Hebrews 11:1 (AMP)
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].
If faith is the assurance meaning confirmation or title deed to the things that we hope for, long for, desire and seek after because it is proof of our hope of the things we do not see but bear witness to one’s conviction that they are real, why doesn’t anyone truly believe anymore? Faith is not a question but a position. It is confidence that God will do exactly what He has promised to do in our lives each day. It is incorporated in every breath of those who believe and missed when it is not a part of valid thought and conversation. How do we become completely assured that our faith is valid if we cannot see it? We must use it every single day to free our heart, mind, soul and body to seek Him more. Faith is not good until we consider it to be a valid resource in our life. But let’s face it – who is going to make faith their first response to problems, situations, circumstances and diseases until it is the only option left. Not many. Why? We are not fully convinced that faith in God is a real and credible resource for our life. We do not know Him well enough to trust Him with the important things in our life until we have no left to turn to but Him. The problem with our current position is that we are missing the full power of faith in God demonstrated in our true belief and commitment to confident hope. We are missing out on the Promises of God including full restoration.
Before our son was diagnosed with cancer almost three years ago, I would have told you that I believed in God. I would have told you that my faith in Him was real. I also would have told you that I had confident hope but sadly I really didn’t compared to now. This terrible cycle of sickness, remission and relapse have stripped me of all confidence in this world as they clearly cannot completely heal our son of this disease. When the insurance company denied him treatment multiple times and we were forced to fight to obtain medically necessary treatment for him, the cold hard reality of the callous and careless world in which we live hit home. As long as I can meet my own needs to an extent, and provide the things that our family needs – it is impossible to fully rely on God. It is through the fiery trials of testing that the saltiness is restored to God’s People not because it is His Plan but because we do not fully accept His Plan until we realize that we are held captive by our sin and locked in a world that doesn’t love us like the Lord does. “When all is stripped away and I simply come” leads us to the heart of worship as we fall into the Arms of our Loving God. The Lord wants to increase your faith today so that you will be fully restored. He died to open the door to your captivity so you could be free in the Spirit to experience every good thing that He planned for you from the very beginning. Confidence in our hope will cause us to pursue His Righteousness daily. It is such a life that we become fully restored.
Romans 15:13 (AMP)
May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope.
Our son believes in God. He loves the Lord. If you had witnessed all that this young man has endured or the terrible price that he has paid naturally to survive, one might wonder how he ended up in such a place. His life interrupted not once but five time by this disease. Yet he never complains. With each diagnosis, the possibility of death more looming yet he is not afraid. Would it be so had he not traveled this long and winding road? I have no idea. But I do know this that when we allow God to fill our life with hope by believing through the experience of faith there is no going back. No matter what happens, I know that God is good and that He loves us with unfailing and unconditional love that has made me confident that my faith will result in that which I hope for. I no longer wonder if God can but I know that He will do whatever His Word says that it will do to fully restore our lives to their original condition.
Psalm 23:1-3 (AMP)
The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack. He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters. He refreshes and restores my life (myself); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him—not for my earning it, but] for His name’s sake.
Righteousness is the key to successful faith. As we assume our position given by Jesus Christ through the remission of sin, we are redeemed. That means that we are no longer bound to the death penalty that sin attached to our life permanently separating us from God the Father, now we are free to be refreshed and restored just like He promises to do. The game changer is whether or not we will believe by faith enough to accept this hope that we are given. Righteousness is the assumption of our former position and forever purpose to be Sons and Daughters of God. This free gift is compliments of Jesus Christ and nothing that we do therefore righteousness does not require human effort to achieve, but commitment to maintain.
Let’s talk about restoration for a moment. Restoration has five distinct qualities when pertaining to the Lord’s Restoration of our life. Jesus will bring back into existence (or give us new life). He will bring us back to our original position (righteousness). The Lord will bring us back to a state of good health (healing). He desires to put us back into a former position (that of power and authority in dominion over the earth). Finally, Jesus wants us to have everything that the enemy has managed to take from us in our captivity. He wants to make full restitution for everything you have lost and then some. So you see faith is worthwhile as we develop confident hope in Christ so that we will be fully restored not just when we meet Him face-to-face but in our everyday life that we live while here in this world. The Lord wants to restore us. Righteousness is the way.
Joel 2:12-14 (AMP)
Therefore also now, says the Lord, turn and keep on coming to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning [until every hindrance is removed and the broken fellowship is restored]. Rend your hearts and not your garments and return to the Lord, your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in loving-kindness; and He revokes His sentence of evil [when His conditions are met]. Who knows but what He will turn, revoke your sentence [of evil], and leave a blessing behind Him [giving you the means with which to serve Him], even a cereal or meal offering and a drink offering for the Lord, your God?
