Joel Osteen — Blessed Out Of The Season
I want to talk to you today about blessed out of season. There are times when you can feel you're on the verge of a new level, things are falling into place, you can sense it's your season. God's about to do something new.
It's important to live with that expectancy and believe for good things, but what about the times when it's just the opposite? Things aren't going our way, business is slow, the medical report's not good, it's been years and we still haven't met the right person. All the circumstances say we're stuck, just endure it, it's not your season.
The good news is God specializes in doing things out of season. He doesn't wait for the conditions to be perfect, for the circumstances to line up, for you to have the training, for the right people to believe in you. Things that you didn't see coming. You didn't have the experience, but suddenly, you were promoted. The report said you wouldn't get well, but suddenly, your health turned around. You were told you couldn't have children, but against all odds, you conceived and now you have that baby.
What happened? God blessed you out of season. We've been taught to be faithful in the slow periods, to endure when things aren't going our way and that's important. We have to pass the test. But sometimes we're being faithful without releasing our faith. We're enduring without expecting. We're waiting for the conditions to change, and then we'll get our hopes up.
"When I get through this slow season, when my child starts making better decisions, when I see more progress in my season, then I'll believe again". You don't have to wait until it's your season. God does things out of season. Not in a traditional way. He'll do things that don't make sense.
There's no explanation, it's just the goodness of God, and when you look around, every circumstance may say, "You're not in season. There's no sign of things getting better, no sign of your health improving, no sign of your being promoted".
Maybe it's just the opposite. Things are going down, thoughts will tell you, "Be discouraged. It's never going to change. The conditions are not favorable". Don't believe those lies. God is about to bless you out of season. He's about to do something you didn't see coming. He's going to surprise you with his favor. It's going to be bigger than you thought, better than you imagined, more rewarding than you've dreamed.
Now, don't complain because you're out of season, you're in prime position for God to show out in your life. In the scripture, sarah gave birth to a son at 90 years of no way to have a baby, it's too late. But God does things out of season. David was a teenager taking care of his father's sheep. He had no formal training, no military experience, he was a shepherd.
Yet the prophet Samuel showed up at his house and anointed him the next king of israel. He was promoted out of season when he didn't have the qualifications, when he didn't see it coming. It was boring out in the shepherd's fields. It was lonely. You don't know what God is up to. You don't know when he's about to show up and do something unusual.
You may feel overlooked, nobody's giving you credit, you're not in season. Don't worry, God knows how to promote you out of season. The israelites were in the desert headed toward the promised land and they complained to Moses that they didn't have any meat to eat. They were tired of eating the same manna every day.
God told Moses he was going to give them meat, not just for a day, but for a whole Moses said, "God what do you mean? If we butchered all of our flocks and all of our herds, we wouldn't have enough meat for these two million people". Moses was looking at it from a practical point of view, thinking, "We're in the desert, we're not in season. This is no time to find any meat".
God said, "Moses, is there any limit to my power"? He was saying, "Do you think you not being in season can stop me from doing what I want to do? Do you think because the conditions are not favorable, somehow that can limit my power? Don't you know I created the universe, I spoke worlds into existence, I flung stars into space, that nothing is too difficult for me"?
The next morning, God shifted the winds and caused a huge flock of quail to come into their camp. There were so many quail, they were flying 3 feet off the ground. The scripture says no one gathered less than 50 bushels what's interesting is quail don't usually fly that far away from the sea, way out into the desert, but God controls the winds. He controls the quail.
You may not see how your situation could work out. You're not in season, none of the conditions look favorable, but God knows how to shift the winds. He knows how to bring the quail, the right people, good breaks, healing, restoration. He's not limited because you're out of season.
I met a young lady that had gone through seven miscarriages. The doctors told her that there was something wrong with her womb and she would never be able to carry a baby and she should stop trying. She had big tears running down her cheeks, so heartbroken. She was out of season, didn't look good, the odds were against her, but people don't have the final say, God does.
