Joel Osteen - The Hand of Blessing
I want to talk to you today about The Hand of Blessing. In the Old Testament, when the father was up there in years and about to pass, he would call his children in and place his hand on their head. He would speak loving, faith-filled words over them. These words would help set the direction for their lives. It was called the blessing. It was so valuable, that when Jacob tricked his father Isaac into giving him the blessing that belonged to his older brother Esau, Esau wept. He knew he was at a disadvantage, his life would be limited. Isaac couldn't believe it. He was so overwhelmed, he said "I have given the blessing, and I cannot take it back".
The blessing would determine whether they would live a victorious life, filled with favor, abundance, overcome whatever came their way, or whether it would be a life of struggle, hardship, not able to get ahead. Sons and daughters look forward to this blessing. They long for the day that they would feel their father's hand on their head. It was a destiny moment. Now some of us have received this blessing from our fathers. We had great fathers that spoke faith into us, others their father wasn't around, or maybe he spoke discouraging words, telling you what you couldn't become. You could think you're at a disadvantage, you're limited, you didn't get this blessing.
That's the way David felt in the scripture. His father looked down on him, saw him as too small, not that talented. David could have let that sour his life, thought "I can't do anything great, I didn't get the blessing". But David said in Psalm 139, "God you have placed your hand a blessing on my head". As powerful as the blessing is from your natural father, imagine your Heavenly Father placing his hand a blessing on you.
In the scripture Jesus laid hands on people and healed them. Paul laid hands on Timothy to ignite his gifts. Fathers laid hands on children to bless them. Laying on of hands was a significant moment, a transfer of power and healing. When the Most High God placed his hand a blessing on your head, he marked you for favor, he marked you for greatness, he marked you to overcome obstacles. You're a marked man, a marked woman, not by defeat, not by failure, you are marked by the hand of Almighty God. What other people do cannot stop the blessing. Here's the key: they didn't give it, so they can't take it. It didn't come from people, it came from your Heavenly Father.
And sometimes it's good to close your eyes and see that hand of blessing on your life. When your dream seems impossible, the obstacle's too big, you're weary, you don't think you could go on - just picture the Creator of the universe, the God who spoke worlds into existence, laying his hands on your head, releasing favor, healing, strength, breakthroughs. You are not limited, you're not lacking - God's hand the blessing will cause you to defeat giants, it'll keep you safe in a fiery furnace, it will part a Red Sea when you're at a dead end, it will close the mouths of hungry lions. God's hand of blessing is a supernatural favor. Doors will open that you couldn't open. It's a hedge of protection, keeping you safe from what should harm you. It's a divine empowerment. You'll discover ability that you didn't know you had: wasn't good luck, wasn't that you're so skilled, it was the Most High God putting his hand a blessing on your life.
In the Amplified version of the Bible it describes this blessing. When you see the word "Blessed", many times in parentheses it says "Happy, fortunate, to be envied, prosperous". Jesus said (Matthew 5:9), "Blessed are the peacemakers", the Amplified says, "Blessed, happy, fortunate, to be envied, prosperous are the peacemakers". This is the way you need to see yourself - blessed, happy, fortunate, to be envied, prosperous. See, the blessing doesn't do you any good if you think you're limited, you've been through too much, your family didn't support you, you never get any good breaks. Limited thinking will lead to a limited life. A blessed mindset will lead to a blessed life. You may have obstacles that look too big, you don't see how you can accomplish your dream, but the blessing on your life is more powerful than any force that tries to stop you. I know today I'm not looking at average people, I'm looking at blessed, happy, fortunate, to be envied, prosperous people.
See we use the word "Bless" so commonly these days, we don't always realize what it means. "How you doing"? "I'm blessed". Somebody sneezes, "Bless you". That's all good, but we need to understand what the blessing is - it's an empowerment where you can live happy, like jp, not dragged through the day, defeated, but joyful, with the spring in your step, a song of praise in your heart, despite the circumstances. You can live fortunate, you see good breaks, opportunities. And part of this blessing is to be envied. God wants to bless you in such a way, that others want what you have. You're so happy, so healthy, so successful, so generous, so stable, always in a good mood, that you stand out. You're an example of God's goodness. Not barely getting by, but blessed in such a way that you can be a blessing to others. You're not only accomplishing your dreams, seeing overflow, setting new standards, but you're helping others to rise higher.
