Joel Osteen — A Nevertheless Person
I want to talk to you today about A nevertheless person. We all face situations that seem impossible. We don't see how we could ever accomplish a dream or get the break we need, meet the right person. In the natural, we feel stuck. Maybe the medical report says you're not going to get better, or you raised a child in church and now they're off course, not interested in doing what's right, or in our careers, we gave it our best effort. We worked hard, took the extra training, but now we've peaked, gone as far as our education allows.
What do you do when you've done the right thing but it hasn't worked out? You're standing on God's promises, believing that he's restoring health, that you'll lend and not borrow, that he'll give you the desires of your heart. But every circumstance looks like it's not going to happen. Your logic, your reasoning tells you, "Forget it, it's not going to work out. It's not your lot in life". It's easy to get discouraged and give up on what we're believing for.
This is where Peter was in Luke chapter 5. He'd been out fishing all night and caught nothing. He was an experienced fisherman. He went to the places where he knew there were always fish. He tried again and again, hour after hour, came up empty. They were fishing with large nets, not just a few poles. You would have they would have caught something, at least a few fish, even it wasn't the kind that they were looking for. But Peter said, "We've caught nothing".
In other words, it couldn't get any worse. They came up totally empty. But early the next morning, after a long night of being in the boat, frustration, nothing worked out, as they were coming in to the shore, they saw Jesus, and Jesus asked Peter if he could borrow his boat to teach people from the beach.
In a few hours, when he was done, Jesus told Peter to do something that seemed illogical, didn't make sense to Peter's natural reasoning. Jesus said, "Peter, go back out into the waters, throw out your nets, and you will catch a great haul of fish". You can imagine how Peter must have felt. "Are you kidding? Go back out there again? We've been out all night. No fish are biting. We're experts. We know what we're doing". Plus, it was morning now. The fish go down deeper to stay out of the daylight.
Every circumstance told Peter, "Don't do it. It's going to be a waste of your time". If Peter would've reasoned it out, only looked at it logically, he would have talked himself out of it. He could've told Jesus, "I appreciate your suggestions. Thank you for your advice, but we're not going to do it. It's not going to do any good". Instead, Peter did something that we all must do if we're going to see promises come to pass. He said, "Jesus, we fished all night and caught nothing. Nevertheless, at your word, we'll go back and try again".
He didn't deny the facts. He was saying, in effect, "The odds are against us. It looks impossible. Nevertheless, because of what you say, I'm going to do it". He went back out into the water, threw out his nets, and caught so many fish that the began to break. Practical people would have missed their miracle. People that only look at things logically, realistically, statistically, would have talked themselves out of it.
God is looking for, "Nevertheless," people, for people who say: "The medical report doesn't look good. Nevertheless, God is restoring health back into me". "My child is still of course. Nevertheless, as for me and my house, we will serve the lord". "Business is slow, no fish are biting, doesn't look like I could ever get out of debt. Nevertheless, blessings are chasing me down. I will lend and not borrow". Or maybe, "I've had this addiction for years, gone through treatment, rehab. Nothing has worked. I should be discouraged, but I'm a, "Nevertheless," person. I know freedom is in my future. I know one touch of God's favor can turn it around".
It may not make sense to your logic. In the natural, you don't see how you could accomplish a dream, meet the right person, see your family restored. You've given it your best efforts, exhausted your resources, but came up empty, no fish. All the circumstances say, "It's not going to happen". You're right where Peter was. You can either give up, get discouraged, or you can dig your heels in and say, "It looks impossible. The odds are against me. I tried and it didn't work out. Nevertheless, I still believe. Nevertheless, I'm going to try again. Nevertheless, I'm going to keep hoping, praying, expecting".
Friends, if you don't learn to become a, "Nevertheless," person, you won't reach the fullness of your destiny. Because there will be situations where there's no way out. The obstacle is too big. The opponents are too strong. Without God's favor, you'll get stuck. God puts us in these situations on purpose, to where we come to the end of our ability. There's nothing more we can do. This is what faith is all about.
If you can achieve it on your own, you don't need God's help. But his dream for your life is to take you further than you can imagine. That's why he plants things in your heart that are too big for you to accomplish on your own. It's easy to think, "Man, I don't have the talent, the experience, the connections," and too often, we let this overwhelm us.
We get discouraged, thinking, "Man, I'm out of my league. This is over my head. I'll never live in that nice neighborhood. I don't have the funds. I'll never get well. Joel, I've been sick for years. I'll never start my business, write that book, build that orphanage. The odds are all against me".
No, you are exactly where God wants you. He would not have put the dream in your heart if he didn't already have a way to bring it to pass. Your attitude should be: "It may be big, nevertheless, with God, all things are possible". "I may not have the connections, nevertheless, I know friends in high places". "I tried and it didn't work out. Nevertheless, what God started in my life he will finish".
