Leaps Of Faith

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Jumping men 1The gap between where you are and where you want to be is filled with impossibility but don’t worry, because what’s impossible with man is possible with God.

When Paul was preaching at Lystra the scripture says there was a man there who had been impotent in his feet and crippled from his mother’s womb and who had never walked.  But after hearing Paul speak, Paul perceived that he had faith to be healed and said to him with a loud voice, stand upright on your feet and the man leaped and walked (Acts 14:6-10).  Now here was a man who went from never having walked to leaping and walking all in a matter of minutes because he had the faith to take a leap.

Abraham took a leap of faith when he left out of his father’s country and went into a land that God would later show him.  Abraham stepped out with the knowledge that there was a gap between where he was and where he wanted to be.  This is why he needed faith.  Faith connects you from where you are to where you want to be.

Faith allows you to see the impossible as possible.  I believe the impotent man saw on the inside what Paul asked him to do.  He saw himself leaping and walking before he took one step.  Faith connected him from where he was to where he wanted to be.  Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now Faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].  Notice it says that faith is the title deed.  When you have the title to something it is confirmation that you own it.   It means that those dreams and visions you see inside are yours.   Why, because Faith is Christ in us and Christ is the living Word of God?  All things are and where created by and for the Word of God.  Dreams are bought into reality, and destinies are fulfilled by the Word of God.

The question is do you see yourself as having the faith of God in you or are you still trying to obtain it?  Romans 10:17 says, “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” The moment you hear the gospel and receive what you hear faith enters into you and gives you the ability to not only see the impossible but to do the impossible.  This impotent man moved from never had walked to walking because he heard the word of God.  Abraham left out of his father’s country to go to a land that God would later show him because he heard the word of God. Galatians 3:8 says, “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, “In thee shall all nations be blessed.” Abraham heard the word before he took that leap of faith and left out of his father’s country.

Every believer has the faith of God living in their hearts but at the same time you have a choice whether to use that faith or not.  You can stand where you are and look over at all the good things that God wants you to have in life or you can use your God given faith and take a leap.  It’s not hard, if God has given you a dream or desire you simply move in the direction of that dream by faith and leave the outcome to Christ to perform.  Maybe you have a dream of starting you own business but the thought of you doing it is impossible.  You might tell yourself “I don’t have the credentials; or no one in my family has ever own their own business before.” Looking at what you can or cannot do will keep you right where you are looking out at your dreams instead of living them.  Take your eyes off of yourself and rest them on Jesus.  Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”  All things are accomplished in us through Christ it’s His ability that we must rest upon not our own.

Don’t allow yourself to be moved by what you see.    I Corinthian 4:6 says, “We walk by faith not by sight.”  The devil wants to deceive you into believing that nothing is happening, that your situation is not changing, that you’re further away from you destiny than ever before.  But the truth is that the world and everything in it is changing everyday whether we can see it or not.  Things are changing and you are moving in some direction.  You can determine the direction of that change by what you say and do.  It’s up to you to speak what you want to see.  Don’t speak what you see, speak the word and watch it come to pass.  It’s what God did in the beginning, He spoke what He wanted to see and He believed that what He said would come to pass.  We call it faith filled words.  The thing about speaking the word of God is that you don’t have to try and fill it with faith the word of God is faith.  The word of God is the faith filled words that we speak to see our dreams and destinies come to pass.

Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.”  It will not make sense to the national mind so don’t expect it too.  But if you will trust God you can rest assure He will never let you fall.  He is holding your hand lifting you up over that gap of impossibility and bringing you to the fulfillment of your dreams.  So if God says it’s time to leap immerse yourself in the word of God and receive the faith you need to jump.

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Three Reason Why We Give Up Pursuing Our Dreams

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God doesn’t want us to give up on our dreams and goals in life.  As a matter of fact, He needs our dreams to fulfill.  He is the one who gives us the dreams so that His purpose can be fulfilled in our lives. It’s our job to pursue those dreams and not give up.  There are many reasons why people give up on their dreams but if we can avoid the following three we will be well on our way to seeing our dreams come to pass.

Time

Time is of the essence.  There is an appointed time for every dream to be fulfilled.  If you understand this you will never let go and give up on your dream.   Look at Abraham, God gave him a promise that He would have an heir and that through him all the nations of the earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:2-3).  However, it took Abraham twenty-five years before he saw the manifestation of that promise. Why?  Because with every promise there is an appointed time.

