Joel Osteen - Something New Is Coming
I want to talk to you today about Something New Is Coming. It's easy to get stuck in life. When we've gone through disappointments, had a setback, tried and our dream didn't work out, we can settle where we are and think "This is as good as it gets". But God said in Isaiah 43:19, "I am doing a new thing, even now it springs forth, can you not perceive it"? God is about to do something new in your life. He didn't create you to get stuck at one level and stay there. He has new opportunities, new relationships, new favor. It may look like you'll always struggle in your finances - now get ready, something new is coming, promotion, opportunity, doors opening that you never dreamed would open.
The medical report says "You have to live with that sickness, it's been a long time" - God is saying, "I'm doing a new thing. I'm restoring health. I'm breathing energy, vitality, freshness into your body". That child has been off course for years, you've accepted that he'll never change. That would be true, but God is doing a new thing. Forces of darkness are being broken, purpose and destiny are rising up, you're about to see a turnaround. Or maybe that addiction has hindered you your whole life. You tried to stop, gone to counseling, nothing helped - this is a new day. Chains that have held you back are being loosed. What's kept you in captivity is coming to an end. Now you have to do your part and receive the prophecy. You can't go around thinking you're stuck, the problem's too big, it's been this way too long - turn it around "Lord, I believe what you promised. Thank you that you're doing something new in my life".
When Isaiah prophesied this, the Israelites were in captivity in Babylon. They had been there a long time, year after year, nothing changing. I'm sure they thought "We'll always struggle, we'll always be oppressed". Then Isaiah showed up and said, "Get ready, God is doing a new thing". They could have thought, "Yeah, right, have you seen these enemies? Look how powerful they are! All the circumstances say we're stuck, we'll never live an abundant life, never own our own homes, our children will never be free". Don't talk yourself out of the new thing God wants to do. The odds may be against you, but the Most High God is for you.
The Israelites had been through many struggles, had unfair things happen, they had made mistakes, brought the trouble on themselves. They could have been sitting in self-pity, discouraged, but Isaiah 43:18 said "Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. Behold God is doing a new thing". The principle is: if you're dwelling on the past, you won't see the new thing. If you're focused on who hurt you, what wasn't fair, why did this friend walk away, then you'll miss your destiny. God is saying "Forget the former things. Quit dwelling on your mistakes. This is a new day. Living in regrets will keep you from new opportunities. Re-living your mistakes will stop the new favor. As long as you're looking back at the old, you won't see the new". When you drive home today there's a big windshield in front of you, and a very small rear view mirror. The reason it's so small is because what's behind you is not nearly as important as what's in front of you. Where you're going is what matters, not where you've been.
Is there something you need to forget, so you can see the new thing? Something you need to quit dwelling on, so you can step into the favor and abundance that God has for you? When someone hurts you, they do you wrong, if you keep thinking about it, then you're letting them continue to hurt you. Don't give them your power. You have to let it go. Give it to God: he saw what they did, he saw your tears, your heartache. He has beauty for those ashes, but here's the key: you have to let go of the ashes before you can see the beauty - it's an exchange. God says "You give me the ashes, you quit dwelling on the hurts, you forgive them, you move forward with your life, and I'll give you the beauty, I'll do something so great, so rewarding, that you don't even think about what you lost". The new thing God has for you, the new people, the new opportunities, the promotion, healing, influence will be better than you ever dreamed.
The Israelites were in captivity not only were the Babylonians holding them, but all around them was the desert. Even if they escaped they couldn't survive. But Isaiah explained what the new thing was. He said "God will make rivers in the desert. What looks like barren ground will be turned into fertile land". God was saying, "This new thing that I'm about to do it's not going to be natural, it's going to be supernatural". That's why you can't figure it out - it's not going to be logical. What God is about to do is going to be unusual, uncommon, out of the ordinary. You're going to see rivers where there should be dry places.
The scripture says (Psalm 37:19) "Even in famine the righteous will have more than enough". Seems like in famine you would barely get by, but God does things that defies the odds. Don't limit this new thing to what you think can happen. "If I can just learn to live with this sickness", no God is going to free you from the sickness. "If I can just pay my bills, Joel, I'll be happy", God's going to bring you into overflow. "If my child will just stay out of trouble", that child is going to do great things. You may not see how, that's okay, it's not up to you, it's up to God. He's the one that makes rivers in the desert, he's the one that parts Red Seas, cures the lepers, multiplies the food to feed thousands.
