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By Joel Osteen - Nov 13, 2020
We all have situations that don't look as though they're going to work out. We don't see how we can get well, how we can accomplish a dream, how our family will be restored. All the circumstances say it's not going to happen. But the apostle Paul says, "May you overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit" (Romans 15:13). It's one thing to have hope, but Paul prayed that we would overflow with hope. When you overflow with hope, you're not moved by what the circumstances look like, you're not discouraged because it hasn't happened yet, you're not worried because you don't see a way. You know that God is ordering your steps and His plans for you are for good, so you can't be talked out of it.

We have a foreign student who attends Lakewood who had a problem with his visa. He had three years left on getting his master's when he was told he'd have to leave because of this problem. He was told again and again that the school could do nothing, that it was out of their hands. He was tempted to get discouraged, but he kept thanking God and overflowing with hope that there was a way. A few weeks later, when he went back to check in with the school one last time, there was a different lady working in the admissions office, who just happened to also attend Lakewood. She said, "I see your problem, but let me see what I can do." She came back later with a big smile and said, "We found a way that we can enroll you. We'll provide you with a letter that will extend your visa. And we have a fund that I'm allowed to use to help students. I just received permission to award you a full scholarship for your next three years!" Can you imagine that he went on to finish school at no charge?

Are you looking at how big your obstacles are? Or are you looking at how big your God is? Your situation may seem impossible, but one touch of God's favor, one good break, one healing, meeting one right person, and everything will change. David says, "Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life" (Psalm 23:6). It's very powerful when you add the "surely" to what you're believing for. He was saying, "I am absolutely convinced that good things are coming. I am confident that this situation is turning around. I am fully persuaded that what God promised is on the way." Why don't you start believing that surely goodness and mercy are following you? Why don't you overflow with hope today?
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