Joel Osteen - You Have The Cure (Easter Message)
I want to talk to you today аbout: You Have the Cure. One of the challenges we faced with this coronavirus is there are no antibodies. We've never seen this strain of virus, so there is no remedy yet. Researchers are working tirelessly to develop a vaccine. Most reports say, it's going to take about a year or more. Without a cure we're at the mercy of the virus. A friend of mine is a physician that specializes in infectious disease, he said, "There are diseases that he treated 30 years ago, that he doesn't see today". Because we found the antidote, because vaccines and antibodies were developed, what used to harm us, doesn't harm us anymore. Once you have the cure, you don't have to be afraid of the disease.
But what about these viruses that you can't see with the microscope: guilt, fear, depression, addictions? Some viruses you can't treat with a physical vaccine. There are poisons that can infect our thinking, our self-esteem. If we only had an antidote to deal with the guilt from our past mistakes, the times we failed, didn't make good decisions, now we go around in regrets, down on ourselves. If we only had the cure for the hurts, the disappointments, the unfair childhood, now we're tempted to live bitter, insecure, no passion. The good news is: 2,000 years ago the antidote was developed for everything that will come against you. Not by leading scientists, not by a team of researchers, but by the son of the living God.
When Jesus went to the cross, he took on our guilt, our shame, our failures. He not only bore our sins, but he took our sicknesses. Before he was crucified, he was beaten with 39 stripes on his back. Studies tell us, there are 39 major categories of disease, he took one strike for each one. That's why it says, "By his stripes you were healed". We are not at the mercy of fear, depression, addictions - we have the cure, the Most High God is breathing in our direction. Him being for you is more than the world being against you. Don't let the fear, the guilt, the depression holds you down - take the antidote, "Father, thank you that I am forgiven, I am redeemed, I am free, I am healthy and whole".
When thoughts tell you, "You're just average, there's nothing special about you". If you dwell on that poison, it will infect your thinking. You have to take your medicine, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I'm wearing a crown of favor, I have royal blood flowing through my veins". Proverbs says, "God's word is like a medicine". When you meditate on it, it brings healing and wholeness. When thoughts whisper, "You'll always struggle in your finances, this slowdown is going to ruin your business". Don't let that virus take root, "Father, thank you that the economy is not my source, but you are my source. You said you would prosper me even in the desert". You have the cure, now make sure that you're taking your medicine.
One time the Israelites had turned against God, they started worshipping idols. They ended up exiled from their own land and brought into captivity in Babylon. It was their own fault, they had brought the trouble on themselves. The prophet Jeremiah was very discouraged, he asked, "Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician that can help us"? He was saying, "God is there no cure? Is there no remedy from this virus, that we've let infect us"? He likened it to being bit by poisonous snakes, the truth is, we've all been bitten by something, bitten by guilt, bitten by fear, bitten by rejection. How do we deal with the venom? How do we get rid of the poison and not let it stop our destiny?
I read about how they develop anti-venom for snake bites. Years ago after much research, scientists took some of the poisonous venom from the snake and injected it into horses. The horse would naturally develop antibodies, that they could then remove and use it as serum for someone that was bitten by a snake. But over time they realize, the anti-venom from the blood of horses wasn't working fast enough in people, many were losing their lives. They needed an anti-venom that was more powerful, more effective. They tested many animals and finally discovered, that the blood of a lamb produced the most effective anti-venom. Unlock the blood of a horse, when the sheep was injected with the poisonous venom, the antibodies it created were much faster in people and produced a much stronger and more powerful anti-venom.
A few years ago they discovered that sheep in south Australia produced some of the most effective antibody than anywhere in the world, it's because those sheep are in a pristine environment, where they are free from disease that typically affect other sheep. And the fact that these sheep are so healthy and have such pure blood, that's why they create the most powerful anti-venom.
Think back to the Garden of Eden, that's the first time we see a poisonous snake. The enemy is called a serpent, he bit Adam and Eve, not physically but in their thinking. He deceived them and they became poisoned, they ate the forbidden fruit, they did wrong and open the door to trouble. All of a sudden they were afraid, they realized they were naked, they ran and hid. Fear came in, guilt, shame, heartache. God had to come up with a plan to deal with the venom, that had poisoned mankind. He needed to create an anti-venom, but it had to be something incredibly powerful. That meant it had to come from the purest blood, the most effective source. God didn't choose the blood of a horse, he didn't choose the blood of a goat, he didn't choose the blood of another animal, this time he chose the blood of his only son.
