“I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten” (Joel 2:25).
The New American Standard Version says, “I will make up to you for the years . . . eaten.”
This promise is incredible! We want to make up those lost years when we weren’t following Him, to make amends and repay Him! But He says, “Wrong! You cannot repay Me for a single wasted hour. Walk before Me in righteousness now and turn from your sins, and I will make up all the losses, whether they were yours, your family’s, or Mine!”
To repentant sinners the Lord declares, “Fear not . . . be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things” (Joel 2:21). You need not be ashamed of your wasted years. God is going to remove from you the evil army, and you will eat and be satisfied. You will never again be ashamed (see Joel 2:19-20, 26-27).
You were born for His eternal purposes. He planned for you a life of satisfaction, joy and usefulness in His kingdom but then sin entered, and God’s plan for your life was interrupted. The devourer moved in and years were wasted, lost.
But now, in Christ, all is new—even the calendar! The Lord goes back to the day the locust came, and He removes all those wasted years and starts counting again from the moment you repent. All those blessings you missed were stored up. All the joy, peace, revelation and usefulness that you thought were dead and gone forever were actually kept by the Lord.
In hell, the damned may be haunted with a vision of what their lives could have been. Some may see what they lost. But this is not so for the repentant. All will be restored. They need never again say, “Oh, what I missed. What I could have been. God had so much for me, but I blew it.” No! God can restore all the wasted blessings.
The Lord desires to pour out on us all the blessings and joys in Him that we missed earlier. Yet He does not make it all up with outpourings alone. The outpourings become overflowings! “And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil” (Joel 2:24).
There is such power in repentance. It brings back to us all that the cankerworm destroyed. God resurrects it all!