The scripture says that Abraham was very wealthy with silver and gold, he had large flocks of cattle and sheep, many staff and shepherds. He was so blessed that people prayed to the God of Abraham. Some of these people they didn't know Abraham's God, they didn't know Jehovah, they weren't religious people. All they knew is "This man is so successful, so favored, we want to serve his God". God wants to bless you in such a way, that others are envious. They see the blessing on your life, they see you standing out. That's what the scripture says, "You are the head and not the tail, above and not beneath, lending and not borrowing". Don't have a limited mentality, have a blessed mentality. All through the day, in our thoughts, "Father, thank you that I'm blessed, I'm happy, I'm fortunate, I'm to be envied, I'm prosperous".
"Well, Joel, this seems kind of arrogant, doesn't it"? No, we're not bragging on who we are, we're bragging on what our Heavenly Father has done. He has placed his hand a blessing on us. See, you have to get an agreement with God. God works where there's faith. You can have this blessing and cancel it out with doubt, negative thinking, "I'll never get well. I never meet the right person. This dream will never come to pass". Zip that up. There is a blessing on your life that will override every negative force, a blessing that will take you where you can't go on your own, a blessing that will cause things to happen that are unusual, uncommon, out of the ordinary.
This is what happened for Isaac. In Genesis 26, there was a great famine in the land. Food was very scarce, it hadn't rained in months. All the Philistines were just waiting it out, hoping it would turn around. Isaac could have thought, "Oh, too bad, I'll just try to survive. This is a rough season". But Isaac understood this principle, that the blessing on his life could cause him to prosper while others were struggling. The Philistines didn't worship God, they worshiped idols. There's a difference between you, and those that don't honor God. They're not bad people, but there is a blessing on your life, that will cause things to happen that defy the odds, to where you stand out. People take notice that there's something different about you: when they're struggling, you're succeeding. When they're complaining, you're praising. When they're worried, you're in peace.
Isaac went out in the middle of the famine, and planted his crops. His neighbors thought, "What's wrong with this man? Doesn't he know there's no water, no way to water the crops, no way anything will grow"? I can hear them laughing, making fun. But verse 12 says, "That year Isaac's crops were tremendous. He harvested a hundred times more than he planted, because the Lord blessed him". Notice where the blessing came from. It wasn't the water, the soil, the seed, it was because the Lord blessed him. God can favor you in a famine. He can prosper you in a pandemic. The circumstances don't determine the blessing. All the circumstances may say, "You can't have a harvest, there's no water. You can't get well, you saw the medical report. You can't accomplish that dream, you don't have the funds. Or you'll never break the addiction, you've had it so long". That would be true if you were the Philistines. The difference is: God has placed his hand a blessing on you. The blessing causes supernatural things to happen. God is not limited by your environment, by the economy, by how you were raised, by who's not for you. He controls the universe. You may be in a famine, every thought says "You're stuck, it's not going to work out". You keep doing the right thing, and your time is coming. Like with Isaac, God is going to show out in your life.
You would think in the middle of the drought: if Isaac got a normal harvest, that would be a miracle. Just enough to feed his family. But notice how God works: Isaac's crops were tremendous. He had a banner year, overflow. Verse 15 says, "And the Philistines envied him". That's a part of the blessing, that you are blessed with such overflow, that your talent comes out in such great ways that your business sees such increase, that your children do such awesome things, that people look at you and shake their head, think "How did that happen? We're in the same drought, we had the same seed, the same soil, and we couldn't get anything to grow". It's not the environment, it's the blessing on your life.
Now, I wonder if you're living with the blessing and don't know it? Or are you canceling it out with limited thinking. "It's not going to happen, Joel, you don't know how I was raised. My boss is not for me. I don't have a great personality". That's not important. What matters is the Creator of the universe has placed his hand a blessing on you. Now start thinking like you're blessed, like you have an advantage. Sometimes we're envying everyone else, "Man, I wish I had their talent, I wish I had her looks, I wish I was as successful as my neighbor". As long as you see yourself as lacking, at a disadvantage, it's going to limit you. And yes, it's good to celebrate others, but the right attitude is, "Father, thank you that the blessing on my life is going to cause me to be envy, that people are going to want what I have". That's what allows God to do great things, to prosper you in a negative environment, to promote you when you weren't next in line, to heal you when the report says there's no way, to take you where no one in your family has gone.
