Joel Osteen — Something That You've Never Seen
I want to talk to you today about "Something that you've never seen". I grew up in a minister's home, and we always had church in auditoriums and traditional sanctuaries. That's what everybody did. But in 2005, God gave us this beautiful facility. Now, we have church in a former sports arena. That's something that I had never seen.
I worked 17 years behind the scenes at the church, doing the television production, and I thought that's how I would spend my life. But when my father went to be with the Lord, this position. Now, instead of being behind the cameras, I'm in front of the cameras. That was something I had never seen.
In 2009, the New York Yankees were about to open their new baseball stadium. One of their staff members called and asked if we would come and hold a night of hope, the first non-baseball event in the new stadium. Out of all the entertainers, musicians, artists in the world, they called a minister. That was something I had never seen.
And I want you to get this down in your spirit. God is about to do something in your life that you've never seen. I'm not just sharing another message, I'm speaking prophetically. God is about to take you where you could not go on your own. God is about to show you favor in ways that you've never imagined. It's going to be unprecedented, out of the norm, unlike maybe you've struggled in your finances for years and can't seem to get ahead. One step forward, two steps backwards. No, God is about to show you abundance like you've never seen. He's about to increase you you lend and not borrow, not burdened down by debt and lack.
Some of you have fought depression, discouragement your whole life. That dark cloud follows you around and you think that's the way it's always going to be. No, take heart. God is going to show you joy like you've never seen. That spirit of depression, discouragement is being broken, and God is going to release a new happiness, a passion that you've not experienced before.
Maybe you've struggled with an addiction, a bad habit for a long time. Be encouraged, God's going to show you freedom that you've never seen. Some of you have felt a little insecure, intimidated, like you don't quite measure up. You think that's the way you'll always live. No, God's about to show you a confidence, a boldness, where you can step into the fullness of your destiny. God is saying, "Creativity like you've never seen. Promotion, opportunity like you've never seen. Healing, restoration, favor like you've never seen".
That's the promise God made "'I will do great things that I've never done before anywhere on earth,'" and we've all seen every one of us can say, "God has blessed us, promoted us, protected us". But what God is about to do is going to be unprecedented. Now, all you've got to do is say, "Yes, Lord, this is for me today. I receive this into my spirit".
See, your mind will try to talk you out of it, tell you all the reasons why it's not going to happen for you: you're too old, too young, made too many mistakes, don't have the education, if you were just a different nationality, if you just knew the right people. No, listen, God is not limited by your age, your education, your connections, your resources. In spite of what you have or don't have, you need to get ready. God is about show you something that you've never seen. He's about to take you where you could not go on your own.
In John, chapter 9, Jesus was traveling through a village. He saw a man on the side of the road that was blind. He went over to this man. The man didn't call out to Jesus. He wasn't like blind Bartameus that said, "Please Jesus, have mercy and heal me". This man was just quietly sitting there and Jesus went to him. And throughout the scripture, there are examples where people use their faith and reached out to God and they received their miracle.
The woman with the issue of blood fought her way through the crowd, touched the edge of Jesus' robe. She was instantly made whole. The lepers cried out, "Jesus, please heal us". Jesus healed them. An army captain came and said, "Jesus, if you'll just speak the word, my little daughter at home that's so sick, she'll be healed". Jesus spoke and the daughter was well. These people all initiated their miracle. They reached out in faith and saw God's goodness. But God is so merciful. He's so loving.
There are times like with this blind man, even when we don't have the faith, even when we don't reach out, God reaches out to us. If it would have just been dependent on our faith, on what we believe, on what we're asking for, Jesus would have never stopped to help this blind man. He didn't show any signs of faith. He was just sitting there minding his own business, yet Jesus went to him. He had been blind since his birth, had never seen before. This is much different from someone that had sight at one time and becomes blind.
At least they would have a memory of what things look like. This man, blind since birth, had never seen a sunset, never seen a flower, never seen a person. He had nothing to draw upon having never seen before. And it's interesting, Jesus didn't say anything to him. He didn't try to figure out if he had faith, try to figure out what he believed. Jesus simply made mud, put it on the blind man's eyes, told him to go wash it off in the pool of Salome.
