Joel Osteen — God Will Bring Justice Into Your Life
I want to talk to you today about how God will bring justice into your life. We all go through situations that are unfair. It doesn't seem fair that that person could lie about you and damage your reputation. Doesn't seem fair that but you can't conceive. Doesn't seem fair that you're raising a special needs child or you lost a loved one, you're dealing with a sickness.
Life has thrown you a curve, it's not what you had planned. But here's what I've learned. Even though life is not always fair, God is fair, and if you will keep your trust in him and not get bitter, but just keep moving forward, God has promised he will pay you back for every unfair thing that's happened.
Now, don't let one bad break ruin the rest of your life. Don't let one divorce, one bankruptcy, one loss of a loved one, one bad childhood keep you from the amazing future God has in store. What happened may have been wrong, what they did may have put you at a disadvantage. They played politics and you didn't get the promotion. They let you go after years of being loyal to that company, or they didn't have time for you growing up, abandoned you when you that was unfair, but what they did cannot stop your destiny.
They don't have the final say, God has the final say, and God said, "I will restore the years that were stolen". God said, "I will give you beauty for those ashes". He said, "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy is coming in the morning". Nothing that's happened to you is a surprise to God. God already has the the new beginning. That setback was simply a setup for God to take you to a higher level, and you got to shake off the self-pity, shake off the defeat, and get ready for God to do something new. He's going to pay you back for every injustice.
This is what happened with the people of Israel. In slavery. They were terribly mistreated, forced to work long hours with no breaks. They were given quotas that were impossible to meet. When they didn't meet them, their life was made even more miserable. And God said in exodus, "I have seen the affliction of my people. I have heard their cries".
Friends, God has seen every wrong that's been done to you. He has seen every person that hurt you, every tear you shed, every lonely night, every injustice, and God went on to say, "I am come down to deliver you". There comes a point where God says, Enough is enough. Now I'm going to do something about it". Now, I'm not going to just give you what you deserve, but I'm going to make the enemy pay and bring you out better off than you were before, and God delivered the israelites out of slavery.
Pharaoh finally agreed to let them go, and that was a great miracle, that was worth celebrating in itself, but they didn't leave there empty-handed. God is a God of justice. He always makes the enemy pay for bringing the on their way out, the israelites asked their captors for their gold, their silver, their jewels, and God caused them to have favor and they willingly handed it over to them. Imagine what pharaoh must've thought seeing these former slaves leaving his country, pushing wheelbarrows full of his treasures.
What was God doing? Paying them back for 430 years of mistreatment. It may not happen overnight, but God is a God of justice. He is keeping the records, he knows exactly what you're owed. God sees every time you do the right thing, but the wrong thing happens. Every time you take the high road and forgive, you let it go. Every time you work hard, but you didn't get the credit, God is closely watching. You have an account with him, and he'll make sure you not only get what you deserve, but his justice is to pay you back with more.
And I know some of you, like these people, you've been in an unfair situation, it's gone on a long time, and you've lost your passion, you've lost your fire, thinking that's the way it's always going to be. But God is saying to you what he said to the israelites, "I have come down to do something about it". You need to get ready, it's payback time. Everything the enemy's stolen, God is going to restore the joy, the dreams. God is going to pay you back for the childhood you didn't have. God is going to pay you back for that person that falsely accused you. He's going to pay you back for the years you lost in an abusive relationship. He has seen everything you've he has come down to do something about it.
Now, don't go around with a defeated mentality, "Oh Joel, this sounds great today, but you don't know my story. You don't know what I've been through". No, that's going to stop God from working. You may have had more than your share of bad breaks. You could easily get discouraged and settle where you are, but I'm asking you to shake that off. Your attitude should be, "I'm not staying here, I know it's payback time. It's restoration time. It's vindication time. It's favor time". Almighty God has come down on your behalf.
You may have seen the story in the news recently about a young lady named Dawn. She was raised in a very dysfunctional family. Her mother was homeless and had a drug problem, the mother's boyfriend was a drifter. They would live in a shelter or under a bridge. Dawn would go to elementary school for a few months. When the boyfriend would move somewhere else. She grew up with no stability. In and out of school, much of the time she didn't even have running water or electricity.
