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Lent 2017: You Are Mine: Day 45

Restoration

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Today's Text: Isaiah 62:1-12, Isaiah 63:1-14, Matthew 26:1-16

Text: Isaiah 62:1-12, Isaiah 63:1-14, Matthew 26:1-16

Isaiah 62 reveals God’s promise of restoration for His people. I could read this passage of Scripture 1000 times and never get sick of it.

The book of Isaiah as a whole is a tough read. The prophet tells of the coming destruction of Judah (3:8) and their captivity in Babylon (39:6). But think of this: the entire book of Isaiah is written before one Babylonian sword is drawn against Judah and Jerusalem. Before their destruction Isaiah tells the people of Judah of God’s promise to restore them.

Our God always tempers His righteous judgment with loving compassion (Psalm 145:8). He plans deliverance and restoration for His people even before He disciplines them. Even before God inflicts judgment, He plans to restore.

God promised to restore Jerusalem, and He sealed that promise when He gave her a new name. This is significant. Names are a core part of our identity—often the first thing we share about ourselves. Names embody who we are and what we are about.

When God changes a name, He also changes an identity.

Abram became Abraham (Genesis 17:5). From an “Exalted Father” to “The Father of Many Nations.” God changed Abram’s identity as a respected man with no son of his own, to one with many descendants, including the promised Messiah.

Jacob became Israel (Genesis 32:28). From “He Grasps the Heel” (or “Deceiver”) to “He Struggled with God.” Jacob’s identity changed from one marked by deceit and manipulation to the father of God’s chosen people.

Jerusalem was called “Deserted” and “Desolate,” but as God redeems, He promises to give Jerusalem a new name (Isaiah 62:2). She will be called:

My Delight Is in Her
Holy People
The Lord’s Redeemed
Cared For
The City No Longer Deserted
(vv.4,12).

What an identity shift!

This is the character of our God: He redeems. He rebuilds. He renames. While He disciplines, He also restores (Hebrews 12:6; Joel 2:25). We are never too far gone for the reach of His restoration. No wonder Isaiah can’t help but shout and proclaim God’s promises for Judah:

“I will not keep silent because of Zion, and I will not keep still because of Jerusalem, until her righteousness shines like a bright light and her salvation, like a flaming torch” (Isaiah 62:1).

It is good to proclaim God’s faithful restoration within our own circumstances, regardless of what they may look like today. As we cling to the the truth of who He is, we can rest—because His restoration has already begun.

SRT-LENT2017-Instagram45s

  • I know my new name but don’t walk in it. I still feel like beating myself up for the old name (and ways and beliefs attached to it) most days. But like so many others who have commented, wallowing in self is not the way God wants us to live once we’ve been called and renamed, redeemed and reclaimed by the one who MADE us! Praying the love of God sinks in deep for all of us today, and that we would walk through all our days in the knowledge of the goodness of that love.

  • How awesome that amid the mess that I am making, God is restoring me and redeeming my story. I too often get super comfy wallowing in self pity and nurturing my bitter heart, but the moment that I make the tiniest space and let Jesus back in, I feel renewed. Jesus doesn’t want me there, He wants me to always turn to him, even when it takes all the strength I’ve got to not slip back down into the pit. Jesus is always there, His warm hand outstretched. “I pray will not keep silent because of Zion, and I will not keep still because of Jerusalem, until her righteousness shines like a bright light and her salvation, like a flaming torch” (Isaiah 62:1). Today’s study was so timely, I was asking God if I should speak up about His promised for me. I have been keeping quiet about all the works God has been doing in my life, and wondering if I should talk about them. I pray that God would guide me in my confusion and that If I should indeed speak up The Holy Spirit would give me the words to say. It takes divine courage and faith sometimes to say aloud God’s promises.

    • Bree

      thank you for sharing! i needed a reminder that wallowing in self is not what Jesus wants for me.

  • “Before their destruction Isaiah tells the people of Judah of God’s promise to restore them! Even before God inflicts judgment, He plans to restore.” God is one heck of a dude. I am always BLOWN away by the goodness and peace he lavishes on us even when we don’t deserve it. This holy week, God is teaching me what it looks like to rest in Him and that he will restore my soul through the coming of Jesus. I didn’t have to do it on my own. And what love is that? That Jesus hung there on the cross, whispering my name and saying “forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.” Thank you Jesus for that truth today!

  • Melody Suarez

    I always wonder what Gods new name would be for me. :)

  • Diane Huntsman

    I love new.. He makes all things new.. His mercies are new every morning.. I wish I could get a new name, but I’m grateful for a new nature and new mercies.. oh how I need them each day.. I also like new clothes and new shoes but won’t try to justify those with the word “new” ;) friends I pray for each of us that He would give us new hearts, new perspective, new passions for His kingdom.. that we would live our lives present in the new day and not in our past mistakes and regrets or missed opportunities.. Jesus give us new songs and new hope in the new mercies of this new day.. thank You for “new” and thank you for You.. amen

  • Caroline

    “This is the character of our God: He redeems. He rebuilds. He renames.” I love this. Nothing is too far gone or too hard for God. In an instant, he can change everything. Thank you Lord for you loving and redemptive power.

