Joel Osteen — Just One Good Break
I want to talk to you today about "Just one good break". Sometimes we don't see how we can accomplish our dreams. We don't have the connections, the resources, the experience.
I talked to a young man that wanted to go to college, but his scholarship didn't go through. He comes from a single-parent home, and he doesn't have the funds. The odds are against him, and it's easy to get discouraged and think, "I'll never get well. Look at the medical report". "I'll never break this addiction. I've had it for years". "I can't get out of debt. I've gone as far as I can". It may look like it's not going to happen, but what you can't see is you're just one good break away. Just meeting one right person, just one phone call, one contract, one healing, and what seemed impossible will suddenly become possible.
You don't need a hundred things to go right. Just one touch of God's favor and doors will open that you couldn't open. Just one person being for you will catapult you ahead. Just one breakthrough, and suddenly, you get well. Suddenly, you're free from the addiction. Suddenly, the depression is gone, and you may have situations that don't look like they'll ever change, but stay encouraged.
God has already arranged good breaks for you, things that you couldn't make happen. You weren't next in line. You didn't have the experience, but out of nowhere, the contract came to you. He's already lined up the right people to help you. You didn't ask them. You didn't have to try to win them over. For no reason, they will go out of their way to be good to you. They've been ordained by God to move you into your destiny. You don't have to worry about how it's going to work out. God can cause one person to like you, one person to say, "Promote them, give them the position," and suddenly, you'll go to a new level, and instead of thinking, "It's a long way off. I don't see how it can ever happen, turn it around, "Father, thank you that I'm just one good break away. Thank you that one touch of your goodness, and things will change in my favor".
Do you know how we got the Compaq Center? Just one phone call. That's how it all started. We were trying to build a new auditorium, but twice, the property we found was sold out from under us, and I was disappointed. We couldn't find any more land. But when something doesn't work our your way, it's because God has something better in store, and you may not be able to see it at that time, but that's when you have to trust him, and one afternoon, I was at the office, minding my own business. A friend called that I hadn't spoken to in a couple of years. He said, "Joel, I have an idea for you. Let's go to lunch". The next day at lunch, he told how the rockets basketball team was moving out of the Compaq Center and how Lakewood should try to purchase it.
When I heard that, something came alive on the inside. I knew we were supposed to pursue it. Well, the city owned this building. So when I got back from lunch, I called the mayor. He was a friend of our family. I told him that we were interested. He said, "Joel, I think Lakewood having the Compaq Center would be great for the city of Houston". God knows how to have the right people before you. Those two owners that sold the property out from under us, I didn't like it, it didn't seem fair, the truth is, it wasn't their choice. It was the hand of God. They weren't supposed to be for us. If they would have done what I wanted, we would have missed out on the Compaq Center.
And when somebody is not for you, don't get bent out of shape. God has the right people already lined up that will want to help you, people that are ordained to open doors that you couldn't open, people that will use their influence to thrust you ahead. But there were some people that didn't want us to have the Compaq Center, critics that said it wasn't a good fit, and they brought opposition and tried to stop us. But the mayor was in charge of the city. He set the agenda. Him being for us is what kept all the opposition from stopping us. Every time they tried to keep it from happening, he would adjust something in our favor and we'd keep moving forward.
I've learned you don't need everyone to be for you. You just need the right people to be for you. It just so happened, the man that liked us, he was in charge. He ran the city. God is going to cause people to be for you that are in a position of authority, people that can override your critics, people that will cause things to fall into place, and when we moved in to this facility, it catapulted us ahead, not just in the number of people attending, but in influence, in credibility. It put us 50 years down the road.
People didn't look at us the same way. Growing up, Lakewood was on the other side of town, where it was more industrial, and over the years, it had become more rundown. For years, Lakewood was in metal buildings with metal folding chairs, a gravel parking lot. We had portable wood buildings for our nurseries and kids' facilities. We were seen by some people as second class, "They can't afford much. They're at a disadvantage". But when we moved into this place, it was like coming out of the wilderness into the Promised Land. This building is on one of the busiest freeways in the nation, one of the nicest areas of town. The rockets had won two world championships here, and now it's Lakewood.