I know a man named Robert. He was raised by a single mother. He never knew his biological father. When he was five years old, his mother married a man, but he was very mean and condescending. He constantly told Robert how he was never going to amount to anything, he was too clumsy, couldn't do anything right. As a child he didn't know any better, he believed those lies, and grew up very insecure, feeling inferior. When he was a teenager, his mother remarried. This new stepfather was just the opposite. He encouraged Robert and told him that he was talented, that he was going to do great things. When he graduated from high school, he was working as a janitor in this small town. His father asked what he wanted to do with his life? He had been beaten down so long, he said, "This is all I know how to do, just clean buildings".
His father told Robert that he had so much more in him, that he needed to have a bigger vision for his life. He said, "Robert, I'll make a deal with you. If you'll go to college, I'll pay for every course, every book, every degree you get". Something came alive in Robert. He went back to school, and got his bachelor's degree. Then he got his master's degree. Then he got his doctorate degree. He liked it so much, he went to seminary and got another degree. After four degrees, the father said, "I think that's enough". But today Robert is very successful, fulfilling his purpose.
Don't let what people have spoken over you keep you from your greatness. The enemy would love for you to live limited, not go after your dreams, not feel attractive, not think you can be successful. When those lies try to push you down, you need to close your eyes and imagine God's hand of blessing on your head. This blessing is more powerful than what people have told you. It's more powerful than lies the enemy whispers. The blessing on your life will override every negative voice that's trying to hold you back. The only thing that can stop the blessing is if you believe the lies, if you think you're limited, you can't go further, you're not that talented, "Everyone in my family struggles". That may be true, but you're the difference maker, you're the one to defy the odds, you're the one to set new standards. If you'll have the right perspective, knowing that you're blessed, you're fortunate, you're to be envied, you're prosperous, then like Robert, God is going to show out in your life. He'll take you further than you've ever imagined.
In Numbers chapter 22, the king of Moab sent word to Balaam, asking him to come and curse the people of Israel. The Israelites were about to come through the Moabites territory. When the king saw how many there were, he was afraid. He sent his men with a large amount of money. They said, "Balaam, we know God will do what you ask. We'll pay you all these funds, if you will come over and speak defeat over these people". Balaam asked them to spend the night, so he could pray about it. Verse 12, God said, "Balaam, don't go with these people, for I have blessed the Israelites. And what I have blessed, you cannot curse". God was saying in effect, "Balaam, there's no use you going with them, because you can't cancel out the blessing".
The messengers went back, told the king that he wouldn't come. The king sent more people, and more funds. Finally Balaam went back with them, the king was so happy, he called everyone out, this big audience, said "Go ahead, Balaam, do your thing". But instead of cursing them, he blessed the Israelites. This happened three times. The king was so furious, he said, "I didn't hire you to bless them, I hired you to curse them". Balaam said it again, "I cannot curse what God is already blessed". God was showing us that no matter how hard people try, no matter what they say or do, they cannot stop the blessing on your life. What God has spoken over you overrides every negative voice.
People telling you what you can't do, bad breaks, dysfunction - this hand of blessing will break every generational curse, things that keep getting passed down. This is a new day, freedom starts with you, wholeness starts with you, abundance starts with you, victory starts with you. The blessing on your life is going to cause you to go where no one in your family has gone. Forces that have held you back, are being broken right now. God is about to release you into new levels of influence, new levels of resources, new opportunities, new relationships. You're going to be able to say, "Not as faith, but as fact, I am blessed, I am fortunate, I am to be envied, I am prosperous".
"Well, Joel, nobody would envy me, man, I've had a lot of bad breaks. I didn't have a good childhood. I'm struggling with this addiction. My company let me go, this friend walked away". That may be true, but that's not how your story ends. The blessing on your life is not just going to make up for what went wrong, but it's going to catapult you ahead. Nobody is going to know what you've been through. When they look at you, you're going to be so blessed, so healthy, so happy, so generous, they're going to be envious. Now, you have to do your part and live bless-minded. You can't go around thinking you're average, you've had too many bad breaks, letting negative comments talk you out of it. When you're tempted to think that way, you need to close your eyes and see the hand of God's blessing on your life.
I have some friends in another state, they were trying to sell their home. But the housing market in that area was very depressed. A large company had gone out of business where many of the employees lived, and there were a surplus of homes for sale. On their street alone there were 12 houses on the market. The average time for a house to sell was a year and a half. Their realtor had already told them to not get in a hurry, it would be a long process, their value would probably go down. It didn't look good in the natural, but God is supernatural. The blessing he put on your life will cause the right people to come to you.
