Joel Osteen - Nothing Missing
I want to talk to you today about Nothing Missing. We all go through disappointments and things we didn't see coming, it's easy to accept it and think that that's the way it's always going to be. We went through a breakup, "We'll always be lonely". Had a setback in our business, "We'll always struggle". Came down with an illness, "We'll always have to deal with it". But God didn't say we wouldn't go through challenges, we'd never experience loss, but he did promise when he's finished nothing will be missing. He's a God of restoration. You may have lost your health, lost your joy, lost a position, but that's not how your story ends. Don't judge your situation too soon, the loss is only temporary, it's just a season, you're going to get it all back. Your health is coming back, your confidence is coming back, your child is coming back, your strength is coming back, nothing will be missing.
Someone may have left you, walked out of a relationship, you think you'll always be alone - the right person is going to find you, someone better than you've imagined. You tried to accomplish the dream, the doors didn't open, God's going to open a better door. He didn't give you the dream and not have a way to bring it to pass. Maybe you didn't have a good childhood, nobody was there to encourage you, you feel shortchanged - don't worry, God saw what happened. He's going to make up for who did you wrong. He's going to pay you back for what you didn't get. Instead of living discouraged, thinking you've seen your best days, turn it around, "Father, thank you that nothing will be missing in my life. The joy, the peace, the health, the strength, the family, the dreams, Lord I thank you that you were restoring everything that I've lost".
See, instead of having a poor-old-me mentality, "Look what I've been through", have a nothing-missing-mentality, "I'm gonna get it all back". This is what happened with Job. He was a good man, had a good family, successful business, then one thing after another came against him. He lost his health, lost his business, lost his children. He was so discouraged, the scripture says he sat down among the ashes. He thought, "I'll never recover from this. It's all downhill from here". His wife even said to him, "Job just curse God and die" - really encouraging wife. Just when he's about to give up, this friend came along, said in Job chapter 5, "Job, if you'll look to God, he will rescue you. He will save you from death. You will not be taken before your time. When you visit your pastors, nothing will be missing".
Here he's just lost all of his flocks, lost his health, his family, it's all gone, and God showed up and said "Job, stay in faith, this loss is only temporary. When I get through nothing will be missing". I can see Job get up out of the ashes, dust his clothes off, he looked up to the heavens and said (Job 19:26) "I know my redeemer lives". In the midst of all the trouble, all the heartache, when he could have been complaining, bitter, he started declaring that God was on the throne, that what he started he would finish. There was a shift in his thinking from "This loss is permanent, I've seen my best days", to "Restoration is coming, health is coming, victory is coming". I can hear him saying, "Father, it doesn't look good. The odds are against me, but I believe what you promised: nothing will be missing in my life. I don't have joy now, but thank you that joy is coming. I don't feel well, but thank you that health is coming. My flocks are all gone, but thank you that abundance is on the way".
When you go through setbacks you can complain, talk about what you've lost or you can get an agreement with God and talk about restoration. "Father, thank you that what was meant for my harm you're turning to my advantage. You said no weapon formed against me is going to prosper. Lord, thank you that I will recover everything that I've lost". That's what God did for Job he not only restored what he lost, but God gave him twice what he had before. He was more blessed after the challenge than he was before. God makes the enemy pay for bringing the difficulty. Verse 16 says, "Job went on to live another 140 years after the challenge, and saw his children and grandchildren. He died an old man, having lived a long, good life". He didn't die bitter, lonely, discouraged. Just like God promised nothing was missing. He had his health, his family, his business, peace, abundance. He didn't look like what he'd been through. If you would have told him in the middle of the difficulty, when he had boils all over his body, that one day he was going to be happy, healthy, living an abundant life, he would have thought "How's that possible"? That's the way our God is. Don't judge the rest of your life by what's coming against you now. God is saying to you what he said to Job: nothing is going to be missing.
You may be missing joy, missing health, missing children, life has thrown you a curve, you don't see how it could ever work out - God has it already figured out. Like Job you're not going to look like what you've been through. When God gets finished, nobody will be able to tell that you went through the sickness, through the breakup, through the pandemic, through the loss. You're going to come out stronger, healthier, more fulfilled. Good family, blessed, prosperous. Get this down in your spirit: yes, something may be wrong now, but God is not finished. Your time is coming. The scripture says God set an end to Job's difficulty. Just like there was a start to that problem, there's an end to the problem, an end to the sickness, an end to the addiction, an end to the limitations. When God says it's time to restore, all the forces of darkness cannot stop him. Whatever you've lost, whatever looks permanent, whatever you think has limited your life, there's about to be a shift. God is going to suddenly thrust you into healing, bring the right people, turn the business around, give you joy, peace, victory like you've never seen.
