Steven Furtick - The God Of Again
We want to welcome our eFam around the world, our global community of men and women, boys and girls, cats and dogs, fish and lizards, whoever is watching…all of y'all. Welcome. Let us know where you're watching from in the comments. I have a word for you today. God has really been speaking to me. I shared last week a message about how God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses, and then I said he's the God of also. Meaning, God is bigger than your box. Whatever you have seen him as so far, he's more than that. Your past is not greater than your potential. He's the God of also. Who you are is still unfolding. You're still becoming, and God's purpose is bigger than your plan.
So, we talked about The God of Also. This week, I'd like to continue in that same theme. Not only is he the God of also, but there's another thing I want to show you. The Holy Spirit showed me how to do it. He told me to use one verse and that this one verse would help me launch my talk, and then we'll talk about it, and we'll talk about it some more, and we'll talk about it some more. The verse I want to show you to get started is John 21:1, just really quickly setting this foundation. The writer says, "Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way…" "Afterward Jesus appeared again". Today I want to talk to you about The God of Again. I think this is going to help you with some of the heaviness you've been feeling from regrets and fears. He's the God of also, and he's also the God of again.
Spirit of the living God, have your way now. I yield myself to you. You are the music; I am the instrument. Reach your people through me. I offer myself to you. Speak to them through me. You get the glory. You get the praise. In Jesus' name, amen.
This is something I don't normally do. I'm going to give you all three of my points at the beginning of my message. First, God is really into repetition. That's the first point. I'll give you a minute to write that down. Secondly, God is really into repetition. Thirdly, God is really, really, really, really, really, really, really into repetition. I'll prove it to you. We'll go to Jericho and ask the Israelites if God is into repetition. When they had to walk around those walls, not only seven times but seven days… Boom. Taking a lap, seeing nothing happen. Boom. Taking a lap, seeing nothing happen. Boom. Taking a lap, seeing nothing happen. On that fourth day… "Are you sure you heard from God, Joshua? Are we marching around the right walls"?
God is really into repetition. Or if you don't believe those people that God is really into repetition, ask Naaman, the Syrian commander who had leprosy. Do you know where I'm going with this? He had to dip in the Jordan River seven times to be healed of his leprosy. About the fifth dip, you'd be kind of embarrassed if you still had the same spots on your skin that you had when it got started, but God is really into repetition. Or ask that servant of the man of God, Elijah. This story is in 1 Kings 18. There has been a drought, and Elijah the prophet says, "Hey, there's a cloud starting to fill up with rain". The man is like, "Where"? He's like, "Go look". He's like, "There's nothing there". He's like, "Look again". He's like, "There's nothing there". He's like, "Look again". "There's nothing there".
Seven times he looked. God is really into repetition. I bring it up because maybe you're frustrated that you're still going through something in your life that you thought you would have gone through by now. No? Zero percent frustration at Elevation Church today? Just me? I'm going to repeat that again. Maybe you're frustrated because there's something in your life… Maybe you're like Graham. Graham is really picky. Holly is such a good cook that our kids have gotten really picky. Let me explain how that works. She's too consistent in the kitchen. I told her she needs to clear the pantries and shut down the kitchen for a month to get Graham to shut up. She said the other day, "We're having chili tonight," and he goes, "Really? Again? Chili"? I'm like, "Yeah, really. Again. Chili".
The chili is good. If she wants to cook it every night… But he has gotten picky because she's too consistent. She's so consistent he has gotten picky with it. The truth is some of us… God has been too good to us, if I can say it that way. He's so consistent, and he's so good at being God, it's hard for us to stay grateful because of all the stuff he just did. The sun came up this morning, and nobody praised him for it. I mean, most of us walked into church today. Our legs got us in here, and then three songs in… "My feet are hurting. When are we going to sit down? Are we going to sing the same thing over and over and over? 'How much more does he… How much more… How much more…' I don't know how much more! Tell me. How much more are we going to sing"?
But God is into repetition. So, sometimes I think it's good when we just sing and give thanks to the Lord. Paul said, "Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice". Sometimes we have to rejoice again and again in order to remind our souls that God has been good again and again. I mean, how many have the testimony that "He kept on blessing me. Many times I even tried to push God away, but he kept on blessing me. Sometimes I ran so far I thought I couldn't receive it, but he… A lot of times, I was actually living a life that was completely contradictory to the character in his Word, but he…" I'm using repetition to talk to you about the repetitious nature of the grace of God. Thank God he's into repetition. Thank God he's into continuing to wake me up every morning and start me on my way. Thank God he's into just, over and over again, breathing out so I can breathe in.