Some friends led him to the pool, he washed it off, and his eyes were instantly opened. He could see perfectly clearly. I can imagine for the first time, he looked out and saw the puffy cloud in the sky. For the first time, he looked down and saw a beautiful flower. No doubt, he ran home as fast as he could, and for the first time, he saw his children, his wife. That night, he looked up into the sky. For the first time, he saw the stars twinkling, the moonlight glimmering off the lake.
What happened? God showed him something he had never seen. God wants to do the same thing for you. Some of you think that you've reached your limits, gone as far as you can go. The medical report doesn't look good. Now you've settled there. You've been single a long time, you don't think you'll ever meet the right person. Or you took a step of faith, but the business, the charity, the project, didn't make it. Now you don't see how you could accomplish your dreams. But like with this man, even when we don't have the faith, even when we think it's impossible; "Joel, it's too late, I tried, I failed, it's never going to happen". No, God is going to come looking for you and show you his favor like you've never seen.
God wants to give you some first times. For the first time, you're free from pain, healthy, whole, strong. For the first time, you have more than enough. You're not struggling, you're into overflow. For the first time, your whole family is serving God. For the first time, you're living in the house of your dreams. For the first time, you're running the whole office. You thought you'd always be working for people. Now you've got people working for you. You need to get ready, God has some first times in your future.
Part of this shift is God is going to show you something that you've never seen before. You may not have faith for it. It may seem too far out. That's okay. God's going to come looking for you. He's going to get you to where you're supposed to be. It's going to be bigger than you imagined. It's going to be unprecedented, something that you've never seen. That means if you've seen it in the past, that's good, be grateful, always thank God for what he's done. But what God is about to do is greater than what you've seen.
When God gave us this beautiful facility, this was Ephesians 3:20, "Exceedingly, abundantly, above and beyond". This was more than I could ever imagine. In fact, I'm still amazed every time I pull up to this facility. I still get goose bumps when I go over to my old seats right over there where I watched the rockets play basketball for years. But as amazing as this all is, I realize what God is about to do is going to supersede anything he's done in the past.
When God shows you something that you've never seen, it's going to boggle your mind. The reason God doesn't just rely on our faith is because some of what he's going to show you is so far out, so amazing, so rewarding, you couldn't have faith for it right now. Like this blind man, God is so good, even when we don't believe, even when we don't have the faith, God will show up and do it anyway.
Before Jesus healed the blind man, the disciples asked, "Jesus, who sinned? This man or his parents? That would cause him to be born blind"? Jesus said, "Nobody sinned. He was born this way so the works of God could be manifest". In other words, when that baby was born, God already knew exactly when he was going to heal him. There was a time already set by the Creator of the universe and at that appointed time, God opened his eyes and showed him something that he had never seen.
In your life, right now, there are set times. God has already established the date when he's going to do something unprecedented in your life. You don't have to worry. You don't have to be discouraged because it hasn't happened yet. You don't have to give in to doubt and think, "Oh, I'm never going to get well. I'll never accomplish a dream. I'll never get married". No, those moments of favor are already established in your future. If you'll just keep honoring God, being your best, you will suddenly come into one of your set times. God will do something out of the ordinary. You didn't go after it; it came to you. You didn't even have the faith for it.
What you were praying about was only a fraction of what God had in mind. One scripture talks about the faith of God. Normally, we think about our faith. How we need to pray big and believe big and take the limits off of God and that's important. We should do that. But God has things in your future, set times that he's already established that are so big, so amazing, so rewarding, God knew you couldn't have faith for it right now.
If you would have told me a few years ago that one day I would be up in front of people and have the platform that I have, I would have said, "Thank you for believing in me but you've got the wrong person". God knows there are things in our future that we won't have the faith for. But that doesn't stop God. When you run out of faith, there's a secret weapon. It's called the faith of God. When God releases his faith, you can be certain doors will open that should not have opened. Talent will come out of you that you didn't know you had. The right people will search you out. Healing, promotion, increase, will show up in ways like you've never seen before.
I know some of you think, "Well, Joel, I don't have much faith". That's okay, the faith of God will get you to where you're supposed to be. When your faith is low, don't worry, you have a friend that will never let you down. When you have doubts, don't worry, he has faith. When you don't think it's going to happen, that's all right, he's got you covered. The faith of God will make up for your lack of faith. That's what this scripture means when it talks about having faith the size of a mustard seed.
