Joel Osteen — The Promise is Coming
I want to talk to you today about The Promise is Coming. We all have things we believing for, dreams God put in our heart, problems to turn around, but when it's been so long, we've made mistakes, people have come against us. All the circumstances say, if it was going to happen, it would have happened by now. It's easy to get discouraged and accept that it's never going to work out. But what God promised you doesn't have an expiration date. And just because you've given up on it, doesn't mean that God has given up.
You may have done things, that should keep your dream from coming to pass, you got off course, you don't deserve it, but God is so merciful, he's already taken your mistakes into account. You may have delayed it from happening, but you haven't denied it from happening. The promise is still coming. God is saying "Despite your mistakes, despite the failures, despite the delays, I'm still going to bless you, I'm still going to heal you, I'm still going to bring that dream to pass". But too often we disqualify ourselves, we think it would have happened if I'd have made better choices, if I'd finished school, but not got involved with the wrong crowd, but not wasted those years compromising, then God would bless me, then he would open up new doors.
That would be true, if God was like us, if he judged us based on our performance and gave us what we deserved, but God is not like people, he is full of mercy, he doesn't hold our mistakes against us, he doesn't cancel our destiny, because we got off course. God already knew every wrong turn we would take, every mistake we would make, every failure, every weakness, nothing you've done is a surprise to God, nothing this happened to you has caught him off guard. And the good news is, God has mercy for every mistake, restoration for ever failure, a new beginning for every loss, a comeback for every setback. What he's promised you is still on the way. You didn't miss your chance, you haven't failed too many times, that disappointment didn't stop God's plan, he's still going to show you favor.
May seem unlikely the medical report says: learn to live with the sickness, it will never change, it's permanent. God says: healing is coming, wholeness is coming, I will restore health back into you. You may not see how you could ever get out of death, nobody in your family has excelled, you can be the first. God is saying: increase is coming, you will lend and not borrow, what you touch will prosper and succeed. "Well, Joel, I'm the one that got me into this mess, it's my own fault". God is the one, that's going to bring you out of that mess.
Quit believing the lies, that is too late, the problem is too big, you've made too many mistakes. God is called the author and the finisher of your faith. What he started, he's going to finish. The delay doesn't mean it's not going to happen. Your mistakes haven't caused God to change his mind. And the circumstances may look impossible, but God hasn't run out of options. You may not see a way, that's because we're natural, God is supernatural, he has ways we've never thought of. He's not limited by your job, by your salary, by medical report, by what you didn't get.
One touch of his favor will catapult you to the next level, one good break, and what he promised you, will come to pass. Instead of thinking of all the reasons why it's not going to work out, all through the day: "Father, thank you, that what you promised me is on the way. Thank you, that healing is coming, thank you that promotion is coming, thank you that the right people, breakthroughs, freedom, new levels are headed my way".
In the scripture God told Abraham, that he and his wife Sarah were going to have a baby. Abraham was 75 years old, Sarah was 65. They had been married many years and not had any children. This seemed impossible, they were way too old. But sometimes God will put promises in your heart, that don't make sense to your mind, he'll put bigger things in your spirit, then you can accomplish on your own. The key is to let the seed take root. You don't have to figure out, how it's going to happen. All you have to do is believe.
Well, years went by, and they didn't see any sign of a baby. So they tried to help God out. Sarah told Abraham to sleep with her maid Hagar, they had a son, that they named Ishmael, but he wasn't the promised child. That's what the scripture calls works of the flesh, when we try to make things happen in our own strength, our own timing. And of course, they loved Ishmael, but he was a constant source of conflict. Sarah got mad at Abraham for sleeping with Hagar, even though it was her idea, and that brought strife and division. She finally gave Abraham an ultimatum, either that lady is leaving or I'm leaving, but I'm not staying here with Hagar and her son.
Abraham was torn, he loved his son Ishmael, Hagar hadn't done anything wrong, but he didn't have much of a choice, he had to send him out into the desert. Was a big mess, all kinds of dysfunction. For 13 years God was silent, Abraham didn't hear anything. I'm sure thoughts told him: "You blew it, you made a big mess, you had a baby with another woman, now it's never going to happen". But, just because God is silent, doesn't mean he's given up. You may have delayed it, but you didn't deny it. God hasn't changed his mind. Will you trust him in the seasons of silence, when every voice tells you it's never going to happen, it's your own fault, you knew better? You may not see anything happening, but God is still working. What he promised you is still on the way.