Last year, she conceived and carried the baby full term. Her doctor said in 25 years of practicing medicine, he the odds may be against you, every voice says, "You'll never have the baby, never get well, never break the addiction". God is about to show up out of season and make things happen that looked impossible. There is no limit to his power when you believe all things are possible.
John chapter 5, there was a crippled man that had been laying by the pool of Bethesda for 38 years. There were five porches filled with sick people surrounding this pool. Verse 4 says an angel would go down to the pool at a certain season and stirred the waters. The first ones to get in would be healed.
The people knew when the season for the angel to come was. They'd seen that happen again and again. They would be especially on guard. They knew that was their window of opportunity to be healed. Any moment, the angel could show up.
One day, Jesus came to the pool and said to the man, "Do the problem was, it wasn't the right season. This wasn't the normal time when the waters would be stirred. I can imagine the man was a little confused, he said, "Sir, when the angel comes, I have no one to help me get in the pool". He knew he couldn't get healed then, he was out of season.
Jesus said to him, "Get up, pick up your bed, and walk," and instantly, the man was healed. He stood up and walked out of there. God was showing us how he can do things out of season, doesn't have to be the right time.
You may not see any sign of it, all the circumstances say you're stuck, just endure it, it's not your season. No, get ready for an out-of-season blessing, for an i-didn't-see-it-coming healing, for a that-doesn't-make-sense promotion. God is going to show up at what you think is the wrong time.
It looks like the angel is months and months away, but God doesn't have to wait for for the training, for the boss to like you, for the medical report to improve, for the economy to get better. God controls the universe. He's not limited by seasons.
Isaiah said God will make rivers in the desert, streams in the barren places. God can cause you to blossom out of season, when the circumstances say, "It's not going to happen. It's not the right time. You have too many disadvantages". God is not waiting for the conditions to be favorable. He's going to make rivers in the desert. He's going to bless you out of season.
A while back, I had gone through a very difficult week. It was one of those times when everything that could go wrong did. We had difficulty over here, and people coming against us over there, and somebody had filed a lawsuit, had a major piece of equipment break that we had to replace. It was one headache after another, and just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, I came home one afternoon and victoria was sitting in the den holding she had taken him to the doctor, long story short, we had to put the dog to sleep.
Of all times, that dog could have died, it was that week. When it rains, it pours. If I ever felt like a time where I was definitely not in season, it was then. I felt like I was in a country western song, everything went wrong, then my dog died.
But we all face these seasons of difficulties and times where it's one thing after another coming against us. The last thing on my mind was being blessed, seeing favor and increase.
I was praying that God would sustain us and fight our battles, help us to make it through. But a couple of days later, in the middle of that difficulty, I received a call from the vice president of one of the largest, most influential media companies in the world. We had never met, never had any contact, but he watches us on television. He presented us the largest media opportunity that we had we agreed to pursue it. He said, "Okay, I'll have my 800 employees start working for you for these next few months".
When I felt the least favored, when I had the most opposition, God showed up and blessed me out of season. Just because you don't feel favored, doesn't mean that you're not favored. Sometimes God will even wait till you're out of season, then do something amazing just to remind you that he's in control and he being for you is more than the world being against you.
Do you feel out of season? You're stuck in some area? Stay encouraged. God has you in the palm of his hand. He sees what's happening. He hasn't brought you this far to leave you. He's about to do something out of the ordinary, something greater than what you've imagined where you're going to say like I did: Wow God, I didn't see that when Jesus healed the crippled man, it was not only the wrong season when the angel normally didn't come, but it was the sabbath.
The religious leaders complained that he healed the man on the wrong day. You weren't supposed to work on the sabbath. But I found God likes to break the rules. He likes to do things out of the ordinary, things that don't make sense where there is no logical explanation.
