Joel Osteen — Dropped But Not Forgotten
I want to talk to you today about "Dropped but not forgotten". We all go through situations where life is not fair. I met a man last week. He had just been laid off after 25 years with the same company. He felt betrayed, alone, forgotten, like he'd been dropped. A friend of mine, his father was killed in an accident when he was 2 years old, and all through school, he used to think, "Why does everybody else have a dad, but I don't"?
There was an emptiness on the boy. Sometimes other people's poor choices have a negative effect on us. Maybe you were raised in an unhealthy environment, and now you're still struggling with the same addictions, same depression, same anger. It keeps getting passed down. Some people have been mistreated, taken advantage of. Now they have to deal with guilt, shame, feeling like they don't measure up. It wasn't even their fault.
Somebody else dropped them, and I've learned you can't live very long without being dropped, dropped by an illness, dropped by a divorce, dropped by a friend that turns on you, and it's easy to discouraged and think, "Man, this is my lot in life". No, you may have been dropped, but the good news is, God knows how to pick you back up.
David said, "God lifted me out of the pit and set my feet upon a rock". David had been dropped by coming against him, dropped by his own mistakes and failures. But God said, in effect, "David, don't worry, that drop is not the end". That bad break, that person that hurt you, that addiction, that sickness is not the end of your story.
You may have been dropped, but you need to get ready. God is about to lift you. He's about to set you on a higher place. He's going to take you where you could not go on your own, to a new level, with new opportunities, new friendships, new joy, new health, new fulfillment. You're not going to come out the same way.
The scripture talks about how God will pay us back double for the unfair things that have happened, and when you go through a disappointment, when you get dropped, don't get bitter. Don't get discouraged. Get ready for double. Get ready for increase. Get ready for favor.
Friends, God has not forgotten about you. He has seen every tear you've shed, every hurt, every lonely night, every person that's done you wrong. God is a God of justice. He told the israelites when they were in slavery, being mistreated, taken advantage of, "I am coming down to deliver you". He was saying, "I'm coming down to pick you back up. I'm coming down to bring justice".
Notice, what causes God to get off the throne? What causes the Creator of the universe to stop what he's doing and take action? It's when he sees you being mistreated. When God sees that injustice, he doesn't sit back and say, "Well, too bad". No, he says, "That's my son, that's my daughter, my most prized possession. They've been dropped. Now I've got to get up and do something about it," and when God goes to work, all the forces of darkness cannot stop him. People can't stop him. Bad breaks can't stop him. Sickness can't stop him. God will make your wrongs right. He'll pay you back for the trouble. He'll get you to where you're supposed to be.
But the truth is, we all get dropped in life, and it's easy to feel alone, and forgotten, like you don't matter. But don't believe those lies. God does not forget you. He said "I have carved you into the palm of my hand".
Every time God opens his hand, he sees your name. He's reminded of you, and you may have had some bad breaks, some closed doors, some people come against you, but God has not forgotten about your dreams. He has not forgotten about the promises that he's given you. He didn't forget about that baby you want to have, that husband or wife you've been praying about, that wholeness, that healing, that freedom that you need.
Stay in faith. Life happens to all of us. You may get dropped, but remember, it's only temporary. God sees it, and he's not only going to lift you back up, but he's going to set you on a higher place. You're going to come out better off than you were before.
This is what happened to a young man in the scripture named Mephibosheth. He was the grandson of king Saul and the son of Jonathan. He was born into royalty, destined to one day take the throne. His future was very bright, and as a child, he was being raised by loving nurses, people that treated him with great kindness, made sure to meet his every need. They knew they were dealing with the future king.
But when he was 5 years old, his father and his grandfather, king Saul, were both killed in a battle. News messengers rushed to Mephibosheth's house to tell them the terrible news, and to inform them that the army was on their way to try to relatives. A nurse picked up little Mephibosheth in a great panic, took off running out of the house as fast as she could.
She was trying to save his life. She had good intentions, trying to help the young boy. But on the way down the stairs, she tripped and dropped Mephibosheth. Both of his legs were broken. He became crippled and could here Mephibosheth had not done anything wrong. It wasn't his fault. Yet he's having to pay the price for somebody else's mistake. Doesn't seem fair.
Sometimes in life well-meaning people can drop you. They didn't mean to hurt you. They made a mistake and said some things that they shouldn't have. Or they worked all the time, struggling to make ends meet. They weren't there when you really needed them. Perhaps they had bad habits, addictions passed down to them. Now they're passing them on down to you. They had our best interests at heart. But like this nurse, they dropped us.
