Joel Osteen — Manasseh Is Coming
I want to talk to you today about "Manasseh is coming". We all go through things that are not fair, situations that cause heartache and pain. We were doing the right thing, but somebody walked away, or we came down with an illness. Our child got off course. It's easy to get discouraged and think, "That's our lot in life. Everyone has disappointments". But if you'll stay in faith and not get bitter, God will bless you in such a way that you don't remember the pain of the past, and yes, you went through difficulties, things you don't understand, but now you're so blessed, so fulfilled, so happy.
You don't dwell on who hurt you, on what didn't work out, on how you weren't raised in a healthy environment. You may not totally forget it, but it's not on the top of your mind like it used to be. You don't wake up thinking about it. You don't go through the day bitter. You're too blessed to be angry. You're too blessed to hold a grudge. You're too blessed to think about what didn't work out.
And this is what happened with Joseph. He went through a lot of unfair things. He was betrayed by his brothers, thrown into a pit, and eventually sold into slavery, and it's one thing to have people come against you, but this was these were the people that were supposed to love him. Made it much more painful. Joseph was falsely accused by a lady and put in prison. In the prison, he interpreted a dream for the Pharaoh, and the Pharaoh was so impressed that he put Joseph in charge of all of Egypt, and Joseph ended up bringing up including his brothers, the ones that threw him into the pit.
He gave them a place to live and provided them land so they could grow their crops, and one day, Joseph and his wife had a baby, and the scripture says, "Joseph named his son Manasseh, for he said, 'the Lord has caused me to forget the pain of my past.'" That's what Manasseh means, and Joseph had been through all this heartache, betrayals, lonely nights, injustice, but now God had blessed him in such a way. He was so fulfilled, so grateful, he didn't think about the heartache he had been through.
He didn't live bitter because of his brothers, upset because he'd spent years in prison. He was so blessed, so favored, he didn't have time to be angry, didn't have time to try to pay people back.
You may have gone through situations that weren't fair. You did your best, but a dream didn't work out. Your marriage didn't make it. You lost a loved one. It was painful. Thoughts whisper, "It's never going to change. This is as good as it gets. Just learn to live with it". No, get ready, Manasseh is coming. God is going to cause you to forget. He's going to bless you in such a way that you don't it's not going to be on the forefront of your mind. You're going to be so filled with gratitude for God's goodness, for all he's done for you, you're not going to think about what you've been through.
And we talk a lot about letting go of the past and forgiving people that hurt us, not reliving disappointments. That's important, but sometimes it's hard to not think about what went wrong. You wake up and the heartache automatically comes to mind. Through the day, you want to be happy, but you feel that heaviness reminding you of what you lost, or the sickness you're dealing with, the addiction. But stay encouraged.
There will be a day where God causes you to forget. You're going to give birth to Manasseh. You're not going to wake up thinking about the hurt. You're going to wake up thinking about the goodness of God. You're not going to go through the day discouraged by the loss, weighed down by heaviness. God is going to turn it around to where all you can think about is how grateful you are. You're going to have a deep satisfaction, a joy that you can't explain. What happened? You gave birth to Manasseh.
When my father went to be with the Lord, that was painful to me. I was close to him, and he was taken sooner than I wanted. But like Joseph, God has blessed me in such a way that I don't remember the heartache, and yes, I miss my father. I don't forget him. Of course, I honor his legacy, but God has brought gifts out of me that I didn't know I had. He's given me talent and ability, favor, influence.
"Well, Joel, I've been through difficulties, and I still remember the loss, the sickness, the heartache. Didn't happen for me". You may not realize it, but you're pregnant. Manasseh is coming. God hasn't forgotten about you. He's seen the heartache, the lonely nights, the injustice. God has collected every tear that you've shed, and you may not be able to forget on your own. The good news is, God is going to cause you to forget. He's going to turn it around in such a way that you're overwhelmed. You don't have time to think about the hurt. You're so grateful for the goodness of God.
God not only brought Joseph out of slavery. That would have been justice, but he had his brothers come back and apologize. They were at the mercy of Joseph. He was in charge of the whole nation. He was blessed with land, resources, opportunity. Joseph had influence and favor. His children were blessed. God didn't just bring him out, he brought him out in an exceptional way, where he didn't remember the pain of the past, and we all have things that we need to forget: a bad break, a mistake we made, a closed door that brought heartache.