In spite of all this, Dawn was an amazing student. She didn't get bitter, she didn't have a chip on her shoulder. She just kept being her best, making the most of what she had. In high school, she would get to school early in the morning, about 5 o'clock, and clean the classrooms and hallways. In the evening, she would stay till eight working, that's how she had money to survive, and one summer, she went to a camp with the money she had earned.
When she came back home, her mother was nowhere to be found. She called the number at the temporary residence they were staying at, but it was disconnected. Come to find out her mother had moved to another state with her new boyfriend, abandoned her. For several weeks, Dawn stayed with friends, slept on their couches. When the head janitor heard what had happened, she took Dawn into her own home, and for the first time, Don really felt loved, accepted, like she was valuable.
She began to excel in school. She made the honor roll, straight a's. She was elected vice president of her class. She started a charity to help wounded soldiers. On and on, all these awards. When it came time to her friends encouraged her to shoot high, and just recently she received a letter in the mail, a small white envelope, it read, "Congratulations, you've been accepted into Harvard University".
What is that? God bringing justice. That's God paying her back for the way she was raised. The scripture says, "Even if your mother and father forsake you, God will adopt you as his very own child". That was God adopting Dawn.
For years, it didn't look good, of a future. But like Dawn, if you'll just keep moving forward, being the best that you can be, God will take what's meant for your harm and he will use it to your advantage. God will open doors that no man can shut. God will give you favor and cause people to want to be good to you, and you may be in a situation where, like Dawn, because of the poor choices of others, it seems like you're stuck. You'll never get out of that rut, you'll never accomplish your dreams. No, God knows how to get you to where you're supposed to be, and all through the day, in your mind, in your thoughts, you should be saying, "Father, I want to thank you that it's payback time. I know you're a God of justice. You're restoring the years, restoring the dreams. No person's going to keep me from my destiny. I will become everything you created me to be". Have that attitude of faith.
I knew a young man growing up that loved to play baseball, that was his passion. When he was 12 years old, he went to try out for the team, but the coach didn't give him a chance. He said, "I'm sorry, son, you're way too small to play baseball. You could never make this team". Didn't even let him try out, was so devastated, he went home feeling like a failure. Well, later in the week, the league announced that since there were so many boys that tried out, they were going to form another team, and he was placed on this secondary team made up of the less-talented players.
Long story short, those two teams ended up in a playoff for the championship of the league, and this young of the more talented players. On top of that, he was the winning pitcher. He was the one that struck out batters left and right. After the game, he walked by that coach that wouldn't let him try out like he was 10 feet tall. He may have been small, but he knew dynamite that's vindication.
But here's my point, here's how God works. That next year, the coach came to his home to meet with his parents to see if somehow, some way he couldn't play on his team that year. The tables had turned, went from him not even wanting him to try out to him now begging him to play on his team. What is that? That's justice. That's God paying you back.
Now, you got to shake off the negative comments. What people say determine who you are. Shake off the disrespect. Keep your head held high and God will promote you in spite of what they said. One way God pays you back is to prepare a table before you in the presence of your enemies. That means God will promote you in front of the people that were trying to hold you down. He'll show you favor and honor in front of those that said, "Hey, you're too small. You're not good enough, not talented enough, not pretty enough". No, let that go in one ear and out the other.
Hebrews 10:30 says, "God is a just God. He will repay the exact compensation owed us. He will settle the cases of his people". Some of you have cases that need to be settled. Have tried to push you down, make you feel inferior. Or maybe you poured your heart and soul into that son, that daughter, but now they won't have anything to do with you. You worked hard pursuing your dream, but the bottom fell out. Now you're starting over, you could easily have a chip on your shoulder. No, you've got to know God has promised to settle your case, but you got to get in agreement with God and start expecting payback time.
This is what Job did. When he went through his difficulty, when he lost his family, he lost his health, he lost his business, he could've easily been bitter, said, "God, I'm a good person. How could you let this happen to me? No, right in the midst of the trouble, he didn't see a way out, but instead of complaining, instead of talking about how bad it was, he looked up to the heavens and he said, "I know my Redeemer lives". He was saying, "I know my God is still on the throne. And he will settle my case".
