Joel Osteen — Today Is Your Day
I want to talk to you about "Today is your day". A lot of times we have faith for the future. We believe one day we'll get a good break. One day we'll feel better. One day the problem will turn around. If we're not careful we're always putting our faith off believing that in the future something good is going to happen. But true faith is always in the present. God is called "The great I am" not "The great I will be". He wants to show you his goodness, his favor, his mercy, today.
If this is going to happen you can't just have faith for the future. You have to believe, "Today is my day". "This could be the day my health improves". "This could be the day I get the phone call I've been waiting for". "This could be the day my child comes back home". There has to be an expectancy that something good is going to happen. Not next week. Not next year. Not in the sweet by and by. No, "Today, I could be promoted". "Today, I could break this addiction". "Today, I could get a contract on the house I've been trying to sell". "Today, I could meet the person of my dreams".
You don't know. It could happen before you leave this auditorium. Quit looking around. When we get up in the morning we should make the declaration, "Something good is going to happen to me today". You need to set the tone at the start of the day. You may have been dealing with a problem for 20 years. Your attitude should be, "Today, I'm expecting it to turn around. Today, I'm expecting good breaks to chase me down. Today, I'm expecting to see God's goodness".
When you have this expectancy, this now faith, then God will do things suddenly. Suddenly, you get the break you need. Suddenly, you feel better. Suddenly, your marriage is restored. God has some suddenlies in store for you.
Second Corinthians 6 says, "Now is the time for God's favor". God wants to do something amazing in your life now. Some of you believe that God is going to do something good one day. You've got big dreams. You know one day you'll meet the right person. One day you'll get that break. And that's fine. But I'm asking you to get out of a "One day" mentality and come over to a today mentality. If God can do it one day he can do it today. If he can do it in the future he could just as easily do it now.
And I realize there's a perfect timing. God knows when it's best for us. But what if the reason it's not happening is because we're not releasing our faith for today? When you have this attitude, "Today is my day. God, I believe right now you're at work in my life. Right now you're lining up the right people. Right now you're making my crooked places straight. Right now you're fighting my battles for me". When you have this right now faith, this, "Today is my day faith," that's when you'll see not "The great I will be," but "The great I am" show up and do amazing things. That's when you'll see suddenlies in your own life.
But too many people live with this "One day" mentality. The problem with one day is it's always in the future. What if God answered your prayer and said, "Okay, one day I'm going to do it"? Next month rolls around. God says, "One day". Next year, "One day". Twenty years from now, "One day".
Friends, one day never comes. It's always tomorrow. Why don't you have a boldness to say, "God, I believe today is my day. Today, I will see your favor. Today, this problem will start to turn around. Today, I will meet the right person".
This is what David did. He said in Psalm 118, "This is the day the Lord has made". He was making this same declaration. "Today is my day. I'm expecting something good to happen to me". We see his attitude in the next verse. He said, "Oh, Lord. I beseech you. Send prosperity now". He could have said, "God, please send your favor next week, or next month when my bills are due. Or God, at the end of the year at least when I have to pay my taxes". No, David didn't have a "One day" mentality. He had a right now mentality. He had the boldness, the audacity to say, "God, I'm asking you to do it today".
Have you ever asked God to do something now, to show you his favor today? "Well, Joel. I wouldn't be that bold, that presumptuous. That wouldn't be right". David did it and he's called a man after God's own heart. The scripture says, "We have not because we ask not".
Sometimes we're too passive. We're too timid. We don't want to be pushy, seem like we're proud. But when you have this boldness to say like David, "God, do it today. Heal me today. Restore me today. Show me your favor today". God doesn't say, "Who do you think you are? Get back down in your place". It's just the opposite. Your faith gets Gods attention.
One time Jesus was walking through a town. This man came up and said, "My assistant at home. He's like my son. He's very, very sick. Jesus, would you please pray for him"? Jesus said, "Yes, I'll come to your house". The man said, "I'm a captain in the army. I have a lot of authority. When I speak my soldiers obey me. You don't need to come to my house. Just speak the word and my assistant will be healed".
This man had now faith. He believed that, "Today is my day". Like David, he was saying, "Lord, send healing now". Jesus didn't get offended and say, "You've got a lot of nerve asking me to do it right now". No, Jesus looked at the man and said, "I haven't seen this much faith in all of Israel. You can go back home. Your assistant will be perfectly well".