Do your best to not dwell on it. When the thought comes up, try not to think about it. But at some point, God is going to do something out of the ordinary that causes you to forget. You're not going to have to struggle with it in your thoughts. Your mind is going to be so filled with God's goodness that that negative memory doesn't have any space to come back up.
Sometimes people tell me, "Joel, I'm praying for you. I know you have critics. I know people come against you," and I appreciate them praying. They mean well, but I feel so blessed. God has honored me in such a way, I don't even think about the negative. My mind is so overwhelmed with gratitude, with thanksgiving. When I drive up to this building, the former Compaq Center, and think about how I used to watch the rockets play basketball here, how I had season tickets right over there, and now it's our church, I'm still amazed. Sometimes I'm flipping through the channel, watching television, and I see myself come up speaking. I think, "How in the world did I get there"?
And yes, there have been difficult times. It was hard losing my dad, and people have tried to stop us, but what I'm saying is, I'm too blessed to be offended. I'm too blessed to live stressed out. I'm too blessed to go around bitter. When I think about the goodness of God, where he's brought me to, and how he's opened doors I could have never opened, how he's called the right people to show me favor, like Joseph, I don't have time to think about what happened back then. I don't have time to try to pay people back. God's been too good to me. He's given me Manasseh. He's caused me to forget. Isaiah said, "Because you got a double dose of trouble, your inheritance in the land will be double, and your joy will go on forever".
God didn't promise we wouldn't have difficulties. Sometimes we have a double dose, more than our share. The good news is, trouble doesn't have the final say. The betrayal, the sickness, the loss is not how your story ends. God is not only going to bring you out, he's going to bring you out with double, double the joy, double the peace, double the influence, double the fulfillment. It says, "Your joy will go on forever". That means the trouble is temporary. The sickness, the loneliness, the addiction, the depression, it's not going to last. The pain is temporary, but the joy will go on forever, and you may have been through a lot in your past.
Maybe you have things coming against you now, and you don't see how it could ever turn around. Get ready, Manasseh is coming. God has something ahead of you where you will be so blessed, so fulfilled, so prosperous that you will live out of a place of joy, a place of gratitude, where you think, "God, you've amazed me with your goodness. You've done more than I could ever dream". You're not going to wake up thinking about the haters. You're going to wake up thinking about how blessed you are. You're not going to go through the day bitter because of bad breaks. You're going to go through saying, "Lord, thank you for your favor. Thanks for being so good to me". You won't go to bed discouraged, dwelling you'll lie down in peace, with your mind filled with gratitude, so focused on the God's blessings.
I talked to a lady that didn't have a good childhood. She was raised in poverty, very poor, and many times, she and her siblings didn't have enough food. Her father wasn't in her life, and she was taken advantage of by other men. There was a lot of abuse and hurt and pain. Her mother would take her to church every week, and growing up, through all the heartache, and through all the things she didn't understand, she would tell people that Jesus was her father, and against all odds, God opened doors for her. He caused people to show her favor and made things happen that she couldn't have made happen.
Today, she's one of the most influential and well-respected people in the world. When she walks through her house, at a certain place, she can look out and see the ocean, and she said every time she passes by that place, under her breath she says, "Thank you, Jesus". Dozens of times a day, she thanks God for his goodness. She had a rough start. She was abused, life wasn't fair, but like Joseph, she gave birth to Manasseh. God has blessed her in such a great way that it's caused her to forget, and we've all had things that could steal our joy, cause us to lose our passion for life, settle for mediocrity.
God is saying to you today, "Manasseh is coming". There is something in your future that's going to erase the pain of the past. God is not going to just bring you out. He's not going to just heal you, restore you, vindicate you. That would be good, but that wouldn't make you forget the pain. God is going to do something out of the ordinary, something unusual, something that you didn't see coming.
A friend of mine was married for over 20 years, and he came home from a business trip and found a note from his wife saying she was leaving. She had found another man and their marriage was over, and my friend was devastated. He loved his wife, and for several years, he tried to convince her to change her mind, and prayed, believed, stood in faith, but she never did, and at one point, he realized it was over. Didn't understand it. Didn't seem fair. But I've learned, don't put a question mark where God has put a period.
