Full text of pastor Joel Osteen’s sermon #896 titled “If You Only Knew” which was delivered on Oct 03, 2021.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here:
Joel Osteen – Pastor and author
God bless you. It’s a joy to have you with us today. If you are ever in our area, please stop by. Be a part of one of our services. These are the finest people in all of Houston, Texas right here at Lakewood. Also, hope you will stay connected with us during the week. We have a daily podcast you can download. Our YouTube channel, watch the messages anytime. You can follow us on social media. We’ll keep you encouraged and inspired.
I’d like to start with something funny. And I heard about these two men, Archie and Jack. They had debated their whole life as to whether Jesus was white or whether He was black. Archie was certain He was white. Jack was just as certain He was black.
As fate would have it, they died on the same day, rushed to the pearly gates, said, “Saint Peter, please tell us. We’ve been arguing our whole life: is Jesus white or is He black?”
About that time, Jesus stepped up and said, “buenos dias”.
Say it like you mean it.
This is my Bible. I am what it says I am, I have what it says I have, I can do what it says I can do. Today I will be taught the Word of God. I boldly confess my mind is alert; my heart is receptive; I will never be the same. In Jesus name. God bless you.
I want to talk to you today about: If You Only Knew.
We all go through disappointments in life and things we don’t understand. Sometimes we make mistakes and bring trouble on ourselves. It’s easy to get discouraged and lose our passion.
But God won’t allow anything to happen that will keep you from your purpose. He’s already taken into account every bad break, every person that walked away, every mistake.
What we can’t see is how He’s working behind the scenes. And sometimes He has to close a door so He can open a bigger door, He’ll move a person out of your life because they’re limiting your growth. What looks like a disappointment is really the hand of God ordering your steps.
Doesn’t make sense now, but down the road you’ll see how if that door hadn’t have closed, you wouldn’t have met that person, that introduced you to a friend, that had an opportunity that took you to a new level.
If you only knew what God was up to, you wouldn’t live upset. If you only knew how He’s going to connect the dots in your life, how all things are going to work for your good, you’d get your passion back.
Maybe you went through a loss, you’re discouraged, thinking that you’ve seen your best days. I know that’s difficult, but if you only knew that God has beauty for those ashes, if you only knew the new doors that are going to open, the new friendships that are coming. If you only knew your latter days will be better than your former days. It looks like the end, but really it’s a new beginning.
The best part of your life is still in front of you. Perhaps you’ve made mistakes, and you’re not where you thought you would be in life, you’ve accepted that you can’t reach your dreams, you won’t see God’s favor, “Look what you’ve done”. That didn’t stop your destiny. God knew every mistake you would make, every failure. He’s already lined up restoration, another chance.
When God told Jonah to go to the city of Nineveh, Jonah went the other way, exactly opposite of what he knew he was supposed to do. God didn’t say “I’m done with you, Jonah. See if I’ll ever help you again”.
A couple days later Jonah was thrown overboard, in the middle of the sea in a huge storm. You would think God would say, “See, Jonah, I told you what to do, now you’re in trouble, you’re on your own”. God had a big fish already in place, a whale waiting to rescue Jonah, swallowed him up and carried him to the shore like a cruise liner.
Three days later spit him up on dry ground. You may be off course, thinking you’ve missed your destiny. If you only knew what great lengths God is going to go to to get you back on course, if you only knew there are whales waiting for you to rescue you, to protect you, to bring you back into your purpose.
You can’t outrun the mercy of God. You can’t get too far away, too far down. The Psalmist said if I’d go to the depths of the ocean, God you were there. If I go to the heights of the heaven you’re still there.
When the fish spit Jonah out, God told him to go to the city of Nineveh, He gave him another chance. This time Jonah went, he got back on course, he fulfilled His purpose.
You may have gone your own way, done things that were not the best. You think that God wouldn’t have anything to do with you. But like Jonah you can still become who you were created to be. Don’t sit around condemned, listening to the accuser, reminding you of everything you’ve done wrong.
If you only knew what God was going to do, how He’s not just going to restore you, not just bring you out and set you on the sidelines, He’s going to put you back into purpose. His calling is still on your life. The assignment He has for you didn’t get cancelled because you took a detour. He’s still going to honor you. You’re still going to see dreams come to pass. You’re still going to have a healthy family.
If you only knew what God was doing behind the scenes. If you only knew how He’s working out His plan for your life. If you only knew what He started He’s going to finish. If you only knew how He’s fighting battles for you, then you would trust Him, you would live from a place of peace, a place of faith.
You wouldn’t fight all the things you don’t like: the disappointments, the delays, the betrayals, they had to happen, they’re a part of His plan. You couldn’t step into the fullness of your destiny without them. It wasn’t comfortable, it didn’t make sense, but you wouldn’t see your greatness without those challenges.
John Chapter 4, Jesus was traveling with his disciples from Judea to Galilee. They stopped in Samaria. The disciples went into town to buy food. Jesus was waiting at a well. At noon time this Samaritan woman came to the well to get water. She had been married five times, and was now living with the sixth man. She’d gone through great rejection and heartache, been taken advantage of, she felt ashamed, unworthy, unattractive, devalued. On top of that people would talk about her, make disparaging remarks, so much so that she came to the well at noon, the hottest part of the day. Everyone else came in the morning, she didn’t want to see anyone, she didn’t want to feel their judgment, hear their comments.