Steven Furtick - For Anyone Holding A Disappointment
This is an excerpt from: Knocking Through The No
I learned something about God's opportunities, about the love he'll bring into your life, about the blessings, about the extensions he will give to you of a new season of purpose. I learned something. I learned that hope and disappointment swing on the same hinges. This is why you're guarded. To open your door to hope is to open your door to disappointment. Let me give you this like a friend. Okay? Are we friends? Okay. I want to be your friend for a moment. Avoiding disappointment is not a strategy for happiness; it's a recipe for resentment. Avoiding disappointment is not a strategy for happiness.
Now, maybe this is just for all of the middle-aged men like me. Maybe the youth can take a nap while I preach this, but for everybody who dragged two or three disappointments through the door with you today, I need you to know that the way to deal with the disappointments is not to close the door of hope. It is not just to accept "I'm always going to be an addict". It is not just to accept "I guess I ruined that relationship, and I don't deserve another one". It is not to accept "My family has always been treading water. I'm just lucky not to drown".
The grace of God is here, and Jesus is standing at the door and knocking. You think Jesus is knocking on the door just so your house won't burn down? He wants to come in. He wants to eat with you. He wants to cook for you. He wants to create with you. He wants to collaborate with you. He wants to guide you. He wants to fill you. He wants to reconcile you. He wants to make you a masterpiece according to his blueprint. He wants to do it! Are you open? She said, "No. My door is always open to you if you want something, but my door is closed if you want to do something for me". Elisha gives us a picture of the persistence of God, the persistence of his presence. "Here I am. I stand at the door and knock". A Scripture that was written to disobedient, lukewarm churches. "Here I am. I'm still here". Boom, boom! Your heartbeat is telling you he's still here. Boom, boom! This word is telling you he's still here. Boom, boom!
That person who came into your life last week, and you've already tried to shut them out… That was God at the door. That was God knocking. That thing inside of you that flutters a little bit and flickers a little bit when you get under a good word and you put Facebook off of your phone for 15 minutes and let this word come into your heart… That's God knocking. He still is. He is the Alpha and the Omega, he who was and is and is to come. Elisha lays there for a minute. She tells him, "No, I don't want anything". That's like those of you who have said, "I don't make resolutions. I don't make plans. I don't set goals. I don't do anything. Leave me alone".
I went to the dental hygienist 10 years ago, and I said, "I need you to know something about me before you start working on my teeth. You can say anything you want to say. You can give me anything you want to give me. You can knock me out and put me to sleep, but when I go home I'm not flossing. You could give me a sponsorship for flossing, and I'm not flossing. I'd rather bring my teeth to you in an ashtray and ask you to put them back in than floss". Isn't it amazing what we already decided we won't do before the word even went forth today? We're not talking about a lazy lady. She already built a room. Yet there is one thing in her life (there is one thing in your life) that she will not mention, and Elisha is about to find out about it.
That's the thing God is looking for today in your heart. Elisha said (verse 14), "What can be done for her"? Persistent little prophet, isn't he? "I'm not a freeloader. I want to do something for her. What can I do for her? I can't build her a room. I don't even live here. I can't cook for her". Then Gehazi, the servant, said, "Well, she has no son, and her husband is old. I mean, did you see him carrying the table up the stairs? That was sad". Elisha said, "All right". This is the turning point of the text. We have to get here together. Elisha said, "Call her". You're like, "He already called her". No, no, no. The first time she came to Gehazi, but this time he called her back.
I believe God is calling somebody back today, because last year this time you had some things in your heart. You thought they would have happened by now. They didn't. You have allowed your timeline to cause your faith to die. You have allowed your timeline to become the throne at which you worship. You have allowed your heart to become so crowded with disappointment you cannot receive what God is doing today. Elisha says and God says, "Call her. Tell her I want her to come back". "So he called her…" In all of the years I've been preaching this Scripture since I was 17 years old… I have preached about what that woman did, how she was obedient. I have preached about when she did it, just whenever he came by, but I have never preached about where she stood when he spoke the word that changed her life. I saw it this week like it was a word for each and every one of us on every continent, in every county, wherever life finds you today.
The Bible says he called her and she came. "…she stood in the doorway". Just a few months ago, this was not a room at all. It was just an open space on the roof. But one day she decided, one day she committed, one day she intended and did it, and she built a room. Now she is standing not in the room she built but in the doorway of the room she built. I believe somebody is standing in the doorway today. You are standing between two things, and there is a voice calling you forth. It is the voice of the Lord calling you forward into freedom, calling you forward into movement, calling you forward into legacy, calling you forward into purity, calling you forward into abundance, calling you forward into generosity, calling you forward into your future. The hinges of the door that swings open to Elisha's chamber were on the same little hinges that were just a simple act of obedience days earlier.
