Joel Osteen — It's Not Over
I want to talk to you today about it's not over. It's easy to give up on our dreams and think, "I'll never get well. I'll never meet the right person, never get out it's been too long. I've missed too many opportunities. I've made too many mistakes". No, God is saying, "It's not over". Everything he promised you, every dream he's placed on the inside, he still has every intention of bringing it to pass.
Your mind will tell you all the reasons why it's not going to happen, "Just accept it. It's too late. It's not going to work out". But God has the final say, and he's saying, "I'm still going to heal your body. I'm still going to bring the right person into your life. I'm still going to restore that marriage". What God started, He will finish.
A couple I know tried for 7 years to have a baby. They went through all the fertility treatments without success. They were finally told, "No chance". That was one report, but God had another report. He said, "It's not over". One day, against all odds, two years later they brought their baby daughter right here for us to dedicate. What was that? God finishing what he started.
I met these parents in the lobby recently. They had their son with them. He looked to be in his early thirties. The mother told how they had been estranged for 12 years and not seen each other. Every day this mother would pray, month after month, year after year. It didn't look like it was doing any good, but about 2 weeks ago, unexpectedly, the son knocked on the parents' front door. They reconciled. The first thing they wanted to do together was to come to church. The mother said, "This is the happiest day of my life".
Is there something that you've given up on, you think is never going to work out? Let these words sink deep into your spirit: it's not over. God has not brought you this far to leave you, and just because you don't see a way doesn't mean God doesn't have a way. Right now the most powerful force in the universe is at work in your life. God is about to do a new thing. What you thought was dead, dreams you've given up on, promises you've let go of are about to come back to life. God knows how to resurrect dead dreams.
That baby you were believing for or that dream to own your own house, to get married, to start that business. You may think, "Well, it's too late. I've missed too many opportunities". No, you may have given up, but God didn't give up. He's about to breathe new life into your dreams, into your health, into your relationships. You're going to feel a stirring, a new passion, a new excitement. That's God resurrecting what he's placed on the inside.
When thoughts tell you that it's not going to happen, just answer them back, "No, I know a secret. It's not over". "Well, you're still single". "Yes, but it's not over. The right person is coming". "You're still not well". "Yes, but it's not over. Healing is headed my way". "You're still in that small apartment". "Yes, but it's not over. My new house is coming". "Your child is still off course". "Yes, but it's not over. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord". You've got to get in agreement with God. Start dreaming again. Start believing again.
A gentleman told me how his business had really gone down. He owned a manufacturing company. There was one main competitor in town. It was a national company. They were much larger and had a lot more resources. Several years ago, when the economy went down, it made it more and more difficult in the natural, it was just a matter of time before he would have to close. He was tempted to get discouraged, but he knew God put this dream in his heart. He kept being his best, believing that somehow God would make a way. Just when he thought he would have to close, this national company had a change in leadership, and they decided to pull out of this market.
Instead of him closing down, his main competitor closed down. Now he's breaking all kinds of records. He said, "Joel, if you would have told me last year that I would be doing three times the business, I would have said that's impossible". What happened? God breathed in his direction. You may not be able to beat the competition, you don't know, God may remove the competition. He has all kinds of ways to get you to your destiny.
The scripture talks about the death, the burial, if you're going to see a resurrection, you can't get stuck in the first two phases. This is where many people miss it. They have a setback, something doesn't work out, they get discouraged, quit believing. They end up stuck in the death phase, so to speak. I've seen people that go through a disappointment. Instead of letting it go, knowing that God has something better, "Well, my business got slow". "I didn't get the scholarship". "The relationship didn't work out. That's why I'm discouraged". No, you've been through the death. You've been through the burial.
Don't stop there. Go on to phase 3. You've got a resurrection coming. Start expecting God's favor. God wants to give you beauty for those ashes. That setback was never meant to defeat you, it was meant to promote you. It may be Friday in your life right now. It looks kind of dark, business is slow, the medical report hasn't improved.
