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I’ll admit, restoration shows snag my attention. The dilapidated home crying for a complete rebuild, a child’s room devoid of hope, or a bathroom in desperate need of a peroxide bath…somehow a broken down place waiting for help draws me to the screen.

After submitting a request for help, residents consent to the builder’s plan and assist with certain details in the process. Makeovers begin with deconstruction. Unsuitable flooring must be removed, walls demolished, and ugly cabinets torn down. The builder instructs his workers to clear all obstructions and decayed structures from the area. They must make room for a firm foundation, open spaces, and new storage units.
Maybe my attraction to restoration projects reflects a deep universal longing. A child created in God’s image chafes at degrading conditions around and within. Many of us find ourselves and those we care about in desperate need of rebuilding. What would extreme makeover soul edition look like?
Our Divine Builder does not impose Himself upon our dwelling places. We must first invite His help. After we request the Lord to rebuild our dilapidated lives, we must consent to His architectural plans. God requires us to participate in deconstruction. We work with Him to remove the shaky foundations, where we’ve tried to secure our footing on things other than Christ. He helps us tear down walls of fear, bitterness, and self-protection to clear the way for open spaces of peace and love. The Lord assists us in safe removal of mildewed cabinets, where we’ve hidden secrets. Toxic vows, mistrust, shame and other vermin must be extracted with compassion and care. Jesus assures us of His carpentry skills to craft new units for storing fruit of the Spirit to share with all our guests.
Restored lives gleam with a magnificence surpassing any home-improvement show’s conclusion scene. The “big reveal” of a life renewed by God shares the image of Christ Himself.
As disciples of Christ, we can enjoy a makeover and volunteer as His workers to help rebuild the lives of others. Jesus’ restoration projects remain the most heartwarming and awe-inspiring stories our viewers will ever behold.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” — 2 Corinthians 5:17

Ever question God’s management skills?

An expectation slips away unfulfilled. A loss knocks the wind from a family’s chest. It’s easy to begin wondering why God did not provide what I’d hoped for, or did not prevent tragedy.

Faith ebbs and weakens if I begin to list doubts under the heading “What God has NOT done for me.”

I can only imagine how often the Lord must hear his children cry, “Why NOT?”

But if I turn to Him with my questions, He is gracious to listen. Sometimes He answers me by reminding me what He HAS done, loosening the weak tangles of my arguments. I recognize His nature in the many awe-striking acts of His grace. Even in the hardest times, God’s loving presence and power remain consistent. Despite circumstances such as a missed promotion, failed business venture, or the death of a loved one. I can rest in Who He is.

1Chronicles16:8 encourages us to “Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.”

Many scriptures beg us to remember what God has done to bless us. The Lord shepherds (Psalm23), redeems (Isaiah54:5), and befriends us (John15). He has rescued us from sin(Galatians1:4), given us eternal life (John4:14), and filled us with His Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). In fact, Psalm 40:5 indicates we’d never be able to list all His good deeds. “Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.”

As I studied Scripture this morning, another angle of faith-strengthening occurred to me. What about considering what God has NOT done? As I rest in Who God is, I can rest just as securely in who He is NOT.

Grief and fear tempt us to attribute human and Satanic evildoing to God. The Sovereign Lord does not steal, kill, or destroy (John 10:10). He has NOT made us a slave to fear (Romans 8:15). Our God is not like our false images of divinity (Jeremiah 10:15). No darkness or evil can be found in Him (1John 4:5).

Many of the Lord’s most reassuring attributes consist of what He will NOT do. Rather than a doubt list, I can carry these NOTs in my heart to increase my faith.

The Lord will NOT leave me or forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:8).

He will NOT treat me as my sins deserve (Psalm 103:10).

Jesus will NOT remember my past wrongs (Isaiah43:25; Hebrews 8:12).

My God will NOT forget me (Isaiah 49:15).

He will NOT abandon me to die (Acts 2:27).

God will NOT stop loving me (Jeremiah 31:3).

No matter what questions my circumstances stir into my mind, I’m so thankful that the Lord provides strong NOTs to bind my heart close to Him in faith.


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