Instead of living discouraged, making plans for defeat, every morning this young couple would say "Father, thank you that you're causing our property to stand out. Thank you that you're bringing us the right buyers". Six weeks later their agent brought them a contract for the full amount. At closing, the new owners told them that they had looked at the other houses in the area, all the houses on their street, some were a better value, more desirable location, but they said, "There's just something about this house that stood out. We felt a peace here, we knew it was supposed to be ours". That's the blessing God put on you. It's on your property, on your business, on your savings, on your children, on your health. All those other neighbors were scratching their heads, "How did this happen"? God knows how to make you envy. He wants to bless you, so others see his favor on your life.
When the Israelites were in slavery, the Pharaoh wouldn't let them go, even though God kept sending these plagues. God said to Pharaoh (Exodus 9:16), "I have let you live for this one reason, so you will see my power and my fame will spread throughout the earth". Sometimes God will let you get in a difficult situation, things you don't understand, it's not fair. That doesn't mean you don't have the blessing, the blessing is what's going to bring you out. God is going to use that situation to show his power through you. When people see how it turns around, how you defy the odds, how you get a better position, how you come out without the smell of smoke, they're going to know: the blessing is on your life. God will use you to spread his fame God.
Sent this huge hailstorm on their oppressors. Verse 26 says, "The only spot without hail in all of Egypt was the land of Goshen, where the Israelites lived". The blessing on your life is a hedge of protection. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but the blessing will keep it from you. You don't have to live worried, afraid of what might happen - God has you in the palm of his hand, nothing can snatch you away.
The Book of Job, God said to Satan: "Have you seen my servant Job? There's no one like him in all the land. He's faithful, he has integrity, he doesn't compromise". Satan answers something that gives us great insight. He said (Job 1:9-10), "Why shouldn't he serve you? You've always protected him, and his family, his home, his property. You've made him prosperous in everything he does". He was saying, "You have this blessing on his life that keeps me from him". And yes we will all have difficulties, we all go through tough times, but like with Job, the enemy cannot touch you without God's permission. God is in control, not just of your life, he's in control of your enemies.
The apostle Paul experienced this blessing. He was on his way to Rome, when he was shipwrecked on a deserted island. He went to pick up some wood to make a fire. When he reached down a poisonous snake bit his arm. As it hung there, the natives of the island knew exactly what was going to happen. They had seen it again and again. The scripture says (Acts 28:6), "He should have swollen up, gotten sick and died". They waited and waited, Paul just the whole time went about his business. See, nobody told him he was supposed to die. Nobody told him the snake was poisonous, and he wasn't going to make it.
It's amazing what happens when we don't let fear, doubt, negative thinking in our minds. After watching him a few hours, that snake not having any effect, they decided that he was a God. They weren't far off, he was a son of God. The scripture says, "He should have swollen up and died". Because you have this blessing, you're going to have some "Should haves". That illness should have taken your life, but look at you, you're healthy and whole. How you were raised should have limited you, but you're successful, strong. That addiction should have controlled you, but you're clean, free, helping others. The pandemic should have taken you under, but you're still standing. You should have been lonely, but God sent someone awesome. Isaac should have been stuck, but he saw uncommon increase. Robert should have been insecure, limited, but he has four degrees. My mother should have lost her life to cancer, but she's still here 41 years later.
When I lost control of my car on the freeway, that 18-wheeler should have run over me, but a sudden gust of wind blew it out of the way, my life was spared. Or how about when we were trying to get the Compaq Center, this place, the opposition was bigger, stronger, they should have overpowered us, outmaneuvered us, but like David with the slingshot, we defeated that giant. Get ready for some "Should haves" - it's going to be unusual, uncommon. You couldn't have made it happen, it's the hand of blessing, God's showing out, making you an example of his goodness. Other people are going to see his favor on your life.
Now, don't cancel it out by living negative, thinking your problems are too big, you're at a disadvantage - that would be true for ordinary people, I would believe that if you were average, but I know who you are. Like the patriarchs of old laid hands on their children and blessed them, the Most High God has placed his hand a blessing on your head. It's a blessing that will cause you to go where you can't go on your own, to overcome what seems too big, to accomplish dreams that look impossible. All through the day, just imagine that hand of blessing is on your head. "Father, thank you that I am blessed, I am happy, I am fortunate, I am to be envied, I am prosperous". If you'll do this, I believe and declare: like Isaac, you're going to prosper in the famine. Like Paul, what was meant to harm you will have no effect. Like Robert, any negative words spoken over you are being broken. The blessing is overriding the curse. Freedom is coming, promotion is coming, healing, favor, abundance, the fullness of your destiny, in Jesus name. And if you receive it, can you say amen today? Amen.