Haven’t we all asked this question—especially in the midst of trials and tribulations? Your trials are the circumstances where God meets you in the storm to restore and transform you to:
- Release His glory
- Prepare you for your assignment
- Increase your trust in and love for Him
The fact remains that sometimes we don’t understand the trial until we are further down the road. But honestly, even as Believers who know we are made new in Christ, how often do we go back to old habits and ways of thinking when trials seem to rise against us?
Our carnal minds revert to what we’ve known through our past experiences, instead of listening to what the Lord tells us is ahead in our future.
Let’s unpack this as it relates to a biblical account of restoration…
How does the Lord restore you?
“But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”—1 Peter 5:10
From the words of Peter—a disciple of Jesus—after being restored to Him at the Sea of Galilee, Peter recognized that only Jesus Himself held the power of restoration.
When you read about Peter’s restoration process in John 21, you see how he—after walking with the Lord, eating with him, and soaking up His teaching—went back to his former life as a fisherman. Even after powerful encounters and witness of miracles, Peter sat along the water's edge, unsure of what steps to take next, so he chose to do what he had done in the past: fish.
Do you find yourself in Peter’s shoes? Not sure of what to do next, so you go back to what is comfortable?
But Jesus had bigger plans for Peter—to feed and tend His flock. We must remember, if there is something the Lord wants to prepare us for, He first prunes us. He wants to clear away the distractions and roadblocks that get in the way of His purposes for us.
Curt and Christie Landry talk about the preparation process that God took them through before He began His ministry work through them. They speak in detail about the trials and tribulations that led them to ultimate trust in God for their assignment.
Through Peter’s restoration encounter with Jesus, we witness God’s gracious instruction that leads to great provision.
Peter was not quite ready to let go of his former identity, but Jesus showed Himself to Peter. He asked Peter to do something different and to follow His guidance. As a result, he was greatly blessed with a net so full of fish that it couldn’t be drawn into the boat.
“And He said to them, ‘Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.’ So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish.”—John 21:6
Jesus then sat with him and the others, meeting them where they were, providing for them. Then He asked a question of Peter—a question He asks you today: “Do you love Me?”
Jesus gets personal. Jesus asks, “Do you love Me?” One command of the Creator fills their net—one command and He provides all they need to pay off any debt accrued in the past.
As Peter walked with the resurrected Savior on the shore of Galilee, was he also thinking about the time when He taught them on the mountain, one of the most important issues of the heart concerning love and trust?
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”—Matthew 6:21
In the dry seasons and trying times, the Lord is asking you, “Do you trust? Where is your heart?” Some of you are saying right now, “I do trust, I do love, but I still don’t know what my purpose is.”
Take a closer look at the passage in John 21. Jesus asks Peter this question three times, and Peter replies. Jesus provides an instruction each time: “Feed My lambs.” “Tend My sheep.” “Feed My sheep.”
You see, Jesus needed to prepare Peter before He sent him out. He wanted Peter to understand that his assignment was not about him, but about God’s people.
God is searching your heart so that you also begin to see His people as He does. He used Peter to extend His love, mercy, instruction, and restorative power to His people!
- “…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”—Matthew 20:28
- “Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do itto one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’”—Matthew 25:45
- “No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.”—1 John 4:12
- “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”—Romans 5:5
What will your answer be?
Responding to God’s call…
Once we commit and say yes to our assignment, this is only the beginning. The Apostle Paul says it this way…
“I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.”—1 Corinthians 15:31
It’s a daily reminder of the covenant promises you have in the Lord, and the covenant promise to your assignment.
There will be a time when you wonder about God’s assignment in your life. Time will pass, and nothing happens. But you must trust His timing.
“But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”—2 Peter 3:8
He did not bring you to this place to leave you. His Word promises that He will never leave nor forsake you. He also reminds you that nothing can be done apart from Him. Your assignment cannot be fulfilled without His divine hand in it.
Just as Peter understood how the Lord knew his thoughts and heart better than himself, he was able to say, “Yes Lord, I love you fully.”
Jesus continues to tell Peter that trials will come. Peter is tempted to focus elsewhere and succumb to distraction. He questions with a, “but what if,” much like we all do. However, the Lord quickly poses a challenging question followed by a reminder of the instruction.
“Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, ‘Lord, who is the one who betrays You?’ Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, ‘But Lord, what about this man?’
“Jesus said to him, ‘If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.’”—John 21:20-22 (emphasis added)
When the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob leads you to your assignment and aligns you with His will, that is restoration! It’s a picture of the covenant relationship between you and the Lord!
To get more prophetic teaching that will bring beautiful scenes of the Holy Land into your home—highlighting ancient biblical stories that you can apply to your life today—and to help you explore your purpose for God’s Kingdom, read more about our Illuminations series [HERE].