God could have allowed Sarah to become pregnant anytime after He gave Abraham the promise, (after all He is God) it could have been an instance miracle.  So why wasn’t it?  Was it that Abraham didn’t believe? No, scripture tells us that Abraham believed and it was accounted to him for righteousness.  So why the wait?  I believe the wait was for the appointed time.  The angel of the Lord told Abraham, “At the appointed time I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son” (Gen. 18:14).   God is never too early and He is never too late. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, He hath made ever thing beautiful in His time; also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.  We may not know what the appointed time is but we can trust God to bring it to pass at the appointed time.

Not understanding that there is an appointed time can cause you to do things outside of God’s will to accomplish your dream just as Sarah did when she gave Hagar to Abraham.  What Sarah didn’t realize was that time was necessary for the physical things to line up with the spiritual.  Only God knows how long that process will take but rest assured He never gives up on what He has promised you.  If He has given you a dream or vision for your life He will bring it to pass at the appointed time.  Ours is to trust Him and walk in obedience to His will.

Environment

How many people give up on their dreams because of an adverse environment?  Our environments are not to control us we are to control our environments.  I think sometimes we look for things in our environment to determine whether or not our dream will come to pass.  Our dreams are not fulfilled by our environments our dreams are fulfilled by the power of God.  There is no telling how many dreams have died because of the current economic environment.    The enemy uses things in our environments to distract us from pursuing our God given destinies.   Take Hagar for example, God had given her a promise that her son Ishmael who become a great nation but when things got rough in her environment she put the promise out of her sight (Gen. 21:15-16).  Hagar had allowed her environment to dictate her destiny.  She didn’t realize that the God that gave her the promise would be the God that would fulfill it.  Even though she couldn’t see beyond what was in front of her God spoke to her and told her to pick up the child and hold him in her hands because even in the desert His promised would come to pass (Gen. 21:18).  Remember, your environment doesn’t dictate your destiny.

Resources

Many, many, many, dreams have drowned in the sea of lack.  How many times have you said “I would do it but I don’t have the resources.”?  Or, “if I had the money I would do this.”  The enemy will use money to stop you if you let him.  You must know that dreams and visions are not fulfilled by money they are fulfilled by the power of God.  Jesus had a vision to feed thousands of hungry people in a desert place where there was no food expect a little boys lunch of five loaves and two fish (John 6:1-14). His disciples look at it as a hopeless situation.   “Philip answered Him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.  One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, saith unto Him, There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes; but what are they among so many?” (John 6:7-9).  The disciples could only see what they didn’t have because that was the only way they could see the need being met, through their natural means.  They saw they didn’t have the resources to fill such a large order and that what they did have was not enough.  The supernatural wasn’t in their minds.  Yet Jesus was there in their midst.  If you’re depending on your job or what you can earn to fulfill your dream it may never get done.  For one thing God always gives us dreams beyond our natural abilities so that we will rely on Him to accomplish them.  Jesus took what was there blessed it, broke it and gave it to His disciples to give to the multitudes and five thousand people where feed.  He didn’t give up on His vision because of the environment or limited resources He knew He wasn’t limited to His environment or what was in it.  He had a vision and He had the power to bring it to pass.  We have more than what’s in the earthly realm to accomplish our dreams.  We have Christ the Son of the Living God who is more than enough.

Why Your Motive Matters

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notalonepicThe heart of God is always to bless His people.  He only wants to see us possess everything that He died for us to have that’s why anything that hinders us from receiving must be dealt with, even if it’s us.

It’s not so much the things on the outside that hinders us from receiving as it is what’s on the inside, namely our motives.  Not having the right motives will cause delays in our receiving from God.  If you’re asking yourself why do motives matter? Let me tell you why.  James 4:3 says, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”  This is why motives matters, because without the proper motive you will ask but you won’t receive.   It’s not that God won’t give it to you (because He’s given us all things through Christ) it’s that you’re not able to handle it yet.  God being our Father doesn’t want us to be destroyed by our lust as it was when the children of Israel lusted after meat in the wilderness (Num. 11:32-33).  The meat itself wasn’t bad but their lust for it was.  It wasn’t about nourishment because God was giving them what they needed to be full and satisfied.  It was about them rejecting God’s plan, purpose, and timing.

