If we can encourage others, we should encourage them. Romans 12:8

Saturday, May 31, 2014

"Don’t just go through it; grow through it."
~ Joel Osteen

Lakewood Church Saturday May 31, 2014

Joke: Pastor known for long sermons. Main deacon walked out in middle of message. Offended pastor called him later and asked why he left. To get a hair cut. Why not do that before service? Didn’t need one before service started. Joel promised to tell a better joke tomorrow.

Key Scripture: 1 Samuel 21


Victoria and Joel have flower beds.
Mulch helps plants grow.
Main ingredient is manure.
It smells terrible.
But a month later the smell is gone and the plants are blooming.
As badly as fertilizer smells it gives plants valuable nutrients.
We all go through things in life that stink.
You need to have a new perspective.
That’s fertilizer.
It may smell bad now but if you’ll stay in faith it’ll help you.
The stinky times are getting you ready for new growth.
You can’t reach your potential without fertilizer.
You’ll come into a new season of growth.
Joel would love to say trusting God will allow you to sail through life, but that’s not true.
There will be stinky times.
But God wouldn’t allow it if it wouldn’t work for your good.
Go thru the stink with the right attitude and God will take what was meant for your harm and it will work for your good.
If you’ve had a lot of stink then you’ve had a lot of fertilizer.
This isn’t the time for pity; but to get ready.
The fertilizer prepared you.
You couldn’t learn it any other way.
You had to experience the fire of affliction.
David said God enlarged me in my times of distress. [Psalm 4:1]
Not during the good times – but during the hard times.
Now you’re in position to go to another level.
Quit complaining abut the fertilizer, and all the manure that got dumped on you.
If it was too much God wouldn’t have allowed it.
I won’t let it cause me to give up on my dreams.
It’s preparing me for new levels.
A young lady Joel knows lost her father at 6 years old.
Mother went on dialysis soon after.
At age 12 she had a lot on her (taking care of younger sibling, etc).
She looked disadvantaged.
Just because something unfair happened doesn’t mean something great isn’t in your future.
The young lady had a victor mentality.
Yes it was difficult and unfair but she kept doing her best.
Against all odds she excelled and got a full scholarship.
She has a doctorate and is happily married with 3 kids.
Why do some struggle and others overcome the odds?
It’s in our approach to life.
We all have stinky stuff.
You can become bitter or see it as fertilizer.
It won’t defeat me; it’s going to promote me.
Don’t just go through it; grow through it.
You’re developing confidence and character.
When the going gets tough you’ve got to get going.
You were created to be the overcomer.
Not the victim – but the victor.
Winning is in your DNA.
Life may not be fair, but God is fair.
The thing that stinks right now could be the thing that causes you to blossom and be promoted.
Don’t become sour because of the smelly stuff.
When Joel looks back he didn’t grow much in the good times, but in the tough times.
You may have had a lot of stinky stuff.
That’s because God has a big destiny for you.
That person at work that gets on your nerves, instead of getting upset, smile and say to yourself “You’re just fertilizer”.
You stink but you’re helping me grow.
Joseph had to do this.
His brothers were jealous and they did him wrong.
He understood it was just fertilizer.
One bad thing after another happened to Joseph.
13 years in prison for something he didn’t do.
They tried to hold him down but they were strengthening him.
It looked like a waste of years but it was doing a work in Joseph.
Preparing him for another level.
He interpreted the king’s dream and was promoted.
If you’re doing the right thing but the wrong thing keeps happening stay in faith.
God will get you where you’re supposed to be.
Joseph went from the pit to the prison to the palace.
Maybe you feel like you’re in a pit.
But you’re destined to live a victorious life.
Psalm 40:1-3
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord. and put their trust in him.
The depression is not the end.
The person who left you is not the end.
If they left you, you didn’t need them.
God has someone better.
He’s about to put a new song in your heart.
Get your fire back.
All God promised He still intends to do.
Victory is in your future.
Joel talked to a man upset because his boss was against him.
The boss was jealous of him.
That’s fertilizer.
It may stink, but fertilizer stinks.
The man got his fire back and worked unto God not people (doing his best).
Several times he was passed over for promotion.
One day the CEO came in from out of state and saw his presentation and was impressed with him.
A year later he bypassed the boss and promoted this man.
The boss now works for him.
We all have stinky situations.
You must do like Joseph and see it as fertilizer.
Or that mistake you made; God uses the stinky stuff.
Sometimes we make poor choices and the accuser is constantly whispering in our ear.
God knows how to make all things work for good.
Woman at the well
John 4 woman at well wanted the water.
Woman at the well
5 husbands and the one you’re living with isn’t your husband.
She got kind of spiritual and said “I know one day the Messiah will come.”
Jesus said I AM the Messiah.
The first person Jesus told was this woman with a history.
This lady was comfortable around men having been married 5 times.
Her boldness got her in trouble in the past but God used it to spread the word to everyone. [John 4:28-30]
In the past it worked against her but now it worked for her. [John 4:39]
God can turn your mess into your message.
A man was in bike gang, always in trouble with the law.
Had a praying mother.
Daily she said as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.
One Sunday morning he was about to commit suicide but turned on TV and saw John Osteen on TV.
Got in car and went to Lakewood.
He was seated upfront and felt the love of God.
In the parking lot he gave his life to God.
Today he’s the pastor of a large church.
His main outreach is to bike gangs.
God doesn’t waste any experience.
He’ll use what you’ve been thru to help others going thru the same thing.
19 yr old went thru high school shooting windows (he missed the people).
Hiding in same room with him was an accountant.
She talked to him.
She was kind and soft-spoken.
He opened up to her.
Said he was off his medicine, and wanted to commit suicide.
She said "I understand, my husband left me after 33 yrs of marriage" and she’d attempted suicide but God restored her life.
"If God did it for me He can do it for you."
He walked out peacefully and no one was harmed.
Nothing is wasted: the good, the bad, and the painful.
It will help you and you’ll be instrumental in helping others.
One time David was on the run from King Saul.
He didn’t have time to take his sword.
He asked to borrow a sword or spear.
All we have is the sword of Goliath that you killed in battle. [1 Samuel 21:8-9]
David used the sword that was meant to defeat him to defeat others.
The enemies that tried to defeat you: the depression, bad breaks…
It’s all fertilizer to lead you to victory.
Those victories will be there when you need them.
God knows how to turn it around and put that same sword in your future.
There’s a small city in South America built on garbage dump.
Nothing but waste.
The people made their living by rummaging thru trash.
One day Favio Chavez saw children playing in garbage and decided to start music school.
He and carpenter friend went thru trash looking for material to use.
In a few months they had instruments made out of trash.
Taught kids how to play.
Orchestra of kids playing instruments made of trash.
Viral YouTube video.

They play concerts all over the world. [Landfill Harmonic Orchestra]
People donate money to support them.
“I couldn’t believe you could make music out of trash.”
That’s how God is.
He knows how to make music out of the mess.
Nothing that’s happened to you has been wasted.
It’s making you who you’re supposed to be.
No obstacle or enemy can stop you.
You may be in a tough time but God will use it to catapult you forward.
Like Joseph you’re about to rise to the top.
Shake off the pity and discouragement.
The enemy wouldn’t be fighting you so hard if he didn’t know God had amazing future planned for you.
I declare you’re about to bloom, you’re about to flourish.
The fullness of your destiny in Jesus’ name.

Are you looking for the version of this message shared at The Night of Hope in New York?

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