I'm trying to get you to see that you keep waiting for God to open a door. Maybe he wants you to make your own door. This is going to help somebody from dying in the wilderness of "one day when". "Oh, when God opens the door…" There was no door at the beginning of 2 Kings 4. There was no room at all. There was just a woman with a heart for God to do something for him, to be obedient and to be open. Can God have your heart? We keep saying, "I surrender it to God," but surrender shouldn't keep you from taking initiative. Surrender should give you initiative to find a way to be a blessing, to find a way to be free, to call one of the counselors whose cards you've been looking at for years. There was no door. I wish I could preach this message at the Matthews Campus that literally used to be a shopping center.
When we went to lease 42,000 square feet, circa 2007/2008, we were told by one of the tenants in the strip mall, "No"! "No, can't put a church here. No, can't have a religious institution here. It'll strike business down". So, for a minute I thought, "Well, maybe we can't put a church there," because when you are told "No" from the outside or the inside, and everything you try to do to move it forward doesn't work or makes it worse, you get to a place… Watch. She's standing in the doorway. Verse 16. I have to give you this. Elisha calls her and says, "About this time next year…" Where do you want to be this time next year? What are you looking forward to having the victory over or at least incremental leverage over this time next year? Do you want to know a few Scriptures you can quote? Do you want to be able to say, "I'm leading a group of middle school boys now and helping them not to be as dumb as I was"?
Where do you want to be this time next year? Elisha says, "I know you didn't ask, and I know you said no, but about this time next year, you will hold a son in your arms". Her response, this woman of great faith, was "No". The Devil didn't say, "No"; she did. The Devil isn't blocking you; you are. "No, because I've been here before". My third point is you have to be obnoxious. Holly and I had a fight. Oh, y'all are paying attention now. You want to see, "Where is he going with this? Pastor Steven might be sleeping in a room on the roof in my house tonight. Holly is going to kick him out". We had a fight at the end of last year. Not 2023. In 2023 we had no fights. It was 2022. It was a fight about her (I can't believe I'm sharing this with you) trying to get me to see that God had put more in me than I was giving. Not in a nagging way. Not in a way that was saying, "You're not doing enough," making me feel bad. It wasn't shame-based.
There was something… We're talking in the text about a woman who couldn't have a baby, but it could represent anything you can't have that is a God-given desire. I'm not talking about all the stuff you want because you spend too much time shopping. I'm talking about the stuff you can't have, but it is a part of your future and you can't have it yet. She kept telling me, "There are more messages in you". Now, the thing you don't know… We keep promoting, and we're going to promote it even more that I'm putting a book out in a couple of weeks, a week before my birthday. I appreciate your enthusiasm. Holly was trying to get me to see when she was yelling at me…I mean, when she was exhorting me… She wasn't yelling. Holly can yell in a whisper. It's annoying. It's obnoxious. She was just speaking to the part of me that knew I was supposed to put out a book.
But I wrote a book in 2020, and when I went to publish it, even my own agent said, "No". It wasn't it. Nine months of writing a book, and then for it to just sit there in a binder… I told the Lord, "I will preach for thee, I will post Instagram clips for thee, and I will be a blessing to those you've called me to intersect in life, but I'm not writing another book". So, I was preparing this message, and I wasn't thinking about me. I was thinking about the thousands of people who will hear this message. You're holding a disappointment that's so heavy you have no room to receive the thing God is speaking in your life. What is that thing for you? Would you identify it? The Holy Spirit will do a whole lot better job than I could. That thing.
While I was getting this message ready, I read what the prophet said to the woman. Verse 16: "About this time next year, you will hold a son in your arms". She said, "No! Please, man of God, don't mislead your servant"! Do you think maybe that's because she had encountered a few false prophets before? Do you think maybe some other prophets had stopped by and ate her food and slept in her guest room and made her promises? We've all been disappointed. We've all been let down. Now life has let you down so many times you won't even let hope in when it comes to avoid the disappointment. But I love God, and I treasure him, and I honor him as the God of my life. If Revelation 3:20 is true, that means that while my voice is saying "No," his hand keeps knocking.
The Bible says in verse 17 that even though she said, "No," and even though in this area of her life she didn't believe it was possible, the woman became pregnant. I read that text over and over, because I was looking for the point where she said, "I believe you," but she never even said it. Even though she didn't believe it was possible, the Bible says she became pregnant. Why? Because she didn't have the faith to become pregnant, but she had the faith to build a room. I came to say to you today that you don't have to know how God is going to do it. You don't even have to completely believe that he will do it. You don't have to quote all of the right responses back to God, but God keeps knocking through your "No". God is faithful even if you're faithless. I declare and decree over your life this day that about this time next year… I said, "About this time next year". I said, "January 2025".
About this time next year, you will hold a promise in your arms. Isn't it cool how Holly was right and there was another book in me? The book came in the mail this week as an announcement to you that whatever disappointment weighed you down, drop it. God said, "I've got another box with your name on it, and if you'll give me some room on the roof…" Come on. We're knocking through the "No". I feel the Spirit of God like a flood raising up a standard against the Enemy.