Joel Osteen — Yes Is In Your Future
I want to talk to you today about how YES is in your future. When God laid out the plan for your life he lined up the right people, the right breaks, the right open doors. He already has your yeses planned out. Yes, to that promotion. Yes, to that clean bill of health. Yes, you will get married. Yes, you are accepted into that college. You may have been told no a thousand times but God has the final say and he says, "Yes is coming your way". Yes, you will accomplish your dreams. Yes, you will overcome that addiction. Yes, your children will fulfill their destiny. Yesses are in your future.
Now here's the key; on the way to your YES there will be NO's. You have to go through the NO's to get to your yesses. The mistake many people make is they get discouraged by the NO's and they quit trying. They worked hard but didn't get the promotion. They prayed and believed but didn't qualify for the new home. They put time and energy into a relationship but it didn't work out. Now they think it's never going to happen. No, you have to go through your closed doors before you get to your open doors.
When you come to a no, instead of being discouraged the right attitude is, "I'm one step closer to my yes". What if you could see into your future and you knew you had to go through 20 NO's before you came to your yes? Then when you faced a disappointment, a setback, the loan didn't go through, you didn't get that big sales contract. If you knew your yes was only 20 NO's away you wouldn't give up. You would just check it off and say, "All right. That's one NO out of the way. Now I'm only nineteen away from my YES".
Rather than being discouraged you would be encouraged. But too many people, because they've hit several NO's in a row, they've lost their passion. They've lost their fire. You've got to get this down in your spirit. Yes is in your future. You may have been turned down, delayed, overlooked. That was all a part of God's plan. The NO is simply a test. Are you going to get discouraged and settle where you are or are you going to keep moving forward knowing that yesses are coming your way?
I had a man tell how his supervisor was about to retire. He and two other people were in line for his position. He had the most seniority. He had worked for the company faithfully for many years. But he got passed over for the promotion. They chose a younger, less experienced person. He felt cheated. Didn't seem fair but he understood this principle. He knew there were already yesses in his future put there by the Creator of the universe. He didn't get bitter. He didn't quit being his best. He shook it off and kept working unto God. About two years later the vice president of the company retired and they offered him his job. His position now is many levels higher than that old supervisor position.
Friends, God knows what he is doing. You may be in a NO right now. The relationship ended. You got passed over for the promotion. You lost a loved one. You've got to dig your heels in and say, "I may be in a NO but I'm not going to get discouraged. I'm not going to give up on my dream. I know a YES is coming. Favor is coming. Healing is coming. Promotion is coming. I am not going to get stuck in a no. I know yesses are in my future".
That's what the scripture says, "All of God's promises are yes and amen". We should get up every morning and say, "Father, thank you for some yesses today. Yes, I'm healed. Yes, I'm free. Yes, I'm surrounded by your favor".
I read a statistic. 90% of all first time businesses fail. 90% of all second time businesses succeed. But 80% of people never try a second time. What happened? They get stuck on a NO. They got discouraged and thought, "Well, it didn't happen last time. It's never going to happen". They fail to realize they were one NO away from seeing it succeed. I wonder how many of us give up a few NO's away from seeing a dream come to pass. What if you knew you only had to go through three more NO's and then you would meet the right person? You would probably go out and find people to meet just to tell them NO. Get them out of the way.
I have a friend that wanted to start a new business. And it had worked. Now he needed a bank to get behind him, loan him the money to buy some major equipment so he could really get it off the ground. He went to the bank that he had used for many years and everyone knew him. They loved his business plan. He had proven results on that small scale but money was very tight. They turned him down. The first NO.
He could have gotten discouraged and given up but he went to another bank. The second bank told him the same thing. "It's a great idea. It's just not for us". Ten banks turned him down. Twenty banks said no. Thirty banks said no. You would think he would get the message. "Man, this is not going to work. You're wasting your time". No, when God puts a dream in your heart, when he gives a promise on the inside and deep down you know that you know you're going to succeed. You know your family is going to be restored. You know you're going to get well. Then like this man, you realize every no simply means you're one step closer to your yes.
Thirty-one banks said NO. Thirty-one banks said, "You're not for us". But bank number 32 came along and said, "We really like it. We'll take a chance. Yes, we will do it". God had his YES, but he had to go through 31 NO's to get to it.
