Joel Osteen - The Promise is Coming (NEW)
I want to talk to you today about The Promise Is Coming. We're all waiting for something: waiting for a dream to come to pass or waiting for a health to improve, waiting for a child to turn around. When it's taken a long time, and we don't see anything happening, it's easy to get discouraged and think that it's not meant to be. But the scripture says in Hebrews 10:36, "Patient endurance is what you need now. Then you will receive all that God has promised". This is saying, "Don't get talked out of what God put in your heart. Just because it hasn't happened yet, does it mean it's not going to happen".
God is faithful. He heard your request, he sees you standing in faith, he hears you thanking him when you could be complaining. What you're believing for is on the way. When you prayed in faith according to God's will, he put the promise on the schedule. He already set the time to bring it to pass. You may not see any sign of it, nothing looks like it's changing, but God is working behind the scenes. Things are happening right now that you can't see. He's lining up the right people, arranging the good breaks, the healing, the freedom, the abundance. It's just a matter of time before you see what God is up to.
But here's the key: before the promise is fulfilled you have to pass the discouragement test, where you're waiting and you don't see anything happening, doubt comes saying, "Man, it would have happened by now. It's too late, you'll never get well, never reach the right person, never see your family restored". This is where many people miss their miracle. They get discouraged and think that God has forgotten about them. What you do while you're waiting will determine whether you see the promise. That's why God said, "You need patient endurance". Not just patience, but endurance. That means you're not going to be talked out of it, you're going to keep thanking God when you don't see any sign, you're going to keep believing when every circumstance says, "There's no way". When you do that, God says you will receive all that he promised. Not some, not most of it, not 90 percent. No, you'll see the fullness of the blessing.
Now, you may be in a waiting season now. You're tempted to give up on what God has put in your heart, settle for less. No, don't water down your dreams. Don't let delays convince you to lower your expectations, "Just live with the sickness. It's okay to be by yourself, you'll never meet a spouse. You can't start that business, you're doing all right, just accept where you are". No, God didn't put that promise in you to tease you, to get just your hopes up, and then never let it happen. He put it there because he has every intention of bringing it to pass. You have to dig your heels in and have some holy determination. Your attitude should be, "I'm in it for the long haul. I will not give up, I will not let doubt, people, delay, circumstances, bad breaks talk me out of what God put in my heart". You have to have a made-up mind. We're all going to wait, but how we wait makes all the difference.
David said in Psalms, "Bring your request before God and wait expectantly". Wait in faith, wait knowing that God is working, wait expecting it to show up. Every time doubt comes, "It's been too long, it's never going to happen", turn it around, "Father, thank you that healing is coming. Thank you that breakthroughs are coming. Thank you that abundance is coming". It's not enough to just pray in faith, that's important, but you have to wait in faith, wait with expectancy. Not, "God, this has taken so long, I just don't understand it", that kind of waiting is canceling out your prayer. Try a different approach, "Lord, I thank you that what you promised me is already in route. I know it could happen this month, it could happen this week, it could happen today. Lord, I'm expecting your goodness, I'm expecting the right person to show up. I'm expecting my health to turn around".
Now, while you're waiting, there will be plenty of tests. If you're single and believing to meet someone don't be surprised if you see your best friend get married, your cousin, your co-worker, your next door neighbor, your great great grandmother. She's 94 years old and just went to Cancun on her honeymoon, and ask you to keep the dog. You'll be tempted to think, "I give up". The right attitude is, "God, you did it for them, I know you can do it for me. I know my time is coming. I know what you promised me is already on the schedule". Here's what I've learned: when it's taken a long time, it's because what God has for you is going to be better than you thought, more rewarding, more fulfilling. Don't despise the waiting period. God knows what's best for us. Sometimes we're waiting because another person is not ready, or we're waiting because God is getting us prepared to handle the weight of blessing. It's going to be a big blessing, but it's going to require greater maturity, greater character.
We all want everything fast, me included, but God knows when the right time is. One of the best things I've learned is to trust God's timing. It hasn't happened yet, then it hasn't been the right time. But I can assure you: when God is ready, all the forces of darkness cannot hold him back. It says in a Habakkuk, "God has an appointed time to bring the promise to pass, and it will not be one second late". Thoughts will tell you, "You're falling behind. You're missing out. God must have forgotten about you".