A lady told me how her relative had passed away and left her a small inheritance. She decided to invest it in real estate, she bought another house and was going to rent it out. The first people that came along seemed like fine people, they worked for a non-profit that helped children. She thought, "This couple would be perfect". She didn't do all the background checks that she should have, turned out they were dishonest, three months into the lease they stopped paying rent and didn't tell her. She had it set up to go to the bank, she thought everything was fine, they kept her from getting the notices.
Well several years went by and eventually the house was foreclosed on, she lost all of her money. She could have been bitter, upset, tried to get revenge, but she said "I didn't make a big deal about it". That takes maturity. It's easy to make a big deal when we're hurt, betrayed, why did this happen? I'm gonna get even. You have to forget the former things. Do not dwell on the past. That means: don't let the hurts, the bad breaks, the times you were taken advantage of sour the rest of your life, cause you to live with a chip on your shoulder. God knows how to vindicate you. He knows how to pay you back.
Year after year she kept being her best. Nobody even knew she went through the bad break, she didn't go around complaining, discouraged, she had a song of praise. God sees when you're in the desert. He's watching you in the lonely nights, the times you were betrayed. You felt like giving up, but you kept going. You could have held a grudge, but you forgave, you kept moving forward. Wasn't easy, you were hurting, the pain was real, but you didn't let it stop you. Six years later this lady got a check in the mail, unexpectedly from the bank for a hundred and twenty five thousand dollars. They said "We sold the property and this money belongs to you". She didn't even pay that much for it, she made a profit.
God knows how to make rivers in the desert, he knows how to pay you back for the wrongs, this new thing he's going to do is going to be supernatural. He's going to turn barren ground into fertile ground. What looks like a loss is going to turn into a gain. Seems like a setback, but really it's a setup for God to show out in your life. See, the desert represents barrenness, no growth: you're doing the right thing, but your business isn't increasing, your marriage not getting better, your health not improving, you were passed over for another promotion - you're in the desert. In those dry places you could be discouraged, think it will never change - well, get ready, God is about to make rivers in that desert. He's about to turn that barren land into fertile ground. Like this lady you're going to see increase that you can't explain, favor that you didn't deserve, healing that doesn't make sense, freedom from things that have held you back.
When Isaiah prophesied this, the people could have said "Thanks, Isaiah, but we've had too many bad breaks. This opposition is too big. We'll never get out". You can stop the prophecy from coming to pass. The Psalmist said (Psalm 78:41), "They limited the holy one of Israel". You can limit what God wants to do in your life by doubt, negativity, speaking defeat. "My business is never going to grow. I'll never meet the right person, I hadn't had a date in years. Have you seen all that I've been through"? You are canceling out the prophecy. You may have obstacles that look too big, you don't see how you can accomplish that dream, feels like you're stuck, you're in captivity, restricted by your environment - God is saying to you what he said to them "I am doing a new thing. I am making rivers in those deserts. I'm turning the barren places into fertile ground". Now, get in agreement with God, "Yes, Lord, this is for me today. I receive it into my spirit, I'm getting ready for something new. Lord, amaze me with your goodness, turn this problem around, God show out in my life".
It's significant that this promise is in the present tense. God didn't say, "I'm about to do a new thing. One day I'm going to work in your life. Sometime in the future I'm going to show you my goodness". God said "I am doing a new thing". It's already started. What God has for you is already set in motion. This new thing is already in process. The scripture says "Now it springs forth". Spring forth is used when a seed is planted in the ground. You can't see anything happening, but the seed has opened up, it's springing forth even though it may not come visible for some time. There are promotions, healings, breakthroughs, divine connections that have already sprung forth, they're already in route. Just because you don't see it doesn't mean it's not coming - this is where your faith has to kick in. There should be an expectancy.
Not looking back, "This pandemic is so hard. My back's been hurting. This company did me wrong. I'm in the desert, Joel, that's why I'm discouraged". As long as you're looking back you're going to miss the new thing. You have to get prepared in your thinking, "By faith I can see the healing that's coming. I can see promotion on its way. I can see my child turning around. I can see myself free from this addiction". Now it springs forth, not one day, not in the sweep by and by - today God is doing a new thing, today God is making rivers in your desert, today God is turning your dry places into abundant places.