After 13 years of silence, when Abraham was 99, Genesis 17 says, "God said to Abraham 'I am the Lord God Almighty, you will become a father of many nations'". After all his mistakes, all the failures, all the dysfunction, the first thing God said to him is you will become a father. He reminded him of the promise, he was saying Abraham, "Even though you blew it, even though you made a big mess, that didn't stop my plan, I didn't change my mind, I'm still going to do what I said'. You would think, the first thing God would say was, "Abraham, I'm disappointed in you, what were you thinking? I'm gonna find somebody else to accomplish your destiny". But God never gives up on you, he never disqualifies you.
Now quit disqualifying yourself. You blew it? Join the crowd, we all have. you made a big mistake? Well, come on in, you're in good company. The enemy is called the accuser of the Brethren. He'll remind you of everything you've done wrong, every mistake you've made, he'd love for you to go through life down on yourself, no dreams, no passion, no expectancy. Don't fall into that trap. At 90 years old Sarah conceived and gave birth to a son. They named him Isaac, he was the promised child. The scripture says, it happened at the exact time God said it would. That tells me, God already knew they would make those mistakes, he already knew they would be impatient, have the first son and get into strife. Isaac was born right on schedule, right when God had it planned. Are you believing lies that you've missed your chance, you made too many poor choices? If you'd have been more disciplined, not hung around those people that pulled you down, God already knew about that. What he promised you is right on schedule. You didn't miss it, it's still in your future.
I talked to an older gentleman, he had struggled most of his life with drugs and alcohol. He was raised in a good family with a single-parent mother, they were in a rough environment, and he got involved with the wrong crowd. He had gone to rehab again and again through the years, and it worked for a little while, but he would always fall back. His own thoughts not only told him how bad he was, but people around him were constantly putting him down, making him feel like a failure. He was so down on himself, he didn't really want to live. He started watching our program, he said "Joel, everybody told me how bad I was, how was a failure, how I hadn't made anything out of my life, but you were the first one to tell me, how good I was, how was made in the image of God".
He didn't have anyone to speak faith into him, and tell him what he could become. When he heard me say, "You're a child of the Most High God", something came alive on the inside. He got down on his knees, said "God I made a mess of my life, tried to clean up on my own, but I can't do this by myself. God please help me to change". From that moment on, he never had another desire for the drugs, he never touched the alcohol again. Today he works in the prisons, encouraging the inmates, that they too are a child of the Most High God.
Now you may have failed, but you are not a failure. Failure is an event, it's not who you are. You may have an addiction, but you are not an addict. That's what you struggle with, that's not who you are. What you do may not always be good, but you are good. The Creator of the universe breathe life unto you. Like this man, you may have gotten off course, you may have brought the trouble on yourself, but God is saying, "I'm still going to bless you, I'm still going to free you, I'm still going to use you, to help others, you're still going to fulfill your destiny".
Jesus said Matthew 5, the message translation, "You are blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you, there's more of God and his rule". His rule means his favor, his healing, his freedom. Abraham was at the end of his rope. No way in the natural, but God showed up, and gave him a baby. This man was at the end of his rope, addicted for years, God showed up and brought freedom. You may be in a situation, that doesn't look good, your health, your finances, a relationship, a business looks like at the end. You don't see how it can ever work out. Have a new perspective. When you're at the end, in a sense, it's a blessing in disguise, you're in prime position for God to show out in your life.
God is saying to you, what he said to Abraham, "I am the Lord God Almighty, what I promised you, is still in the way. Those dreams you've given up on, they're on the way. That healing you're praying about is on the way. And believe, maybe you're believing for, is on the way. Instead of going around down on yourself, discourage. Turn it around, "Father, thank you, that you are Almighty God, that your mercy is bigger than my mistakes, you're more powerful than this addiction, you're greater than this sickness. Now I may be in a season of silence, I don't see anything happening right now, but God, I know you are working behind the scenes. What you promise me is still right on schedule".