The Lord wants us to keep coming to Him with all our heart in repentance until every hindrance is removed and our broken fellowship fully restored. Let’s face it sometimes “sorry” is just not enough. I have children that struggle with apologies. They keep them tucked away like gold in Fort Knox. If the offense is accidental like stepping on the other’s toe in passing, I will all but have to choke-hold an apology from one to the other. Why? Because the offender does not think they did anything wrong because it was unintentional. We do the same thing with the Lord. We are ignorant of God’s Word and His Way so we continue to live in our old life rather than accepting the brand new one that we have been given. We do not intentionally sin but if we do than assume that His Grace will cover it so make no attempt to pursue godliness, holiness or righteousness and sin like a free buffet since someone else paid our way. We do not thank the host. We just gorge on his goodness. Then when we do see the things we hope for come to pass we get mad all over again that God is not who He says He is and does not do what He promises. Oh yes He does! Friend, we have to pursue the Lord with all of our heart to step into that position of righteousness again and have all that He has promised. When we do than the Lord will raise our standard of living back to His Glorious Standard once forfeited by sin now reassumed in the Righteousness of God through Jesus Christ. You will never experience full restoration or realize the true potential of your faith in God until you decide to pursue Him with your all your heart.
Joel 2:23-29 (AMP)
Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord, your God; for He gives you the former or early rain in just measure and in righteousness, and He causes to come down for you the rain, the former rain and the latter rain, as before. And the [threshing] floors shall be full of grain and the vats shall overflow with juice [of the grape] and oil. And I will restore or replace for you the years that the locust has eaten—the hopping locust, the stripping locust, and the crawling locust, My great army which I sent among you. And you shall eat in plenty and be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord, your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you. And My people shall never be put to shame. And you shall know, understand, and realize that I am in the midst of Israel and that I the Lord am your God and there is none else. My people shall never be put to shame. And afterward I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. Even upon the menservants and upon the maidservants in those days will I pour out My Spirit.
In that moment that we repent of our sin and turn back to the Lord stepping into righteousness, things will begin to change as God restores us. He gives you the former and early rain – see you didn’t miss a thing. The former and latter rain comes together to produce prosperity in your life. All those seeds of righteousness no matter how sparing planted deep in your soul will begin to spring up. I am currently hanging on to the promise that He “will restore or replace for (me) the years that the locust have eaten.” I want the time that I have missed from my husband and other children while caring for our son returned to me. I want my son’s time to be redeemed as he finally completes college as he has desired all along hindered by sickness and disease. One thing that I know for a fact that now governs my life is that He is the Lord my God and there is no one else like Him. His Promises are true. He is refreshing and restoring my life in ways I cannot even think to ask for. He is doing it according to His Will and His Plan – all His Way. If I will focus on righteousness and keeping my heart set on Him, His Sprit will do the rest. Why do we have to be held captive to understand freedom? (Psalm 126:3-5) It is human nature. Why must we have no other option to finally accept the best option for our life – Jesus Christ. Faith restores our life. The woman with the issue of blood had faith in Jesus Christ. She decided that if she could just get close enough to touch his garment that she would be healed. (Matthew 9:21-22) Ironically or not so much, we are wrapped in robe of righteousness by Jesus Christ. (Isaiah 61:10) It is righteousness living in close proximity to God the Father through Jesus His Son that will fully restore our life. When Jesus healed the woman, He told her “Daughter, your faith (your trust and confidence in Me, springing from faith in God) has restored you to health. Go in (into) peace and be continually healed and freed from your [distressing bodily] disease.” The faith discovered in her pursuit of righteousness not only set her free from disease but kept her healed and whole. The impact of cancer in our life is minimal compared to the infinite worth of the faith that we have discovered by believing in His Will, Way and Word to heal our son. According to His Word, it really doesn’t matter what it cost because He has promised double for our trouble if we continue to maintain close proximity in His Righteousness. (Job 42:9-17) Job prayed for his annoying friends who despite their best efforts and good intentions misrepresented the Word of God. He did not sway from right standing with God even when he lost everything naturally and physically. He remained righteous even when the pain was far greater than most of us could ever imagine. It paid off and he would be fully restored.
James 1:2-4 (AMP)
Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.
What is lacking in your life today? The Lord wants to fill those voids. He longs to refresh you. His Desire is to fully restore everything broken or lost in your life today beginning with your relationship with Father God. In that moment that you pour out your heart to the Lord believing that He can do something about it enough to leave it with Him, you will begin to experience restoration and recovery in your life. It doesn’t mean the circumstances will immediately change or that everything will turn around in an instant. Your nature will not allow for quick results or we call it fate or random luck. God is intentional in His Relationship with you and everything that He does will point back to His Amazing Love for you until you are convinced and nothing can every separate you again. Frustrated with life? Turn to Jesus. Overwhelmed by circumstances? Give it all to Jesus. It sounds so cliché…until you try it and experience restoration and renewal than you will never stop pursing the extravagance of His Great Love!
Psalm 119:36-38 (AMP)
Incline my heart to Your testimonies and not to covetousness (robbery, sensuality, unworthy riches). Turn away my eyes from beholding vanity (idols and idolatry); and restore me to vigorous life and health in Your ways. Establish Your word and confirm Your promise to Your servant, which is for those who reverently fear and devotedly worship You.