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October 4, 2017

Restoring Hope: Part 3

Then He asked me, ‘Son of man, can these bones become living people again?’ ‘O Sovereign LORD,’ I replied, ‘You alone know the answer to that.’ Then He said to me, ‘Speak a prophetic message to these bones and say, Dry bones, listen to the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again!’” Ezekiel 37:3-4 (NLT)

For God to restore hope in our lives, we must stop running from our pain and turn to Him.  As we do, we must believe God can restore and rebuild our lives.  Loss can deepen your life, but it doesn’t have to define your life.  As God led Ezekiel through that valley of dry bones, He asked him a question,

“Son of man, can these bones become living people again?”  

Ezekiel gave the best answer he could.

“You alone know the answer to that.”

It was all the faith he had.  He was hurting as much as all the other exiles with the loss of their nation, their homes, their temple and for many, their families.  Death and destruction were fresh, and the pain must have been unbearable.  God often uses questions in the Bible when He begins to restore our faith.  He asked Adam, “Where are you?”  He asked the discouraged prophet Elijah, “What are you doing here?”  He asks Ezekiel, “Do you believe these bones can live again?”  With Ezekiel’s little bit of faith, God began to restore his hope!  It’s not the measure of your faith that matters; it’s the object of your faith.  It only takes a little bit of faith in a great big God to find hope and restoration!  God took what little bit of faith Ezekiel had and told him to take action.  The Lord said,

“Speak a prophetic message to these bones and say, Dry bones, listen to the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again!’” Ez. 37:4 (NLT)

For Ezekiel to take that step, it would require faith.  He had to believe God could restore and rebuild their lives despite the circumstances they were in presently.  Maybe that is where you are today.  Everything around you shouts defeat and discouragement, yet hope is rising as you stop running from the pain and turn to God.  There’s a blessing to be had when we mourn our losses and let God comfort us as only He can.  In that hope, we find faith to believe God can restore and rebuild our lives.  Jeremiah was called “the weeping prophet.”  He lived and prophesied in the time of Judah’s defeat to Babylon and saw them taken captive.  Like Ezekiel, he takes this second step to restoring hope when he said,

“I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss.  Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:  The faithful love of the LORD never ends!  His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in Him!’”  Lamentations 3:20-24 (NLT)

Jeremiah was saying, “I will never get over it, yet I still dare to hope as I remember who God is and what God can do.  Tomorrow, we will look at three important truths to remember that restore hope in our lives.