You don't know, you may only be five NO's away from your yes. Or who knows, maybe the next person you meet will be your yes. The next college you apply to will be your yes. The next time you resist the temptation you'll break the bad habit. It will be your yes. It was one city council member that voted for us that gave us this beautiful facility. Just one pushed us over the edge. We had to go through a lot of NO's to get to that YES that we needed. You could be one yes away from being thrust to a whole new level. Don't you dare get stuck on a NO. Keep believing. Keep dreaming. Keep hoping. Keep taking steps of faith.
I heard Zig Ziglar talking about being persistent. Zig is up in his 80's and still a great blessing to many people. One day his flight was canceled because of bad weather. He went to this hotel very late at night and said to the young lady, "I need a room". She checked and checked and did all this research but she said, "I'm so sorry, sir. All of our rooms are occupied or either reserved for somebody coming tomorrow". The first NO. Zig said, "Oh, come on. I'm a good customer. I stay at your hotels all the time. You've got to make an exception for me". She went back to work and tried her best but the second NO.
Zig asked to speak to the manager. He came out and looked through some books and did some other things but the third NO. He said, "I'm sorry. We just don't have any rooms". Zig thought about it a moment, went back over to the manager and said, "Let me ask you a question. If the President of the United States showed up at the hotel tonight would you have a room for him"? The manager kind of laughed and said, "I'm sure we would". Zig said, "Well, I'm pretty sure he's not coming. Let me have his room". After four NO's Zig got his yes. Stay persistent.
You may have seen the beautiful actress Janine Turner. She's been in our services. A very nice lady. She told how from the time she was a little girl she had a dream of becoming an actress. She loved singing and performing, entertaining. She got involved in modeling and doing limited roles but nothing like she had in her heart. From the time she was fifteen to the age of 27 she went to up to four auditions a day, every week, month after month, even year after year, with no success. Nothing substantial, just limited roles, a commercial here and there.
She calculated during those twelve years she had been told NO over 1,000 times. "You're not what we're looking for. There's not a role for you. This is not your strength". All this disappointment, this rejection. Most people would have gotten stuck on one of those NO's but not Janine. Her attitude was, "That's just another NO out of the way. Now I'm closer to my yes".
She kept pursuing what God placed in her heart. And one day when she had just a few dollars to her name, she didn't know what she was going to do next, the main producer from a major network called. He said, "We are starting a brand new prime time drama. We think you would be the perfect lead actress. We're going to call it 'Northern Exposure'". That show was a huge hit. It was that big break that launched her career. But she had to go through a thousand NO's to get to that one yes.
You may struggle with an addiction, a bad habit. You think, "Joel, I have tried a thousand times to break this". I'm asking you to try one more time. How do you know the next time is not going to be your yes? You can't let the NO's discourage you. Don't let the closed doors convince you to give up, that it's never going to happen.
Most likely we won't have to go through a thousand NO's like Janine. My question is, "Are you willing to go through a dozen"? Will you keep trying if five banks turn you down? Will you stay in faith if the medical report is not good three times? Will you take a chance on meeting somebody new if a relationship didn't work out twice before? If you're going to keep moving forward you have to keep this on the forefront of your mind, "Yes is in my future. Yes, I will get married. Yes, I will be promoted. Yes, I will fulfill my destiny".
That's what a friend of mine did. She and her husband had been trying to have a baby for many years. They had been through all of the fertility treatments, done everything they possibly could with no success. This went on year after year. At that time she was the head of our children's ministry.
When my father went to be with the Lord and I stepped up to pastor the church back in 1999 they had been trying to have this baby already for more than 20 years. Think of all the NO's she had heard. Every time she took the pregnancy tests hoping that it would come back positive but it didn't. The answer was no. Her medical doctor, "Sorry, you're not pregnant". The fertility specialist, "No, it's not working". She heard no again and again.
One day we were in a meeting about the children's department. She made the comment, "I have a good assistant trained because when I have my baby I'm going to have to be out for a little while". I thought I was missing something. I didn't know that she was pregnant. Afterwards, I said to my sister Lisa, she was in the meeting, "I can't believe she's going to finally have a baby"! Lisa said, "No, Joel. She's not pregnant. She just talks like it and thinks like it and acts like it". Me being the great man of faith that I am... I thought, "That's kind of far out to really believe you're going to have a baby at your age".
Then I remembered Abraham and Sarah. God gave Sarah a baby at 80 years old. If God could do it for Sarah, he could do it for my friend. The good thing about having a baby at that age is when they're teenagers you won't remember it. She didn't let the NO's discourage her. Twenty-nine years later she went to the doctor for a routine checkup. He said, "Congratulations. You're pregnant. You're not going to have one baby. You're going to have twins". They had a double portion.
