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Long Before You Were Born
By Joel Osteen - Mar 03, 2023

It’s easy to worry about how things are going to work out tomorrow. “I’m concerned about my children. I have this problem at work.” Uncertainty can bring anxiety and cause us to live stressed and uptight. We look at things in the short term, but God has been working on His plan for your life for generations. Long before you were born, He’s been lining up what you need, arranging things to fall into place so you can fulfill your purpose.

God told Abraham, “For four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and will be enslaved and mistreated there…and afterward they will come out with great possessions” (Genesis 15:13–14). God had a four-hundred-year strategy. We’re planning for tomorrow, believing for this week, hoping for next month, but God was thinking of you hundreds of years ago, working on your behalf. Generations back, He was bringing everything into alignment—the right people, good breaks, solutions to problems, mercy for mistakes. It’s already planned out.

When the Israelites came out of Egyptian slavery loaded down with treasure, it looked as though God just suddenly decided to bless them. The truth is, that blessing had been lined up for four hundred years. God had planned they would go through things that weren’t fair, have to endure the suffering. But the plan didn’t stop there. The plan was to bring them out, to turn around the injustice, and to thrust them into their purpose in the Promised Land.

Yes, we all go through disappointments and things we don’t understand. We make mistakes and bring trouble on ourselves. We don’t see how we can accomplish our dreams now. We feel as though we’re in captivity, but that’s not the end of the story. As with the Israelites, sometimes you have to go through the pain to get to the purpose, through the weeping to get to the joy, through the struggle to get to the abundance. If you remain faithful, you’re going to see what God has been working on for generations. You’re going to come into houses that you didn’t build, vineyards that you didn’t plant, promotion you didn’t deserve, mercy when you should have received judgment.

You don’t know what God is up to. What looks like a setback is really a setup that’s positioning you for new levels of your destiny. David says, “God, I trust You. My future is in Your hands” (Psalm 31:14–15). Quit worrying about tomorrow. Your future has already been set in God’s hands. He’s already worked out what you’re worried about, so why don’t you come back to a place of peace, a place of faith? What He started He’s going to finish.

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