All through the scripture, we see, "Nevertheless," people. When David went out to face Goliath, he was a teenager taking care of his father's sheep. He didn't have any military training, any experience, any armor. Goliath was twice his size, a skilled warrior. David could have looked at it only in the natural and gotten depressed, but David was a, "Nevertheless," person. He thought, "All I have is this slingshot and a few stones. This giant is much bigger, much stronger. Nevertheless, if God be for me, who dare be against me"?
David didn't just stop with the facts. If he would've, he would've talked himself out of it. The key is, you have to add the, "Nevertheless". You may have the facts. The medical report may say you're not going to get well. That's fine, I'm not asking you to deny the facts. I'm asking you to add the, "Nevertheless".
"These giants look huge. Nevertheless, my God is much bigger". "Medical report says I'm done. Nevertheless, nothing can snatch me out of God's hands". "I've been single a long time. I don't think I'll ever meet the right person. Nevertheless, I know a divine connection is headed my way".
Or perhaps, "The specialists, the experts say that my spouse and I can't ever have a child. Nevertheless, I believe there's a baby that already has my name on them". This is what Abraham did. God gave him the promise that he and his wife, Sarah, would have a baby.
In the natural, they were way too old. Sarah had already gone through the change of life. This would defy the laws of nature. In fact, when Abraham told her what God said, the scripture says that "Sarah laughed". It was so far out in her mind, she thought it was funny. She said, "Oh, yeah, right, Abraham. You and me have a baby? I don't think so. We're way too old".
Has God ever put something in your heart so big, seems so unlikely, your first thought was to laugh? He whispers in your spirit, "One day, you're going to live in that nice neighborhood. You're going to lead your company in sales. You're going to write that best-selling book. You're going to see your whole family come to know the lord. You're going to marry somebody fantastic".
On the surface, it seems so far out. We think, "Oh, yeah, right, that could never happen," and when Abraham heard Sarah laughing, he could've gotten discouraged, thought, "Yeah, right, what was I thinking? Let me come back to reality. Man, I'm way too old". If he would've looked at it only logically, practically, realistically, he would've given up.
Abraham did what we all must do to see that promise come to pass. He added the, "Nevertheless". "Yes, I'm too old. Nevertheless, God can make a way. Yes, it's impossible. Nevertheless, God can do the impossible. Yes, it defies the laws of nature. Nevertheless, God supersedes the laws of nature". Whatever looks impossible in your life, start adding the, "Nevertheless".
Those thoughts make you feel: "Man, I'm too small to ever get chosen for that lead role. Nevertheless, God's favor is shining down on me". "I don't have the strength, the talent, the experience for that promotion. Nevertheless, God's causing me to stand out". Or "Joel, I don't have the funds, the resources to go to college. Nevertheless, God can open doors that no man can shut".
I know a young man. He had a dream to play baseball in college. He lived way out in the country and he was the star player on his high school team, but there wasn't a lot of competition in that division. Different scouts had come to see him play, but they all told him he wasn't big enough to play at a major university, and he had an offer from a small private school, and while he was grateful, he knew he had something bigger in his heart, and he was invited to go to try out at this large college.
There were other players there from big cities, big programs. They were bigger, stronger, had more experience. But when he stepped up to bat in front of the coaches, all the scouts, the pressure was on. He said, "Joel, it was like something came all over me and I felt like I was 10 feet tall".
He hit the ball harder, further, more consistently than all those top prospects, and out of several hundred young men that tried out to walk on the team that day, he was the only one chosen to make the team. He was given a full 4-year scholarship, went on to have a great college career.
The odds may be against you. You don't think you have the talent, the experience, the connections. Neither did David. Don't talk yourself out of what God put in your heart. Start adding the, "Nevertheless". "God, I don't have the size. Nevertheless, you can get me to where I'm supposed to be. I don't have the strength, the talent. Nevertheless, I know your favor surrounds me like a shield".
When you add the, "Nevertheless," that's what allows God to do amazing things. But too many people, instead of having this, "Nevertheless," mentality, they have a, "No way," mentality. "No way I can get out of debt, Joel. I'm too far down in the hole. No way I'll break this addiction. I've had it for so many years. No way I'll be successful. I come from the wrong family". You are prophesying your future. If you think it's impossible, it becomes impossible.
God is not looking for, "No way," people. He's looking for, "Nevertheless," people, for people who say: "I don't see how I could ever get out of this problem. Nevertheless, God always causes me to triumph". "This legal situation looks like it's going to be the end of me. Nevertheless, no weapon formed against me will prosper". "My dreams are taking a lot longer than I thought. Nevertheless, what God started in my life, he'll bring to completion". Shake of the, "No way," mentality. Have this, "Nevertheless," mentality.