When we’re operating out of selfish motives we are rejecting God’s plan, purpose and timing for our lives.  God has a plan and purpose for what He’s given us and He knows the time when we’re ready to receive it.  And He will not withhold any good thing from us.  A person operating from a selfish motive has a negative opinion of God.

Selfishness is ugly because it’s sinful.  Listen to what James says in the 1 and 2nd verses, “From whence comes wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?  Ye lust, and have not; ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain; ye fight and war, yet ye have not because ye ask not” (James 4:1-2).  Now that’s ugly.  Even if what you’re doing is right, if you’re doing it with selfish motives it’s ugly.  As believers the only right motive for us is to know Christ and to make Him known.  Is this your motive for what you say and do?  Are you seeking to know Christ and to make Him known?  Or are you seeking to know and be known?   For example, I enjoy social media.  I have Facebook and Twitter accounts that I use personally and professionally. However, before I post or tweet I ask myself this question, “Is this about me or Him?” Am I making Christ known or am I seeking to be known? It’s a good thing to examine yourself because so much of what we see on social media is self seeking.  So many want to show that they know or they want to be known.  They want their lives to appear better than everyone else.  They want people to look at them with envy and awe.  In other words, they want to be known.  It doesn’t have to be something from the outside that hinders us it could very well be something going on in the inside.  It could be we’re operating out of selfish motives.

When Jesus came to this earth His motive was to make the Father known.  And because we have Christ living in us, we have His motives.  His motive is our motive.  All we need to do is rest in what’s His.  Therefore, I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart because you don’t want the things you desire of God to be delayed.

It’s Good To Give Thanks!

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dreamstimefree_250555Psalms 92:1-2

“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most high; To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and they faithfulness every night.”

Thanksgiving is a time of giving thanks.  As you gather with your family and friends to give thanks remember it’s all about God.  Don’t focus on the negative things of the past but on the wonderful blessings of God.

Psalm 103:2 says “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” Well, what are those benefits?  The psalmist goes on to say, “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagles” (Ps. 103:3-5).  Wow! When we consider all these blessings we can’t help but give thanks.

When you give thanks for what God has done for you, you are giving thanks for those things that you have yet to see.  Whatever God says is done in the now and He doesn’t alter the thing that is gone out of his mouth (Ps. 89:34).  While you are giving thanks give thanks for those things that are yet seen.   Being thankful releases more grace in your life.  Think about this, when you do something for someone and they show their appreciation by saying thank you, it causes you to want to bless them again.

Therefore, as you give thanks to God for His blessings this season don’t forget to say thank you to those that God has used to be a blessing in your life.  “Oh give thanks unto the Lord for He is good and His mercy endureth forever” (Psalm 107:1).

Be Consistent

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dreamstimefree_238838To be consistent means to stand firm, endure, and persevere. It means to not move or change.  It is a key ingredient to receiving what you want out of life.

Be consistent in faith

Being consistent means we take our stand on the word of God and not waver.  It means that we lean on, rely on, and rest in the faith of Christ in us regardless of any and all adverse situations or circumstances.  It means not allowing ourselves to be swayed by opinions that are contrary to what we believe.  Paul told the church in Galatians 5:1 and 5:7, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled gain with the yoke of bondage” and in verse 7 “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?”  Paul was telling them to be consistent in faith and not allow themselves to be swayed by the opinions of false teachers to go back to the old way of justification under the law.  Paul also said in Hebrews 10:38, “Now the just shall live by faith; but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”  When we draw back we’re not being consistent, we’re not standing firm.  The only way for us to be victorious is for us to be consistent in faith. Therefore, take your stand in faith and don’t change.

Be consistent in what you say

James 1:8 says, “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” If you’re not consistent in what you believe you won’t be consistent in what you say.  A double mind is a double tongue.  Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue; and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” You can’t eat life and speak death nor can you eat death and speak life.   Our tongues let us know where our heart is.  “…out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matt. 12:34). Remember being consistent is standing firm in what we believe regardless of any and all adverse situations or circumstances.  We can be consistent in what we say even in the midst of adversity because God is faithful.  Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold fast the confession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised;).”  We don’t speak the adverse things that we see, hear or feel, we speak what we believe.  Mark 11:22-23, “And Jesus answering saith unto them, have the faith of God.  For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.” You will have whatsoever you say as you are consistent in what you believe and say.