I talked to a young lady, she and her husband had been trying to conceive a baby for many years with no success. Her dream from the time she was a little girl was to have a child. Her mother had a hard time conceiving, and her grandmother ran in her family. After taking all the fertility treatments, doing everything medically speaking that she could, the doctor told her that it wasn't going to be possible, there was nothing more they could do. For months she would get up in the morning weeping, so heartbroken. One day she was driving to work and she flipped on our Sirius XM channel, and I was talking about how god has the final say, how he can do what medicine cannot do. She said something came alive on the inside. She wasn't raised in church. She believed in God, but she'd never heard anything like that. She started reminding God what he promised, that children are a gift from the Lord. All through the day, instead of being discouraged, she would thank him that her baby was on the way. When she was tempted to get down, she would go out to her car and listen to another message to help keep her faith built up.
Two weeks ago she called weeping, this time they weren't tears of sadness, they were tears of joy. She just found out she was 10 weeks pregnant, not with one baby, but with twins. The doctor said, "I don't know how this happened". He didn't have an explanation. That's what God promised that nothing is going to be missing in your life. You know, thoughts tell us "You'll always be barren, always be lonely, always be addicted, always struggle" - don't believe those lies. God sees what you've lost, he knows what wasn't fair, what's holding you back - it's not permanent. The baby is coming, the freedom is coming, the dream is coming, the abundance is coming.
In the scripture, David was 29 years old, he was living in the city of Ziglag with 600 of his men. He had worked at the palace, but had to leave because king Saul was jealous and trying to kill him. The prophet Samuel had anointed him to be the next king of Israel when he was 17. He wasn't in Jerusalem, where it was prophesied he would lead the nation. He wasn't in Bethlehem where he was raised. Ziglag was a temporary place. He was in between prophecy and destiny. It wasn't where he was from, and it wasn't where he was going, it was a place of waiting. We all encounter some Ziglags. We know what God's promised, we know the dream he's placed in our heart, but we're not seeing it happen, no doors are opening, we're not able to conceive, our health isn't improving. When you're in Ziglag, in between places, it's very important that you keep being faithful, keep doing the right thing, keep reminding God of the promises. Ziglag is a test. Are you going to get discouraged, think that you're stuck there, give up on your dreams? No, stay in faith: Ziglag is only temporary.
David and his men had been out on a three-day journey to fight with the Philistines. They were returning home when they noticed smoke billowing in the distance, it was in the direction of their city. I can imagine they started walking faster, wondering what was going on. When they got closer, their worst fears came true: the Amalekites, these bandits had come in and raided their city. They captured all their wives and children, they took all their possessions and burned down their homes. Here David had been out doing God's will, protecting the people in his own city was destroyed, his wife and children had been kidnapped. The scripture says (1 Samuel 30:4), "David and his men wept until they could not weep anymore".
Now David was a warrior, he'd gone through great challenges, he had defeated Goliath, withstood all kinds of trouble, but this blow knocked the wind out of him, he didn't see it coming. On the way to our destiny there will be some Ziglags. We're doing the right thing, but the wrong thing happens. We're being our best, business goes down, lose a loved one, fighting anxiety, dealing with a child that's off course. David's men were so upset and so distraught that they talked about stoning David. Just when he thought it couldn't get any worse, his own men turned on him. David was at a very pivotal moment. He could have gotten bitter, blame God, given up on his dream. This could be the last time we ever read about David. He could have faded off into the sunset, missed his destiny. But David made a decision that we all have to make when we encounter a Ziglag. The scripture says (1 Samuel 30:6), "He encouraged himself in the Lord his God".
Sitting in the ashes, looking at home still smoldering, men all around angry, ready to take him out, instead of complaining, instead of being depressed, he started reminding himself that God was still on the throne. "God, what you've spoken over my life is still going to come to pass. I believe that you're a God of restoration. That this is not how my story ends". David dried his tears, got up out of the ashes, and went alone to pray. He asked God if he should go after the Amalekites. God said (1 Samuel 30:8), "Yes, go after them, for you will surely recover everything that was stolen". God is saying that to you: you may have lost some things, don't sit around in self-pity, it's time to dry your tears and go after what belongs to you. You will surely recover your health, you will surely recover your children, you will surely recover your peace, you will surely recover that dream. God is a surely God. He's not hoping it will work out, he controls the universe. He's breathing in your direction right now. You and God are a majority. Him being for you is more than the world being against you.
