The Promise of Restoration and Peace

The Bible is an integrated whole; the theme of ultimate restoration and the reestablishment of a relationship between God and every person is found throughout the Scriptures. Benefiting from personal restoration in this life, however, rides on our accepting that our Creator knows the right way of life. Those who take it on with God’s help, living His way today, find comfort and peace even in a world that remains contrary to that way.

Israel’s King David understood the need for God’s guidance a thousand years before the time of Christ: “Open my eyes,” he implored, “that I may see wondrous things from Your law. I am a stranger in the earth; do not hide Your commandments from me. . . . Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it. Incline my heart to Your testimonies, and not to covetousness [or “selfish gain,” English Standard Version]” (Psalm 119:18–19, 34–36).

David’s successor Solomon likewise understood that it is God who reveals knowledge and grants the understanding that brings peace and security: “My son,” Solomon wrote, “if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, . . . if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, . . . then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints” (Proverbs 2:1, 3, 5–8).

In the first century, not many years after Christ’s death and resurrection, the apostle Peter told a gathering of people in Jerusalem about “times of refreshing [that would] come from the presence of the Lord.” He told them about “Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:19–21).

The Church had just come into being at that point and was made up of those whose mind God had opened to understand such things (Acts 2:47b). While these early followers awaited the promised “times of restoration,” Paul the apostle offered them some words to live by—words that apply as much today as they did then: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:6–9, English Standard Version).