A mustard seed is one of the smallest seeds you can find. God was saying even when your faith is low, when you're discouraged, when you have doubts, God doesn't cancel his plan for your life. God doesn't disqualify you and say, "Come on man, you need to have more faith". No, that's when the faith of God kicks in. These moments of favor that have already been established in your future, they're not solely dependent on your faith, the faith of God is going to cause them to show up.
You think about Peter. He was on the shore, by the lake, early one morning, cleaning his fishing nets and putting away all of his gear. He'd been out fishing all night. He wasn't a disciple yet. He was a rough man. He used rough language. Not somebody we would consider to be a person of faith. And Jesus asked to borrow his boat, he taught the people in the crowds there. Afterwards, Jesus said to Peter, "Go launch out into the deep and you'll catch a great number of fish". That's how Jesus was going to pay him back for using his boat. But Peter said, "Jesus, we've been fishing all night, nothing is biting. Besides, this is not the right time to fish".
Jesus said in effect, "Peter, I control the fish. There may not have been fish out there earlier but I can guarantee you there are fish out there now". Notice, Peter didn't have any faith but that didn't stop God. Jesus didn't say, "Peter, I'm trying to help you but you're such a doubter". Even though he didn't have faith, Jesus said, "That's all right, the faith of God will make this happen".
When your faith is low, when you find it hard to believe, when doubts are bombarding your mind, don't worry, God is not only full of mercy, he's full of faith. His faith will hold you over until your faith can be strengthened. Peter got out there and caught so many fish that his boat began to sink. God showed him something that he had never seen. He had been out fishing on that lake for years many times. He knew when to fish, where to fish, what to use. But this day, something happened that was unprecedented, out of the norm.
In the same way, you can be going to work, doing the same thing, the same way, everything looks just normal, ordinary, but then you come into one of these set times. These moments of favor. You weren't expecting it. You didn't have the faith for it. You didn't deserve it, but like Peter, suddenly a good break, a promotion, a healing, restoration. It's more than you could imagine. It's overwhelming. It's something you've never seen. That wasn't your faith, that was the faith of God.
Right now, in your future, there are these moments of favor that are going to catapult you to a new level. Some of you have been facing a sickness a long time and you don't really know if you have the faith to get well. That's okay, God has you covered. When you come into this moment of favor, like the blind man, sickness doesn't have a chance. Health, healing, wholeness will flood your body. God can do what medicine cannot do.
You may think that you could never get out of debt, you've tried. You keep having setbacks, you've settled there. That's all right, the faith of God is at work in your life. There are moments of favor that are going to thrust you into abundance.
I read about this couple. They had both lost their jobs. All kinds of things had come against them. And unfortunately, they were about to lose their house. They had done everything they could to try to get the funds but it just hadn't worked out. They started selling off their possessions. A little here, a little there. They got so desperate, they decided to sell all of their furniture. Everything inside and out. Patio furniture. Lawn mower. Washer. Dryer. Everything. They put it on e-bay. Had pictures of it all. And somehow word got out that the reason they were selling was to try to pay their mortgage and save their house.
A lady in another state bid $20,000. Her bid by far was the high bid, nothing else even came close. They accepted her bid. When they went to make arrangements to have the furniture shipped, the lady said, "I don't want your furniture. That's a gift you can have to keep your house". They had never met the woman, never talked to her, never seen her. That was a moment of favor. They didn't have faith for it. That was the faith of God, saying, "I'm going to show you something that you've never seen. I'm going to cause somebody out of the blue to be good to you".
You may be facing situations, you don't know how it's going to turn out, how you could accomplish your dreams. That's okay. God has it all figured out. He's already lined up the right people, the right opportunities, solutions to problems. Just like with this couple, at the right time, you're going to come into your moment of favor and it's going to cause you to overcome, cause you to step into the fullness of your destiny.