Job ended up coming out with twice what he had before, and if you want to see God pay you back, if you want to see God make your wrongs right, then when things come against you, you'll feel like getting bitter, you may feel like complaining. No, you got to dig your heels in and say, like Job, "I know my Redeemer lives. I know God's going to turn this around. No weapon formed against me is going to prosper. My best days are still out in my future". You've got to have this attitude of faith, knowing that God is a God of justice, and he will settle your case.
I met a young couple that moved here from New Orleans, they were displaced by hurricane Katrina. They came to Houston so beaten down, so discouraged. It's like all the life had been taken out of them. They had just purchased their first home there in New Orleans. They were so excited. The man had a good job, moving up in the company. Plus, they had a little baby on the way, their first child. They were having fun decorating the baby's room, making plans for his arrival.
Life was good, then hurricane Katrina hit, wiped out their whole neighborhood. They not only lost their new home, they lost all of their possessions, their furniture, their car, their clothes. The man's company closed down, didn't have a job anymore. When I saw them here at Lakewood, it's like they were numb. Their whole world had fallen apart. I told them what I'm telling you, God is a God of justice.
He has seen what you've been through, every tear you've shed. He knows the disappointment, the heartache you feel, and this is not the end, it's a new beginning, and you're not going to just come out of this barely surviving, God's going to make the enemy pay and bring you out better off than you were before. Speaking faith, hope, victory into their future.
I'll never forget how they began to brighten up. It was like I was giving water to a person that they started coming to Lakewood week after week, hearing about how we are victors and never victims, how God always causes us to triumph, how many of the afflictions are the righteous, but the Lord delivers us out of them all. Faith began to rise in their hearts, and they shook off that old defeated, weak mentality. Their attitude was, "This may be difficult, it may be unfair, but we know our Redeemer lives. We know God is still on the throne, he's in complete control, and he has promised to settle our case".
That was a few years back, and just recently, they told how they moved into their brand new home that they built here in Houston. The man has a new job, a better job, less travel, better income, better benefits, and they don't have just one child, now they have two children. The wife said, "Joel, we never dreamed we could be where we are. God has amazed us with his goodness". That's what happens when you get in agreement with God.
We all have unfair things that come against us, but you have to remember God not only sees it, but he's promised if you'll just keep moving forward, if you won't get bitter, he will settle your case, and the way God settles the case, it's not just to turn it around, not to just make it right, no, God will bring you out better of than you were before.
Listen to Isaiah 61 in the message translation. Because you got a double dose of trouble, your inheritance in the land will be double, and your joy will go on forever. You may feel like you got a double dose of trouble. Like this young couple, you worked hard, but the bottom fell out. Or like Dawn, you weren't raised in a good environment. Don't get stuck there thinking that that's your lot in life, that you got short changed, that you'll always have a disadvantage. No, the truth is that unfair situation has qualified you for double. It doesn't have to stop you, if you'll have the right attitude, God will use it to thrust you forward.
And I realize many people didn't get off to a good start in life, they had a lot of bad breaks, they weren't raised with parents like mine that were speaking faith and victory into them, and my heart goes out to them. I'm compassionate, yet at the same time, I don't believe in giving people a right to feel sorry for themselves. You may have had a bad break, you lost a loved one, you're raising a special needs child. That's difficult, but don't you dare sit around with a chip on your shoulder.
Every unfair thing that has happened has qualified you for double. He wants to pay you back. But you got to do your part, shake off the self-pity. Shake off what they said about you, shake off what didn't work out, shake off how you were raised, and get ready for a double dose of God's favor, a double dose of his blessings, a double dose of health, a double dose of creativity. Get ready for God to do exceedingly, abundantly above and beyond.
When you go through unfair situations, it's never easy, we never like it, but keep it in the right perspective. That person that's talking about you, trying to make you look bad, in a sense they did you a favor. They just qualified you for double. That storm, that storm that damaged your house, that accident that set you back, it may be difficult, but don't get bitter, it qualified you for double. That person that walked out on you, left you when you needed them the most, don't sit around thinking that there's something wrong with you, you're inadequate, you're less than. No, blow them a kiss goodbye and get ready for double, it's payback time. God wants to do something new.
Years ago, Victoria and I had this man that did us wrong in a business deal. He didn't keep his word. We all agreed verbally to certain things, but when it came time to put it into contract at the last minute, he changed his mind, and because of the time constraints, there's nothing we could do. We had to sign it or the whole deal would've fallen apart. We had way too much invested. And we could've done something legally, but we didn't feel good about that, and we finally just let it go.