Be consistent in what you do

Being consistent in what we believe not only makes us consistent in what we say, but also in what we do.  Consistency in what we do is an outcome of what we believe.  If you believe that you reap what you sow, it will cause you to be consistent in your giving.  In other words you could stand firm and not change in your giving regardless of the world’s economy.  Isaiah 34:20 says, “Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters¸ that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass.” You could stand firm and not change in doing the will of God for your life and serving people because you believe your reward is from the Lord.  Even though Christ suffered persecution and adversity He continued to do the will of the Father because He believed.   When you are consistent in what you believe it will show up in what you say and do.  People that are consistent are the ones who reach their goals and fulfill their destinies.  Therefore, I encourage you to stand firm, be consistent in what you believe, in what you say and in what you do for it shall be rewarded.

Victory Isn’t Always Pretty But It’s Always Sweet

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Hockey Player In ActionWhat do you see when you think of victory?  Do you see flags flying, whistles blowing, people cheering? Do you see yourself well dressed, standing strong and tall?  That’s what we all want victory to look like but sometimes, most times victory isn’t pretty but it’s always sweet.

When Jesus went to the cross He didn’t look human.  Isaiah 53:2-3 says, “…He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.  He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.” Yet in the midst of all of this He cried out “It is finished.”  He proclaimed and declared victory.  He didn’t wait until He presented the blood to the Father when He would have been in his glorified body, but there while we turned our faces from the grotesqueness of His appearance, there while the enemy was rejoicing, while everything in the natural said defeat, He proclaimed victory.  It wasn’t pretty but it was sweet.  Victory is always sweet!

I Corinthians 15:57 says, “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”   This means that regardless of where you are how good or bad you feel you are victorious.  You have the victory because you’ve been given the victory through Christ.  Even though things might look a little ugly right now it doesn’t change the truth of God’s word.  You just need to do what Jesus did and begin to proclaim and declare your victory.  Yes, the situation is ugly but you’re still living.  It was meant to destroy you but you’re still here.   Things the enemy did to cause you to stop didn’t work you’re still going.  You’re still pursuing your dreams, you’re still working your ministry, you’re still writing that book.  Regardless of the circumstances you’re still moving forward.  So I say to you that’s what victory looks like.  No, it’s not pretty.  I know you were expecting something different but right now right where you are you are victorious.  Now, as you do what Jesus did and proclaim and declare victory you will see your situation change.  God will give you beauty for ashes and joy for your pain.  He will cause all things to work in your favor right in the face of the enemy.  Now that’s sweet.  Sweet Victory!

Seated With Christ

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During difficult times when things seem a bit overwhelming it’s a good time to focus on where you are seated.

Ephesians 2:6 says that God “hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”  This means we have the best seat in the house.  When all hell is breaking out around you remembering where you are will infuse your entire being with power and change the dynamics of your situation in your favor.

Just think if you are seated with Christ that means you are above every principality and power, every might and dominion and every human limitation.  So you don’t have to throw your hands up in surrender to the problem.  You can throw you hands up in praise to God because you are a winner in Christ!  No longer do you have to cry out “I’m not going to make it” because through Christ you’ve already made it.  I’ll say it again; you are a winner in Christ!

I Thessalonians 5:16-28 gives us some good instructions on how to remain strong during difficult times.  They simply say rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks, quench not the spirit, don’t despise prophecies, prove all things and hold fast to what is good; abstain from all appearance of evil and the very God of peace will sanctify you wholly and preserve your spirit, soul and body blameless unto the coming of Christ.  Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it.

I know you might be thinking rejoice evermore¸ pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks.  My marriage is not falling apart, my house is in foreclosure, and I’ve been unemployed for four years.  Well, let me tell you this, I’ve been there and like you I had a choice.  When my marriage fell apart, and my house was in foreclosure and I was out of work for four years I had a choice.  I could either throw my hands up in surrender to my problems or throw my hands up in praise.  I chose and I choose now to rejoice evermore.  I chose to pray without ceasing and in everything give God thanks.  But let me tell you it wasn’t always easy to do, but God is faithful.  I love the fact that the scripture says “Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it.  You see it’s not how faithful I am or you are to God, it’s that He is faithful to Christ and therefore faithful to us.  That’s the beauty of it all.  Nothing depends on us it’s all on Christ.  And we are seated in Christ.