My encouragement is don't get stuck on Friday. Sunday is coming. Get ready for God to do something new. Your story does not end in defeat. It ends in victory, with you accomplishing your dreams, fulfilling your purpose, healthy, whole, being a blessing to others. If you will stay in faith, what was meant for your harm, God will use to your advantage. God has the final say. People cannot stop God's plan for your life. Bad breaks can't stop it. Injustice can't stop it. Even mistakes you've made don't have to stop it. God has already taken that into account, and he's saying, "It's not over. I'm going to finish what I started".
We see this principle way back with the first family that ever lived, Adam and Eve. They were in the Garden of Eden. They were happy and healthy, everything going great, until Eve was deceived by the serpent. She convinced her husband Adam to eat fruit from the forbidden tree. When they did, they immediately knew they had done wrong. God came looking and said, "Adam, where are you"? They were afraid. They had blown it. It was their fault. They thought, "Surely, God's done with us". But it's interesting God came looking for them.
You hear people say, "I found God," but the truth is God wasn't lost. He came looking for you. Before you could choose him, he chose you. Here's the beauty. Even when we make mistakes, even when we blow it, God says, "Where are you? I want to be in relationship with you". Don't run away from God. Run to him. Adam said, "God, we did wrong. We ate the fruit". God said, "I know it". They had to stay out of the garden.
The story could have ended there, "Too bad. You had your chance. It's over," but no matter what you've done, your life is not supposed to end in defeat, in failure, in mediocrity. It's not over. There is mercy for every mistake. Genesis 3 says the seed of the woman will rise up and bruise the head of the serpent. God was saying, "Eve, this serpent that tricked you, he deceived you, and brought all this heartache and pain, I'm going to make him pay for bringing that trouble into your life. He's not going to have the last word. He's laughing, he's having a party now, but he's not going to stay laughing. Eve, this is your chance to settle the score. This is your chance to get even. I'm going to have your seed bruise his head".
This was a prophecy, if you will, spoken over Eve. It was a promise God put in her heart. You can imagine how excited Eve was when she learned that she was pregnant. She thought, "This is the child that will vindicate me. This child will make things right". She gave birth to two sons on the same day, Cain and Abel. She didn't know which one it would be. Cain was a farmer. Abel was a shepherd. She did her best to raise her boys right and teach them to love God, but over time Cain became very jealous of Abel.
One day Cain was out in his field plowing the ground. Abel came to see him, and Cain ended up killing Abel, the first murder of the Bible, and because of this offense Cain had to be sent to another country. Eve didn't just lose one son. She lost both sons on the same day. Circumstances don't match up with what God has spoken over her. God said the seed of a woman would bruise the serpent's head. It didn't look like it was going to happen. One son was dead, as devastated as Eve was, down deep something said to her, "This is not the way your story is supposed to end".
There are times in life where your circumstances won't match up with what God has put in your heart. Every voice will tell you, "It's not going to happen. Just accept it. Just settle there. You'll always be lonely. You'll always have that addiction. You'll always struggle in your finances". No, don't believe those lies. That is not the end of your story. You may have gone through a loss, had a bad break, it was unfair, but know this: it's not over. The enemy may be laughing now, but don't worry. Your time is coming. Vindication is coming. Restoration is coming. Healing is coming. It may be Friday, but Sunday is on the way.
Eve is at this turning point. Is she going to believe what God has spoken over her, or is she going to get discouraged and settle? God said the promise would come through her seed. That means she would have to get pregnant again. If your children just got into an argument and one killed the other, do you know how difficult it would be to have a baby? Sometimes in order to move forward, you have to risk being hurt again, risk loving again, risk trusting again.
This is what Eve did. And she said in Genesis 4:25, "God has appointed me another seed". She was saying, "I've had the wind knocked out of me. Life hasn't turned out my way, but I'm not going to stay down. I'm not going to give up on my dreams. I know God has the final say, and it's not over. He said he's appointed another seed".
In your difficult times, when life doesn't turn out your way, you have to remind yourself that is not the end. For everything you've lost, for everything that is taken, God has already appointed another seed. Your story is not going to end in defeat, in failure, in mediocrity. It's going to end with you bruising the serpent's head. It's going to end with God paying you back for that trouble, bringing you out better off than you were before. You may be at an empty place right now, you've lost something, you're tempted to settle, but you've got to get your fire back. God has appointed another seed, another dream, another relationship, another opportunity.