The first time John the Baptist saw Jesus, he said "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world". Jesus wasn't just any lamb, he was the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. That's why his anti-venom is more powerful than any poison that comes against you. The enemy will try to poison your with doubt, "It's never going to work out". Poison your with fear, "What if you catch that virus". Poison you with insecurity, "You're not good enough, nobody wants to be around you". That poison cannot keep you from your destiny, it is no match for the anti-venom created by the Most High God.
Now quit telling yourself, "You've made too many mistakes", living guilty, condemned - take your antibody, "Father, thank you that your mercy is bigger than my mistakes. Thank you, that what you started in my life you will finish". You have to receive God's mercy and move forward. You can't reach your destiny, if you're always looking back. Nothing you've done is a surprise to God. He knew every mistake you would make, every failure, you can still get to where you're supposed to be, but you have to shake off the guilt and move ahead.
When you're dealing with fear, depression, anxiety, don't just accept it thinking, "I'll always struggle in this area" - take your medicine, "Father, thank you that I am free, I have the mind of Christ, I have peace that passes understanding". Lies will tell you, "What you're dealing with is permanent. There's no solution. You'll never get well, never break the addiction". Just say, "No, thanks, I know the blood of the lamb is more powerful than the venom of any snake". Yes, there are times that we get bit, things happen we didn't see coming. But you have to remind yourself, God is not up in heaven looking for a cure, hoping that virus doesn't defeat you, trying to figure out what he's going to do - he's already created the cure. 2,000 years ago he defeated the enemy once and for all. The scripture says (Hebrews 2:14), "He rendered him powerless". One version says, "He brought him to naught". Naught means zero.
The enemy has no power over you, he can't keep you from your purpose. The only way he can stop you, is if you start believing his lies. "God's not going to bless you. Look at the mistakes you've made. You'll never accomplish your dreams, you've had too many bad breaks". Don't let that poison keep you from the awesome future God has in store. Start taking the anti-venom. God hasn't brought you this far to leave you. Just because you don't see a way, doesn't mean God doesn't have a way. Right now he's working behind the scenes in your life. You wouldn't be alive if he didn't have something amazing in front of you.
Why do you think the enemy's trying to stop you? He doesn't bother people that are not a threat, he wouldn't waste his time on you if he didn't know, you were a world changer, a history maker, that you have seeds of greatness. He knows God is about to open doors bigger than you've dreamed. You're about to step in to new levels of your destiny. And don't be surprised if you get a few snake bites so to speak, a friend walks away, the company doesn't need you anymore, and unexpected illness - that poison can cause you to get infected, live worried, give up on your dreams, or you can take that anti-venom, "God I know, you're still on the throne. I know no weapon formed against me is going to prosper. I'm not going to just come out, I'm going to come out better than I was before".
There was a young lady that lost her father to an illness, they were very close and spent a lot of time together. She was so devastated and so heartbroken, she had been bit so to speak by something she never saw coming. She could have become bitter, sour, let that poison the rest of her life, but she believed God was still in control. It wasn't easy, but she kept moving forward. When you go through loss and things that kind of knocked the wind out of you, it's tempting to give up on life, think you've seen your best days. That's when you have to dig down deep and say, "Father, thank you that you have beauty for this ashes. You said weeping endures for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Lord, thank you that there are good days up ahead".
Every day you make this choice to stay in faith, to have a good attitude when it's not fair, to believe when nothing is improving. You can't see it, but God is working behind the scenes, he's making things happen that you couldn't make happen. As a part of the healing process, every day this young lady texted her father's number and told what went on that day and what she was feeling. It was her way of staying close to her father. She told him, how she had overcome cancer, how she had finished college and graduated with honors. Not just the good things, she texted about the boyfriend that broke her heart, some of the other challenges she had faced.
All the while, she thought she was doing this just to help her heal, to help her move forward, but on the fourth anniversary of her father's death, the young lady received a response from the number she had been texting. She thought it was no longer working, but the text said, "My name is brad. Three years ago I lost my daughter in a car accident. Your text every day have been what's keeping me going". He went on to tell her how proud he was of her, how proud her father would be.