We didn't get bitter, we didn't start complaining, we didn't hold a grudge against him and start treating him badly. Our attitude was, "God, you said you would settle our cases. You said you would make our wrongs right. You would pay us double for this injustice. So Lord, we just want to thank you that you're fighting our battles for us," and it didn't happen overnight, but several years later, that man faced difficulties, and he couldn't meet his obligations in the contract, and we not only got what we deserved, but we got everything that belonged to him in that contract. It was much more than double.
What am I saying? When you let God settle your case, it will be better than you could've ever done it yourself. Now, don't be sour because of something that you lost or something that was taken from you. A co-worker cheated out of that contract that should've been yours. A friend, a family member didn't keep their word, they didn't pay you back. Instead of being bitter and trying to get even, stay on the high road. God sees the injustice, he knows what they took, and if you'll let God settle your case, he'll not only give you what you deserve, but God will pay you back.
One time in the scripture, Jacob had an agreement with an older relative named Laban that he would work for Laban for 7 years, and in return, Laban would give him his daughter Rachel as his wife. Rachel was very beautiful. Jacob loved her so much that he agreed. So, for 7 years, Jacob worked faithfully. He increased over, went to great lengths to fight off the wild animals that would try to kill the sheep and the goats.
After 7 years, he had fulfilled his part of the contract, made Laban a much wealthier man, but Laban changed his mind. He said, "Jacob, I'll let you marry one of my daughters, but not Rachel. You can marry my oldest daughter named Leah. Well, no offense to Leah, but that's not what they agreed to. Jacob wanted to marry Rachel. Laban said, "If you want to marry Rachel, you'll have to work for me another 7 years," and Jacob was either so dumb or so in love, he agreed to do it.
Sometimes you're so in love, it makes you dumb. Fourteen years later, he said, "Laban, I want to leave now with Rachel and go back to be with my family". Laban was feeling so guilty, he said, "Jacob, I got to pay you something for working all these years. You've made me very wealthy. What would you like"? Jacob said, "I don't want any money, I'll make a deal with you. I'll work for you a little longer, just let me have all the streaked and spotted sheep and goats. All the solid-colored animals will be yours. That way, when I leave, you'll know that I'm not taking anything that belongs to you".
Laban loved this idea because there were very few streaked and spotted animals. But Laban was so cheap and so dishonest, he went out at night and removed all the streaked and spotted sheep and goats, and put them in a special pen so they couldn't mate with the solid-colored animals, that way Jacob wouldn't have as much. What Laban didn't realize is that God is a God of justice. He will not allow his children to be continually taken advantage of. When those solid-colored animals mated, do you know what color their offspring was? Streaked and spotted.
Friends, God has the final say. God knows how he's not limited by the laws of nature. He's not limited by what people say or what a boss says. And Laban was over there scratching his head, thought, "Man, that is not right. How did that happen"? He got so frustrated, he went back to Jacob and said, "I want to change the agreement. From now on, new animals that were born". Jacob said, "No problem, that's fine". You know what color all the new animals born were? Solid-colored. The blessing followed Jacob. God supernaturally increased him. He left there with more flocks than his relative Laban. What was God doing? Paying Jacob back.
When you go to work each week, remember, you're not working unto people, you're working unto God, if somebody is being dishonest, not keeping their word, or maybe they're playing politics and not giving you the credit you deserve, don't get upset, don't try to pay them back. God is keeping the records. You not only get what you deserve, but like Jacob, God will pay you back with even more.
I know some of you today, you feel like that you've gotten a double dose of trouble, things have come against you. But this is a new day, it is payback time. Get ready for a double dose of God's goodness, a double dose of God's favor. God is going to make the enemy pay for bringing the trouble into your life. Instead of complaining about it, get up in the morning and say like Job, "I know my Redeemer lives".
Remember, every difficulty, every unfair situation, that has qualified you for double. I believe some of you even this week are going to see cases settled, restoration, vindication, promotion, breakthroughs, a promise coming to pass. The God of justice is going to show himself strong in your life, and you're not going to just come out, you're going to come out better off than you were before. I believe it and declare it in Jesus' name.