You are not going to die empty, lonely, depressed. That difficulty is a sure sign that something amazing Eve ended up giving birth to another son. They named him Seth. It was through Seth's family line that Jesus Christ, the Messiah, came. The promise was fulfilled. But this story with Cain and Abel is foreshadowing what Christ would do. It's a picture of what was to come.
Abel, an innocent man, went to Cain's field, where he was killed. In the same way, Jesus, an innocent man, left heaven. Had already kicked Satan out, and he said, "Satan, I'm going to take off all my majesty, all my glory, and I'm going to come down as the son of man and defeat you on your own turf". When Cain killed Abel, Abel was a young man. It was a premature death, the first in the scripture. All of heaven was stunned.
At 33 years of age, Jesus, a young man, was crucified on the cross. All of hell cheered. They thought Jesus had overstepped his bounds. They were thinking, "Hey, he beat us on his turf, but we had the last laugh. We beat him on our turf". Scripture says God came to Cain and said, "Cain, the voice of your brother's blood is crying out to me from the ground".
See, Cain thought that he'd finished off his brother. He thought that he had the last word. Blood of his brother was crying out for justice. In other words, he may have killed his body, but his blood was still speaking. A little over 2,000 years ago, the soldiers Satan thought that it was over, that he'd finally finished him off, but what he didn't realize is that Jesus' blood would still be speaking today.
They killed his body, but the blood speaks. The blood says we're redeemed. The blood says we're forgiven. The blood is more powerful than any sickness. The blood is greater than any opposition. Satan and all the demons were having this big party, giving high fives, confetti coming down, champagne flowing. But in the midst of
the celebration they see this figure coming from a distance, they don't know who He is. They take a quick count, and they're all accounted for. This person is different. His eyes are like fire, his hair is white as wool, his face radiating with such brilliance they have to turn away. He gets a little closer, and one of them says, "Uh-oh, it's him". Their heart skips a beat. They shrink back in fear.
Just when they thought it couldn't get any worse, this is my version. They thought they had killed Jesus. They thought they had finished him off once and for all, but Jesus said, "Hey, put the celebration on hold. Stop the confetti. Blow out the candles. I've got an announcement to make. It's not over. I'm still alive". Jesus was the original party crasher. He went in, defeated the enemy, took away the keys of death and hell. He dragged Satan through the corridors so all the forces of darkness could see him dethroned, demoralized, powerless. Jesus rose up and said, "I am he that lives. I was dead, but I'm alive forevermore". Because he lives, we can live.
The same power that raised him up is on the inside of you and me. You are not weak. You are not lacking. You are full of resurrection power. No obstacle is too big for you, no dream too great, no sickness too powerful. You have the greatest force in the universe on the inside. When it doesn't look good, thoughts start telling you that it's over, just put your shoulders back, get a second wind. By faith hear that music kicking in. That means God is fighting for you. That's his blood still speaking. It's saying, "You've got a right to be free. You've got a right to live healthy, whole, blessed, victorious".
No matter what comes your way in life, you've got to have this attitude, the enemy may hit you with his best shot, but his best will never be enough. When it's all said and done, you'll still be standing strong. Just as Abel's blood cried somebody does you wrong, you go through a bad break, you're dealing with a sickness, you have an advantage. Because you're a child of the most high, his blood is crying out for you.
What you're going through does not go unnoticed. God sees every tear, every lonely night, every injustice. He's got you in the palm of his hand. He told the Israelites when they were in slavery, "I have seen the affliction of my people. I've seen how they're being mistreated, and I am coming down to do something about it". That's the blood still speaking. If you will stay in faith, the enemy won't have the last laugh, you will. God will vindicate you. He'll make your wrongs right. He'll pay you back for that injustice. God has already lined up a comeback for every setback, a new beginning for every loss. It may be Friday, but get ready.
I met a young man in Chicago by the name of Daniel. Growing up, he loved to play outside with his friends and ride his bike. Life was good, but at the age of 12 everything suddenly changed. He was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor. The doctors performed emergency surgery to spare his life. But when he woke up, he'd lost all of his motor skills, couldn't walk, couldn't talk, couldn't feed himself. Half of his body was paralyzed. Here one moment he was out having fun, playing like other kids.
