by Holly Newton
A Journey Into Easter: Rhythms Of Restoration
Read Ezra 1, Nehemiah 1, Psalm 122:1, Exodus 3:13-15, Hebrews 7:25
As we follow the story of the people rebuilding the temple, more of the curtain is pulled back to see God’s grace and power shine brightly.
Ezra opens with the story of people who had returned from exile with the mission to rebuild the temple that had been destroyed. In the process there was joy and there was disappointment. Joy because it was finished. Disappointment because compared to the grandeur of the old temple with golden walls, the new one seemed as if it were an “off brand” in their eyes.
“What could have been” versus “what is” was piercing to their hearts. Yet the Lord had a declaration over the new temple that we read in Haggai 2:9, “The final glory of this house will be greater than the first,” says the Lord of Armies. “I will provide peace in this place.”
The Lord promised to provide peace. How powerful is that?!
Have you ever felt the sting of disappointment and regret?
Life has pain, disappointment, and brokenness. Sometimes it’s just irritations in mundane ordinary days, and sometimes it’s larger loss and pain that leaves scars that will never fully heal this side of Heaven.
God invites us to bring our pain, disappointment, sin and the stings of life into His presence.
He made a way for redemption through Jesus. He gives comfort and peace in the chaos. Hope where there’s despair. Redemption where there’s brokenness. He will make our future great, even if it’s different than what we ever expected or desired.
God hear us, and when we seek Him in persistent prayer (as we read in Nehemiah 1) we can be certain our prayers are not wasted. The power of God moves through our lives through His Word, worship, and prayer.
Meditating on Hebrews 7:22-26 reminds us that Jesus is our one and only true Savior and hope – pure, holy, blameless, set apart, perfectly fitting our needs.
“Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant. Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.” Hebrews 7:22-26
Holly Newton is a passionate leader encouraging others to study scripture, ask the hard questions, and learn to hear God’s voice to more fully live in freedom and purpose. She is the Founder of She Lives Fearless, Author of Exhale; 90 Devotions and Savor The Wonder: Behold Jesus. She is a speaker, radio and tv segment speaker, and the She Lives Fearless Podcast host. Holly and her husband, Mark, have been married 31 years. They have three grown children, seven grandchildren and live with their much-loved yorkie, Lily, in the Orlando area. She loves to connect on Instagram @hollyanewton