If you will stay in faith, you're going to see the new thing. Like God did for the Israelites, he's going to bring you out of captivity, he's going to free you from limitations and negative things that have been passed down in your family line. In this new thing God is going to break generational curses, addictions, poverty, depression will no longer hold you back. There's about to be streams in that desert. That barren land is about to be turned into fertile land, an abundant land, dreams coming to pass, he's going to catapult you to where no one in your family has gone.
I talked to a lady, she's a single parent living in Compton California. There's a lot of great people in Compton, but of course it's known for being a rough environment, gangs and drugs. Her husband was in the Federal Penitentiary, she's a schoolteacher. For 13 years she raised her son by herself. There were a lot of negative influences, opportunities for him to get off course, but she's a praying mother. Even though she was in a dry place, she knew God could make streams in the desert. Seemed like they were held captive by their environment, a victim of their circumstances. Her son could have become a statistic, another child struggling, off course, on drugs, but she believed: God was doing a new thing, that he was working behind the scenes.
Every morning before they went to school they would listen to our messages, get the day started off in faith, and hope, and victory. Her dream was for her son to go to college. All the odds were against him: she didn't have the funds, his father in prison. His senior year, they applied to several different colleges and were waiting to hear back. One morning on their way to school they heard me talking about how God has unprecedented favor, how he can make things happen that we can't make happen, how he wants to do a new thing. She heard that promise and something came alive on the inside. She knew that was for them. Later that day he received a handwritten letter in the mail, it said "Congratulations! You've been accepted into Harvard university". He was the first African-American student ever accepted from Compton.
God knows how to make rivers in the desert. He knows how to bring you out of captivity, out of struggle, lack, addictions, depression, can't get a good break. Get ready, your time is coming, God is doing a new thing. You may be in a dry place, but you're not going to stay there. Water is coming, favor is coming, promotion, healing, freedom is coming. Get your hopes up, start expecting God's favor, start believing for the unusual. God wants to make you an example of his goodness. He's already set in motion something better than you can imagine. You can't see it yet, but that doesn't mean it's not in route. Keep believing, keep talking like it's on the way, keep doing the right thing. Like with them, you're going to see God exceed your expectations.
Today this young man is a senior at Harvard, recently he was chosen as a Rhodes Scholar, one of only 32 from America. Not long ago he was accepted into Yale Law School. If you could see what God is doing behind the scenes in your life, you would be amazed. He's already lined up the good breaks, the right people, solutions to problems. The new thing is not going to be ordinary, it's going to catapult you ahead. You're not going to stay in any kind of captivity. Don't believe those lies that you're stuck, "Look at my environment, look at how I was raised, I don't have the funds for my dreams, I'll always be restricted by these limitations" - that's what it looked like for this young man, that's how it looked for the Israelites, but God showed up and said "I'm doing a new thing. I'm going to make rivers in those deserts".
God is saying that to you: where you are is not your destiny! You haven't reached your limits, you haven't seen your best days, this new thing is going to be something that you've never seen. The scripture says "Can you not perceive it"? It implies that God can be doing it, but there's no sign of it. "Joel, I don't see anything new happening in my life, I'm still struggling, I'm still lonely, still stick, I still have this problem at work", yes but what you can't see is the new thing has already sprung forth, it's already in motion.
This mother could have thought, "Nothing was happening for many years". When her son was 13 she didn't have the funds for college, 14 no funds, 15 nothing better, she was in the desert, didn't see any sign of rivers, no sign that things were going to change. But just because you don't see anything doesn't mean it's not on the way, at the right time is going to show up. You could see your new thing tomorrow, you could see your breakthrough this week, you could get that scholarship this month, you could see your healing, your promotion, your abundance this year. When God says he's going to do a new thing, that means it's not going to be like the old thing, it's going to be different.
The new thing may not be what you were expecting, it may not happen the way you thought it would. The Israelites could have thought, "God, just defeat these Babylonians and we'll live here". They didn't think that God would take them into the desert, how could they survive out there? God was going to do it a different way, he was going to make streams in the desert. Stay open for how God is going to do it. Don't put him in a box and limit him to one way. Most of the time the way we want it done is less than what God has in mind. What he has planned will be much bigger, much better. Trust him to do it his way. If we're set in how we want it to happen, we can miss the new thing.