That one good break caused people to see us in a totally different light, with a whole new respect, and you may feel like you're falling behind. You could never accomplish what God put in your heart. You're still in the metal buildings. Other people discount you, don't give you credit. Don't worry, God knows how to make up for lost time. Just one touch of his favor will catapult you years ahead. Just one person opening a door, just one phone call out of the blue, and you look up, and you're 50 years down the road. You're not in the portable building. You're in the Compaq Center. You're not in the rundown area. You're on the main freeway. People don't discount you anymore. Now they look up to you.
God is going to cause you to be seen in a new light. He's going to give you respect, credibility, influence that's going to make up for the time it looks like you've lost. But those years where you were not being noticed, not seeing good breaks, not having much influence, those were proving years, where you were showing God you could be trusted, where you did the right thing when the wrong thing was happening, where you were being your best when you weren't seeing growth, where you were going to work with a good attitude, even though nobody was giving you credit.
Those were important years. Without you being faithful and showing God that you could be trusted, you wouldn't be ready for what God has in store. You have to be prepared for where God is taking you. You're not falling behind. You're in training, and if it's taking longer than you thought, it's because God has something big in your future.
Don't slack off. Don't get tired of doing the right thing. If you'll keep passing the test, the scripture says, "Your due season is coming". That means God's not only going to bring you out, he's going to thrust you ahead. You're going to come out promoted, increased, further than you've ever imagined.
As a teenager, David was out in the shepherd's fields taking care of his father's sheep. It was boring. David had big dreams in his heart. He knew he was going to leave his mark, but year after year, all he did was feed the sheep, clean up their waste, make sure that they were protected. It was dirty, smelly, lonely. Nobody thanked him. Nobody knew that he killed a lion and a bear to protect those animals. He could've slacked off, had a bad attitude, "God, it's not fair. I'm wasting time out here". Instead, he kept passing the test, doing the right thing when nothing was changing.
One day, the prophet Samuel came to his house to anoint the next king of Israel. He looked at David's seven brothers, who were older, had more experience, more training. Some of them were in the military, big, strong, muscular. They looked like a king. Samuel passed by them and eventually came to David, the forgotten one, the one that had been overlooked, discounted, seen as less than. Samuel said, "This is the next king of Israel".
I'm sure his brothers, his parents nearly passed out. "You mean David, the shepherd, the youngest, the smallest? Are you sure"? God doesn't choose the way people choose. People look on the outside. God looks on the heart. God found a man in David he could trust, a man that had proven he'd be faithful when things weren't going his way, and God knew if he could trust him to take care of sheep, he could trust him to take care of his people, and when God promoted David and brought him out, he made up for all the years it looked like he was losing out in the shepherd's fields. He went from being a shepherd to being a king.
Nobody voted for him. This wasn't a democracy. If it was, he wouldn't have received one vote. He wasn't on the radar. Nobody in Israel knew who he was. His father didn't believe in him. His brothers tried to belittle him. But when God is ready to promote you, he doesn't take a vote. He doesn't check to see who likes you, who's for you, how popular you are. It's not a vote. It's an appointment. It's up to one person. Not your boss, not you neighbors, not your critics, not your relatives.
Promotion doesn't come from people. It comes from the Lord. When it's your time to be promoted, no person can stop you. No bad break, no disappointment, no enemy. God has the one and only vote. He has the final say. Now, quit worrying about who's not for you. "Why won't these people give me credit? Joel, I'd be further along if my co-workers would quit leaving me out".
Can I tell you, your co-workers can't hold you back? Other people cannot keep you from your destiny. They didn't know you before you were formed in your mother's womb. They didn't lay out the plan for your life. They didn't crown you with favor. They didn't put seeds of greatness on the inside. Quit focusing on who's not for you, and start focusing on who is for you. The most high God, the Creator of the universe, the one who spoke worlds into existence is breathing in your direction. He has you in the palm of his hand. His plans for you are for good. Him being for you is more than the world being against you.
David's life was set on a new course by just one person. When Samuel came to his house and anointed him king, his whole world changed, and what's interesting is David didn't have to go after Samuel. Samuel came after David. You don't have to go after the blessing. Keep honoring God, and the blessing will come to you. The phone call will come to you. The Compaq Center will come to you. The right person, the healing, the promotion will find you.
