Steven Furtick - Something Good Is Coming From This
Go to Matthew, chapter 2. I didn't get to this part last week, but we're going to pick up at verse… Well, let's review a little bit of what I did get to. The Scripture in Matthew, chapter 2… You remember the astrologers. We call them wise men, but they were considered pagans by the religious people. They came to worship this new king. They come, and they bring him gifts…gold, frankincense… You know this part of the Christmas story, but it's possible you can have a sentimental feeling about Christmas and completely miss the significance. I've been falling in love with the Christmas story all over again this season because, really, it's about faith. It's so much more than just Jesus came so you don't have to go to hell. It's so much more than that. It's so much more than scented candles. It's so much more than that. If they sold scented candles that smelled like what the first Christmas really smelled like, with placenta scent and barnyard scent and all that… I'm just trying to tell you the significance of Christmas is often missed by our need… It's complete chaos.
Mary and Joseph, the astrologers, who aren't even religious people… They're the ones who are bringing the gifts. It's a crazy story, but let's pick up right here. Matthew 2:13: "When they [the magi] had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. 'Get up,' he said, 'take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.' So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: 'Out of Egypt I called my son.'" Let's go now to verse 19. This is the part I didn't get to last week. "After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, 'Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child's life are dead.' So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene".
Here's the prophetic declaration today. The Lord said to tell you… I don't know who you are, but God said you needed to hear this: Something Good Is Coming From This. Are y'all ready? Something good is coming from this. I'm not saying it to be cute. I'm not saying it to be positive. I'm not saying it to be optimistic. I'm not saying it to hype the crowd, but if you believe this, I need you to shout it. Say, "Something good is coming from this"! Let's talk about what that means. Something good is coming from this. If anything, the Christmas story completely flips the script on what we think is and isn't significant. If you read the Christmas story and only see objects, you have missed the intention of Christmas. If you see the Christmas story and only think of angels' wings, you have missed the message of Christmas. If you read the Christmas story and only think about what it was like to be Joseph, you've missed the message of Christmas, because the message is meant to go much deeper than history. It is meant to give you significance for the areas in your life that may not seem significant.
You don't really know what significant is when you're in it. It's true. I've read this passage at least…I've been a pastor 16 years…at least 16 times every Christmas and paid attention to everything in the passage except where stuff happened. It was only in preaching last week that I noticed this parallelism in the passage. I'm going to show it to you real quick. Just let me teach for a minute, and then I'm going to declare over your life what God said. Something good is coming from this. But first let me teach you. It said in verse 1 of Matthew, chapter 2 (and I bet you knew this already), "Jesus was born in Bethlehem". Then it said, if you go all the way to verse 15, "Out of Egypt I called my son". Then, if you go even farther than that, all the way to verse 23, that one says, "He was called a Nazarene". I highlighted all of those for you, because I know you have a lot on your mind, and I know you still have a big list of things you have to do over the next couple of weeks, but I don't want you to miss this. You can read the Bible and all your life hear about the Christmas story and miss the significance of…
Now, you probably know what happened. Jesus was born. You even know what happened after that. He died. You even know what happened after that. He didn't stay dead very long. You can know all of that and completely miss the significance of "Born in Bethlehem," "Out of Egypt," and "Called a Nazarene". Maybe the reason I skipped all this so long in reading the story is I (this is a confession) have no sense of direction whatsoever. I turn on my GPS to get to my mom's house for dinner on Wednesday night, and she lives in Charlotte. Just in case. I could do without it, but it just comforts me to have the GPS. I remember a time before Christ when there was no GPS. I remember the first time Holly and I got in a big fight in our marriage was her navigating to me over the phone. It was in that dark period right between when you had a phone in your car but you didn't have GPS in your car. That was a very dark time. It was like the Advent season for us, as we were waiting for the deliverer. Then she bought me a TomTom for Christmas.
Now, the TomTom… We don't have time for all this historical background. The TomTom was a GPS system, but the maps had to be manually loaded, so there were occasions where the map would not update and you were driving according to an old map. I don't even have time to preach about that, because that is some of y'all right now, going off an old map of who you used to be before Christ and still acting like… Anyway, last Christmas… Holly and I have a little tradition. We do Christmas with the kids, and then we go have Christmas for ourselves. We usually like to go to Charleston. It's close enough to where I'm from. I can feel the Lowcountry vibes and get some fried shrimp at Hyman's. I don't order fried shrimp. I just eat half of hers, and I order grilled shrimp. It makes me feel like I ordered healthy. We spent a few days in Charleston last year. We were driving home, and I set the GPS. I know I should know my way back to Charlotte from Charleston by now. Just to be sure, I set my GPS. It has a thing on it that if you don't… I don't even know how this happened. It was an accident. We told it to avoid all major highways.
