseph must have when he languished in prison, forgotten by the chief butler (Gen. 40:23). Just when they thought the breakthrough had come, somehow they were overlooked or forgotten. If that speaks to you, let God restore hope—for there are great things coming!
- Prayerfully read Isaiah 54:1-8. Ask the Lord to remove any spirits of hopelessness, rejection, shame, or grief you might be carrying as a result of past unmet expectations. Shake the dust off, and determine to go up again.
- Release your voice in a shout of expectancy, and sing and rejoice before your increase happens! (See v. 1; also Hab. 3:17-19; Zeph. 3:14-17; Neh. 8:10.)
- Review the story of Joseph (Gen. 37-50). Ask God to renew your strength, for you will not be put to shame!
- Keep believing for a season of turnaround…you won’t be disappointed!