The young lady said, that was her sign that everything was okay, that she could let her father rest in peace. Today she's moving forward and doing great things. When life throws us a curve it's easy to take the venom, go around poisoned, with the chip on our shoulder - if you'll keep moving forward, God will give you beauty for those ashes. He didn't bring you this far to leave you, that loss, the disappointment, the bad break didn't stop his plan. He has you in the palm of his hand. There are great days up ahead. Don't let that poison stay in you, take the anti-venom, believe that God is in control and that your latter days will be better than your former days.
In numbers 21, the Israelites were in the desert, headed toward the Promised Land. God had given them victory over different armies, part of the Red Sea, freed them from slavery, but they got tired of traveling through the desert, they begin to complain and be disgruntled. They said, "Moses, there's nothing good to eat out here. We can't stand this manna anymore. Why did you bring us to the desert to die? Let's just go back to Egypt and be slaves again". They started talking bad about Moses, stirring up trouble. The scripture (numbers 21:6) says, "Poisonous snakes came into their camp and many of them were bitten and died".
After all God has done for us, when we're tempted to complain, be discontent, that's shaky ground. Here God was giving them manna each morning, supernaturally providing food in the desert, but they were finding fault. The next verse says, "They came running back to Moses and said, 'Moses we have sinned'". It's funny how quickly their attitude changed. Trouble has a way of helping us have the right perspective. They went on to say, "Moses, please pray that God will take away these snakes". One moment they were talking bad about Moses, the next moment they were asking him to pray for them.
If you're going to be a leader, if God's going to trust you with influence, sometimes you have to pray for people who were criticizing you the day before. You have to be good to someone, that doesn't deserve your goodness. I'm sure Moses was tempted to say, "Yeah, I would love to pray for you, 'God send more snakes, God get rid of the rest of them'". If you're going to pass this test, you have to swallow your pride and do the right thing, even though they don't deserve it.
It's interesting what God told Moses to do: he said, "Make a bronze snake, put it up on a pole and everyone that looks up at that snake will be healed". Why would he choose a snake? That's what they were trying to get rid of. You would think God would say, "Make a bronze Ark of the Covenant", but God took the very thing that was the problem and turned it in to the solution. That's what the scripture says what the enemy meant for harm God turns to your advantage. The snakes didn't stop biting them, they weren't free from trouble, but from then on anyone who looked up at that bronze snake was healed.
Years later Jesus was talking to Nicodemus, he said in John chapter 3:14-15, "Just as Moses lifted up the snake on a pole in the wilderness, so i, the son of man will be lifted up on a pole. And everyone that looks up and believes in me will have eternal life". Moses having the bronze snake on a pole was foreshadowing Jesus dying on the cross. But the snake represents evil, Jesus represents good. How could that be? Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:21, "Jesus became sin for us, so that we could become the righteousness of God". He became what he wasn't, so we could become who we were created to be. On that cross Jesus took all of our failures, all of our shame, our guilt, now whoever looks up to the son and believes in him will live.
My question is: what are you looking at? Your circumstances? How big the problem is? This virus has me so worried? You need to look up, there's healing when you look up, there's freedom when you look up, there's victory when you look up, there's salvation when you look up. Don't go through life looking down, thinking this problem is too big, it's never going to work out, I've been through too much. Get a new perspective: the forces that are for you are greater than the forces that are against you. You may have been bitten by mistakes, bitten by divorce, bitten by hurts, but that is not how your story ends. That poison doesn't have the final say, God is saying: look up, you haven't seen your best days, healing is coming, promotion is coming, the right people are coming.
"Well, Joel, sounds good, but I've made a lot of mistakes". Join the crowd, we all have. Look up, there's forgiveness. Look up, there's mercy. Look up, there's another chance. Look up, there's a God that doesn't give up on you. The scripture says, the calling on your life is irrevocable. "Well, I've gone through loss, I've had bad breaks, my relationship didn't work out" - look up, there are new beginnings. Look up, there are divine connections. Look up, there is beauty for those ashes.
After Jesus was crucified, two women went to the tomb early easter morning to anoint his body. They noticed the huge stone to the entrance was rolled away. They were puzzled. They went in and saw a young man wearing a bright white robe, sitting next to where the body should be. They didn't realize he was an angel, they stood there in awe, knowing something special was happening. The angel said (Mark 16:6), "Don't be amazed. You're looking for Jesus, he's not here, he has risen". The angel was saying in effect: you have good intentions, but you're looking to low, you're looking from a natural point of view, you need to look up.