Now being seated together with Christ comes with great privileges and one of those privileges is the fact that we are in the right position to ask our Father for anything and expect to receive what we ask.  Why you ask?  Because we not only have our Father’s heart but we’re so close to him that we have his attention.  In fact, His heart gives us His attention.  Mark 11:24 says “Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”  And that’s not all.  He has given us His Spirit. During those difficult times when things seem overwhelming we can pray in the Spirit and find rest and refreshing for our soul (Isaiah 28:11).    Because when we are rested and refreshed we are able to see all that God has accomplished for us through Christ.  We can give God thanks in the midst of it all because we know that He has already worked it out.  I’ll say it again; you are a winner in Christ!    Jesus told us in John 16:33 “…in this world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

Now as you are rejoicing and praying and giving thanks to God, the Holy Spirit will speak to your spirit and release wisdom to you for your situation.  Don’t quench the Spirit.  In other words don’t suppress the promptings of the Spirit because God gives His wisdom liberally (James 1:5).  He delights in leading and guiding us.  This is why He has given us His good Spirit to instruct us, so don’t suppress Him.  Many times we cry “Lord show me a way out” and He does.  But we’re not heeding to what His Spirit is saying to us because oftentimes we think the thoughts are coming from our flesh or from the enemy.  We suppress what the Spirit is saying.  Listen, it’s going to take you using the God kind of faith in you to do what the Spirit is leading you to do.  And you have the faith of God because you have Christ.  You have His faith in you to be able to do what He is telling you to do.

The next thing is don’t despise prophesy.   Now I’m not talking about those times when you’re in a service and God uses a prophet to call you out and give you a word (although we don’t despise that either).  I’m talking about those times when God will use someone to tell you to “hold on everything is going to be alright.” It could be your neighbor or co-worker.  But instead of rejoicing that God sees you, you complain and said, “Yeah I heard that before.” Or “God didn’t say that.”  This is despising prophesying.  The gift of prophecy is to edify and build up so when someone speaks something to edify and build you up don’t despise it.  Finally, know that the very God of peace is in the midst of you. He is sanctifying you wholly, and preserving your spirit, soul and body blameless unto the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Through it all He is perfecting Himself in you.  Therefore, remember where you are you are in Christ and He is in you. You are a winner in Christ!

Missed Opportunities

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Old clockHave you ever missed an opportunity and felt like you’ll never get that chance again?  I know I have.  However, there’s one thing I’ve come to know and that is, it doesn’t matter how many times we fail or how many opportunities we miss, God will never abandon His plan for our lives.  He will always bring us back to His plan and purposes.  We only need to be ready to seize it.

I can remember a time in my life when I was standing right in front of the answer to my prayers and walked away not realizing that this was what I asked God to do.  The opportunity was right there but I missed it.  Of course, after the fact I realized what had happened and regret immediately followed.  Oh!, if I had only realized my opportunity.  But thanks be to God He didn’t let me stay in my regrets.

I began to pray for the Lord to do it again, to put in the right place at the right time but this time to give me the grace to do the right thing.  As I prayed and mediated the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “God will never abandon His plan for your life, if it is in His plan He will bring you to it again.” He reminded me of how Adam missed his opportunity in the Garden of Eden.  Adam was in the right place at the right time and could have taken of the tree of life but He missed that opportunity.  He missed the chance to live day in and day out in unbroken fellowship in the presence of God for eternity. Genesis 3:22 says, “And the Lord God said, behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.” Adam could have lived forever in the Garden of Eden in the presence of God but he missed his opportunity.

As I thought about Adam, I wondered about his regret.  I wondered if he’d prayed to God to restore him back to the Garden.  I wondered how close he must have lived to the Garden.  I wondered if he tried to get back to the Garden on his own.  I wondered all these things because that’s what I did and Adam was human just like me. However, as I wondered I saw that God didn’t leave Adam in his regret just like He didn’t leave me in mine.  He spoke to Adam just as He had spoken to me.  He gave Adam a promise of a seed that would one day come and bruise the head of the serpent (Gen. 3:15).  God said to Adam what He said to me.  He would not abandon His plan.  God would bring Adam back to Eden. And when Jesus came to this earth, died on the cross and rose again”, Adam regained that missed opportunity.

Therefore, I want to encourage you today if you’ve been feeling regret about opportunities you’ve missed in your life, don’t.  Because God will never abandon His plan for your life.  If it is in His plan for you He will bring you back to it again.  He is a God of restoration and He will restore all things back to you even missed opportunities.