The next moment his whole world had collapsed. It was Friday. It looked dark. It looked like it was over. Daniel spent 100 days in the hospital. In the months to come, he would have to re-learn how to talk, re-learn how to walk. His mother had to quit her job to take care of him. His father missed 3 months from work. The chemotherapy and radiation were constantly making him sick. Could have gotten depressed, could have gotten bitter and given up, but not Daniel.
From the time he was 5 years old, every Sunday morning he and his family would watch our television broadcast there in Chicago. All through the week, he would put on DVDs of my messages. He would hear these words of faith going into him, "You're a victor, not a victim. You can do all things through Christ. No weapon formed against you will prosper. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy is coming".
What kind of battle he would have to fight. He would send me notes thanking me for my messages, and he'd draw pictures and put my sayings on, and this is the most recent card I've received from him. It's a beautiful picture of a church. It says "Thank you". On the inside he writes, "I have fought the good fight, and I'm happy to report I am 100% cancer free". Daniel is out here on the front row with his family, a mighty man of faith. God bless you. Please be seated.
Maybe today, like Daniel, you're facing a major obstacle. Let me to tell you nothing is too hard for our God. He made your body. He can correct what's wrong. Don't believe those lies that you'll never get healthy, just learn to live with it. That's one report, but there's another report. It says God is restoring health back unto you. It says that you will live and not die. God has the final say, and he's saying, "It's not over".
I watched the clip of the Stanford cardinals were playing the California bears, and Stanford had just scored a field goal. They were ahead with all they had to do was kick the ball off to the other team, tackle the player, and the game would be over. Well, they kicked it off, the California player caught the ball, ran about 20 yards, and he was swarmed by Stanford players. It looked like he was down. The Stanford marching band rushed onto the field to celebrate the victory, so excited.
What they didn't realize is just before he was down, somehow he lateraled the ball to a teammate, and he took off running. When he was almost down, he lateraled it to another teammate. This happened six times. It looked like a play you'd see in your backyard playing football. But after that six lateral, the California player was headed to the end zone. The only problem is the whole Stanford band was on the field. He had to zigzag through the band members, through the instruments. Finally made it into the end zone to score a touchdown and miraculously win the game.
What's my point? Sometimes the enemy will send his band on your field before the game is over. He'll start celebrating like he's already defeated you. What he doesn't realize is you're not down yet. You need to tell him, "Get your marching band off of my field. This game is not over. You may think I'm down, but I've got resurrection power".
Listen, there is a force in you that cannot be defeated. It raised Christ from the dead, and it will always this is what Job had to do in the scripture. He went through a period where everything that could go wrong did. He lost his health, his business, his family. It looked like it was over. The marching band was definitely on his field, but in the midst of that difficulty he looked up to the heavens and said, "I know my redeemer lives". He was saying, as long as he's on the throne, it's not over. He has the final say".
Nine months later, Job not only came out, but he came out with twice what he had before. That's the way God is. He'll make the enemy pay for bringing that trouble. The scripture says the latter part of Job's life was more blessed than the first part.
No matter what you've been through, God wants the rest of your life to be more blessed, more rewarding, more enjoyable than anything you've experienced. You have not laughed your best laugh. You have not dreamed your best dream. You have not sung your best song. It's still out in front of you. Isaiah put it this way, "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 Daniel, like Job. You got a double dose of trouble. Don't go around complaining. That trouble qualified you for double. Shake off what didn't work out and get ready for a double dose of favor, a double dose of God's blessing, a double dose of healing.
Friends, it's not over. What God promised you, he will bring to pass. When thoughts tell you otherwise, dismiss them. Tell the enemy get his marching band off of your field. Remember, the blood is still speaking for you. Its saying you have a right to be free, to be healthy, to live victoriously. If you will have this it's-not-over attitude, I believe and declare, just like God did for Daniel, he will restore what's been stolen. He's going to resurrect dead dreams. You will rise higher, overcome obstacles, and become everything he's created you to be. In Jesus' name.