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • What a sweet and timely reminder. I have recently been diagnosed with depression in addition to anxiety disorder, and have been struggling to reconcile those circumstances with my relationship with God. I know that He is there through all of this and can sense it somewhere deep down, but I feel guilty for being broken in this way, even though it isn’t exactly something that is in my control. There have been moments where I can see that He is and will continue to do something wonderful with these circumstances, but there are also many moments where I am saddened and sometimes even angry that I am numb, that my ability to enjoy each day and to lovingly engage with those around me is hindered by these mental health problems. I long to feel that burning desire within me to come to Him each day with an open and actively joyful heart, but more often than not, I have to begin by simply going through the motions. Sometimes I find myself in His presence, and sometimes not. To be reminded that God has always planned to restore me despite whatever circumstances arise or whatever mistakes I make is so encouraging. Lord, I pray that you continue Your work in me even when I seem to be incapable of noticing it, so that I may develop more and more into the disciple of Yours that You intend me to be. Thank you for being a God of righteous judgement tempered with loving compassion. Thank you for being my Rock Eternal. And thank you for this sweetly bittersweet season of preparation for the resurrection of Your Son Jesus. In Your Son’s name I pray, Amen.

    • Emily

      Madalyn, God knows your heart and is grateful that you seek him despite your feelings. He sees our obedience to him. He knows our hearts and motivations. Praying for you! ❤

    • Emily Cotter

      Praying for you, I have struggled with anxiety and depression too. I remind myself every day to, “look up!” to Jesus where my identity comes from and who holds me. You are not held down for He has paid the price for you to be renewed and restored. https://youtu.be/WZooaMnXj1g

    • Lexi

      I’ve had severe anxiety and depression as well and I can promise you’re not alone. ❤️

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying for you in this, Madalyn. Thank you so much for sharing. Asking the Lord to restore your joy. Thankful for you today.

      – Stormye

    • Terri

      “The Spirit of the Lord God is on Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent Me to HEAL THE BROKENHEARTED, to proclaim LIBERTY TO THE CAPTIVES and FREEDOM TO THE PRISONERS; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of our God’s vengeance; to comfort all who mourn, to provide for all those who mourn in Zion; TO GIVE THEM A CROWN OF BEAUTY INSTEAD OF ASHES, festive oil instead of mourning, and splendid clothes INSTEAD OF DESPAIR.” Isaiah 61:1-3 (HCSB) I pray this will be true for you today and every day.

    • Emily B.

      He’s with you through all of this, no matter how you’re feeling or what’s going on inside of your head. He sees you, and He cares. I pray you can feel His presence encircling you and lifting you up!

    • Di

      Madalyn, sometimes going through the motions is all we can manage and we may never know what the Lord’s purpose is, but he knows and he loves you dearly.

  • Amanda Mae Steele

    Such a sweet encouragement today. I wrestle between the tension of “the already and the not yet”, and often wonder my (petty compared to the grand scheme of things) circumstances really matter to God – so thankful that nothing is too big or too small for Him!

  • Hailey T.

    I love that Easter is in the spring. Barren trees begin to bloom and the dust returns to fertile soil. I so love the book of Isaiah. It is difficult and tough to read for so much of it. But through destruction we have everlasting beauty. The book itself transforms into a wonderful exaltation of love. We are “My Delight is in her” and He is Risen!

  • carriebethfish

    I work full-time as a children’s director in a church. I LOVE my job, but as with any job it’s not without its challenges. This week has been especially hard… trying to prepare Easter Sunday for the kids (our super bowl!) and an Easter Carnival for families in the church community on Saturday. I’m striving, in the midst of the busyness, to sit at His feet and soak in Holy Week for myself. Striving to be like Mary in a very Martha kind of week. I often find myself “do-ing” for Jesus and getting so busy that I forget to BE with Jesus – which is really all He wants. I’m so grateful for the encouragement of this community in a week where much encouragement is needed. Thank you to all who post with such transparency and thoughtfulness. SRT has truly been a blessing to me. Father, thank you for calling me by name and calling me your child. Thank you for your promise of restoration and redemption that brings hope and purpose to our everyday lives. Amen.

    • Kersti

      He will bless your desire to be with him. He loves your heart!

      I hope the carnival goes really well too!

    • She Reads Truth

      So glad to have you in this community, Carrie! Thank you for sharing this. Praying for you and the little ones you shepherd over this Easter weekend!