When you come into your appointed time, God will make up for what looks like lost time. God knows how to catapult you ahead. He knows how to thrust you from the background to the foreground. Looks like it will take years to get well, but one touch of God's favor and suddenly it happens. Years for your business to grow, but when you hit that appointed time suddenly it takes off, suddenly you meet the right person, suddenly your child is back on course. You can't explain it, it doesn't make sense, it's just the goodness of God pushing you into your destiny. How does this happen? Through patient endurance. Believing when there's no sign, thanking God that is coming when your mind says it's never going to happen.
You may have been waiting a long time, and thoughts are trying to talk you out of it. God is saying, "Get a new grip". Take hold of his promises in a new way. Make up your mind that no matter how long it takes or how impossible it looks, you're going to be a believer and not a doubter. The right attitude is, "What God promised me will come to pass. I will lend and not borrow. I will live and not die. My children will be mighty in the land. I am free from every addiction. My latter days will be better than my former days". You keep declaring that, keep waiting with expectancy, you're going to see God show out in your life. He's going to do things that are uncommon, unusual, you didn't see it coming. It's the greatness of our God.
The next verse in Hebrews says, "For in just a little while, the coming one will come and will not delay". It's significant that right after it talks about having patient endurance, it refers to God as the coming one. This is saying: while you're waiting, while thoughts of doubt are trying to talk you out of it, you need to have this image of God as the coming one. Not the delayed one, not the forgot about you one, not that you don't deserve it one, not the late one. Have a new perspective: the God we serve is the coming one. He's coming with healing, he's coming with favor, he's coming with salvation for your children, he's coming with that dream he put in your heart, he's coming with the spouse he already picked out for you, he's coming with freedom for your loved ones, he's coming with abundance for your family.
Thoughts would tell you, "It's never going to happen". Can I encourage you? The coming one is already on the way. The healing is already in route. The abundance is already in motion. That breakthrough is already heading towards you. When you know this it's easy to wait with expectancy, it's easy to believe when you don't see a sign. You know God as not just your Savior, not just as your Creator, but you know him as the coming one. I love what it says, "For in a little while, the coming one will come and not delay". It doesn't say, "In a long time, years from now, sometime in the sweet by and by you're going to be blessed". No, in just a little while you're going to see God do something awesome in your life. In just a little while the right person is going to show up. In just a little while your business is going to take off. In just a little while your health is going to turn around.
Don't believe those forever lies, the enemy loves to whisper, "It's going to be years before you get well, years before that depression leaves, years before you break that addiction". It's trying to get you discouraged, doubting, will you give up on your dreams? Don't fall into that trap. God says: in just a little while what you're believing for is going to show up. Keep that playing in your mind. Not forever, but a little while. Not permanent, but in a little while. Not never going to change, but in a little while. That's how you wait with expectancy, knowing the God we serve is not a distant, far-off God. He's the coming one, and in just a little while he's going to show up.
A few months ago I ordered some sports equipment online, and the company was in California, and I waited a week and nothing came, two weeks nothing, and I was concerned that my order didn't go through or maybe I didn't put down the right information. I went to the website, and it gave me a tracking number for my purchase. I typed it in, in big block letters it came up "In route". When I saw that, everything changed. I wasn't concerned anymore, didn't wonder if it's going to make it, didn't worry if I filled out something wrong. That's all I needed to know that it was "In route".
When you pray according to God's will, when you bring your request to him like David said, in one sense you place the order. You ask God for what he promised: for health, for freedom, for strength, for abundance. You made your request, but like with me, as time goes on you may not see anything happening. You think, "I wonder if God heard me. I wonder if this will ever change. Maybe I don't deserve it, maybe it wasn't meant to be", all this doubt and worry trying to talk you out of it. But if you were able to go to that heavenly computer so to speak, type in your request that you made, you know what you would see? In route! The moment you prayed God set the miracle into motion, he dispatched angels with that promise. You're praying for salvation for your child, check the computer: in route! Healing from this cancer: in route! Freedom from this addiction, "Joel, I don't see anything happening", be patient, it's in route. "Well, I'm believing to start my own business, but no doors have opened", let me check: in route!
Don't get discouraged because you haven't seen it yet, it may take a little time, but the good news is: it's already headed your way. Now, the question is: will you have patient endurance? Will you keep believing when you don't have a sign? Will you keep waiting with expectancy, knowing that God is faithful? Will you keep thanking him that it's in route? This is what faith is all about. You can't see it, nothing's changing, thoughts tell you, "It's too late, you missed your opportunity, God didn't hear you". You have to walk by faith and not by sight. "God, I don't have to see it yet, I trust you. I know you're faithful. I believe what you promised me is already in route".
