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Joel Osteen — Balanced Books


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I want to talk to you today about balanced books. This is an accounting term. It means to make up for loss. One account is low or where there's a deficit, you add revenue to equal it out. You have to first determine how much the account is behind. You take all the losses, all the deficits, total them up, then you know how much you need to add. When the books are properly balanced, no one can tell there's ever been a loss. There is no deficit.

In the same way, God has promised he will balance the books in our lives. We all go through things that put us at a deficit, an unfair situation, a rough childhood, a friend betrayed us, we lost a loved one. If nothing changed, we would be out of balance. We would go through life with more loss, thinking, "Man, I must have got the short end of the stick. God must not have had a good plan for my life".

A young lady told me recently how she's had six miscarriages, hasn't been able to carry the baby, and with big tears running down her cheeks, she said, "Joel, I don't understand it. I want to have a baby so badly". Life is not always fair, but God is fair. He will add up all the losses, the disappointment, the heartache, the tears, hebrews 10 says, "God is a just God, he will repay the compensation owed us. He will settle the cases of his people".

God knows what you're owed. You are not going to live in you may go through seasons where you're out of balance, a loss, a disappointment, something doesn't make sense, but don't worry, your time is coming. God is going to settle your case. He's seen every tear you've shed, every person that's done you wrong, every injustice. Nobody else may know, but God knows and he is not going to leave you out of balance. You are not going to end up in the red, lonely, disappointed, at a disadvantage.

That's all temporary. The creator of the universe is adding up all the deficits. You may have gone through things you don't understand and you could easily live discouraged, with a chip on your shoulder. No, get your passion back. God is saying, "I'm about to balance your books". Compensation is coming. Healing is coming. Vindication is coming.

I can look back in my own life and see times where God balanced my books. When I was growing up, we had church in a small, run down building that used to be a feed store. It had holes in the floor where you could sweep the hay and feed out. We cleaned it up, and put some plywood down, and put temporary chairs in it. For 13 years, that's where we had church. Over time, that area of town started to go downhill. It wasn't kept up very well.

We lived about 30 minutes away, and most of my schoolmates went to the neighborhood church. It was a big, brick building, had a huge pipe organ, stained glass, very prestigious, very beautiful. Because we were in this feed I knew saw us as being second-class, thinking, "Ah, they can't afford a place to have church. They have to meet in that old, run down building".

I would hear them kind of laughing, making fun, and they were good people, I know they didn't mean anything by it, but they dismissed us. They saw us as less than. They're not up to par. Well, fast-forward 30 years. We're no longer in a run down feed store. God has blessed us with the former compaq center, the premiere facility in our city in the most prestigious part of town. That was God balancing the books, God bringing justice.

When I was growing up, it never bothered in fact, I never even paid attention to it, but God does pay attention. He is keeping the records of who's trying to push you down, who's trying to discredit you. He's adding up all the deficits, and at the right time, he's going to some of the things God is going to pay you back for isn't because of wrongs done to you, but because of what your parents had to put up with, because of injustices to those that went before you.

See, my father never saw the level of influence that God's blessed me with, and I say that very humbly. I recognize that I am reaping from the life my father lived. This is God balancing the books in our family. There are people in your family line, they kept doing the right thing when the wrong thing was happening. They gave, they served, they honored God, but they never saw total justice. Get ready. Like with me, God is going to bless you to make up for God is not going to leave your family out of balance. You're going to come into blessings that you didn't work for, for good breaks that you didn't deserve. Doors will open it wasn't because of anything you did. That's God paying your family back for what they were owed.

This is what happened with the israelites. They had been in slavery for ten generations. They were mistreated, taken advantage of, forced to work long hours, given these quotas that were impossible to meet. After 430 years, God brought them out of slavery. They could've left, and that in itself would've been a great miracle. They were finally free, but they didn't leave empty-handed, with their heads down in shame.

They had worked 430 years without pay. They were owed a whole lot. God said, "All right, it's time to balance the books". God caused them to have favor with their captors. The same people that had mistreated them for years, the same ones that had looked down on them, made their lives miserable, suddenly they had a change of heart and they gave the israelites their gold, their silver, their clothing.

They israelites left there pushing wheelbarrows full of treasures. The books, paying them back for those 430 years. God sees every deficit. He sees every wrong done to you and your family. He knows what you're owed. There will be a day, like with the israelites, God says, "Enough is enough. It's time to balance your books". He's promised he will compensate you.

Now, quit worrying about what you lost, who did you wrong, who put you at a disadvantage, who's not giving you the credit. God saw what happened and he's saying, "It's payback time". You're coming out not empty-handed, not looked down on, not seen as second-class. You're coming out promoted, vindicated, respected, with abundance. Favor that you didn't deserve. Blessings chasing you down.

That's the God of justice paying you back young man told me recently how he was raised in a very negative environment. His father wasn't in his life. His mother was never around. She had a lot of issues of her own. He couldn't understand why he why he was put at such a disadvantage. I told him what I'm telling you. Life may not be fair, but God saw what happened and he's going to make it up to you.

Here's the whole key. You can't go around with a chip on your shoulder, thinking about what mama didn't give you, what daddy didn't give you. God knew what your parents weren't going to be able to give you. It didn't stop his plan. If you will stay in faith, God will balance your books. If you didn't get as much in one area, he is a God of justice. He'll give you more in another area to make up for it.

You may feel like you got shortchanged in life. You didn't have a good childhood. You're dealing with an illness. Your boss doesn't give you any credit. Don't worry, God sees what you're owed. He's keeping the records. He may not be able to give you another childhood, he may not be able to bring a loved one back that you lost, but he can make the rest of your life so rewarding, so fulfilling, you don't even think about what you didn't get.

Balanced books means you're not living from a place of deficit. You're not living from a place of loss, always thinking when my dad went to be with the Lord in 1999, I lost one of my best friends. I'd worked with him for 17 years and we'd traveled the world together. But today, even though I miss my father, even though I would love for him to be here, God has blessed me in so many other areas, I'm not living from a place of deficit. Sure, that first year, and I was a little out of balance, but then God began to bring new gifts out of me, opened new doors, and caused things to fall into place. What was happening? He was balancing my books.

Maybe somebody walked out of a relationship and broke your heart. Don't live bitter. Don't give up on life. That is not the end. You may be out of balance right now. That loss is extra heavy, but God saw the hurt. He saw the betrayal, and like with me, God is going to pay you back. He's going to bring somebody better into your life than you've ever even imagined.

Or maybe a dream didn't work out. You didn't get the scholarship. The medical report wasn't good. Now you have to take a whole 'nother round of treatment. In these tough times when life doesn't seem fair, you have to keep reminding yourself that he is a just God. He sees what you're going through and you are not going to live from a place of deficit.


All through the day, "Lord, I want to thank you that you're balancing my books. Lord, I believe that payback is coming, healing is coming, vindication is on the way". This is what allows God to pay you back for what you were owed, not going around discouraged, blaming others, in self-pity. The hand you've been dealt may not have been fair, but it is not a surprise to God. He already has a way to settle your case. Every time you're tempted to worry, just turn it around and thank him that payback is on the way. Thank him that you too are going to live from a place of no loss.
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