We spend too much time trying to make things happen. Then we get frustrated because it's taking so long. But you can't make things happen out of God's timing. You can't make people like you who are not supposed to like you. You can't open a door that God has closed. I tried to buy the property to build the sanctuary. I did my best. I was nice to those two owners. I smiled my biggest smile. I thanked them in advance for selling it to us. No matter how charming I was or how much money we offered, that door wasn't going to open.
Stay in peace knowing that God will cause the right people to find you. The right breaks will track you down. The right opportunities will come knocking at your door. When it's your time, Samuel will show up. David's father tried to convince Samuel to anoint one of his other seven sons. He thought David was too small, too young, too inexperienced. But no matter how hard he tried, Samuel wouldn't do it. God was showing us, what has your name on it won't go to anyone else.
Quit being upset because that co-worker got the promotion that you really wanted. If it was supposed to be yours, you would have gotten it. Or that friend married that man that you really liked. That doesn't seem fair. Now we're getting real. That doesn't seem fair. If you were supposed to marry him, then she wouldn't have. That means that God has somebody better for you. I've learned you don't want what's not supposed to be yours. There's no grace for it.
One time, I wanted a business opportunity so badly, I did everything I could to make it happen. Sometimes God will close a door that we can't open, but there are times if we're so stubborn, and it's not going to stop our destiny, God will let us have it our way, and we obtained this business, but it wasn't what I thought. It was a constant headache, never really got off the ground, drained our time, energy, resources.
Now my attitude is, "God, if it doesn't have my name on it, I don't want it". If it's not supposed to be yours, you're not going to have a grace for it. Don't try to beat the door down. Be determined, pursue your dreams, but be smart enough to realize what God wants to be yours will come to you. It won't be a constant struggle. Yes, there'll be opposition. Yes, you'll have to work hard. You'll have to fight the good fight of faith, but there will be a grace that causes things to fall into place.
The Psalmist said, "God will work out his plan for your life". You don't have to work it out. You don't have to struggle, live worried, try to fix every problem, straighten out every enemy, make everything happen in your own strength. You can live from a place of rest, knowing that God is not only fighting your battles, but he's lined up the breaks you need. He has the right people that will help you. He has solutions to problems that you can't see right now. He's already figured out how to solve it. Don't waste your time worrying. He's on the throne. He can see things you can't see. He's promised he will work out his plan for your life.
I received a letter from a young lady that lives in Africa. Her dream was to get her doctorate degree so she could become a college professor. She'd finished her master's degree and was preparing for the final exams to get into the doctorate program when her landlord told her she had to move out of the apartment where she was living. He broke the lease. In just a couple of days, she had to leave that place and move into the dorm. This all happened in the middle of final exams. Through her off, and she couldn't study like she had hoped.
She ended up being turned down by the main university where she wanted to attend. She was not only disappointed in herself, she was angry at the landlord for making her leave, especially at that time. She was about to meet with an attorney and take legal action against him, but she always our podcast. My message that week happened to be called "You have a defender", and I talked about how we all have unfair things happen, but God wouldn't have allowed it if he wasn't going to somehow use it for your good, and how God can vindicate us better than we can vindicate ourself. She knew that was God speaking to her, and she let it go.
After being turned down by 16 universities, she applied to a very prestigious university in Italy. They really liked her, but they had 12 people on the waiting list in front of her, and they told her unfortunately, she wouldn't be accepted. Two weeks later, they emailed back and said, "We've never done this before, but we've changed our mind and opened up a position just for you". When she arrived, they informed her out of hundreds of doctorate students, she was one of the six chosen to be in the advanced studies program. That meant she would not only receive a full scholarship, but she wouldn't have to live in the dorm. She would have her own executive apartment in a beautiful neighborhood close to the university.
Her mind went back to the man breaking the lease, making her leave her apartment, how she thought that was setting her back, when in fact, it was setting her up. God knows how to work out his plan for your life. It may not seem like it's going to happen, but you're just one good break away, just one university saying, "We've changed our mind," just one Samuel showing up, just one phone call saying, "Hey, the Compaq Center's available". You'll look back and say, like her, "Wow, God, you've amazed me with your goodness". David said, "I have pitched my tent in the land of hope".
My question is, where have you pitched your tent? "Well, Joel, I've had a lot of disappointments". "I'll never get well". "I can't accomplish my dreams. It's been too long". The problem is not that God can't do it. The problem is where you've pitched your tent. As long as you're thinking of all the reasons why it's not going to happen, how impossible it is, that's going to limit you.