That's why I don't mind praising him. "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord". I figure if he's good enough to give the breath, I ought to be grateful enough to give it back. I don't mind giving him glory. I don't mind singing it one more time. God is really into repetition. If you don't ever know what to say to God, just start saying, "Thank you, Jesus". Then just say it again. "Thank you, Jesus". Then if you can't think of anything to thank him for, just say, "Thank you, Jesus, for your love. Thank you, Jesus, for the cross. Thank you, Jesus," because God is into repetition.
I don't just mean vain repetition where we just say a lot of stuff, but I mean that kind of… I need to slow down. God is into repetition, and I'm glad he is, because the fact that he's into repetition means he will keep on sustaining me and keep on blessing me over and over again. That's why I read you the Scripture I read you. "Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples". I prayed today that he would show up again to you. I assume you want to be his disciple and you want to see him, so I prayed that he would show up again. That's the thing about it. He's resurrected from the dead, and he already showed up two other times to his disciples. They were kind of scared, so they were hiding behind locked doors, and he just walked through. He shows up again to see Thomas, because Thomas wasn't there the first time.
Then John said, "Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples," which kind of makes you wonder. How many times do you have to show up after you're raised from the dead to get somebody convinced that you're the Son of God? We were remembering a funny memory with Elijah this week, because he turned 18, and we were talking about all of his birthday parties in the past. That got us talking about family pictures, and that made me traumatized. I hate nothing more than taking family pictures. I'm telling you, man.
Well, I'll just tell you one example. There was one time when they were really little, and Elijah kept picking on Abbey. Holly looked at him and… You know, when Holly is in front of y'all, she's very sweet. There's another side. She looked at him, and I was scared, and she wasn't even talking to me. She said, "How many times do I have to tell you to keep your hands off your sister"? He's terrified. He was only, like, 7 at the time. He's terrified. He looks at her and goes, "Three times"? Like, "I don't know". We thought it was so funny. "Three times"? Like, "How many times will it take for you to hear the words that are coming out of my mouth"? He's like, "I don't know. Maybe three"?
I wonder how many times God has to tell us certain things. Maybe God has been trying to tell you something. This is a central question I really want to ask. This will probably send some of you off, and you won't hear anything else in the sermon, but it's fine, because I want to give it to you. What does God keep repeating that you keep resisting? (He said, "Say it again". I love when people say that in my sermon. Sometimes they'll say, "Say it again," and I'm like, "I don't know what I just said. I was just following the Holy Spirit". But I will say that again.) What has God been repeating that you have been resisting?
In the passage I read you, Peter has gone fishing, even though God is going to call him to be a great apostle. Peter is going to go on to be kind of like a pope to the church. In that day you would have seen it that way. Peter is going to go on to preach on the day of Pentecost. None of that has happened yet. The Holy Spirit hasn't come. He has already seen Jesus, but Peter still needs something else, and it's called restoration. Not only does he need to see that Jesus is resurrected but he needs to personally be restored. The Holy Spirit said I would be ministering to people today who have seen the revelation of God. Meaning, you know him. You've experienced him in your life. He has seen you through certain seasons. But you are finding yourself in a season today, as I speak this message, that things have been so different and so difficult you need to see him again in order to go forward.
The good news is he is the God of again. He's the God who will show up once and walk through locked doors and show up twice so Doubting Thomas can believe. If that's not enough, he'll show up…how many times? Three times. If that's what it takes to get Peter to see… Not who Jesus is. Peter already saw that. But what if what Peter needs to see in this moment is who Peter is? There are times in your life where God needs to show you again who you are because you forget. God needs to show you what you're capable of because you've talked yourself out of it. God needs to show you that there's a future ahead of you greater than anything that is behind you. He's the God of again. He will tell you as many times as he needs to tell you in order to get you to see this truth. That's because he's full of grace and mercy, and he will bless you again and again.
