Restore the joy of Your salvation to me, and give me a willing spirit. Then I will teach the rebellious Your ways, and sinners will return to you.
Please notice an important order mentioned in this passage of Scripture – restore, then. We pray for change when troubled times hit. We pray for loved ones to return to God. We pray for revival and for our nation to once again honor God. Expect to see God answer those prayers in an order of restore, then. We see this pattern repeated throughout Isaiah, where God promises restoration to His people, then they would be a testimony of His grace, His favor, and His glory.
When we have been taken captive by tragedy, loss, and even our own sin, we need to be restored for our words to be effective to those around us. If those who have rebelled look at our difficult circumstances and see only pain and loss, they see no reason to trust God. When God restores us, makes us whole again, and returns joy to us, the rebellious see a people who have survived the harshness of life and prevailed through faith to find victory that could have only come from God, our Creator. They see what God has done in our life, then our words become powerful and effective through the anointing God places upon us through His blessings. The joy of our salvation becomes our strength.
God does the restoring, then we respond in faith. Our response teaches the rebellious God’s ways, and sinners return to Him. For us to be effective in ministry, we must first be restored from the vile attacks that have left us diminished, discouraged, and depleted. Surrender to His restoration process in your life, then respond in faith and power to those who seek an explanation for the hope that you have in Christ. God will restore you, then He will use you mightily for His kingdom as you tell the great things He has done for you.
Have a blessed day!