We're not going to understand everything that happens. You can't make people do what's right. God's given us our own free will, and sometimes people make choices that hurt us. What the brothers did wasn't fair to Joseph. He hadn't done them any wrong. The good news is, God knows how to not only heal the hurts, that would be good enough. We would be grateful to be restored, but God is so amazing, he's going to cause you to forget the pain of your past, and when you go through a bad break, an injustice, you become pregnant. Manasseh is conceived in your spirit.
Maybe you weren't treated right growing up, a friend betrayed you, you're taking the treatment, trying to beat the illness. Life has thrown you a curve. The good news is, you're pregnant. There's a baby coming, something out of the ordinary, an explosive blessing, a divine connection, a supernatural healing. You couldn't have made it happen. You weren't next in line. What was that? Manasseh, God blessing you in such a way that you forget the injustice. You forget the pain. You forget what you've been through.
This friend of mine, he used to be so outgoing and fun to be around, but when his wife left, he lost his passion. He was a different person, and I told him what I'm telling you. That is not how your story ends. God is going to not just bring you through, but he's going to do something to make it up to you. About a year later, he met a beautiful young lady. When I saw them together, they were beaming with joy. They fell in love and got married. He said, "Joel, I have never been this happy in all of my life. I didn't know what true love really was".
What happened? He gave birth to Manasseh. God knows how to cause you to forget the pain of your past, and somebody may have walked out on you. That's not easy. I know the hurt is real, but it is not the end. God has the final say. He is going to bring you someone so great, so loving, so kind, so fun, so good looking, so well off, you're not even going to miss that old goat that left you. I mean, that person that left you. Manasseh is coming. God is going to pay you back.
Now get your hopes up. Quit believing those lies that you've seen your best days. You've been through too much. You'll never be happy. God has something amazing in front of you, amazing people, amazing opportunities, amazing resources. He has something that you've never seen, something more rewarding, more fulfilling than you've ever dreamed, and I love that it says, "God will cause us to forget," because sometimes, we can't forget on our own.
If you've ever had something happen that really hurt, you lost a loved one, someone walked out of a relationship, an unexpected illness, we can do our best to let it go and move forward, but those negative thoughts keep coming back. "You're a victim. It's not fair. It's never going to change". We can't totally forget on our own. That's why God is going to bless you in such a way that he causes you to forget.
In the scripture, Ruth lost her husband. She was devastated. She was a young lady, now a widow. Her dreams were shattered. I can imagine, every morning when she woke up, that was the first thing on her mind. "Ruth, you're a victim. Life's not fair". One day, she was out working in the fields, minding her own business, and the scripture says, "God caused Boaz, the owner of those fields, to notice her," and you may have gone through a situation. It's not fair, and you don't see how it could ever work out, but you don't know who God is going to cause to notice you.
God knows how to cause you to stand out, how to cause you to look good. A dozen people can bypass you. God can cause the right one to notice you and say, "Wow, look at her, she's amazing". "Look at him, he's outstanding". God will cause them to see you the way he wants them to see you.
When I walked into the jewelry store and met Victoria for the first time, God caused her to see me tall, dark, handsome. We got married and she found out none of that was true. Right now, God is causing the right people to be attracted to you. He's causing the right opportunities, the right breaks to track you down.
Ruth had gone through all this heartache. She thought she'd seen her best days. When God caused Boaz to notice her, he was one of the wealthiest men in that area. They ended up falling in love, getting married. They had a child. Ruth never dreamed she'd be that blessed. She never dreamed she'd own those fields with her husband, never dreamed she'd have children. Now, when she woke up, those thoughts telling her, "Ruth, you're a victim. You've been through too much. You'll never be happy". They didn't come anymore. God had blessed her in such a way that he caused her to forget the pain of the past.
God has some blessings coming your way that's going to cause you to forget what you lost, forget who hurt you, forget what you've been through. You're going to give birth to Manasseh. You may have had a double dose of trouble. Get ready, a double dose of favor is headed your way.