David set out toward the Amalekites. When he arrived they were having a big party, dancing, drinking, celebrating the victory. Sometimes the enemy celebrates too soon. He thinks you're done, you've given up, what he doesn't realize is you know what God promised, that if you pursue, if you believe, you get your hopes up, you will recover all: nothing will be missing. See, when you pursue, God starts fighting for you, angels go to work, forces of darkness are broken, the wrong people are moved out of the way. You'll see healing, favor, victory. David and his men attacked the Amalekites: they not only defeated them, but they got back everything that was stolen, they got their wives and children. The scripture says (1 Samuel 30:19), "Nothing was missing, small or great, son or daughter, or anything else that had been taken. David got everything back".
Now you may be in Ziglag: you've lost some things, it wasn't fair, if you'll get your passion back, start believing again, like David you're going to get it all back: nothing is going to be missing. The health is coming back, the business, the children, the joy is coming back. God is not going to leave you at a deficit. He's keeping the records. He knows what belongs to you. David not only got all of his possessions back, but his men gathered up what belonged to the Amalekites, they came out with more than what they had before. What's interesting is three days later king Saul was killed in a battle, David was made king. This was 13 years after Samuel had anointed him. It's significant that after David's greatest challenge, he was only 72 hours away from taking the throne.
When you're in Ziglag, stay encouraged, you don't know what God is up to. You're not only going to get it all back, but God is about to promote you. Ziglag is a sign that a new level of your destiny is on your way, that you're about to see what God promised you, that you're about to come out of the interim place, out of that place of waiting into your place of destiny. But we all have to go through a few Ziglags on the way to our purpose. Difficulties that come out of nowhere, things we don't understand, lost a loved one, fighting depression, people trying to discredit us. You have to remind yourself that Ziglag is a temporary place. Voices will whisper, "You'll never get out of this challenge. You'll never recover from this sickness. Never have that baby. Never meet the right person. Just settle there among the ashes, just accept it". The reason those lies are coming is the enemy doesn't want you to rise up and leave Ziglag. He doesn't want you to have a recover-all mentality, he wants you to have a poor-old-me mentality. You have to say, "No thanks, Ziglag is not my home. This is not how my story ends. I know what God promised that nothing will be missing, large or small".
There was a lady diagnosed with stage four cancer, and it didn't look good. She had spent most of her childhood in the hospital, she had a sickle cell gene that caused her many problems. Years later the thought of having go back to the hospital, deal with this illness, take the treatment was very discouraging. She sunk into a deep depression, didn't want to leave the house, didn't want to get out of bed. Sunday mornings her husband would turn on our program. She would weep the whole time I was speaking. She said: it was like you were just talking right to me. She started believing that God was bigger than the cancer, that her life was not over. For two years as she took the treatment, had surgery, she felt a strength that she had never felt. Today she's not only cancer-free, she defied the odds, but she doesn't have the sickle cell gene anymore. She told how she used to be so quiet and so reserved, but now she's written a book, she speaks at different events, telling how God helped her overcome. She said when people see me they always comment on how I don't look like what I've been through. She's happier and more fulfilled than she's ever been.
What am I saying: Ziglag is not your home. It's a temporary place. When you're in Ziglag you have to remind yourself what God promised, that you're going to recover all, that nothing is going to be missing. May be gone now, but God is not finished. Instead of dwelling on what you lost, what didn't work, work out the negative report, you need to switch over to this nothing-missing mentality. You may not see how it can happen, God has ways we've never thought of. He's not limited by what limits us. Like this lady, he's going to do something unusual, uncommon, out of the ordinary. Not just restore, but bring you out better than you were before. I believe it's going to happen sooner than you think. There's about to be a shift, a suddenly, out of nowhere, you're on the verge of a breakthrough. A healing, a promotion, you're going to be able to say like this lady: nothing is missing in my life.