That's what happens when you have the boldness to say, "God, do it today". You will see some suddenlies in your life. Some of you have been praying about a situation for a long time. You know one day God is going to work it out. But you've got to come over into now faith. Dare to say, "God, heal me now". "Deliver me now". "Bring my child back home now". "God, show me the abundance of rain now". God has "Now" blessings for you but you have to be bold enough to have now faith".
"Well, Joel. What if I do this, I get my hopes up, I believe today is my day and it doesn't happen? Then I'll go to bed all discouraged, all disappointed". No, that's the wrong approach. You should go to bed saying, "Father, thank you. Now I know I'm one step closer to seeing it come to pass". You get up the next morning be bold enough to say it again, "Lord, send favor today".
See, I'm not talking about something that you try for a couple of weeks. I'm talking about a lifestyle where you live with expectancy. You go out each day looking for God's goodness. The truth is we all have to wait. I'm not saying everything will change in 24 hours. It might. But it might take much longer. The key is to wait the right way, with expectancy, knowing that it could happen today.
That's what a young couple did that I know. They were trying to have a baby for many years with no success. They went through all the fertility treatments. Still nothing. Instead of getting discouraged they got up every morning and said, "Father, thank you today could be the day we conceive a child. Today could be the day you bless us with a baby". Month after month went by. They didn't see anything changing. One year. Two years. Three years. Four years. They just kept saying, "Lord, send healing now. Send that baby now. Send favor now". Living with expectancy. Now faith.
Five years later, after being told they couldn't have a baby, they brought their beautiful baby daughter for us to dedicate right here. They were so excited about it. But I wonder what would have happened if they would have thought, "Well, it's just our luck. It's just not meant to be". No, they had this attitude, "Today is our day". Nothing happened the first month. It didn't matter. "Today is our day". Nothing happened the first year. They didn't get discouraged. Didn't change their mind. "Today is our day". Those five years, it didn't look like anything was happening but the truth is God was working behind the scenes. Eventually, they came into their suddenly.
It's easy to get discouraged and think, "Well, my marriage is never going to improve. It's been this way too long". "I'll never get out of debt". "I'll never be well". No, God is a God of the suddenlies. One touch of his favor and it suddenly turns around. You suddenly get the break you need. You suddenly feel better. You suddenly meet the right person. You may not see anything happening but that doesn't mean that God is not working.
As long as you believe, as long as you know, "Today is my day," behind the scenes God is at work getting it all lined up. In fact, every time you say, "Lord, send favor now. Send healing now. Send freedom now," in the unseen realm God dispatches the angels. They're arranging things in your favor. Moving the wrong people out of the way. Lining up the breaks that you need. It's just a matter of time before your suddenly shows up.
It's like this man. He was in his yard with a big sledge hammer trying to break apart this huge boulder. He swung at it again and again with all of his might. Didn't see the smallest dent, not even a little crack. But every day for a couple of hours he would go out and hit that boulder as hard as he could never seeing any sign of things changing. A few weeks later he hit it and all of the sudden the whole rock split right apart. He was surprised. He didn't think he was making any progress.
What he didn't realize was on the inside of the rock, every time he hit it; it was weakening the integrity of the rock. There were no signs on the outside but on the inside changes were taking place. When that rock finally split apart it wasn't that last blow that did it. It was a culmination of all the times he had hit it before.
In the same way, every day you get up praying, believing, expecting, you may not see anything happening. It all looks the same. Thoughts will tell you, "It's never going to change". "Your child is never going to straighten up". "You'll never be able to afford that house you want". "Your health is never going to improve". Don't believe those lies. Keep saying, "Lord, send favor now". Keep believing, "Today is my day". Keep expecting God's goodness.
Every day you do that whatever is holding you back is getting weaker. The sickness is getting weaker. The addiction is getting weaker. The depression is getting weaker. The lack is getting weaker. The family problem is getting weaker. One day you're going to get up and say, "Today is my day". You're not going to say it by faith. Suddenly, it will turn around. Suddenly, the dream comes to pass. Suddenly, you get the break. But it wasn't just that one time. It was all those days you chose to live with expectancy, believing that God was working even though you didn't see anything happening.
I met a lady a few years ago out in the lobby. She was in town at the medical center. She had just been approved to be on the list for a liver transplant. She was told it would take between three and five years. There were many people on the list ahead of her. She didn't know if she could live that long. I told her, "God can heal you with the transplant or without the transplant. Just keep believing, "Today is my day. Lord, send healing now. Send favor now".
