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Watch 2022 online sermons » Steven Furtick » Steven Furtick - The Truth About How God Works

Steven Furtick - The Truth About How God Works

Steven Furtick - The Truth About How God Works

This is an excerpt from: The Blessing of Both

God wasn't just using the stuff that felt good to you, not just the stuff that you praised Him for, not just the stuff that you thanked Him for. Paul finally came to the point where he said, "I learned to thank God for my thorn. I learned to thank Him for the things that He is using that I did not choose for myself, the things that He is using that tormented me at one time, but the tormentor was my mentor that transformed me into who I needed to be so that I would rely on the grace of God". It's the blessing of both. It's both.

So when Joseph said, "You meant it to harm me, but God meant it for good", he's not speaking out of both sides of his mouth. It's both. They meant it, but God used it. God is going to use both. I promise you He is. I promise you He is. That's what the cross represents after all. It's two beams. One vertical, that's you and God, one horizontal, that's you and people, it's both. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, strength. Love your neighbor as yourself". It's both. It's not one or the other. It's both.

I praise God when I feel it, I praise God when I don't feel it. I praise God when I sense Him, I praise Him when it's so distant that I wonder sometimes is any of this even real. I praise Him in the good times, I praise Him in the bad times. I praise Him when He does what I ask, I praise Him when He runs a little late to Lazarus' funeral 'cause I know even on the fourth day, He can say something. And Joseph said, "Oh, it's both. It's pain and purpose". It's both. And we keep waiting to this day when everything in our life will be stable and all of our relationships will be harmonious. And God said, "I need you to learn how to celebrate the wheat even while you're looking at the weeds".

Even the enemy serves a purpose. Even the devil works for God. The devil's not in charge of what happens in my life. God doesn't do everything that happens to me, but He uses everything that happens to me. There is nothing that is happening in your life that will not have to pass through the hand of God by the time it's said and done. And so I saw this picture that really moved me of how Joseph's father, Jacob, at the end of his life was sitting on his deathbed. And Jacob was an interesting character 'cause he had two names, Jacob, deceiver, Israel, prince. Which one was he? If you'll be really honest, you're both too. So please don't judge people just because their shortcomings are exposed. If it weren't for the grace of God who knows where you would be.

Come on. How many know what you're capable of? I didn't have a problem. I didn't have a problem preaching in that prison the other day because I'm not in that same situation, but I could be. There's nothing better about me than anybody that I was preaching to. It wasn't a problem for me to preach. It's the power of both. It's the blessing of both. And when Jacob was about to die, Joseph wanted to get his kids in front of Jacob so that they could be blessed. And he brought these two sons that he had in Egypt. The oldest one was named Manasseh, the younger one was named Ephraim. And they sat on Jacob's knees for a minute. Jacob couldn't see very well.

And after all that Joseph has been through, God has blessed him anyway. These two sons have significant names, Manasseh means to forget 'cause he said I'm going to forget the shame and the pain of Egypt. God has made me forget. And then Ephraim means fruitful. Isn't that beautiful how God can produce fruit in even the hardest and worst situations.

Well, anyway, when Jacob was sitting up to bless the boys, he did something weird. I wanna show you this real quick. I don't know who this is for, but in Genesis 48:13. You got it? Forty-eight thirteen, please. And it said, "And Joseph took them", "He took both of them, Ephraim in his right toward Israel's left hand and, Manasseh in his left hand". God's gonna bless both. "And he brought them near him". Next verse. "And Israel stretched out his right hand, laid it on the head of Ephraim who was the younger, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, crossing his hands for Manasseh was the firstborn".

Now understand when he did that, it broke every protocol and violated every expectation because he was supposed to bless the oldest one first. But God doesn't do things the way we think that He should do things. And we don't get what we deserve from God, we get so much more. We get His grace and His mercy. "And when he crossed his hands over to bless the younger one first". Do any of you know that God has blessed you in ways that you don't deserve and didn't earn and there's no way in the world you could've built a resume to afford it. So when he did it, Joseph got really upset. It said, "When Joseph saw", verse 17, "That his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him, and he took his father's hand to move it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's head".

Watch the next verse. "And Joseph said to his father, 'Not this way, my father. This one's the firstborn. You know, I know you're getting old and you can't, you used to do this when you were a little kid. You've been trying to switch things up your whole life. But put your right hand on his head". Watch the next verse. "But his father refused and said, 'I know, my son, I know. He shall also become a people. He shall also be great". In other words, he said I'm gonna bless both. You know why I don't ever have to be jealous of anybody else's life? You know why I don't ever have to worry about comparing myself to what God does for somebody else? Because God is big enough to bless both of us.

And when you know that, this is the blessing of both to know that what I call good, what I call bad, God is going to bless both. Don't you go trying to pluck stuff yourself. That's above your pay grade. Don't you go on a self-improvement project without God's help. You'll mess up the masterpiece. God said, "It's all working together for the good. I'm gonna bless both". They were singing a minute ago. Come here, Tiff. She was singing, "You never lost a battle. You never lost a battle".

I felt that, when we were writing that song, I felt it. We were just singing that. "You never lost a battle". And we just started singing that. Aw, man, I was like, "Yes, Lord, the church is gonna wanna sing this". Come here, come here, come here. And then I was like, "Chris, why don't you help her". And then she sang it. I said wat if they both, what if they both, what if they both... What if it was both? What if it was both? What if Paul and Silas start praising God together? What if we come together in His name and begin to lift Him up? What if we praise Him? Let all things work together!
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