      – Stormye

  • God led me to She Reads Truth in one of the most turbulent emotional times of my life. The man I thought I was going to marry no longer loved me, even though I had sacrificed so much to be with him. I started reading these devotionals three months before leaving the relationship and God has been by my side the entire time – speaking to me through his Word. Teaching me the error of my ways. It’s been 8 months since I started this journey with SRT. I felt rejected, unloved, desolate, in severe pain. But I just want to take a moment and testify about my personal restoration. Isaiah 62 brings it full circle.

    “You will no longer be called deserted and your land will not be called desolate; instead, you will be called My Delight is In Her, and your land Married… so your God will rejoice over you.”

    In my journey, I realized I was trying to find God’s love in an earthly man. But as Isaiah has shown me, that only leads to destruction. For the first time I can remember, I feel full and satisfied from God’s love alone. How awesome it is to be His, to feel sought after, to feel appreciated, secure, loved, provided for, in the best of company. And I can’t thank the SRT community enough for being part of my personal restoration. I was so broken when I first joined you, but now I am restored.

    • Joy

      Lana, I am so glad I stumbled across your post. All I want to do is encourage you to stay strong in the Lord. I had a similar experience in my life and unfortunately, I did not hold onto the healing love in Christ and instead I followed a path of hurt and regret. Today, though I am a testament to God’s faithfulness and continued love and mercy. I hope you are encouraged today and never forget, God is faithful and He is near to the brokenhearted. =)

    • Amber

      What a beautiful testimony of His redemption! He ALWAYS redeems. Praise Him! Thank you for sharing.

    • Sarah

      What a beautiful testimony. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Kersti

      I am sorry for your pain, but so thankful God is able to use even those deeply hurtful moments in life. You’ve given me hope and a desire to let God re-breathe life into & re-name a few hurtful moments in my life that I am having a hard time giving up.

      May today you realize how loved & cherished you are!

    • She Reads Truth

      Lana, this is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing this with us today. We are so, so grateful to have you in the SRT community.

      – Stormye

    • Emily B.

      He makes beautiful things out of the dust. Thank you for sharing your heart with us!

  • I went through a phase in my childhood where I wanted to change my name. I found so many names I liked better and thought they would suit me more than my given name.

    Growing up, I remember my mom had taped cards on the outside of my room door that shared the meaning of my first and middle names. Because of those cards, I’ve always known that my name means “Follower of Christ.” It was a meaning that I loved but was also overwhelmed by – I felt I just couldn’t live up to it because I failed God so many times.

    A year ago, I renewed my commitment to the Lord and He has recently been whispering to my heart about the significance of my name. I have started to see it as a promise instead of just a name. He knew before I was even created that I would be His child! Even when I was too busy following my own dreams, He knew He would restore me to be a follower of Christ! It is overwhelming and humbling for me to think about. I’m so glad that God sees past our current circumstances when He looks at us. He is able to renew, restore, and rename His children. To everyone else I may still be Kristi, but in my heart my name is Follower of Christ. Daughter of the King. Beloved Daughter. Chosen One. Thank you, Lord!

    • Another Kristi

      As a fellow Kristi who also has felt like she could not live up to her name’s meaning, thank you. Our God is good and faithful to redeem!

      • Kristi

        That’s amazing! I never thought of that really. I didn’t begin following Christ until I was 26, even though I was raised in church. Thanks for sharing, from one Kristi to another :)

  • It is so good to be a daughter of God!

  • Christina

    Between the Spirit confirming with my spirit the Scriptures this morning and the devotion, I’m about to shout! I guess I won’t, though, since everyone else is still asleep….

    Isaiah 62 describes a reality that has not yet been experienced by God’s people, Israel. It describes descriptive names for a people who have not lived up to their description, but who are called by them anyway. Isaiah 63 describes a God Who exacts His just vengeance against a people who have not lived in a way to experience the reality He has planned to give them. Yet He determined to give them good and gracious gifts out of His heart of compassion and love, and after a time of exacting His justice upon them, He remembers to draw them into His purpose once again. His plan was never thwarted, even in His people’s rebellion. It is in this state of affairs, then, that Jesus appears, first as a child who grows “in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52), eventually revealing Himself as the long awaited Messiah, the Savior of the World. He is the Compassion of God, the Fulfillment of every reality determined by the One True God of the universe to bestow upon all who will believe in Him. He alone restores to reality what our sin has tarnished and clouded from view of our earthly reality. It’s almost Friday. And Sunday is coming.

  • I love that she pointed out the difficulty of reading Isaiah as a whole because the first part of the book deals with destruction. I know many of us struggled with that BUT NOW! Now we are reading of their deliverance, their redemption, their restoration, their new name! All of this before it even happened. Incredible! I’m thankful He plans our deliverance and restoration before he disciplines!

    • She Reads Truth

      Amen! Thank you, Jess! I’m so glad we have persevered in this together! Isaiah is definitely worth the read.