About three months later she was back at the services. I noticed she had a wristband on her wrist from the hospital. I thought maybe she had to have some additional tests. She had the biggest smile on her face. She said, "Joel, you're looking at a lady with a brand new liver". Two days after she went on the list she received a call saying, "We have a liver available for you". It's supposed to take years and years. She had the operation, the transplant. Everything went well. Today, she is healthy and whole.
What was that? A suddenly. You may think it's going to take years for you to get well, years to get out of debt, years to accomplish your dreams. How do you know, like with this lady, that God doesn't have a suddenly lined up for you? You don't know what God has around the corner. You need to get ready. God is about to turn some things around. He is about to release an abundance of rain. He is going to speed up what should have taken years. Now you've got to get up every morning in faith saying, "God, I want to thank you today is my day". Then go out expecting one of these suddenlies to chase you down.
There was a man in the scripture that was crippled. He had been lying by the pool of Bethesda. Whenever an angel stirred the waters the first person that got in would be healed. I can imagine the first week he was there he was very excited, thinking, "Today is my day. I'm going to be the one to get healed". But a month goes by and he doesn't see anything happening. A year goes by. Still nothing. He gets a little more discouraged. Then five years. Well, he's finally completely convinced that it's never going to happen.
One day Jesus shows up and says to the man, "Do you want to get well"? Instead of saying, "Of course I do. I knew it was going to happen," he started making excuses. He said, "Jesus, I've been here a long time. I don't have anybody to help me get in the water. You know my legs don't work". Here the son of God, Jesus, stands before him - the one that has the power to make him whole - but the man is so focused on all the reasons why it's not going to happen.
What am I saying? You can be at the right place in the wrong frame of mind and miss what God wants to do. You may have been praying, believing about a situation for many years. You don't see anything changing. You could easily talk yourself out of it. But I believe, like with this man, God is passing by today. You're at the right place.
Here's the real question. Are you in the right frame of mind? Do you believe that today could be your day? Do you believe that God could still turn it around? Still bless you? Still restore you? Don't be like this man and come up with a bunch of excuses why you can't be successful, why you can't get well, why you'll never get married. No, shake off the doubt. Turn off the negative voices. Have the attitude, "Today is my day. It may not have happened in the past but I know now is the time for God's favor. I'm expecting some suddenlies in my life".
See, the scripture tells us to be prisoners of hope. That means we're chained to hope. We can't get away from it. In other words, "I should be discouraged. It's taking a long time but I can't help it. I still believe God can turn it around. I still believe a suddenly is coming. I still believe that today could be my day". That thought says, "You're never going to get out of debt. Business is slow. Looks like you're going to go under". Just answer back, "Yes, that may be true in the natural. I don't see a way but you've got to understand. I'm in a prison, not physically, but mentally. A prison of expectancy. I believe now God is working in my life. Now is the time for God's favor".
Whenever those thoughts try to talk you out of it just tell them, "You're too late. I've already seen suddenlies in my life". Go back and remember all the things God has done for you. I've seen God heal my mother of terminal cancer. I've seen God give us this beautiful facility when all the odds were against us. I've seen God increase me in ways that I've never imagined. Listen, if God did it for us once he will do it for us again. That's a prisoner of hope. You don't get talked out of it.
Isaiah 30 says, "God is longing to be good to you". God wants to show you his favor, but there is a requirement. God is going to be good not necessarily to everyone. The rest of the verse tells us who. "Blessed are those who look for, who long for, who expect his goodness, his favor, his victory". God is going to be good to the people that are looking for his goodness, people that are expecting his favor.
Now my question. What are you looking for? What are you expecting? To barely get by this year? Or are you expecting an abundance of rain? Do you think your situation will never change or do you know that now is the time for God's favor? "Well, Joel. I've had a lot of disappointments. I never get any good breaks. I don't see how I could get well". No, if you're not looking for God's goodness, if you don't develop this attitude that, "Today is my day," then even though God is longing to be good to you he will back off and put his blessings on hold.
Faith causes God to act. Your expectancy, believing that, things are changing, saying, "Lord, send favor now. Send healing now. Send restoration now". That's not just being positive. That's your faith being released. That's what causes the Creator of the universe to go to work in your life.