There are secret things that God whispered to you in the night, things you haven't told anyone, seems too good to be true. Can I encourage you? They are in route. You haven't seen, heard or imagined what God has come in your way. Those struggles that are weighing you down, the pressures that can seem overwhelming, doesn't look like they'll ever change. You're doing the right thing, you'll be in your best at work, taking care of your children, keeping a good attitude when it's not fair. God sees your faithfulness, he's heard your prayers, he has things in route that are going to lighten that load. Ease is coming, freedom is in route, abundance is in route, the right people are already in route. God is going to lift you out of that difficulty, set your feet on a rock, and put a new song in your heart. Not years and years from now, but in a little while. Sooner than you think, the coming one is going to show up. He said in Malachi 4:2, "He's coming with healing in his wings". He's coming with freedom, he's coming with strength, he's coming with victory.
When I found that tracking number, I discovered that I could go to a map and track the truck that was bringing the equipment. Came from California, went to Phoenix, then to El Paso, and up to Oklahoma City. It had the whole route laid out with the projected dates and times where it would be at each location. Once I found that out, I didn't have to wonder, I could see exactly where it was. I knew on a certain date it would be at my house. It's great when we have all the information, makes it so much easier, but can I warn you? God doesn't give you any details. The promises don't come with the tracking number. He doesn't tell you when, where, how. All he tells you is that it's in route. "What I said, I will do. What I have spoken I will bring to pass".
This is when your faith has to kick in. "God, I don't see any sign of it. My mind says it's not going to happen. People tell me it's not going to work out. The facts say it's too late, but God I'm not moved by what I see, I'm moved by what I know. And I know you're the coming one. I know in just a little while I will see what you promised". See, sometimes we trust the shipping company more than we trust God. We trust Amazon more than we trust the coming one. They're people, they can make mistakes: he's God, he can never fail. Quit worrying, quit believing the doubt. What God promised you is on the way.
David was a teenager out in the shepherd's fields, taking care of his father's sheep. And he had a big dream in his heart, he knew God called him to do great things, but there wasn't any sign of that happening. His brothers were in the military, they had prestigious positions, but being the youngest he got stuck out with the animals. He could have been depressed, "God, is not fair. It's never going to change". But David understood the power of waiting with expectancy.
I can imagine out in those lonely fields, that's where he wrote some of the Psalms. Maybe he wrote Psalm 40, "I waited patiently for the Lord. He heard my cry and answered my prayer". Perhaps he wrote Psalm 34, "I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise will continually be in my mouth". He was saying, "While I'm waiting, I'll praise him. When nothing is changing I'll praise him. When I feel stuck I'll praise him. When I'm overlooked and underestimated I'll still praise him". Maybe that's where he wrote Psalm 27, "I am confident I will see the goodness of God in the land of the living".
Listen to his attitude: stuck out in the shepherd's fields, no way out in the natural, but he's saying, "I am confident the coming one is on the way. I am confident favor is coming, new opportunities are coming, vindication is coming". While he was out there waiting expectantly, waiting believing God was working, waiting knowing that his purpose would come to pass, the prophet Samuel started walking toward his house. Samuel came knocking on his father's door to choose the next king of Israel. He looked at the seven brothers and said, "It's none of these. Do you have another son"? They called David in from the fields. Notice: David didn't go looking for Samuel, Samuel came looking for David. His father left him out, but God called him in. His father overlooked him, but God shined down on him. What was that? The coming one. Our God knows how to come to you.
Like David you may feel stuck, overlooked, the dream too big, seems too late. Have a new perspective: the coming one is on the way. He's coming with healing, he's coming with favor, he's coming with breakthroughs, he's coming with new opportunities. Samuel is about to show up, good breaks looking for you, the right people tracking you down. While David was out there doing the right thing with a good attitude, he didn't know it, but Samuel was already in route. He didn't have any sign of it, nobody told him, "Hey, this prophet's looking for you". You don't know what's already in route to you. You can't see the blessings, the favor, the influence that God has already set in motion. Your appointed time is coming. Your Samuel is going to come knocking at your door. You won't have to make this happen, manipulate people, try to force your way up. God is going to bring it to you. Everyone will know is his favor on your life.