What God is going to do in your life is not going to be ordinary, it's not going to happen like it happened for your relatives, those that you grew up with. You're going to stand out, you're going to break molds, you're going to set new standards. Where God has taken you, no one in your family has gone. Now don't have a small vision, don't go around looking low, thinking you've reached your limits. God is about to do a new thing, something that you haven't seen. He's going to open doors you never dreamed would open, take you places that you couldn't go on your own.
In Acts chapter 28, the apostle Paul was a prisoner in route to Rome, to stand before Caesar. The boat he was sailing on encountered a huge storm and broke apart. He and the crew grabbed pieces of the boat and swam to the shore. They were on a small island named Malta. When Paul went to gather wood to build a fire, a poisonous snake bit his arm. Here Paul had just survived a shipwreck, justified the odds, now the first thing that happened was this venomous viper latched to his arm and released the poison. Paul didn't panic, he didn't fall apart, he simply shook the snake off and went about his business.
Well, the local people knew exactly what was going to happen, they had seen this again and again - Paul was going to swell up, get sick and suddenly die. They thought, "Too bad, he'll be gone in a little while". An hour went by, he was fine. Two hours - nothing wrong. Eight hours - still healthy. Verse six says, "When they waited a long time and saw that no harm came to him, they decided Paul was a God". They weren't far off, he was a son of God.
Yes, there will be times we get bit in life: bit by sickness, bit by divorce, bit by loss, things happen we didn't see coming. But like with Paul, that poison is not going to have any effect on you. You have the anti-venom. What stops others is not going to stop you. The Most High God is pushing back forces of darkness, he's ordering your steps, making crooked places straight. What's his purpose for your life will come to pass. The scripture (1 John 3:8) says, "God destroyed the works of the enemy". That word "destroyed" in the original language means to not have its intended purpose.
When the snake bites and releases that venom, its purpose is to take you out - you should swell up, get sick and die, like everyone else, but because God destroyed the works of the enemy it's not going to have its intended purpose. The sickness came to my mother in 1981, its purpose was to end her life, but it didn't have its intended purpose, God has the final say. Nothing can snatch you out of his hands. When my father went to be with the Lord in 1999, the enemy intended for Lakewood to go down, fade away, have no more impact. But that loss didn't have its intended purpose, God had another plan, that we would expand, reach more people, have greater influence.
Don't get discouraged when negative things come. We can't pray away all the difficulties, but when you realize it's not going to have its intended purpose, then you can stay in faith. The divorce, that betrayal, that slowdown in the economy should sour your life, but it's not going to be what it looks like. People are going to look at you, like they did Paul and think, "How are they thriving, when they should be surviving? How is she so blessed, after going through that rough childhood? How is he still so strong, happy, successful, after that bad break in his business"? It's because what the enemy sent to stop you, is not going to have its intended purpose. When that snake bites, don't panic, don't fall apart, just shake it off and keep moving forward, keep thanking God that he's fighting your battles, keep thanking him that what was meant for harm he's turning to your advantage.
I read something interesting about a honey bee. It's one of the few bees that when it stings it leaves its stinger. It just has one sting and then it's done. The next time it goes to sting, there's nothing there. It's like having a gun with one bullet, a boxer with one punch. You better make it count, because that's your only chance.
2000 years ago the enemy came against Jesus. What he didn't realize is like that honey bee, he only had one chance. He did his best to defeat Jesus, he was crucified on the cross, Jesus breathed his last breath and died - it looked like the sting was successful. Satan was rejoicing, thinking he had won, but on the third day Jesus came out of the grave. He said, "I was dead, but I'm alive forevermore, and I have the keys to death in hell". The good news is: the enemy doesn't have his stinger anymore. He tried his best, but his best was not enough. That's why Paul said (1 Corinthians 15:55), "Oh death where is your sting, oh grave where is your victory".
We can live from a place of faith, knowing that God has removed the stinger from the enemy, he has rendered him powerless. What he brings against you is not going to have its intended purpose, the blood of the lamb is greater than any poison that's trying to stop you. Now, put your shoulders back, hold your head up high, the most powerful force in the universe is breathing in your direction. Friends, you have the cure. Now get up every morning, take your medicine, dwell on what God says about you. If you'll do this, I believe and declare: chains that have held you back are being broken, favor is coming, healing is coming, promotion is coming, the fullness of your destiny, in Jesus name.