You know, I'm so enjoying talking to my bride about deep spiritual things and contemplating the mysteries of God, or whatever, that I don't even notice we are doing this whole trip on back roads. It's about 20 to 30 minutes in, and I'm like, "When are we getting on I-26"? We figured out we had set it to back roads, and instead of following the fact that I grew up near Charleston and have lived in Charlotte for over 15 years and I should know my way, I'm blindly following this god called GPS, and I'm on these back roads now. But I'm glad it happened, because while we were driving on those back roads… I just remembered this. I turned to Holly and said, "You know what I'd like to write a song about"? Because we were driving through the country, all of these little towns and little churches. It was a thought that had come to me, but I didn't think to say it until this moment. We're driving through these back roads.
I looked at her and said, "I've been thinking I kind of want to write a song called 'Old Church Basement.' What do you think about that"? She said, "I think that would be awesome". She said, "You mean like describing…"? I said, "Yeah, like, going back to the roots of worship. I don't know how the song would go yet. I'm going to have to get Chris to help me and Brandon to help me, and I'm going to have to figure out how to write it, but it's going to say something like, 'The lights and stages are all great, but I remember when we used to praise God in the old church basement.'" That's what I told her. I said I had an idea. She said, "I love it". She said, "I can smell it". Before we pastored a global eFam, we traveled around on a little ministry team all over little towns like we were driving through in South Carolina.
So, while we were driving, we talked about all of the things in the old church basement…folding metal chairs, watered down punch, stale zebra cookies, and things like this. A few weeks later, the idea would become a song. The song would become the title of an album that we recorded with our friends from Maverick City Music in this room where I'm preaching today, which at the time was empty because we were still in the stages of the pandemic when we couldn't have people in the church regularly. Back in that corner of the room, we recorded an entire album that just a few weeks ago was nominated for a Grammy. But when I was on the back roads talking to Holly about a song I hadn't written yet, not even knowing who would help me write it or what we would use it for, I was not thinking about a Grammy. I was not thinking about an album. I wasn't really thinking about a song at first. I was just thinking, "How could you be so stupid to follow a GPS down these back roads"?
It serves as a lesson, and I'm kind of glad it malfunctioned, or whatever she did to it while I wasn't looking to make it go down the back roads. I'm kind of glad, because it taught me there are blessings on the back roads. There are blessings in Bethlehem that you don't get in Jerusalem. There are blessings in obscurity that you don't get in popularity. There are blessings in the old church basement. There are blessings in empty rooms. There are blessings in seasons of uncertainty. There are blessings in times of your life that you're characterized by darkness that you don't always get in the bright lights. Back roads blessings. They come all the way to Jerusalem following a star. These wise men have traveled for months, and they get there just to be told, "You're five miles from Bethlehem. You've got to take the back roads". You've been on the back roads this year, haven't you? The back roads where you don't know any of the good restaurants, the back roads where all of your clichés don't work and all your conventional wisdom has been proven to be subject to the sovereignty of God. The back roads.
My mom loves this message because she only drives the back roads. This is her favorite sermon that I've ever preached before in my life. Merry Christmas. Bethlehem was not only on the back roads, but it wasn't big enough to contain the Savior of the world. Listen to me. Bigger isn't always better. When I got up and announced our offering this year called Better, a lot of us immediately thought, "Bigger. More followers…" No. I didn't say bigger. I purposefully didn't say bigger, because God didn't tell me to call the offering bigger. That's what got the Israelites in trouble when they were building the temple again in Haggai. They thought because it wasn't bigger it couldn't be better. So, then when you go through a downsize in any are of your life, you give credit to the Devil for that, because you think Jesus should be in Jerusalem where the temple is, where the chief priests are, where the center of religious life is happening. I mean, that would be the obvious place to go, but they said to the magi, "You've got to go five more miles".
