War takes a terrible toll on a country and its people. When fought on home soil, the rebuilding process takes many years. For soldiers and citizens alike, the threats and circumstances imposed by war have lingering emotional and physical effects. As buildings and cities are rebuilt, so too, the people need healing and restoration.
Since sin entered the world, mankind has been at war. Our war against sin is filled with daily battles, and often, the carnage from defeat. Seeing the devastating effects, God provided the perfect means for our victory over sin. He’s also provided everything needed for our reconstruction. He sent Jesus:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19).
With these words, Jesus publicly proclaimed Himself to be the Messiah, the long-awaited Deliverer of God’s people. He came to release us from strongholds of sin, open our eyes to lies that blind us, heal our broken hearts and comfort us in our mourning, especially as we mourn over our own sin. Through the healing process, He turns the ash heaps in our lives into places of great beauty. As He transforms us, He invites us to join Him in rebuilding and restoring the lives of others:
“They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated” (Isaiah 61:3b).
This is the work of the kingdom of God, and there’s only one way to enter into His kingdom:
“From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near’” (Matthew 4:17).
Repentance is God’s way to deliver and restore His people. It’s the only means by which we are delivered from sin. Repentance is also the first step in joining God as He rebuilds and restores our lives, as well as the lives of those around us. What healing work do you long for God to accomplish in you? How do you long for God to use you in the lives of others? Seek Him by beginning with repentance.