Now, if David were here today he would tell you, "Don't let the circumstances fool you. You may not see how your dream can come to pass, how you can get well, but when the coming one shows up, one touch of God's favor, one Samuel knocking on your door, one slingshot, one Goliath being defeated, and you'll step into levels that you've never imagined". That's why David wrote (Psalm 37:7), "Wait expectantly for the Lord to act". Don't wait discouraged, defeated, "This is never going to change". Give God something to work with. God needs some faith, he needs some hope, he needs some praise, "God I believe you're the coming one. I believe what Malachi said that you're coming with healing in your wings. I believe like David that my Samuels are on the way. I believe my breakthrough is in route. I believe my child's salvation is in route. I believe that dream that I'm praying about is already in route".
When I was growing up, my mother always wanted a swimming pool in our backyard. There were five of us kids, and she told my father, and normally daddy would have given her anything he possibly could, but he did not want to have anything to do with the swimming pool. He said, "Dodie, they're too expensive, they're too much trouble, I don't want one". His mind was made up, but my mother had patient endurance. In other words she was stubborn. She would not take no for an answer. She kept asking, kept bringing it up, my father wouldn't budge.
One day she was out in the backyard with a tape measure. Daddy went out and asked what she was doing? She said, "I'm measuring off where we're going to put my swimming pool". He said, "Dodie, I told you we are not going to get a swimming pool. You might as well quit thinking about it". That went in one ear and out the other. This went on for several years. One thanksgiving this couple drove from Louisiana to Houston to our annual convention. The man told the usher that he wanted to see my parents, they brought him back. He said, "My name is Richard, and I build swimming pools for a living". My mother went over and hugged him, and said, "Hello, Richard, we've been waiting for you". He said, "I would like to build you a pool". My father jumped right in and said, "Oh, Richard, that's so nice, so kind, but we can't really afford it right now, and it's really not practical". He said, "What do you mean you afford it? I want to give you a swimming pool".
He built this beautiful in-ground swimming pool in our backyard. First time we went out to swim, all of us kids jumped in, my father came out the door in his swim trunk so excited. My mother said, "John, don't even think about getting in my pool". But here's my point: while my mother was waiting there was no sign of it. People telling her no, she didn't have the funds, but she didn't get talked out of it. She kept believing it would happen. While all these circumstances said that there was no way, here's this man driving from Louisiana to give her a pool. He was already in route when my father was telling her no. He was already headed to Lakewood when it seemed impossible.
Don't go about what you see, you don't know what's already in route to you. When it seems the least likely, that's when God loves to show up. When the odds are against you, nothing looks possible, suddenly Samuel comes knocking on your door, suddenly Richard whom you've never met says, "God sent me here to bless you". I'm asking you to wait with expectancy, wait knowing that God heard your request, that he set the promise in motion, that the miracle is already in route.
15 years later my mother wasn't believing for a swimming pool, she was believing for her life. She was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer, and given a few weeks to live. I saw her have that same unshakable faith, not being talked out of what God put in her heart. That same waiting with expectancy. Deep down she knew that healing was already in route, they're just like Richard showed up unexpectedly, that the coming one was on his way with healing in his wings. Four decades later my mother is still alive and healthy: the goodness of our God.
The Israelites had wandered in the desert for many years, and didn't seem like they'd ever make it in. And I'm sure they were tired and run down, they felt stuck. But Deuteronomy 6:10-11 says this, "The Lord your God will soon bring you into the land he promised. It's filled with prosperous cities that you didn't build. The houses are stocked with goods you didn't produce. You will draw from wells that you did not dig". After all this time of waiting, wondering, dealing with the heat, the opposition, God said, "You're coming in to your appointed time. Soon you're going to go into a land like something you've never seen".
Like them you may have been waiting for a long time. You could easily settle where you are, think that it's never going to change. But you fought off the doubt, you've waited with expectancy, you've kept an attitude of faith. God is saying to you, "Soon you're going to see your healing. Soon the right person is going to show up. Soon that new door is going to open". You're on the verge of seeing God do something that you've never seen. The coming one is about to show up with blessings, with favor, with opportunity. There are things already in route to you right now that you can't imagine. Now, do your part and keep thanking him for what he promised, keep waiting with expectancy, keep declaring that it's on the way. If you'll do this, I believe and declare: like with David, Samuel's going to come looking for you. Like with my mother, healing when it seems impossible. Good breaks chasing you down, freedom, vindication, abundance. God is going to show out in your life. I believe it and declare it in Jesus name. And if you receive it, can you say amen?