The same thing that is true of the blessing of God is also true of the lessons of God. He will do it over and over again until you get it. God will teach you things over and over again until you learn them. I don't know if you want to hear that or not, but he will. God will allow certain things in your life to stay that way until you finally learn what he actually wants you to learn. God doesn't cancel the class because you burn the books. God doesn't advance you to the next level because you're tired. There are certain things in our lives God will teach us over and over again. This passage here is a pretty cool example of that. Let me read you a little bit more of it. It said, "Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way…"
I read you that verse, but let's hear what happened. "Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. 'I'm going out to fish,' Simon Peter told them, and they said, 'We'll go with you.' So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, 'Friends, haven't you any fish?' 'No,' they answered. He said, 'Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.' When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved…"
That's John, who's writing this gospel. "…said to Peter, 'It is the Lord!'" You think? "As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, 'It is the Lord,' he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, 'Bring some of the fish you have just caught.' So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, 'Come and have breakfast.' None of the disciples dared ask him, 'Who are you?' They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them…"
This wasn't the first time they'd seen him do this, by the way. "Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples…" How many? Three times. "This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead. When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter…" Here's the moment. "'Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?' 'Yes, Lord,' he said, 'you know that I love you.' Jesus said, 'Feed my lambs.' Again Jesus said, 'Simon son of John, do you love me?' He answered, 'Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.'"
Is this a riddle or something? Pete and Repeat were on a boat. Pete fell off. Who was left? Pete and Repeat were on a boat. Pete fell off. Who was left? Pete and Repeat were on a boat… "Are you messing with me, Jesus? Is this a riddle"? No, it's not a riddle; it's a restoration. Follow me. How many times did Peter deny Jesus? So, how many times does Jesus restore him to his first love? I hear God saying "Again" over your life. Again. "We're going to do this until you get it. I'm going to prove I'm powerful until you believe me to be faithful. I'm going to show you there's nothing too hard for me until you stop worrying about stuff I'm already working out in your life". Shout, "Again". Shout, "Again".
I'm using the message to preach the message because I want you to get this word in your spirit. He's not the God of "One time you'd better get it right". He's not the God of "Well, if you haven't learned it by now, I guess you're just stupid". Isn't that what we tell ourselves? That's what I tell myself sometimes. "How do I not know this by now? How am I not over this by now? How can I not do this by now"? That's usually why we stop getting smarter. We stop asking stuff because something in us thinks, "I should know this by now". That's why we stay broke. We think we should know this about money by now. So, we pretend like we know rather than admitting that we don't know, and because we think we should know by now, we never know because we won't ask, because we think God is frustrated with us.
You know, we get this for a good reason…because we're frustrated with us. So, then we project the same attitude on God that we carry within us. For many of us, the figure of God we have is an exasperated father, saying, "Really? Again? You're praying to me about this again? You lost your temper again? Really? You're asking me to help you with this again"? That's kind of how God sounds in my mind when I'm in a bad place, when I haven't been spending time in his presence, when I've just been letting the Devil get the best of me. It's like I want to go to God for stuff, but I almost picture him going, "Again? You need me to fill you again? You need me to walk you through this again? How many times are you going to come to me and ask me to forgive you for this"?
But I found out that every time I come to God, it's a compliment to him. This changed my life. When I come to him and say, "Oh, I need more grace," he goes, "I'm good at grace, and when you ask me for grace, you presume my power, that I'm good at what you asked me for". When I come to God, he's not up there going, "Again? I've got to show you again how to go and apologize? I've got to show you again how to work through this insecurity? I've been teaching you this since you were 15. Are you stupid"? That's not the language of heaven. God goes, "Again". Hear the difference? Jesus appeared again. One of my kids, who shall remain nameless, asked Holly when they were really little… She was asking them, "When's the last time you changed clothes"? They said, "Four days ago". She said, "Does that include your underwear"? This particular kid of ours said, "You mean I have to change my underwear every day"?
When you do something over and over again in behavior, it's called a habit. When you do something again in music, and it's a pattern that is pleasing, it's called a hook. When you do it again and again and again and again, it's a hook. It just so happens that I'm preaching today about fishing. They weren't fishing with a hook; they were fishing with a net, but the principle is the same. God wanted Peter to know, "I've hooked you. I've got you. I'm not letting you go. I'm not letting you off the hook". You keep coming back to God, telling him over and over again in your mind why he should choose someone else. As many times as you give him an excuse, he's going to give you a truth again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again.