Think about Abraham, 99 years old, he didn't have the seed to have a baby. Even if Sarah could somehow conceive, even if her wound became fertile, it would happen without the seed. He could have thought, "God, I could believe we could have a baby if I had the seed, but the problem is, I don't have what I need, I'm lacking". You may feel like you're lacking in some area: lacking talent, lacking finances, lacking support, but God knows what you don't have. He knows what's in your bank account, he knows who's not for you, he knows what the medical report says. The good news is God is going to make up for what you don't have. He's going to give you the seed. That's what he did for Abraham little, Isaac was born.
42 generations later, a young virgin named Mary gave birth to Jesus. Galatians refers to Jesus as the seed of Abraham. But it's interesting: God could have caused Abraham to have a baby, when he was younger, when he had the natural ability, but God waited till he ran out of the seed. And sometimes on purpose God will let you run out of what you need, so you'll have to depend on him. Where your only option is, "God, if you don't do this, it's not going to happen. If you don't turn my child around, if you don't open this door, if you don't heal my body, God, then I'm done". That's what Jesus said, when you come to the end of your ability, then there's room for God's favor, there's room for him to show out in your life.
If Abraham were here today, he would tell you, "Don't let the circumstances fool you, don't let what you don't have talk get out of it, don't let your mistakes, your failures, the delays, the seasons of silence convince you, that it's never going to happen". The Lord God Almighty is about to do for you, what he did for Abraham. He's going to bless you in spite of your mistakes. He's going to promote you in spite of the odds being against you. He's going to make things happen, that you didn't deserve. You didn't work for it, you didn't earn it, it's just the goodness of God.
Years ago this business venture came across my path. It seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I was so excited, I didn't have to pray about it, I didn't have to think twice, I just said YES. And along the way, as we researched it more and talked with a few experts, there were several red flags and things, that didn't pan out. But I was so set and having it my way, I ignored it, didn't pay it any attention. We signed the contract and got it up and going, but it wasn't what I thought. Didn't take off the way we had planned. There were some restrictions and limitations, that we didn't realize. It was a constant struggle, a burden financially. We didn't know how it was going to turn out. I had this huge obligation, I was over my head, and it was nobody's fault, except my own. I knew, God had put big things in my heart, but like Abraham, I was impatient, I tried to make it happen in my own strength.
The psalmist said, "The Israelites did not wait for God's plan to unfold". It's easy to get in a hurry, try to force doors to open, try to manipulate people. If you push hard enough, sometimes God will let you open a door, that he hasn't ordained. He'll let you go down a road, that's not his best path. And I'm all for taking risks, getting out of our comfort zones, but it's important to stay in God's timing, listen to that still small voice on the inside. That opportunity may be right for you, but when you feel the unrest, it may be it's just not the right time. Abraham knew God promised him a baby, but when it didn't happen on his timetable, as fast as he thought it should.
That's when they tried to help God out, but this business venture of mine never did take off. But here's how amazing God is, even though I made the mess, even though I overrode what I was feeling, brought the trouble on myself, God supernaturally turned it around. We came out of it much better, than we went into it. It ended up being a huge blessing. What am I saying? God took my mistake and turned it into a miracle. That's the mercy of God, when we don't deserve it, we got off course, we got in a hurry, God says, "I'm still going to bless you, I'm still going to favor you, I'm still going to get you to where you're supposed to be".
Quit believing those lies, that you can't accomplish your dreams, look what you've done, you'll never meet the right person, never get out of debt, you've made too many poor choices. What God promised you is still on the way. You may have delayed it, but you didn't deny it - it's still on the schedule. Start believing again, start dreaming again, start making plans for what you've given up on.
I met a couple, that had been trying to have a baby for 11 years. They came down for prayer, and the young lady was weeping and weeping, she wanted a baby so badly, but all the medical reports said, there was no way. She had taken the fertility treatments, they'd done everything they could in the natural with no success. But against all odds the young lady conceived, last week she came back, they both came back to dedicate their beautiful baby daughter. Medically speaking it was impossible, but when the Lord God Almighty shows up, what's impossible becomes possible. What he's destined for your life will come to pass. The last time I saw her years before, she was weeping with tears of sadness, so heartbroken. This last time I saw her, she was weeping with tears of joy, so overwhelmed with God's goodness.