That's what happened to my mom, she was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer in 1981 and given a few weeks to live. There was no treatment the doctors could give her. Unfortunately, they sent her home and told her to just prepare for the worst. She was definitely out of season. Of course, she wanted to live, but it looked like the angel was way, way off.
It looked like the troubling of the waters would be a long, long time, but the God the God who breathed life into you, the God who knew you before you were formed in your mother's womb, against all odds, he showed up out of season.
When it looked impossible, medically speaking, she didn't have a chance, what happened? God broke the rules. He did what medicine couldn't do, and today, 37 years later, my mom is still alive and still going strong.
Where are the people that will say, "God, I believe you can bless me out of season? The report doesn't look good, but I know you can heal me. I've had the addiction for years, but I know you can free me. My family's off course, but I know, as for me and my house, we will serve the lord".
When you're not just enduring a slow season, but you're releasing your faith, expecting God's goodness, he'll make things happen that God is not waiting for the conditions to be more he's not waiting for somebody to give you a break, for the medical report to improve. He's not even waiting for you to have more faith. You have the faith you need right now. If you'll start releasing it, expecting his goodness, thanking him for his favor, then God will show up out of season. He'll do things unexpectedly, things that you didn't see coming.
I talked to a lady that had struggled with a drug addiction for over 25 years, and she'd gone to rehab and therapy again and again with no success. Like the man by the pool that had been there 38 years, she thought she would never be well. She had lost her family, lost her job, lost her home. She was definitely out of season.
Someone gave her a copy of my book, "The power of I am". It talks about how we have to speak words of faith and make declarations of victory over our lives. For years, she had done just she'd talked about how she'd never be free and how she'd never break the addiction.
When you speak negative words over your life, they get down into your spirit and you start to live negative. Every day, she started declaring, "I am free. I am whole. This addiction does not control me". She changed her attitude from a victim mentality to a victor mentality.
Last year, against all odds, after 25 years, she suddenly broke that addiction. Today, she has a new job, she's got her family back. She just started attending a local church. One thing that always concerned her was that her mother would die without seeing her free.
She knew she was breaking her mother's heart. She told me with tears in her eyes how her mother calls all the time and tells her how proud she is of her. Like this lady, you may not see how your situation could it's been that way a long time, but God has not forgotten about you.
Something is about to happen out of season. You can't see it coming. You feel like you're stuck, but suddenly, you're going to break the addiction. Suddenly, you're going to meet the right person. Suddenly, God's going to catapult you to the next level.
Jesus asked the crippled man if he wanted to be well. In one sense, he was saying, "I need your permission to help you. If you're not in agreement with me, I can't turn this around". Will you give God permission to free you, permission to heal you, permission to bless you?
You have to get in agreement with God. As long as you're thinking of all the reasons why it's not going to happen, talking about how impossible it is, then you'll get stuck where you are, and you may not see how it can work out, that's because you're looking at it in the natural. He can bring quail in from the sea. He can heal you without the treatment. He can promote you like david without the qualifications, and the conditions may not look favorable, may not look like it'll ever change.
This is what faith is all about. Turn it around. Lord, I don't see a way, but I know you're still on the throne. You've done it for me in the past. Lord, I want to thank you you'll do it for me again in the future.
Jesus healed the man, not only when he was out of season, but he didn't do it the normal way, the way they were expecting. He didn't have him go look for the stirring of the waters. He didn't have him dip in the pool. He did it an unusual way. God is not only going to do things for you out of season, not at the normal time, he's going to do them a nontraditional way. It's not going to be the way you thought, with the people you thought, how you were so, don't put God in a box and tell him how to do it, when to do it, who to use.
Sometimes we think God needs our help, that he doesn't know all the details, so we have to fill him in. No, let God do it his way. He has it all figured out, his ways are better than our ways. As long as you're set in your thinking, here's how it's going to happen, and who he's going to use, and when it's going to happen, then you'll be frustrated. God has ways you've never thought of. He's not waiting for the angel.