God had the yes she needed but it was 29 years down the road. Most people won't go through that many NO's to get to their yes, not because they're not determined enough, but they don't really believe that yes is there. They've heard the NO's so long it's convinced them that's the way it's always going to be. No, God wouldn't have put the dream in your heart, he wouldn't have given you that promise if he didn't already have a plan to bring it to pass.
God already has a baby in your future, promotion in your future, healing in your future, the right person in your future. My question is, "Will you stay in faith and not let your NO's talk you out of your yesses"? I've learned we have to go through the NO's. I wish I could tell you if you prayed hard enough, if you came to church enough, if you stayed in faith then you wouldn't have any closed doors. You wouldn't have to go through any NO's. You would never have a setback. That's not the way God ordained it. The NO's are a test of our faith. If we're going to pass that test we have to set our face like a flint and say, "I will not be discouraged by any setbacks, by how long it's taken, by what the medical report says, by people trying to talk me out of it. I'm in it for the long haul. I know yesses are in my future".
I read where researchers put a barracuda and a Spanish Mackerel in the same fish tank. Normally the barracuda would immediately devour the much smaller Spanish Mackerel. But in this experiment the researchers put an invisible glass partition between the two fish so when the barracuda saw the Spanish Mackerel and went in for the kill he slammed in to that glass partition, bruised his nose, again and again. Eventually, the barracuda got the message that he wasn't going to be able to eat that other fish. He gave up and he quit trying.
At that point the researchers quietly removed the glass partition. Now nothing was separating the two fish. What's interesting is the barracuda never once harmed the Spanish Mackerel. They lived happily ever after, side by side... That same fish tank. What happened is the barracuda became conditioned in his thinking that it would never work out. All he had heard was, "No, no, no". He didn't think there were any yesses in his future. He just had to try one more time and he would have come into his yes. He would have had a nice fish dinner.
What happened to the barracuda happens to many of us. We've hit the wall so many times, so to speak. In other words, we tried to break the addiction for years. It didn't work out. Worked hard but didn't get the promotion. Pursued a dream but the door closed. Like that barracuda we've let this stronghold convince us that it's never going to happen. But how do you know that God has not removed the glass partition that was holding you back? How do you know that the next time you try is not going to be your yes? That partition may have been up for 29 years but God can remove it in a split second. You'll never know unless you keep trying, you keep dreaming, you keep pursuing what God put in your heart.
In the scripture there was a great drought in the land. The prophet Elijah went to the top of mount Carmel. He prayed and asked God to end the drought. After he prayed he said to the people, "I can hear the sound of an abundance of rain". He was saying in effect, "There's a yes in our future. Rain is coming". He told his assistant to go look on the other side of the mountain to see if they could see any sign of rain. The assistant went out, came back a little later and said, "No, Elijah. There's not a cloud in the sky. It's perfectly clear".
Elijah didn't get discouraged and think, "Oh, man. I must have heard God wrong. There's not any rain coming. What are we going to do"? No, when he heard that, he said, "Alright. That's one NO out of the way. Now go back and look again". The assistant went back out, came back with the same answer, "Elijah, no rain". Elijah said, "That's fine. Two NO's out of the way. Go back and look again". Three NO's, four NO's, five NO's, six NO's. On the seventh time the servant came back and said, "Elijah, this time I saw a small cloud in the sky. It wasn't much. Just the size of a man's hand". Elijah said, "You'd better get your raincoat. Get your umbrella. Rain is coming our way".
See, it may be a small yes, a faint yes, a barely see it yes but when you're expecting things to change in your favor, when you know God has yes in your future it may be a small sign but by faith you'll latch onto it. "That's my yes. Other people may not see it. Other people may try to talk me out of it. Other people may say I'm just too positive, too hopeful. That's okay. I'm a believer and not a doubter. I know that's my yes". It wasn't any time before the heavens opened up and they saw the abundance of rain. But had Elijah given up on the first no, the second no, the sixth no, it would have never happened.
Think about this. When Elijah sent his assistant out to look, that was an act of his faith. Faith is what causes God to move. There are yesses in your future waiting for you to come looking for them. Not once. Not twice. Not a few times. Keep looking. Keep expecting. Keep dreaming. You've got to have a made up mind. You are in it to win it. You're not going to let people talk you out of it. You're not going to give up because it didn't happen on your timetable. You're not going to settle for second best because a few doors have closed.