Some preacher watching this, preach a whole sermon called "Five More Miles". I want you to do it. Sometimes we get so close to the place, but because we won't go from the place we thought was the place… This is what I'm learning. Okay? You have to have flexible expectations in order to have strong faith. If you don't have flexible expectations, your faith will break. The first time you carry a load you weren't expecting to carry… I mean, think about how flexible Mary had to be to give birth in Bethlehem. She didn't go to Bethlehem because there was a good birthing center in Bethlehem with essential oils in Bethlehem and a doula in Bethlehem. She wasn't going to Bethlehem because she had heard about the spas in Bethlehem. She was going to Bethlehem because they had to go, because Caesar Augustus, who ruled the Roman Empire, had called for a census so they could have higher taxes and more military support. That's why they went to Bethlehem.
Yet even the decree of Caesar was subject to the sovereignty of God, because it really wasn't Caesar's decree that they be registered in the census that brought them to Bethlehem. It was the sovereignty of God, because that's where the Savior had to be born. When you understand this, you can trust a little bit better that God is working all things together in your life for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose. Subtraction is not always bad. We chose our word for this year called fruitful, and the next day the Lord spoke to me about pruning. I said, "No, Lord. I didn't say pruning; I said fruitful…oranges, apples, kumquats, kiwis, bananas, grapes". But he said, "The route to fruit is pruning". Like, the route…rerouting. That's all God is doing when he's pruning your life. He is rerouting. Not the place you expected.
Anyway, I don't want to preach about Bethlehem. I want to talk a little bit about Egypt, because for Jesus to have to go to Egypt to escape Herod, to a Hebrew audience…maybe not to us, but to a Hebrew audience…would have been the last place they expected God to keep his Son safe, because it was the place they spent 400 years as slaves. Now Jesus is going back to the place God brought them out of to fulfill the prophecy in Hosea 11:1. Do y'all like all this stuff from the Bible? "Out of Egypt I called my son". Jesus had to go through Egypt, because the prophet Hosea said, "Out of Egypt I have called my son". So, on one hand, it looks like Jesus is going to Egypt to escape Herod, but on the other hand, it looks like Jesus is going through Egypt to fulfill prophecy. It's really both. It's not one or the other. You know how we try to figure out in our lives, "Is this random? Is this God? Is this the Devil? Is this me"? What if it's all of the above? What if God is bigger than all of it?
See, not only did I want to preach the Christmas sermon early this year… In case we have another strain of something that comes through and I can't preach anything, I'm just getting ahead on everything. All right? I'm just making sure if something bad happens, you have the word you need to get through it, because I love you that much, and I don't want you to have to fight malnourished. So, now I want to give you your New Year's message, just in case anything bad happens. I'm planning to preach more in 2022. I'm planning to be here, but just in case something bad happens to either one of us, I want to give you this message: Don't leave Egypt without first exiting through the gift shop. You know how when you go visit somewhere they put the gift shop where you have to walk through it before you leave, so that if the admission price wasn't enough, they can shake you down for a little bit more on the way out? Do y'all notice where I'm preaching right now? So they can shake you down for a little bit more, because God knows you need another coffee mug. (Love you, baby. That's my back road girl right there. Don't worry about it. For 20 years.)
When the Bible says, "Out of Egypt I have called my son," it's speaking to you too. It's letting you know that from the… I didn't pay attention to any of this. All I thought about when I thought Christmas was Bethlehem. "O little town of Bethlehem". O evil land of Egypt. The place God delivered his people from with plagues he sent his Son to to protect him. Why? Why did Jesus go to Egypt? "Because Herod was trying to kill him". That's not what I'm asking. That's the human perspective. See, we get stuck on the level of our minds. We're trying to figure out, "Why did they leave me? Why did they say that? Why did they do that? Why am I sick? Why is this happening? Why didn't it work? Why did it fail"? You are stuck trying to answer questions at the level of Herod that can only be answered at the level of heaven.
So, before this year ends… "Oh man. I'm excited for a new year. I just can't wait for the old year to be… It has been such a hard year". I don't know what's wrong with us. As if we think somehow, like the new iPhone is going to make life better, the new year is going to make life better. You are going to have the same stupid people in your iPhone 13 that you had in your iPhone X. Nothing about the number changing changes you. "2022. I'm just ready for a new year. I tell you, man. Woo! I'm ready for it". Like the Lord is waiting on a calendar. That's why I'm giving you the thing early: to let you know you don't have to be in a certain place for God to fulfill his promise over your life. I'm going to break that down. "When my kid starts acting right, I'll be happy". No. I'm saying, "No".