We can become crippled with low self-esteem, crippled with addictions, crippled with depression, and even though Mephibosheth was the grandson of the king, even though he had royalty in his blood, he ended up living in a place called Lo-Debar. That was one of the poorest, most rundown cities of that day, and year after year went "Nobody remembers me. I used to be somebody important, somebody that was respected. I used to be excited about my future. I had big dreams, but look at me now. I'm a cripple. I can't even walk. I'm living in the slums. Nobody cares about me. I don't have any friends, and it wasn't even my fault. Somebody else dropped me".
He felt alone, forgotten, like it would never change. But here's the beauty. Nothing goes unnoticed with our God. God saw his father killed and taken away at a young age. God saw the well-meaning nurse drop him. God saw his once normal legs that could run and jump and play instantly becoming crippled. God saw the despair, the poverty, the lack that he was living in.
And God didn't say, "Well, Mephibosheth, you sure got some bad breaks. You need to find you a more surefooted nurse next time. She really messed your life up". No, God said, "Mephibosheth, I have not forgotten about you. I've got you carved into the palm of my hand. You're always on my mind, and yes, you may have been dropped, but that bad break is not the end. I am a God of justice, and I am going to pay you back for what has happened," and one throne of Israel, sitting in the palace, minding his own business, when all of the to be good to some of Saul's relatives.
Now, this is unusual because Saul was the one that tried to kill David. He was the one that chased David through the wilderness and made his life miserable. Yet, David said in 2 Samuel 9: "'Is there anyone left from the house of Saul that I might show kindness to?'" Why would David want to be kind to one of his enemies? That was God whispering in David's ear, giving him a desire to be good to someone that had been dropped.
God can make things happen that you could never make happen on your own. You may say, "Joel, I'm stuck. I've had these bad breaks. I'll never accomplish my dreams, never get out of this mess, never be fulfilled". No, you need to get ready. Your time is coming. God is about to whisper in somebody's ear to be good to you. You didn't deserve it. You couldn't earn it, but for no reason, somebody gives you a good break. Somebody offers you the job. Somebody gives you the contract. Somebody steps up and solves the problem for you.
Don't get discouraged. Justice is coming. New beginnings are on their way. When David asked if any of Saul's relatives were still alive, one of his assistants said, "We've searched and searched. There's only one grandson left. It's the son of Jonathan. His name is Mephibosheth, but he's crippled. He can't even walk, David. No use wasting your time with him. He's never going to amount to anything".
They tried to talk David out of it. David said, "No, you go find him right now and bring him to the palace". Well, Mephibosheth was living in hiding, in exile, hoping that nobody knew that he was related to king Saul. After all, Saul had not treated David right, and imagine what the people thought when they saw these officials from the palace, wearing their royal uniforms, show up in Lo-Debar and start searching through the slums for this crippled man named Mephibosheth.
The whole city was stirring, buzzing with excitement. Word finally reached Mephibosheth that people were there from the palace, and he asked, "What in the world are they doing here in Lo-Debar, of all places"? They said, "Mephibosheth, they're looking for you," and his heart skipped a beat. He thought, "Oh, man, my luck has run out. They finally found me. They're going to get rid of me".
The officials came bursting in and said, "Mephibosheth, get up and come with us. You're being summoned by the king". The problem is, Mephibosheth couldn't walk. They had to carry him to the palace. They traveled hour after hour, finally arrived, and told king David that he was there. David went out to meet Mephibosheth. He was expecting to see someone that looked like king Saul stood head and shoulders above the rest. Saul looked like a king. He had a presence that commanded respect. Saul walked like he was royalty. Here's his grandson now.
David is expecting some kind of resemblance. But when David opens the door and sees Mephibosheth on the ground, frail, emaciated, legs shriveled up, hair not combed, clothes dirty, David said to his assistant, "Are you sure this is the grandson of a king? Are you sure this man is royalty"? They said, "Yes, sir, we are certain". David looks at him, says, "Mephibosheth, what happened to you"?
Mephibosheth wouldn't look at David. He was too insecure, too afraid, too embarrassed. He said, "King David, when I was 5 years old and my father and grandfather were killed, life has never been the same". That could have been the end of the story, and David thought, "Well, too bad for you. You should have seen how your grandfather treated me. I don't feel sorry for you one bit. You're getting what your family deserved".
Mephibosheth is there on the ground, afraid, trembling, thinking that it's the end. David smiles and says, "Mephibosheth, don't worry. I'm not going to harm you. I'm going to be good to you. From now on, you're not going to live in Lo-Debar. You're going to live in the palace with me, and I'm going to give you all the land that belonged to your grandfather, king Saul. You're not going to go out and have to work it and farm the land. I'm going to give you a full staff to farm the land for you and give you the profits. They'll do all the work, and you'll reap all the benefits. Last thing, Mephibosheth, every night, you will always sit at my table and have dinner with me. Not with my staff, not with my military leaders, no, you have a permanent seat at the king's table".