I talked to a gentleman out in the lobby not long ago. He was in town for treatment at MD Anderson, the cancer hospital. He had some kind of tumor in his stomach area. He'd gone through chemotherapy but that hadn't helped. Now they were going to try surgery. It was very risky but this was his only option medically speaking. His whole family was here; a wife, son, two beautiful daughters. They were weeping as he was telling the story. We prayed and asked God to make a way where we couldn't see a way.
He said, "Joel, I'm trying to have faith, but I'm so worried. I'm so afraid". Almost like he was apologizing. And I told him what I'm telling you. When your faith is weak, the faith of God is strong. When your faith is low, the faith of God is high. You have somebody standing in the gap for you. The scripture says, "Jesus is at the right hand of the Father constantly praying for us".
It's one thing to have me pray, a friend pray, a prayer partner pray, that's all great. But don't ever forget the Son of God, the one who raised from the dead, the one who defeated our enemies, the one who speaks worlds into existence, he's praying for you right now.
This man came back a couple of weeks later with his family. When they took the final x-ray before the surgery, they couldn't find the tumor anymore. That surgeon said that in 16 years, he'd never seen anything like that. This man had big tears running down his cheeks. He said, "Joel, I didn't even have faith. My mind was filled with doubt, yet God did the miracle anyway". That's the way our God is. He knows we're human, we get discouraged, we have doubts.
But I've learned you don't have to have great faith in order for God to do something great. You can have small faith and God will move a mountain. You don't have to have strong invincible, unwavering faith. I hope you do. But even if you don't, if you'll just keep honoring God, keep being your best, then his faith will make up for your lack of faith.
That's what Paul said in romans 2:20, "The life I live now, I live by the faith of the Son of God". Paul wrote over half of the New Testament. Overcoming incredible odds. He was saying, I didn't make it just by my own faith, my own strength, my own determination, I had a secret weapon. I fulfilled my destiny because of the faith of God.
You may be facing a situation today that looks impossible. Your health. Your finances. A relationship. All the odds are against you but be encouraged. The faith of God is at work in your life. There are moments of favor God has already established in your future. God is not only going to bring you out, he's going to do something unprecedented, out of the ordinary, something that you've never seen.
I know this mom. She was praying for her son. Trying to get him in church, year after year, but he just wasn't interested. He was on the wrong course, running with the wrong crowd. And started selling drugs. And it seemed like the more she prayed, the worse he got and the more discouraged she became.
He ended up in jail. And this mom was so heartbroken. And these thoughts bombarded her mind saying, "No use praying. It's too late. Your prayers aren't doing any good". She was so discouraged that she found it hard to pray. But even when we don't believe. Even when we're tempted to give up, the good news is God doesn't give up. That's when his faith kicks in.
One Sunday morning, her son, was in the jail watching television in this common area. Another inmate came in and they began to argue over what they were going to watch. They started wrestling over the remote control trying to get it away from each other. About that time, this huge inmate walked in, he stood about six foot six, he had huge muscles bulging out of his shirt. He looked like a professional football player. He walked over, grabbed the remote control and said, "Give me that thing. I'll decide what we're going to watch". He started flipping through the channels and he came across our program and stopped. He said, "We're going to watch Joel".
Well, her son, he turned around to walk out of the room. He thought, "I'm not going to watch some TV preacher". He's already mad. This big inmate grabbed him by the shirt, pulled him down and said, "Sit down, you're going to watch with me". I like that guy. He'd make a good usher. They started... I'm only kidding. Ushers, don't get any ideas.
They started watching the program. This young man began to feel God's love and presence like never before. He started weeping. Right there in the jail, that big inmate led that young man to Christ. Do you know, that young man is at our services all the time now, sitting next to his mother. God did something that she had never seen. He walked in to one of those moments of favor God had already destined for his life. For they first time now, her son is in church.
My message for us today is get ready. God has some first times for you. For the first time, you're totally out of debt. For the first time, you're healthy, whole, strong. For the first time, your whole family is serving God. For the first time, you meet the right person; you fall in love. You may not see how this could happen. That's okay. The faith of God is going to get you to where you're supposed to be. What God is about to do is going to be bigger, it's going to be more rewarding. It's going to be something that you have not seen. I declare and believe over each one of you, favor like you've never seen, creativity like you've never seen, opportunity, healing, restoration, vindication, joy, victory like you've never seen in Jesus' name.