This is what happened with Job. Everything was going great, then the bottom fell out. He lost his business, lost his family, lost his health, had big boils all over his body. It was very painful, and Job was a good man. The scripture says that "He loved God and lived with integrity". But just because we honor God doesn't mean we're not going to have difficulties and things we don't understand.
What Job couldn't see is that God allowed the difficulty. Satan had to ask God for permission to test Job, and God only let him test him up to a certain point, and when you go through difficulties, things that don't make sense. You have to remind yourself, "God is still in control". The person that hurt you, the betrayal, the unexpected illness is not a surprise to God. Don't get bitter. Don't start complaining. It's a test. Job didn't think he could ever be happy. Negative thoughts came, and he made the mistake of believing them. He said in chapter 7, "I will never again experience pleasure." He was saying, "I've been through too much. It's all downhill from here".
He was so discouraged, a few verses later, he said, "I hate my life". He didn't want to keep living, but even though he had given up, even though he was complaining, cursing his future, God hadn't given up. God still had a plan. Job didn't realize, he was pregnant. When God allowed the difficulty, when God allowed that test, at the same time, God planted a seed in Job. He conceived Manasseh. Chapter 17, Job said: "my eyes are dim from weeping. I am but a shadow of my former self."
Maybe like Job, you feel like a shadow of what you used to be. At one time you were strong, healthy, full of energy, but now you're fighting that illness, dealing with the pain. You feel tired and weak. Or at one time, you were blessed in your business. You had more than enough, successful, but now things have gone down. You're struggling, barely making it.
Perhaps at one time, you had a great marriage. You were happy, excited about life, but things have changed. You're just going through the motions, trying to keep it together. It may not look good, but what you can't see is Manasseh is coming. Being half of who you were is not how your story ends. The scripture says, "The path of the righteous gets brighter and brighter," not less and less. The good news is, your water is about to break. It's not long before you're going to give birth. God is going to do something not to just restore you, not to just bring you out, but he's going to bless you in such a way that you forget what you've been through.
Job thought his life was over. He was complaining, negative, but some scholars say that that trial only lasted nine months. That's interesting, that's the same amount of time that a woman is pregnant. Nine months later, God turned it around and brought Job out with double. Just like Isaiah said, "He had a double dose of trouble, so God gave him double blessings". He came out with twice the cattle, twice the sheep, twice the joy.
The scripture says, "After this, Job lived 140 years and saw his grandchildren down to four generations". After what? After the loss, after the trouble, after the sickness. That means after the divorce, after the unexpected illness, you're going to see years of health, happiness, favor. I can hear Job saying, "What was I thinking, saying my life was over? Look at what God has done. I'm seeing my great-great-great-great-grand children". He was so blessed, so fulfilled, he didn't think about what he had been through.
Joseph was 17 years old when his brothers betrayed him, 30 years old when he took the throne. Those 13 years weren't easy. It was difficult, but if you study the rest of Joseph's life, after he was 30, after he took the throne, you don't read anything about him having problems, having armies coming against him, having betrayals. The difficulty was for a season. His son Manasseh had children. His son had children. His son had children.
After the betrayal, after he was falsely accused, after spending time in prison, Joseph lived to see three generations in peace, in stability, in abundance. He was so grateful, so happy, he didn't think about his brothers betraying him. I can imagine, every time he saw Manasseh, he would say, "Lord, thank you for being so good to me". Isaiah said, "God will restore double, and your joy will go on forever".
The trouble is temporary. The joy is permanent. You may be in a tough time today. Get ready, Manasseh is coming. There is something in your future that is going to cause you to forget what you've been through. You may not be able to forget on your own. The good news is, God is going to cause you to forget. Right now, he's working behind the scenes. You may not see any sign of it, but I can assure you, you are pregnant. You are going to give birth to blessings that catapult you ahead. God is about to do something unusual, out of the ordinary, to make up for what you've been through. Like Ruth, that loss is not the end. The right people are going to notice you. Like Job, those bad breaks are not your destiny. Double is coming, and like Joseph, those years of heartache are not your final chapter. I believe and declare, you are coming into years of health, happiness, favor, growth, abundance, the fullness of your destinies, in Jesus's name.