7 May 2005

"And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you."-Joel 2:25

There is no greater discouragement that to be without hope in this world: to feel that there are no more happy days before us; that our life is ruined and sin has finally destroyed us. To look back and see years of harvest, wasted by the pestilence of sin. Surely, this is the clever device of the Christian's arch enemy, to whisper in our ear at our lowest moment, "The is no hope for you, you have gone too far, things can not be better, what you have lost you can never regain, the harvest of your life is destroyed." If we were left to ourselves, his words are true. We have no hope. Yet, I find the Christian is never alone and that there is always hope, no matter how many years of harvest have been consumed because our God is a God of hope!

Like a lightning bolt that flashes on a dark and gloomy night, the words of the prophet shine in our hearts, reviving our hope. They remind us that Satan is a liar and that God is able to do an amazing thing: He is able to restore a crop that has been eaten! Surely, this is the first sign of victory, to look at the promise giver and believe what He has said. If Jesus restored the withered hand, He can restore a crop as well. Our focus must be on Him and His promise and not the lies of the enemy.

I remember teaching my youngest son to ride a bicycle. I had trimmed a bush beside our house and it had some sharp branches sticking from it that I did not want him to wander into. So, giving him a shove, I said, "Don't ride into that bush over there". Where did he go? He went to the place he was looking. With eyes wide with fear, he rode directly into that bush over there! That is what we are prone to do. Eyes wide with fear, we have the tendency to focus in on our wasted crop and believe there is no hope. Jesus says, "Quit looking over your shoulder. Look at Me. I can restore!