“The Lord says, ‘I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts. It was I who sent this great destroying army against you'” (Joel 2.25 NLT).
The Lord sent devastation to God’s chosen people because they had forsaken Him. They disobeyed His commands and took control of their own destinies–no more relying on an All-knowing God. Therefore, the consequences of their decisions were devastating. God had already warned them to choose blessings or curses (Deuteronomy 30.19). However, once God’s people repented, He was quick to redeem and restore them. But according to Joel 2.25, not only did God restore them, He gave them back everything they lost during the wasted years that their disobedience devoured their abundance. This is good news for us today! All of us have seasons in our lives where we know that we disobeyed God, and many of our years in relationship with Him were wasted in our self-occupied pride. However, the Lord says that if we humble ourselves and repent, He will restore everything we squandered. This means that no matter how much we messed up, we can always finish well. We can still gain our full reward from God; it is never too late for us! God has an infinite imagination and the world’s resources at His disposal, so He can ALWAYS write a new Plan-A for our lives that still includes our fullest reward in Christ. We must never conclude that our bad decisions can prevent God from having His will accomplished through us. When we repent and submit our lives to God, He is more than capable of restoring all that we have lost.
“Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised” (Hebrews 10.35-36 ESV).