A few years ago we had a Night of Hope in Las Vegas, and I was able to visit with a gentleman named Steve Nguyen. He's built many of the large hotels there, very successful and influential. He's an avid art collector, has masterpieces from all over the world. As he was showing us some of the paintings in his home, he told about a famous Picasso painting that he purchased in 2001. At that time it was valued at 60 million dollars. It was one of his favorite paintings. He had a friend that really loved it as well, and Mr. Winn agreed to sell it to this friend. The price was 139 million dollars (that's pretty good). The night before the cell he was showing the painting to some friends. He has an eye disease that affects his peripheral vision. As he was pointing to the painting, he didn't realize he was so close, he poked a hole in it with his elbow. They could all hear the canvas ripping, he turned around and saw a two-inch tear (that was his Ziglag). That cell was off, the other man didn't want it, the painting was now valued at 85 million dollars. That one tear resulted in a 54 million dollar loss. God give us problems like that!
Mr Winn found what he called an art surgeon, someone that would sew the individual fibers back together. It took two months, but you couldn't tell the painting had ever been torn. Six years later he sold the painting to the same man for 155 million dollars, 16 million more than before the tear. The painting was worth more after it been torn.
When we've been through disappointments, bad breaks, sometimes it feels like we've been torn. We lost our value, made mistakes, should have been more focused. What I love about God is when he puts you back together, like this painting you come out more valuable. He knows how to restore in such a way, that nobody can tell what you've been through. You're not going to live with a tear so to speak. What didn't work out is not going to affect the rest of your life. The sickness, the divorce, the loss, the bankruptcy, it doesn't lessen your value. Quit believing those lies that you've been through too much, "Don't expect anything good, don't believe for your dreams, you've been torn, somebody did you wrong, you've had setbacks, just stay in Ziglag". That is not your destiny. When God gets finished restoring, nothing will be missing.
The beauty of our God is: even when we make mistakes, we bring the trouble on ourselves, God doesn't say "Too bad. I would restore if you'd perform better. I would help you if you were more committed". God is full of mercy. When we get off course, the moment we turn back to him he comes running toward us, not in judgment but in mercy.
Remember when the prodigal son left home, wasted all of his money, partying, making poor decisions, he ended up in the hog pen, feeding the hogs. He got so desperate, he had to eat the hog food to survive. It was his own fault, he should have listened to his father, made better decisions. Now he was dirty, smelly, here not combed. He decided to go home. The father saw him a long way off and came running toward him. He didn't berate his son, he didn't tell him, "You should have known better". The father never even brought up his past. One of the first things he said was (Luke 15:22), "Go get the best robe and put it on my son". Not any robe, bring the best one. Get some new shoes for him to wear. Put the family ring on his finger. Like that painting the young man was torn, he thought his value had gone down, he said "Dad, I don't deserve to be a son, just let me live out in the barn, work as one of your staff". But the father who represents God said in effect: that tear is nothing for me. When I restore you nobody will know what you've been through. A few hours later, after the young man showered, put on the best robe, new shoes no one would have ever known that he'd been torn.
This parable is showing us, that when God restores you're not going to come out almost-as-good, grateful that at least you survived, you're going to come out with nothing missing, fully restored, full of joy, gifts coming out, blessed, prosperous, healthy. Get rid of those lies that always be at a disadvantage, "Look at the mistakes you've made". That's the enemy trying to keep you from putting on the best robe. He'd love for you to go through life feeling condemned, unworthy. Don't take the bait, there's a best robe waiting for you, there's a ring of authority that has your name on it. Or maybe someone else put you at a disadvantage, you had a rough childhood, friend walked away, business partner cheated you, they caused you to tear, it wasn't even your fault - they didn't lessen your value. You know why? God is the master surgeon. He knows how to restore to where no one can tell.
There's a famous poem that talks about a bird with a broken wing, how even though it's created to fly, created to soar, because its wing is injured it will never get back off the ground. Very sad, depressing thought. Someone took the poem and put a new ending on it. They talked about how when God takes the bird he begins to heal, restore, breathe new life into it. It ends by saying "The bird with the broken wing will fly twice as high again". What's come against you has not limited your future. You're not tainted. When God restores you're going to fly twice as high, you're going to go further. The enemy mean it for harm - God is turning it to your advantage.
Now, get rid of a defeated mindset and switch over to this nothing-missing mentality. God sees everything that you've lost. He hasn't forgotten about you. You may be in Ziglag, things aren't fair, you've had bad breaks, God is saying to you what he said to David: you will surely recover everything that was stolen. Ziglag is not permanent, that's a sign that you're about to see restoration, that God is about to show out in your life. Now, I believe and declare, nothing is going to be missing for you, large or small. Your health is coming back, your family's coming back, dreams are coming back, confidence, abundance, breakthroughs, the fullness of your destiny, in Jesus name. And if you receive it, can you say amen today? Amen!