      – Stormye

  • Tochi Heredia

    “His restoration has already begun.”

    This week started with despair and fear.
    Today, I feel peace and joy. Not because I did something to change my circumstances, it’s all about Him and who He is and what He has already done.

    I’m a living and breathing testimony of His redemption.
    Thanks be to God, for making us a new creation

  • My given name is Christiana Esi ( born on Sunday) Prabah (river baby, after the river Pra), and my surname is partially Dutch from the slave trading days when slaves were given their masters names to identify to whom they belonged… but as you know I am known as Tina. This is because as a child I got cross at people who could not pronounce Christiana… it would be Christine, Christina…, anything but … so I accepted being called Tina as a compromise. I don’t mind it, to be honest, I have long given up hope of ever being Christiana again…except on paper…
    I love every letter in my name, I love that I know my history, some stories of my ancestors, I love that my name tells where I have come from…. I love the oppurtunity to give my name in full, because at that point, and with a double barrelled surname… my name goes on forever. I remember being introduced at a wedding on entering, the introductor, looked at me in awe, that makes me smile now…
    My earthly father gave me my names so I would always know who I was, that I would know, here on earth, where I belonged, and that no matter where I was or went I would be recognised as his beloved child… Thank you Daddy.. I love you.. for always.. x

    But God…

    He calls me His Daughter, He has chosen me, He calls me Forgiven, even though i continue to sin. Free…. though I may wear the shackles of my past, He calls me His Beloved, though i do not deserve it, and He continues to bless me…All thanks and praise to the blood of Jesus .
    He has restored to me my life that was shattered, a life i can live with, not in the past, but in memory of the past, He has restored to me my smile, my laughter… from my belly… He restores me each and every day, through His forgiveness, His love, His grace, His promises, His word…

    So, for sure I will speak out to encourage, I will not be silent..until, we are all called by a new name, a name given by the Lord God Almighty himself…
    Today I shall claim my new name… ‘God is pleased with her…’ because He has and continues to restore me, and I for one will not let that pass me by… Amen.
    Every blessing dear Sisters… with love and peace to you all…xx

    • candacejo

      Amazing analogy, my friend! ♥

    • Tochi Heredia

      Ah, you put a smile upon my face, Tina!
      Thankful for you :)

    • Claire

      Beautiful!

    • Alisa

      That is beautiful and meaningful. Thank you, Tina!

    • Lexi

      Love this, and love your perspective even more! Thank you for always saying so eloquently what I need to hear! ❤

    • Elisa Barry

      Thank you for this amazingly beautiful tribute to our loving Father!! Your writing is inspiring Christiana!!! Keep spreading your story! Amen!!

    • Emily B.

      Thank you for sharing this beautiful story!

    • Churchmouse

      Beautiful and touching, friend.

    • Churchmouse

      So grateful today that in Christ all things are made new. In Him I am a new creation. The past does not define me. God sees me through the Cross. All my sin is as if it never was. Oh I still bear some consequences of my rebellion but that is not who I am any longer. Others may try to drag me back there. Others may describe me by that old name. But I am free. Free in Christ. Free by the Cross. All praise today. All praise.

    • Jody Heavenrich Hensley

      Love this. Thank you! Love your name, too.

    • Lana

      Love you, Christiana!

    • Mamajonk

      Once again your thoughts and words have me catching my breath and my eyes brimming with tears. You have such a wonderful testimony. You should consider writing a book! Sunday is coming, Happy Easter friend!

  • “We are never too far gone for the reach of His restoration.” This gives me hope today.
    I would love if you could pray for my friend. A year ago she was baptised. Now she no longer believes in God. She has been badly hurt by Christians and I understand her anger. It’s just hard to see her hurting when I believe her only hope is in God and she’s not open to that at all right now.
    These passages give me hope that God can bring her back to him.

    • Sarah Joy

      Said a prayer for her this morning. May she come to trust in a faithful God despite His broken children.

    • candacejo

      Praying for your friend that she will realize God is faithful and never changing and it is He that we serve, not people, who may be imperfect. ♥

    • Caitie

      Saying a prayer for your friend as well!

    • Lexi

      Praying for your friend as well! It’s so hard for our finite minds to understand that it’s not God doing the harm, it’s people. And sadly sometimes it’s people who claim to know Jesus that can do the most hurt. But God! He always holds us in the palm of His hand, even when we think it’s the further place we want to be. ❤

    • Donna Symes

      Praying

    • Lesley

      Thank you all for your prayers!

  • I so enjoyed this study today! I especially love how it was really driven home about a name change, and how it can change our entire identity. It’s incredible the power of both a name you have and a name change can impact a life so much! The song “What a Beautiful Name” has been on replay the last couple of days; what a beautiful, wonderful, powerful name.. the name of Jesus. <3

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