The Lord spoke in Egypt. He brought his Son out of Egypt. He spoke to Joseph in Egypt. You still missed it. You think God is waiting for stuff to change. You think joy is going to be when things change, but it won't. You have to get it out of Egypt. You have to learn how to be in a bound place, a broke place, a hard place, a tricky place, a sticky place. Now, when the people of God left Egypt under Moses, the Bible says in Exodus, chapter 12, that they didn't just leave Egypt with their heads bowed low. "Oh, we're just so ready to get out of here". It says they asked the Egyptians… "The Lord made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for". So, listen to what God's people did. They plundered the Egyptians, and they left Egypt with treasures. They left captivity with treasures. They left darkness with treasures.
Did you know you need to plunder your depression? Did you know you need to plunder your anxiety? Did you know you need to plunder your addiction? Here's what I mean. The same thing that drove you to be such an addict is the same drive by the Holy Spirit that God is going to use to make you ferociously committed to his purpose. So, don't just get the message "He was born in Bethlehem". Get the message "He was called out of Egypt". Jesus went back to the place that represented captivity, and he declared to the place that represented captivity to the people of God, "If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed". Oh yeah! I'm leaving this year with stronger character. Something good is coming from this. I'm not leaving Egypt until I learn what God wants to teach me. I'm not leaving 2021 empty-handed! I'm leaving! Ten people, throw your hands up and say, "Something good is coming from this". Come on. You have to do the hand motions.
Say, "Something good is coming from this"! Something good. The Lord said you have to say it like that. Something good. I don't know what. Something. I had something hit my life a few weeks ago. This is where the confession came from. I didn't get this message for you; I got it for me. Something happened a few weeks ago to me, and I was like, "O God". You know that little sick feeling in your stomach? Then you have a choice whether you're just going to give in to that. Then, for me, it's like Netflix. I'll spend two hours shopping and not watch anything. So, this thing… It wasn't necessarily a good thing or a bad thing that I heard about. It just scared me. It was a personal thing. I thought, "Well, you could sit there and play this out a hundred different ways it could go wrong or…" And this is the thought that came to me. "What if it works out for your good? What if the Devil is a liar and God is true"? What if he really does take what the Enemy meant for evil and turn it for good? What if that's not just an anthem? What if that is an actual fact about God's purpose?
Now, if you're not carrying Jesus, you can't receive this message, because if you're not carrying Jesus, then you don't know about the purpose of God. If you don't know about the purpose of God, you will shout over something good to think it is going to match your exact preference for your life. So, what happened when the news came… I started walking around the house, and I just started saying what I just told you. "Something good is coming from this". Well, actually, I said it differently the first time. Then the Lord corrected me. I said, "Something good can come from this". The Lord was like, "That's a good start. That's a good first draft". So, that's my first draft of faith. "Something good can come from this. It could…50/50. You never know. When life hands you lemons…"
So, I was walking around saying that, and the Lord was like, "That's not faith, 'Something good can come from this.' That's just statistical probability. That's like, 'Is it going to be a boy or a girl?' That's just like flip a coin. 'It could. Something good could come from this or it could be the end of you.' You just leave it open-ended like that". So I revised it. I was like, "All right. Something good will come from this. Is that better, Lord? Do you like that better, Lord"? It wasn't an out-loud conversation. This was just in my heart. I'm acting out for you how I felt it inside. The Lord was like, "That's better, but it's not the bull's-eye". When you say something good will come from this, you still have it out there in the future. You're still thinking, "When I get there, I'll praise God". You're still thinking, "One day I'll have a story to tell about the goodness of God". You're still thinking, "One day I'll see it. It'll all make sense in the sweet by and by". ("And we'll understand it better by and by".) The Lord said, "Put it on here and now, and have the faith to say, 'Something good is coming from this.'"
Now, Furtick, you said your word was fruitful for 2022. How does God produce fruit? Well, it often involves soil, which is dirty and dark. The fruit of the Spirit is not money and cars and stuff, which is all fine. I like my car. I like having something to drive that is fast and that starts, because I've had stuff that didn't, and I'm glad when mine does. I don't apologize about any of that, but that's not the fruit of the Spirit. That's not the best stuff. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. So, how is God going to bring forth that kind of fruit? Self-control. To put me in a situation where I have to control myself. How is he going to give me peace? By putting me in situations that don't feel peaceful.