You may have shed some tears of sadness over what hasn't worked out, dreams that haven't come to pass, disappointment, lost, that you've been through like with her, God is going to turn your mourning into dancing, those tears of sadness into tears of joy. May not have happened yet, but it's not over. God has the final say. The psalmist said, "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning". Your morning is coming, your baby is coming, your healing is coming, your spouse is coming, your breakthrough is coming. When it happens, it's going to be more rewarding, more fulfilling, better than you've ever imagined.
Moses was born into a Hebrew family, but he was raised by Egyptians. As a young man God gave him a dream, that he would deliver the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. One day he saw an Egyptian Foreman mistreating a Hebrew slave. He didn't think anyone was watching, he killed the man. His intentions were good, he had the right intentions, but he got out of God's timing, he didn't wait for the plan to unfold. Someone saw him, he had to run for his life. He spent 40 years on the backside of the desert in hiding.
Here he had this calling on his life, he knew what God had spoken to him, but he blew it. It was his fault. I'm sure, he lived in regrets, there weren't many days went by, that he didn't think about that mistake, why didn't I keep my cool, why didn't I use better judgment. It looked, like that had canceled out the promise. But our mistakes don't change God's mind. Even the mistakes, they may delay it, but even the delays, the setbacks, God uses them to prepare us to get us ready for where he's taking us. Nothing is wasted. If you'll keep the right attitude, all things will work for your good.
One morning Moses was out in the desert, everything seemed normal, when suddenly a bush exploded caught fire. What made this bush unusual, is that it can continued to burn, it didn't burn out. Intrigued, Moses walked over to it see what was going on, a voice boomed out, "Moses, Moses, take off your sandals, you are standing on holy ground". It had been 40 years since he had heard God's voice. A season of silence so long, he thought God had forgotten about him. He had already accepted. that he couldn't accomplish his destiny, but after all his mistakes, after the failures, when he was 80 years old, God showed up and say, "All right, Moses, now I'm ready for you to go deliver the Israelites". He went out and did just that.
Like Moses, you may have made mistakes, you got off course, you don't see how you could ever accomplish your dream, it's been too long, but that season of silence doesn't mean God has forgotten about you. In the 40 years Moses was out in the desert. The scripture says, Moses became the most humble man in all the land. God is working on you in the silent years. You may not realize it, but he's getting you prepared. Your time is coming, your burning bush is on the way. What God started, he's going to finish. Even though it may have been your fault, he's still going to bless you, he's still going to favor, you he's still going to open doors you never dreamed would open.
I talked to a gentleman, when he was 17 years old, back in the 1960s, his girlfriend became pregnant. Their parents were not happy, they sent him off to the Marine Corps. The young lady and her family moved to a different state. While in boot camp, she informed him, that she was giving the baby up for adoption. He went over and served overseas and the special forces, he was hoping, when he came back home, they'd get back together. She sent him a note saying, she was moving on, they went their separate ways.
Fast forward to the year 2009, the man had just lost his wife of 24 years to an illness. He was very heartbroken. Three months later he received a sympathy card from his former teenage girlfriend. They had not spoken in over 42 years. Her husband had just died as well. He was able to find her number and call her. They couldn't believe, they were talking to each other after all that time. She told him how she had just located their daughter, that they had given up for adoption. She lived a few minutes from her. He went to see the lady, he met his daughter for the first time and his ten year old grandson. A dream come true. He and the lady started dating, a year later they were married, with their daughter who they had given up for adoption, as the maid of honor.
God knows how to take mistakes we've made, and turned them into miracles. It's not too late. You haven't missed your chance, you don't know what God is up to. He can make things happen, you never dreamed would happen. I'm sure, Moses never thought he'd fulfill his destiny. Abraham never thought, he'd become a father at an old age. This man never thought he'd ever meet his daughter, never see his family restored, but God is full of mercy and full of surprises.
There are promises, you may have given up on, but God has not given up. They're still in your future. Don't drag through life, thinking you've seen your best days, stir your faith up, the Lord God Almighty is at work in your life, right now. Now believe and declare, what he's promised to you is still on the way. Healing is on the way, freedom is on the way, the right people are on the way, the fullness of your destiny, in Jesus name.