"How many times are you going to say it, Preacher"? As many times as it takes for you to respond to this word that I'm feeling in my heart. And again and again and again. There's a famous quote attributed to Albert Einstein, but I looked into it, and I don't think he really said it, but it's still a great quote. It says, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result". Okay. I have a different version of that quote. Immaturity is doing something once in awhile and wondering why it didn't work. If God is the God of again, what makes you think you're going to quote one Scripture and the Devil is going to run off of everything in your life you need him to leave? Come on. If God is the God of again, what makes us think we could just come to church once on Sunday and put a space of six days between us and God and be okay?
I'm going to need God to get in the gaps between Sundays for me to fight against the stuff I'm struggling with, because he's the God of again. That's why I put these messages on YouTube for free: so you can get it again and again and again. Some of you are like, "You talk too fast when you preach. You need to slow down". No, you need to rewind and get it again. YouTube even has a slowdown function. There's no excuse. Slow me down and get this word. I'll go as slowly as you need me to because I have something for you, and I want you to get it. Oh, sometimes he will leave you in a season a little longer, and you'll think he's being slow, but what you call his slowness is actually his love, because his slowness, as you perceive it, is his steadiness to prepare you by his sovereignty for something your eyes cannot see. He's the God of again.
Don't be so discouraged by what you're still working through. I guarantee you it takes all of us time. It takes everybody time. In marketing, they used to have a rule called the rule of seven. Have you ever heard of this? This is way back from, like, the 30s and stuff, way before social media. They said you have to touch somebody seven times with a message before they act on it. Seven times. Seven times before they see the product, and you have to show it to them here, show it to them there, show it like this, show them that. They said, on average… This isn't completely scientific, but on average, it's at least seven. The walls of Jericho. It's at least seven. Naaman dipping in the Jordan. It's at least seven. There's a cloud the size of a man's hand. It's at least seven. So, do you want to dabble in seeking God?
Hebrews 11:6 says, "Without faith it is impossible to please God, because he who comes to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him". Not them who haphazardly dabble in him. Should I say it again? Pete and Repeat were on a boat. Pete fell off. Who was left? All right. Peter was following Christ. Peter fell away. But who came to get him? And how many times did he come back for him? How many times did he restore him? I would suggest to you that even if you are not diligently seeking God, he's diligently seeking you. Don't you see how he kept coming for you all your life? Don't you see how when people gave up on you, he was there? Don't you see how even when your nets came up empty, even the empty nets were preparation for the greater blessing? Don't you see how even the rejections in your life were making room for something you did not know to expect that was next?
I don't know what's next, but I get a sense in my spirit that God is getting somebody ready for next, because he's the God of again. I don't think he brought you this far to leave you. I don't think he gave you this much to abandon you. I don't think he brought you into this earth to step back from you and have you figure it out on your own. I think he's going to show up in a great way in this next season of your life. I was talking to this friend the other day, and they were stuck in regret. They just kept expressing their regret over and over again. They said this fishing term. They said, "I just feel like it's the one that got away. It's the one that got away". Now, they were taking this as a sign that it was over and they would never get it back. It was painful, and I could tell it was painful, because it was an opportunity they lost. They couldn't get over what they lost, and they couldn't even think about what they had left because of what they lost.
I never like to just say stuff that sounds like a fortune cookie because I'm a preacher. I don't talk in sound bites. If you ever meet me, and you say, "I'm having a hard day," I will not say, "Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say, rejoice". I do that up here because I have a different role up here, but this was a friend I was talking to, and I'd walked with this friend through some of it. I could see that while they were saying, "The one that got away," they were literally, like Peter, fishing, fishing, fishing. Like, empty, empty, empty, and they couldn't find an explanation. They couldn't find a way forward. So, I let him say it a few times, and I just listened, but on the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, or seventh time they said, "The one that got away," something hit me, and I said it.
I don't know if I made it up. I don't know if God gave it to me. I don't know if it was arrogant. I don't know if it was right or good, or whatever, but the Lord said to say it to you today, so I'm going to say it to you. They said, "I just keep feeling like this is the one that got away". I looked back and said, "Stop saying that". "It's not the one that got away; it's the one that got you ready". It's not the one that got away. Every time you let the net down, and it came up empty, and you let it down, and it came up empty, and you let it down, and it came up empty, all it was doing was holding the place so when Jesus shows up, you'll be ready for what's on the other side of the boat. You're ready now. Your nets are ready. Your heart is ready. You're humble now. You're wiser now. You're with it now. You're whiter than snow now. You're washed now. You're clean now. You're open now. You're hopeful now. I'm ready now. Glory to God.