Maybe today, like Mephibosheth, you feel like you've been dropped, had a bad break, a loss, weren't treated right. It'd be easy to settle there, be discouraged, not expect anything good. No, you need to get ready. You're about to be summoned to the palace. God is about to pay you back, not just what should have been yours, God is going to give you what belonged to your forefathers. It's going to be far and beyond favor. You didn't have to work for it. It's just the goodness of God paying you back, bringing justice, and you may not see how it can happen, but God has the right people he can speak to about you. He's softening the right hearts. God's going to pay you back for an unfair childhood, pay you back for the person that did you wrong, pay you back for that baby you couldn't have.
Don't sit around in self-pity. There's a seat at the king's table waiting for you. God has already prepared it. It has your name on it. It's a seat of favor, a seat of healing, a seat of restoration, a seat of increase. Friends, you have royal blood in your veins. The most high God breathed his life into you. He has destined you to live in the palace. That means a place of blessing, a place of wholeness, a place of honor, a place of victory.
Now, don't settle for Lo-Debar. Don't get comfortable surviving, enduring, barely getting by. "Well, Joel, I've had a lot of bad breaks. My life hasn't turned out the way I thought". That may be true, but that didn't change who you are. You're still royalty. You still have that crown of favor. You still have the DNA of almighty God. Get this down in your spirit. It's payback time. People may have tried to push you down, but God's about to push you back up. Circumstances may have dropped you, but God is called, "The glory and the lifter of our head".
There's about to be some lifting, some things that you could not happen, the favor of God opening up new doors, causing people to be good to you, paying you back for that injustice. What's interesting is Mephibosheth never did get healed. He continued to be a cripple the rest of his life, and it could have seemed like this story doesn't have a good ending, but I've learned that if God doesn't remove the difficulty, if he doesn't totally turn it around, God will make it up to you.
You may have lost a loved one. You can't bring that person back, but God can make the rest of your life so rewarding, so fulfilling, that it will help take away that pain. Or perhaps somebody walked out of a relationship, broke your heart, did you wrong. God can bring somebody new into your life that is so loving, so kind, so good-looking, so well-off, you don't even miss that old goat that left you. I mean, that person that left you. God knows how to pay you back.
Mephibosheth never walked again, but sitting at the king's table every night, having people wait on him, bring his food, farm his land, give him the profits, for some reason, I don't think he ever complained. Thank you for remembering me. Thank you for your favor. Thank you for your mercy," and when God overwhelms you with his goodness, when he brings you out with double, you won't complain about who hurt you, and what didn't work out, and how unfair it was. You'll be so amazed that God remembered you and promoted you and had people to carry you where you couldn't go on your own, like Mephibosheth, all you'll be able to do is thank God for his goodness in your life.
Kevin, they tried for many years to have a baby with no success, and Lisa went through all the fertility treatments and had a couple surgeries even, but still no baby. Finally, the doctors told her that she would never be able to have a child, and other people have had that same negative report. But against all odds, they've had a baby anyway. We've all seen God make a way where there was no way. But for Lisa and Kevin, it didn't happen, and Lisa could have felt like she had been dropped, infertility. But God is a God of justice.
Like Mephibosheth, if it doesn't turn out your way, God will make it up to you, and one day, out of the blue, Lisa received a phone call from a lady we know in another state that runs a ministry that helps teenage girls. This lady said, "Lisa and Kevin, I've got a young lady about to give birth to twins, and something told me that I should call you to see if you would be interested in when Lisa and Kevin heard that, something leaped on the inside. They knew those babies were supposed to be theirs. They ended up adopting them, and a few years later, adopted a baby boy.
Today, they have three amazing teenage children, as happy as can be. Lisa said, "Here's how good God is. I have three children, and I never had to get pregnant one time". God will make it up to you. Mephibosheth was summoned to the palace, but he couldn't get there on his own. He had to be carried to the palace. Each night at dinner, he couldn't get to his seat by himself. He had to be carried to his seat.
You may think, "Joel, I'm never going to accomplish my dreams. I'm crippled, I've got this sickness, this addiction, this depression that I'm dealing with". No, when you can't get there on your own, God will always have somebody there to carry you. You're not alone. You're not forgotten. God has you in the palm of his hand, and God is not looking down at you because you're still crippled, so to speak, you're still struggling with some issues.
God saw the times you've been dropped. You didn't go down by yourself, and you're not going to come up by yourself. God has already lined up the right people to carry you, to encourage you, to help you do what you could not do on your own. When Jesus was carrying the cross on his way to be crucified, he was so weak, so exhausted, he fell down under the weight of the cross. He couldn't carry it anymore.