Why don't you do yourself a favor, pull up your stakes, pick up your tent, move out of the land of doubt, negativity, self-pity? Move out of the land of, "It can't happen". "I'm too old". "I never get any good breaks". That's the wrong neighborhood. Get out of that place and pitch your tent in the land of, "With God all things are possible," the land of, "Goodness and mercy are chasing me down," the land of, "What was meant for my harm God is turning to my advantage". You are just done good break away from God catapulting you to a new level. Just one right person showing you favor will change the course of your life. Just one touch of God's goodness and you'll beat the cancer. You'll break the addiction. You'll see your family restored.
In acts chapter 3, there was a man that had been crippled since birth. Every day, his family would carry him to the temple and set him beside the gate so he could beg. He'd been doing this for years. One day, Peter and John came walking by. The man held out his cup, wanting something. Peter said, "I'm sorry, we don't have any money for you, but in the name of Jesus, rise and walk". Peter took him by the hand, pulled the man up. Instantly, he was healed. He was so excited, he took off running through the temple, thanking God.
Here's my point. When the man woke up that morning, he thought it was just another ordinary day. He'd go to the temple, sit by the gate and beg, like he'd done for years. He had no idea when he went to bed that night he would be able to walk. He didn't realize he was just one good break away from having his whole life changed. Just one person ordained by God to speak healing, and he would do something he was told he could never do, and you may have some big obstacles in your path today, things that have held you back for a long time, a sickness, an addiction, depression, loneliness. Doesn't seem like it'll ever change.
You could get comfortable, accept it. No, get ready, God is about to surprise you. He's already spoken to the right people. He's already lined up the healing, the freedom, the promotion. It's going to happen suddenly. You didn't see it coming. You woke up one morning expecting more of the same. You never dreamed when you went to bed that night you would be healed, free, promoted, vindicated. The good news is, it could happen today. It could happen this week. This month, your whole world could change for the better.
Now, do your part. Pitch your tent in the land of hope. Give God something to work with. That's not just being positive. That's your faith being released, and when the people saw this man up running, celebrating, they looked at each other and said, "Isn't this the guy that's been begging by the gate for the last 40 years"? They couldn't believe it. The scripture says, "They were astonished," and God has some things in your future that are not only going to leave you amazed, but people around you are going to be amazed.
You were not created to live in dysfunction, with addictions, constantly struggling. That may be how it's been in the past, but that's not how it's going to be in the future. God's about to do a new thing. He's going to break bondages that have held you back. He's going to free you from those addictions. He's going to increase you to where you have more than enough. That sickness is not permanent. Healing is coming. Wholeness is on the way. Victory is in your future.
I talked to a young man that was on dialysis. He was in his early 30s. Three days a week, four or five hours a day, he would have to go up to the clinic. My father was on dialysis at the end of his life, and I took him up to the clinic a lot, and you don't see many people in their 30s. My heart went out to him because that's not an easy thing. He told how he had had this problem since childhood. He wasn't a candidate for a transplant. Had a great attitude, still went to work every day, and we prayed that God would not only help him fulfill his destiny, but that God would make a way where we didn't see a way.
I saw him a couple of years later. He said, "Joel, you'll never believe what happened". For years, doctors had told him that he couldn't have a transplant, but this one doctor took a special interest in him, studied his case, said, "I can see why nobody wants to take the risk, but this is what I specialize in," and one night, at 1 o'clock in the morning, he received a phone call from the doctor, saying, "Be at the hospital tomorrow morning at 6. I have a kidney for you". The man was beaming with joy. He said, "Joel, I'm not on dialysis anymore. I have a new kidney".
One touch of God's favor, and his whole world changed, one doctor going out of his way to be good to him, and what you're facing may look like it's never going to change. People have told you, "No, the odds are you against you". Can I tell you, you're just one good break away? Just one touch of God's favor, and suddenly, you'll get well. Suddenly, you'll get the kidney. Suddenly, you'll be free. Suddenly, you'll be promoted. I'm asking you to pitch your tent in the land of hope. Get up every morning with expectancy, knowing that the most high God is working out his plan for your life. If you'll do this, I believe and declare God is about to surprise you. He's going to make things happen you didn't see coming. Suddenly, healing, breakthroughs, the right people, the fullness of your destiny, in Jesus's name.