In basketball they say, "Nothing but net". That's what Peter had as long as he was fishing without Jesus, but when he got to the other side of that boat… I came to say, "Stop focusing on the one that got away". God said to tell you, "Don't focus on anything in this season. Nothing but next," because what's coming, what is yet to be, is greater! He's going to do it again, but it's going to be bigger! He's going to do it again, but it's going to be greater! I'm going to preach this thing until you believe it. How many times will he have to part water before you take the step when you're ankle deep? How many times will he have to kill Goliath before you get your rock and start swinging?
At everything in your life that is in front of you, there is something God already did. He will not do it the same way, so stop expecting to part seas with rocks. The rock is for Goliath. The staff is for the sea. God will use different tools in different seasons. There is no "one that got away". Not with God. "Prove it, Pastor". He came back to get Thomas. He didn't let Thomas get away, and he won't let you get away. Anything that's truly for you in your life God won't let get away either. I think my favorite passage about the God of again… I probably should stop preaching right now because I think you already got enough.
One of the biggest things God has been teaching me lately is we can come back together next Sunday, and we can do it again, but I can't let you go. You might sleep in next Sunday, so I have to give you this while I've got you. Picture with me. I'm going to reference a familiar Bible story. You've probably heard it before, but you need to hear it again. There were two sons, one father. The younger son went to his father and said, "I want my inheritance now," and he left and started living wild. This is in Luke, chapter 15. How many of you have heard this story before, the story of the prodigal son? You need to hear it again.
So, this young man goes off and spends everything he has. Once he sees that his friends aren't really his friends, but they are only with him as long as what is attached to him is flowing… Once that falls away, he realizes, "Man, I'm living way beneath what I had back home". He goes home with a speech prepared. He's really worried because he has been gone a long time, long enough for his dad to assume he's dead. The older brother is back home doing his job. When he's getting to the place… I want to start at about verse 21 of Luke 15. If I don't finish this today, I'll put it on YouTube this week for you. Holly and I will sit down and break it down. I've been doing these little sermon breakdowns on YouTube. I might do one on this. You're going to listen to the message again Monday anyway, right? This is something that is really pivotal to me explaining and unpacking to you what I mean when I say he's the God of again, because the contrast of it is found here.
When this younger son, who has run away from home, is thinking about coming back, like you might be thinking about coming back today… Like, "I'm going to try to get sober again. I'm going to really try this thing again of opening up to people in my life. I'm going to really commit to this path again. I'm going to pick up my Bible and start a simple Bible reading plan again". Whatever. It doesn't have to be so deep, but whatever it is you're about to do again, this is this boy's fear. He has a hurdle to cross because he's thinking about his father and all the harm he has caused. So, he's getting to the place. Verse 21: "The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'"
Notice the word there in the verse: against. In his mind, he has made his father out to be against him. "He has something against me". In this case it's true. The father could have very easily chosen to disinherit this boy. He had the legal right to. So, he's thinking about what his father has against him. That's what stops us. We think about what's against us, and if we assume that at the heart of it all God is actually against us, or life is against us, then we turn against ourselves. So, we don't try again because of what's against us. Watch the story unfold, because it's shocking. Verse 22: "But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again…'"
He thought he was coming to the God of against, but he found the God of again. "Give him his robe back. Give him his ring back. Give him his name back. Give him his seat back". "For this son of mine was dead…" Wait. No, he wasn't dead, but I thought he was. "…and now he's alive again". Some of the things God wants to bring alive again in your life are not really dead; they're just waiting for you to recognize them. Sometimes it's not about something God needs to add to our lives; it's about something we need to remember again. So, as many times a day as you need to say to yourself, "I'm fully forgiven by the blood of Jesus," say it again.
If you leave church, and five minutes after Pastor Steven is preaching, you're cussing, ask God for forgiveness again and again and again. Mid-cussword. Cut yourself off between syllables and say, "Father, help me not to cuss like that anymore. I know my tongue needs to be tamed. Tame it again". Taming takes time. "Help me with this again". God doesn't go, "Again"? He goes, "Again. Again. Let's get you walking right again. Let's drill this again". If God is a good teacher, that means he knows how to get through to me. That means he knows how to make the adjustments. If God is a loving Father, that means he will never run out of what I need more of. So, when I come to him, he doesn't stand against me. He is there again for me as many times as I need. I stumbled upon something in my own life to help me recognize what God has already done for me.