And I've heard the saying. You probably have too. "Don't expect too much that way when it doesn't happen you won't be disappointed". That's no way to live. God meets you at the level of your expectations. If you expect this to be an ordinary year it will be an ordinary year. If you expect the problem to get worse it will get worse. If you expect the sickness, the trouble, the lack, the depression to continue it will continue. You've got to change what you're expecting. God wants to be good to you but he is waiting for you to start looking for his goodness.
Our attitude should be, "I'm expecting this year to be better than last year. I'm expecting good breaks to chase us down and overtake us. I'm expecting divine connections, the right people to show up. I'm expecting our children to be mighty in the land, to excel in school. I'm expecting us to live debt-free, to lend and not borrow, to be the head and not the tail. I'm expecting to overcome every challenge, that no weapon formed against us will prosper". I'm expecting some suddenlies. Suddenly you get promoted. Suddenly you get well. Suddenly you thrust into overflow.
Listen, you can wake up one morning with the same problem you've had for the last 20 years. Nothing looks any different but then today is your day and you go to bed and the whole situation is resolved. One touch of God's favor, one suddenly. Are you expecting it?
Some of you are stuck. You're not expecting enough. You need to get your "Expecter" out. You haven't used that thing in fourteen years. It needs to be overhauled. Start expecting to rise higher. Start expecting every enemy in your life to be defeated. Start expecting your mountains to be flattened into molehills. Start expecting new doors of opportunity, favor in your career, favor in your health, favor in your finances.
God is longing to be good to you. He is looking down from the heavens right now. But you have to be in position. What's the position? Expectancy. Believing that, "Today is my day. Something good is going to happen to me". That's what gets God's attention. If somebody says, "You're still not feeling well"? "Yes, that's true but this could be the day it turns around". "You still looking for that job"? "Yes, but this could be the day I find it". "You still struggling with that addiction"? "Yes, but this could be the day I break it". "You're still in a drought"? "Yes, but this could be the day the heavens opened up. This could be the day I see an abundance of rain, a suddenly in my life".
Today, a dream could come to pass. Today, a marriage could be restored. Today, you could be thrust into overflow. Friends, our God is the great I am. Present tense. He is saying, "I am healing. I am restoration. I am breakthroughs. I am abundance. I am victory". Now, if you're going to see the great I am show up you can't treat him like the great I will be. You can't have a "One day" faith. You've got to have a today faith, a now faith.
That's what a lady did in the scripture. She had been sick for twelve years with a bleeding disorder. She spent all of her money, went to many doctors, but continued to get worse. She could have gotten discouraged and thought, "Well, it just wasn't meant to be. I guess that's it". No, this lady must have been coming to Lakewood. Her attitude was, "Today is my day. I may not see how it can work out, but Lord, send healing now. Send favor now".
She heard that Jesus was traveling through her city. She thought, "If I could just get to him I know I will be healed". She had this expectancy. She knew God could suddenly turn it around. She pressed her way through the crowd. I can hear her saying, "Excuse me. I don't mean to be rude, but today is my day. This is my time. Things are about to change in my favor".
As Jesus passed by she reached out and touched the edge of his robe and instantly she was healed. Jesus stopped, said to the disciples, "Who touched me"? They said, "Jesus. Everybody is touching you. It's crowded around here". He said, "No, somebody touched me with such faith, with such expectancy, that they drew the miracle working power right out of me". About that time, Jesus' eyes met this woman's eyes. He smiled and said, "Daughter, your faith has made you whole".
Notice, it wasn't God's faith. God has all the faith in the world. When you believe, your faith can stop the Son of God in his tracks. Your expectancy can cause the Creator of the universe to do amazing things in your life.
My question, "What are you expecting right now"? Not tomorrow. Not next week. Now is the time for favor. Don't have a "One day" faith. Do like this lady. Have a now faith. Go out each day looking for God's goodness. It may not have happened yet but be a prisoner of hope. It can still happen even today.
If you will develop this attitude that, "Today is my day," then you better get ready. Some suddenlies are coming your way. God is going to suddenly bring a dream to pass. Suddenly restore what has been stolen. Suddenly thrust you into overflow. My prayer for each of you is what David prayed in Psalm 118, "Lord, send favor now to your people. Send healing now. Send restoration now. Send abundance now. Send victory now". I believe and declare it's coming your way. In Jesus' name.