A restoration has to be saying that the past is past; it should never determine our future because, secondly, a new covenant necessary speaks naturally of a complete and eternal forgiveness in which our sins no longer need, nor should, reflect the relationship we have with our Lord going forward.
And this forgiveness has “teeth.” And now “restoration” must lead to “reconciliation,” not only with God but necessarily with others of like faith. We can forgive others as we have been forgiven, which now includes the restoration of peace and unity with other believers in Christ.
Restoration in Joel and many other scriptures is an intensified or emphatic use of the word “peace,” peace with God. Isaiah in 26:3 used the noun word “peace” twice to give emphasis to such a glorious restoration, which in Joel speaks of a “New Covenant of peace” [Isaiah 42:19 where the NIV translates the word “perfect” in the King James by “the one in covenant with me;” the NET translates “covenant partner.”] Restoration with God is relational and covenantal.
The importance of restoration must not be undervalued; it cannot be overestimated. There were 2 prerequisites to this happening. First, it should not need being said, God asks for our repentance. [1 John 1:9]. This is clearly not so much to ask of us but a recognition of our need of Him and a desire to return to Him and be reconciled.
This makes restoration the necessary and evident fulcrum point between repentance and reconciliation; between spiritual revival or “alive in Christ” [Romans 6:11] and yielding ourselves servants of righteousness [Romans 6:13]. Restoration becomes a necessary act of God whereby repentance leads to reconciliation and being alive in Christ is more than status but “living in the Son” [1 John 5:11; Galatians 2:20]. Said another way: the bridge between our repentance and reconciliation is a restored relationship with God. The bridge between being created new in Christ and putting on that newness in our living [Ephesians 4:24] is the act of God’s restoring grace.
Ultimately and necessarily, this speaks of a restored eternal Eden, we call Heaven. Restoration means a complete restitution of, as well as end to, all damages sin has occasioned in us and to us, all abuses, crimes, injustice, all hurt, all injury, all resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness, all sorrow, all fear, anxiety, and worry.
In their place God brings: a vindication of faith and labors in Him [Psalm 62:12; Ruth 2:12], healing on all levels physical, spiritual, psychological, and emotional [Isaiah 57:18-19], provisions in abundance to address and meet all need, answer all prayer and fulfill every promise [Proverbs 13:13; 25:22], a love [not made for us but we for it] which brings about a deepening fellowship, an enduring sense of belonging, an everlasting unity and peace with one another as with our Lord [Hebrews 13:20-21]. As Peter summed it up, “all things that pertain unto life and godliness.” [2 Peter 1:3].
There is a simple way to see this restoration that is written into the New Covenant that we have in Christ.: Colossians 2:10 “we are complete in Him.”