I was in another city driving a rental car recently. Victoria ran into the store to shop for a minute, I waited in the car and was going to make some phone calls. She said "It'd be about 15 minutes", and after an hour my phone battery died. I usually bring my phone charger to plug into the car, but I forgot it. I looked in the glove compartment for one, looked in Victoria's bag, maybe she had one, but nothing. I sat there and waited, and waited, thinking about all the work I could be doing. At one point I looked down by the gearshift and I saw this rubber pad, about the size of a phone. I thought "That's interesting", and I sat my phone there, I heard my phone buzz, it started charging. I had a charger the whole time, but it wasn't what I was used to. I thought there would be a cord and I would have to plug it in.
Can I tell you? Some of the new things God is going to do in your life is not going to be what you're expecting. He's going to do it a different way, with different people, different circumstances. Could it be that God is doing a new thing now, and you don't perceive it? He's opening a door, but you don't want to go through it? It's not what you thought it would look like. He's bringing people across your path that are divine connections, but they're not what you were expecting? Don't get set in your way, the new thing may not look like what you had in mind.
A few years after I started ministering the church began to grow. I thought we would build a new auditorium, that's the way I had seen my father do it growing up. He had built sanctuary after sanctuary. We found some property right off the freeway by the other location, it seemed perfect to me, but when we went to close on it the owner sold it out from under us, he didn't keep his word. I was disappointed, I knew that property was supposed to be ours. We found another 100 acre tract not far away, the same thing happened. I couldn't understand why these doors kept closing? There were no more large tracts of land to build on by the other location. My father always said that he would never move the church. My mind wasn't open for the new thing that God had in store.
About six months later the Compaq Center came available. I never dreamed we could have this building. This was so much bigger and better than I ever imagined. It was a three-year battle, but we saw the hand of God make rivers in the desert, move giants out of the way, bring the right people to help us. We had a consultant that was very influential, knew all the inner workings of the city. He had never been to church, didn't have anything to do with God or faith, he parted, used bad language, cursed people out, but he said, "Joel, I like you, and I'm going to help you get this building". God has already lined up the people you need for the new thing. Stay open, it may not happen the way you're expecting, but can I encourage you? God's way will be better, bigger, more rewarding, more fulfilling. Don't limit what you've seen in the past to what God is going to do in your future. God never does his greatest feats in your yesterdays, they're always in your tomorrows.
God said in Isaiah 43:15-19, "I am the one that opened a way through the waters, making a dry path through the sea. I called forth the mighty armies of Pharaoh and drowned them in the waters. But forget about all of that, it's nothing compared to what I'm about to do. For I am doing a brand new thing". This brand new thing God is about to do is not going to be like anything you've seen in the past. We can all look back and see where God has parted Red Seas in our lives, where he opened a door that shouldn't have opened, had us in the right place at the right time, and we got the job, we met that person and fell in love, he turned our health around when it didn't look good, we're grateful, we know it was the hand of God. But God is saying, "You haven't seen anything yet".
Forget about all of that, and get ready for something awesome, something that you haven't seen, something that propels you to a new level. When you see this new thing, you're going to stand in amazement and say "Wow, look what the Lord has done". I believe the reason God told them to forget about the Red Sea being parted, and forget about how he brought them out of slavery is because they would have thought "He was going to do it the same way". After all that was a great miracle, but God was saying "I have something better". Instead of parting the waters, I'm going to create the waters, I'm going to make rivers in the desert, pools to refresh you. I'm going to turn barren land into fertile land.
The new thing God has for you is going to supersede what you've seen in the past. The good news is: it's already in motion, the process has already begun, even now it's springing forth. Underground, behind the scenes, you can't see it, but the river is forming, the water is coming, the barren land is being fertilized. Yes, the doors may have closed, don't worry, your Compaq Center is already built, the right people are already in route. The Red Sea's partings were great, but that's nothing compared to what's coming.
Here's the question: can you perceive it? Do you believe that God's up to something new, something amazing, or are you looking back at what used to be, what didn't work out? Change your focus: no more looking in the rear view mirror, start looking forward, start expecting his goodness. This is a new day, God is doing a new thing in your life. If you'll receive Isaiah's prophecy, I believe and declare: you're about to see unusual favor, uncommon increase, rivers in your desert, waters into dry places. Like the Israelites, freedom from captivity, from lack, addictions, sicknesses, you're going to rise higher, overcome obstacles and become all you were created to be, in Jesus name. And if you receive it, can you say amen today?