"O little town of Bethlehem…" No wonder we don't put Egypt at the manger scene. Why would we want to remind ourselves that Jesus was called out of Egypt? It helps me to know that, because when I find myself in Egypt, I can have an eager expectation that something good… This is where I know enough to know that I don't know. I don't know what. We want to have a great Christmas. We want to have a great this, a great that, but we don't even know what great should look like, not in the context of the bigger picture of our lives. So, we think we know when. We think we know where. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, an unexpected place. Even the pregnancy was unplanned. Mary is explaining biology to the angel. "I have not been with a man. How is this possible"?
The entire context of this Christmas story is God doesn't ask you. He doesn't need you to tell him about the birds and the bees. "Well, Lord, here's how this works, see. This is how it's supposed to be in my life. This is how my kids are supposed to… This is how my family is supposed to turn out. This is how it's supposed to be. This is where I'm supposed to work. This is what I'm called to do. This is my ministry. This is my gift". But sometimes stuff in your life is born in Bethlehem. Sometimes gifts are brought out of Egypt. Let's do our title, altogether now, a little more humble this time. Something good… Do you see how your hands are right there? That's how you need to approach the next two weeks around all of these relatives. Y'all, make a meme of me on the YTH account doing this. This is your holiday season survival guide right here.
Something good… I don't know what. I'm not trying to predict it. I'm not trying to control it. I'm not trying to manipulate it. I'm not trying to script it. Just something good. Adam and Eve got in trouble when they ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. It's when they thought they were God and knew what was good and what wasn't. That's when sin entered. That's when they lost access to the garden. That's when we lose our peace and our joy and our connection with God. But if you can make this confession… Let's do it again. Your hands got tired. Get them back up. Something good is coming from this. Not that. That's what the Jewish rulers were looking for: a different kind of messiah. "When Messiah comes, he'll do this and he'll do that". No, no, no. "You will find the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger".
Something good. It has been a hard year. It has been ups and downs. And you know what? We'll be sitting here at the end of '22, and I'll say the same thing, and you'll say, "Amen" again. It has been a hard year. We'll be up here in 2057… I'm going to be up here, "It was a hard year," leaning on the pulpit, and you saying, "Amen". But something good is coming from this. When Joseph left Egypt, he did not go back to Bethlehem. He couldn't. He wanted to. He intended to go stay where Jesus was born, but he couldn't go back to Bethlehem. All over this Christmas story that we love and cherish so much is people having to take directions they never planned on. Every blessing we celebrate this season was on a back road. I'm happy about it, because it means if I don't feel on schedule and I didn't plan for this, something good is coming from this.
Now, can I show you one more thing? Do you know Isaiah 9:6? "He shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace". Have you heard that Scripture? That's an awesome Scripture. It's about Jesus. "He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace". All right. Let's add one more to it. Matthew 2:23 says, "He was called a Nazarene". Not only did he find his beginnings in Bethlehem, not only did he escape to Egypt where he was kept by the providence of God until the time that those who sought his life were dead (how God has been keeping you in this season), but he went back to Nazareth where Joseph was from. Nazareth?
If you think Moncks Corner was small, you haven't ever been to Nazareth. They don't even have back roads in Nazareth. There's not even evidence in the Old Testament that Nazareth existed. You can't find it. Send it to me this week when you find it in the Old Testament. I'll wait. It's not there. It's not really on the map, where Jesus grew up, is it? It's not really on the map, what you're going through, was it? You have a TomTom faith. You're trying to navigate your life how to do stuff that you've never seen done. That's hard. How did I read the Christmas story so long and not notice that he was called not only all of those beautiful things (Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace), but he was called a Nazarene? That was not a compliment. Thank God for Nathanael. He said something that gives us an insight into why Jesus had to be called a Nazarene, and I think the Lord is going to use this to speak to you. "Something good is coming from this". When one of the disciples named Philip met Jesus, he came back to Nathanael and said, "We found him".
