The saying “double for the trouble” originated with God. He turns even the most difficult situations for our good and His glory. I grew up hearing this idiom without knowing where or how it began.
Has someone ever stolen something from you? Perhaps money or possessions? Maybe reputation or position? Be encouraged, my friends! If we continue to trust God, putting our hope in Him, He will restore.
“And when you and your children return to the LORD your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you.”
God moves beyond simple restoration, however, desiring to give us double for the trouble we go through.
Make no mistake! Jesus warns — a thief lurks among us.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
This thief comes with evil intention to steal everything and anything he can, rushing in like a lion to the kill, destroying fully and completely. But God! Ha! I love those words whenever I read them. But God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to bring us both physical and spiritual life, now and forever. God’s restoration exceeds everything the enemy tries to destroy. God gives back to the full.
“Full” here means superior, superabundant, excessive, and preeminent. When God gives double for the trouble the enemy has caused, it defies explanation or expectation.
Double for the Trouble
Elisha became Elijah’s servant and understudy. If you think tagging with this out-spoken miracle-working great prophet was easy, think again! Only Elisha succeeded at the task. Elijah tried to shake him off more than once, but Elisha tracked his master diligently. Finally, Elijah asked,
” . . . ‘Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?’ ‘Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,’ Elisha replied.’ ”
2 Kings 2:9
And Elisha received what he asked for!
Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, banishing him from home and family. Slavery turned to imprisonment through no fault of his own. Years earlier, God had given Joseph dreams of his divine destiny — dreams that under the circumstance appeared lost and stolen forever. For a season,
“They bruised his feet with shackles, his neck was put in irons, till what he foretold came to pass, till the word of the LORD proved him true.”
But God! But God proved Himself faithful, elevating Joseph from the prison to a palace, second in rank only to Pharoah. Much later, when Joseph’s descendants inherited the promised land, Joseph received double for the trouble.
“This is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘These are the boundaries of the land that you will divide among the twelve tribes of Israel as their inheritance, with two portions for Joseph.”
More Not Less
Sometimes the losses we experience come through our own mistakes, poor choices. or even sinful actions. Job didn’t fit any of these scenarios. Yet in a single day he lost his work force of oxen and donkeys, his revenue in sheep and shepherds, his means of transportation by camels, and even his closest relationships with family. Refusing to blame God for the extreme tragedy, he acknowledged everything came from God and ultimately belonged to Him.
Even when Satan inflicted what he thought would be a fatal blow, painful sores head to toe, Job maintained his devotion and faithfulness to God.
No matter how many times I hear Job’s story, I marvel. Look at the ending to Job’s story.
“After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.”
Double for the trouble! God restored twice the number of sheep, camels, oxen, and donkeys, many more children, and a hundred and forty more years to his life (Job 42:12-17)
God doesn’t always restore like for like. Hebrews 11, also known as the Bible’s faith chapter, tells us sometimes the full reward isn’t realized until heaven. God will come through for you, though. He always has; He always will.
I’m not sure what you have been or are facing. May I encourage you today with these words from the prophet Isaiah?
“Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and wrongdoing. In my faithfulness I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them.”
Does shame feel like your portion? Don’t despair. God is preparing a double portion of His inheritance for you. Have you felt the sting of disgrace? Your story isn’t over yet! God’s grace is greater. His justice final. Because He is faithful, we wait in hope for Him to turn things around and make them right.
Zechariah understood God’s guarantee of double for the trouble. God announced through Zechariah this promise.
“Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.”
Our fortress is none other than God Himself. Let’s return to and stick with our Mighty Fortress! As willing prisoners, we hold with hope to God. God announced to Heaven and Earth His promise to “restore twice as much” as anyone or anything has taken from us.
Restoration is coming! Double for the trouble we have endured! Don’t lose hope, dear ones, hold fast.