I share it with you in the spirit of encouragement. Many days in my life, I have a complaining and grumbling spirit. That leads to my anxiety, and it leads to me feeling resentful of all of the pressures in my life. I've had to learn how to deal with that again and again and again. I thought by now it would be easy. It still isn't. I thought by age 43, I would have a permanently set perspective. Maybe it happens when you turn 44, but it definitely doesn't happen at 43 in my case. So, I have to make all of these things I say to myself again and again and again. Now, notice what the boy in the story was saying to himself again and again, walking to his father. "I'm not worthy. I'm not worthy. I'm not worthy. I'm not worthy".
When you walk around saying that in some form to yourself day after day, year after year, you begin to become what you believe, and you believe what you repeat. Shall I say that again? You become what you believe, and you believe what you repeat, especially what you repeat within yourself. But the father gives him a better word. He says, "Come back home again". "He was dead, and now he is alive again. Let's celebrate". Sometimes you have to celebrate what remains in order to move forward in what hasn't been revealed. So, I go into this place, and forgive me if this is kind of dark or weird. Sometimes I ask myself the question, "If I lost what mattered most to me, what would I give to have it back"?
It's an exercise I do, and I find it helpful. In what matters most to me, I start, of course, with my salvation, that Jesus paid the price for me and I don't have to go to hell. I don't have to live in condemnation. I don't have to carry the shame of the things I've done. I can't think of a better gift. Can you? If you can, come up here and tell me about it. Just to know that it's all paid for by him. I go down the list, and I get technical. Right behind Jesus is Holly. They're kind of similar. They're both always there for me. They're both amazing to me. They're both better than me. (Do you see how I'm earning points? Multitasking up here in this microphone.) I think about my wife, I think about my kids, and I think, "If I lost them, what would I give to have them back"? The answer is "Everything". So, what do I already have?
You may be like, "Well, I have lost this person in my life, and I can't say that". You still have his grace. What would you give to have that grace back if it went away? Everything. So, what do you have right now? Everything. Sometimes you just need to remember again what you've already been given. Isn't it good for us to sometimes just stand in a situation and say, "Lord, I don't know what you're going to do next, but you already did this. You already gave me that. If you did it before, it stands to reason you're going to do it again. But even until you do, if I already have you, I already have everything". Try it sometime this week. When the Enemy starts speaking to you about "You're not going to make it. This time it's different. You can't recover from this. It will never be the same. They're the one you needed, and you can't live without them," stop and say, "Wait a minute. If I have him, I have everything".
That's what the father did with his older son. The older son who stayed home was mad about the party. He said, "I'm not coming in there to celebrate this hooligan. He spent half our inheritance. Now you're spending money on beef patties, making him some brisket out here. I'm not coming in to eat the brisket. I hate my brother". Look at verse 31. This is so powerful. The father said, "My son, you are always with me, and everything I have is already yours". Verse 32: "But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again…" The God of again is standing over your life today. I promise he is. I don't know what you have to walk through in this season. I don't know what doctors have told you, lawyers have told you, what the Devil has told you, what insecurity has told you. I don't know what any of the symptoms in your body or any of the emotions in your soul are saying, but I know what the Father is saying: "Again. Again. Again".
As a matter of fact, let's just walk back and look at it. If he told the sun when to rise, and it did, he will again. How many believe he will again? Somebody shout, "He will again"! And if he told the storm to be still, and it did, he will again. I need the whole church to agree with me. If he told the sea where to split, and it did, he will again. And if he told the walls when to fall, and they did, he will again. And if he told the chains when to break, and they did, he will again. And if he told the bones, "Come alive," and they did, he will again. And if he told the stone, "Roll away," and it did, he will again. And if he told the grave, "Let him go," and it did, he will again and again and again and again. And again and again and again. It's not the one that got away; it's the one that got you ready for what's on the other side.
I speak to every lost opportunity, every broken heart, every child of God standing in need of restoration through the Holy Spirit because of the regrets of your past. He is a redeemer and a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. And if he told the sun when to rise, and it did, he will again. And if he told the storm to be still, and it did, he will again. And if he told the sea where to split, and it did, he will again. And if he told the walls seven times when to fall, and they did, he will again. And if he told the chains when to break, and they did, he will again. And if he told the bones, "Come alive," and they did, he will again. And if he told the stone, "Roll away," and it did, he will again. And if he told the grave, "Let him go," and it did, he will again and again and again and again and again and again. He's the God of new beginnings, the God of second chances!