Now, he didn't have a star to guide him, like the magi. Jesus is now 30 years old, and he's starting to operate in his gift, and they recognized him. Watch what Nathanael said. In John 1:45, Philip said, "He is Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph". Look at Nathanael's response to that. Verse 46: "Nazareth! Can anything good come from Nazareth"? I like what Philip said. "Come and see". Can anything…? I don't know. I'm not trying to tell you… There are people in this church who lost their mom this year. What kind of malpractice would it be for me to preach a message called "It's All Good" when you lost your mom? There are people who spent two months in the hospital this year, so for me to say, "It's all good that you were hooked up to a ventilator…"
There are people who are watching this message in a hospital or a prison right now, and a lot of them don't have the luxury of trying to decide, "You want Panera for lunch or do you have time to sit down somewhere a little nicer"? They don't have the luxury of checking their texts in the middle of the sermon. They don't have the luxury. They need this word as a lifeline. They didn't come here because Mom made them. They didn't come here for any of that. They didn't come here because they got a new outfit. They didn't come here to beat the crowd for the Christmas Eve service. They didn't come for that. They came because they need a Savior, which is Christ the Lord, who was born in Bethlehem, who escaped to Egypt and was raised in Nazareth, a place with no reputation, a place that was known for immorality, a place that was known for its obscurity, a place you couldn't even find on the GPS, a place you would never expect to see royalty, a place where you would never search for greatness, a place that was not associated with great people and great sages and great prophets.
Something good came from Nazareth, and I'm making a prophetic declaration over your life today. Something good is coming from this! It's something good. If the Son of God can come from Nazareth, something good is coming from this! I'll give you 22 seconds to declare it into the new year. Something good, something God, something great, something lasting, something fruitful, something fresh, something favored, something blessed! Something good is coming from this! And he shall be called Wonderful Nazarene, Counselor Nazarene, Mighty God from Nazareth. Something good is coming from this! Something good! Touch at least 12 people and tell them, "Something good". Before the end of the year, expect something good! I know you. You're playing me off. "This is that health and wealth, prosperity, 'name it and claim it.'" No, no, no. You heard me wrong. God gets to call it good.
My expectation is flexible, more flexible than my hamstrings. That's as far as I can go. I'm leaving God room to decide what he calls good. I'm walking in the new year with a flexible faith, Devil. Something good. I have my hands open. I have my heart open. I have my mind open. Something good. Joseph understood the assignment. All I have to do is take his word by faith. All I have to do is open. All I have to do is trust him. Something good is coming from this! Can anything good come from Nazareth? You bet it can! Jesus came from Nazareth. The Savior came. Something good! I don't know how, I don't know when, but I believe it! It's coming. It's coming right now. It's coming! God is not Amazon. This package will not be delayed. Something good! There are no shipping delays in heaven. He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above. Something good. Teach me, Lord. You give. You take away. It's going to be good. Something good. I walked around my house. I said it for an hour the other day. "Something good is coming from this".
The Devil tried to get me back there to past stuff. I said, "No, not that…this". Then the Devil tried to take me to the hypothetical. "Well, what if"? I said, "Not there…here, this". Something good. He was a beautiful baby, but he was despised and rejected, a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. He was called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, but he was born in Bethlehem, he escaped to Egypt, and he was called a Nazarene. Stop calling it what people call it. Start calling it what God calls it: wonderful. Something good. There are about 5,000 of y'all who are going to receive this by faith. Put it in the chat. "I'm the one". I'm the one who's believing this message for my household. I'm believing this message for my community, for those I love, for those I care about, for those who have no hope, for the broken.
I'm believing this message for you, as your pastor, on this year-end offering weekend. I know many people are giving many different amounts of money, but can we all just give God the same thing…our worship? Can anything good come from what you've been going through? Is there a blessing on the back roads? Is there a faith for the blank spaces? God told Joseph, "Stay in Egypt until I tell you". "All right, Lord. What's the date"? No, no, no. I want you to have faith for back roads and blank space. Something good is coming. He makes all things beautiful in its time. Something good. If it comes from his hand, it is good. If it's not good when it passes through his hand, it will be good when he's done with it. Something good.
I'm so glad I obeyed the Lord. I argued with him. I said, "That's a broad message. I can't tell them something good is coming from this. They might have had a miscarriage. They might be going through a divorce. I'm not trying to sugarcoat the struggles of people". He said, "It's not teaching them to deny reality; it's teaching them to exercise faith". You don't move enough in church. Uncross your arms and do the motions. Come on. Something good is coming from this. Look at somebody else and tell them. Just declare it over their life. Let's prophesy to each other. Something good is coming from this…from Nazareth, from sadness. Something good. I'm looking for it. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me… Something good. Born in Bethlehem, out of Egypt, called a Nazarene. This is the significance of Christmas. You'd better look for God in dirty places this Christmas. You'd better look for God in annoying people this Christmas. You'd better look for God in simple moments this Christmas. Thank you, Jesus. If you receive this word, give him praise.