I was reading about Thomas Edison. When he was trying to invent the light bulb he failed on his first 2,000 attempts. Two thousand times he tried it and it didn't work out. Two thousand times he was told NO. He could have given up and quit but he just kept looking for that one yes. After he invented it a reporter asked him about all of his failures, all those experiments that didn't work. He said, "Listen, I never failed once. I just found 2,000 ways that wouldn't work".
You may have had some setbacks, disappointments, tried something that didn't work out. That was not a waste of your time. Everything you've been through has deposited something on the inside. God doesn't waste anything. You are not defined by your past. You are prepared by your past. Just because you've had some NO's that doesn't disqualify you. Yes is still in your future. When you hit your big YES like Edison all the other NO's are going to become insignificant.
Now don't go around feeling bad about yourself because you're not where you want to be. Don't focus on the disappointment, the failure, the mistake. That was all a part of God's plan. It's getting you prepared for your yes. You keep moving forward, being your best, honoring God, determined, persistent and God promises you're going to come into yes.
When I was growing up my mother always wanted a swimming pool in our backyard. My father was very generous. He would buy her practically anything but a swimming pool was the one thing that he did not want. He said, "Dodie, a swimming pool is a lot of money. It's a lot of maintenance. It's dangerous". On and on, he gave her this resounding no.
What's funny is that went in one of my mother's ears and out the other. It no more fazed her. She acted like she didn't even hear it. About a month later my father and I were in the backyard playing baseball. My mother came out with a tape measure. She started measuring things, putting down some markers. She said, "John, if we angle it I think it will fit just right, right here". He said, "Dodie, what are you talking about"? She said, "That swimming pool we're going to get. It would fit right here". He said, "I have told you a thousand times we are not going to get a swimming pool. You are wasting your time".
Just like Elijah, my mother heard NO after NO after NO. She could have easily gotten stuck on one of those NO's. She didn't do it. She kept believing. She knew there was a YES in her future.
That summer we were in another city. My father was speaking at this big convention. My parents were in the hotel lobby. This businessman came up and introduced himself. During the conversation he said, "I build swimming pools for a living". My mother's eyes got this big. She said, "How you doing old buddy, old pal? We've been waiting for you". He said, "Pastor, I would like to build you a swimming pool". My dad said, "Oh, sir. That's so kind of you but we really can't afford it. And we may not have room in our backyard". On and on.
The whole time my mom was shaking her head YES. He said, "Pastor, I don't want you to pay for it. I want to give it to you. Surely you'll let me give you a swimming pool". Several months later while we were out of town he and his crew came in to the city. They put this beautiful underground swimming pool in our backyard. When we came home we couldn't wait to get in it. All of us kids ran and jumped in it. My mother got in it and here came my father. I'll never forget. My mother said, "John, don't even think about getting in my swimming pool".
There are yesses in your future but you've got to go through the NO's first. I say this respectfully. Sometimes the people closest to us, our friends, our family, can be the least encouraging, the least enlarging. What happens is God puts dreams in our heart that are bigger than we can accomplish on our own. It's going to take his hand of favor. The people close to us, they know us very well and so often they'll only look at you in your natural ability, your strength, your talent, your finances. They'll think, "That's too big. You can't do that. That's way over your head". And of course we should always be respectful and take advice but when God has put a dream in your heart don't let anyone talk you out of it, not even somebody that's close to you.
My father meant well. He was very generous but because he couldn't afford the swimming pool he tried to put those limitations on my mother. He was looking at it in the natural but we serve a supernatural God. There are yesses in your future that you won't have to pay for, yesses that you don't earn, you don't work for, you don't have to buy it. It's simply the favor of God. Yesses chasing you down.
Like this man, the YES will come looking for you. Now many of you, like my mother, you've stayed in faith. You've been determined. You've pressed through the NO's. God is saying, "You're about to come into a yes". Something big you've been praying about, a dream, a goal; a relationship. It's about to show up. New doors are going to open. The right people are going to search you out. Favor, healing, promotion, yesses are going to track you down. Now you may be in a no right now but don't get stuck there. Keep looking for your yes. If you'll go out each day expecting yesses to come your way, then like Elijah, I believe and declare you're going to come into the abundance of what God has in store. Promises will come to pass, favor released, breakthroughs in your health, finances, relationships. New levels of God's goodness. Yesses are coming your way. In Jesus' name.