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

Sunday, October 19, 2014

 "The dark place is a prerequisite for stepping into the fullness of your destiny."
Pastor Joel Osteen, Lakewood Church
Sunday October 19, 2014

A minister trained his horse to respond to the commands Hallelujah (whoa/stop) and Praise the Lord (Giddy-up/go). One day, while riding his horse, the minister decided to gallop. He was galloping along when he noticed a cliff at the end of the trail. He panicked and tried to remember how he had trained the horse, he started yelling different commands and finally said “Hallelujah” and the horse stopped just in time at the edge of the cliff. Relieved the minister said “Praise the Lord”.

Bible Confession:
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. I am about to receive the incorruptible, indestructible, ever-living seed of the Word of God. I'll never be the same; never never never, I'll never be the same, in Jesus name.

Key Verse: 
John 12:24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.


We all have gone through things that we don’t understand.
Lay offs, break ups...
Joel met a young lady who’d been pregnant 5 months with her 1st child but had a miscarriage.
She was devastated.
In 1981 Joel’s family thought they’d be celebrating Christmas but Ms. Dodie was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer.
We all go through dark places.
It’s easy to get discouraged, give up on your dreams and settle there.
But God uses the dark places.
They’re part of His divine plan.
Seeds must be planted in the soil – in the dark place.
A seed cannot germinate in the light.
There are seeds in you that can only be released in a dark places.
In scripture people that did something significant went through a dark place.
After killing a man Moses was on back side of the desert for 40 years before he led God’s people out of Egypt.
Without the dark place Moses never would've held up the rod and parted the Red Sea.
The dark place is a prerequisite for stepping into the fullness of your destiny.
Esther was an orphan but God used her to save Israel.
Elijah was so depressed he wanted to die yet he's one of the heroes of faith.
David had an affair with a married woman and had her husband killed, yet he was called a man after God’s heart.
God doesn't send the difficulties but He uses them.
In the dark places is where we really grow.
In the dark places you pray more.
And draw closer to God.
You reevaluate your priorities.
A friend of Joel’s was told he’d lose his vision.
But the problem was corrected and he can see.
Now the man spends time staring at and appreciating all he can see.
You may not realize it but in the dark places you're being blessed.
The dark places help you realign your priorities.
When you go through enough dark places you don’t get upset over the little things.
You're not easily offended.
You’ve got a backbone made of steel.
Somebody told Joel they heard somebody talking about him and they were so sorry.
Joel says “Don’t feel sorry for me.”
I’ve made it through my father’s death, saw mother fight cancer, and fought through all the voices saying I could never do this, and getting this church –
I can make it thru somebody not liking me.
Dark places toughen you up.
I prefer the good times, but it was the dark places that brought out the best in me.
That’s when I developed an unshakeable faith in God.
Don't complain about the dark times.
There are blessings in the dark places.
God can do something that He only does in that fire of affliction.
When Pastor John died Joel was trying to learn how to minister.
Joel prayed in his closet all the time.
He never prayed like that in the good times.
It was the dark places that helped him develop his spiritual muscles.
God uses the dark places.
When Joseph was falsely accused and imprisoned for 13 years something happened to him.
his soul entered into that iron [Psalm 105:17-18]
It may be uncomfortable but it’s working for you.
You're getting stronger.
It’s developing something you can only learn in the dark.
You can't reach your highest potential being in the light all the time.
David said God enlarged me in my times of distress [Psalm 4:1]
Not during the good times but when things weren’t going his way.
As a teenager he probably wanted to hang out with his friends but he got stuck taking care of his father’s sheep.
Those years in the lonely shepherd’s fields are what helped prepare him to become a champion.
When he defeated Goliath they called him an overnight success.
But it happened because he went thru the dark places with a good attitude.
He kept doing the right thing.
God this is a dark place, but I believe that it’s working for me.
At the right time he came out better than he was before.
In Psalm 23 David said
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.

David was saying the same God that leads me to the still waters leads me thru the dark valleys.
It’s easy to trust God besides the still waters.
I’m asking you to trust Him in the dark valleys.
He hasn't left you.
You may feel alone.
God is still leading you.
The dark places are part of His plan.
Faith is trusting God when life doesn’t make sense.
What was meant for your harm He is using for your advantage.
David went on to say after the dark times God will anoint you in the presence of your enemies.
You have to go thru the valley, betrayal, etc to get to the place where your cup runs over.
We want the favor but not the valley.
You have to be willing to go thru the valley with God.
In the dark times is where we prove to God what we're really made of.
Can God trust you with more favor and influence?
Don't show up late for work because you don't like your boss.
If you don’t have a good attitude in the dark places you’ll get stuck.
The dark places are opportunities to grow.
You're not there by accident.
If God wasn’t going to use it for your good He never would’ve allowed it.
You may not understand it but God knows what He's doing.
This is what Joel had to do when his father died.
After a loss it’s easy to get discouraged and feel like God let you down.
When something is dying in your life God is birthing something new.
It may look like the end but God has a new beginning.
You lost a position/job/client, but God’s already lined up a new job/opportunity.
Go thru the valley trusting, believing & knowing God’s still in control.
And you'll come into the table that's already prepared for you.
Joel's friend played baseball and had a dream to play professionally.
He was invited to play on a highly competitive team.
He played really well but other players were jealous and spread lies about him.
He wasn’t invited back despite playing well.
The other teams were already full & he couldn't play for any team.
A dark place.
He didn’t understand.
It wasn’t fair.
He didn’t get bitter.
He went to batting cages daily.
He kept working out and staying in shape.
He knew on the other side of the valley was the table that was already prepared for him.
You've got to go through it to get to it.
Don’t get stuck in your valley.
If you’re always trying to figure it out you’ll get stuck.
An exclamation point is just a question mark straightened out.
You have to trust God.
God I know You’re still on the throne.
On the other side of this valley is my exclamation point.
When his father died Joel had many question marks.
Would the church make it?
Would he be able to minister?
Would anybody listen to him?
God turned the question marks into exclamation points.
Joel is a living witness that if you’ll keep moving forward God will bring something/someone better into your life.
You won’t even miss that person that left you.
Maybe the dark place is in your health.
Stay in faith.
Ms. Dodie was diagnosed with terminal cancer, but she's still healthy 33 years later.
She prays for the sick every week.
That’s payback to the enemy!
Maybe it’s your finances.
Get ready for a new day.
That problem is about to turn around.
Don't quit believing.
God did not bring you this far to leave you.
This is what happened to the baseball player.
He was out practicing one day and there was a scout from a pro team watching in the stands.
He asked him to try out for his team.
God put him at the right place at the right time.
God knows how to get you to your destiny.
He went on to have a long successful baseball career.
Early in his career those other players tried to stop him by spreading rumors.
People can't stop your destiny.
God has the final say.
If you’ll go thru your dark places with the right attitude you’ll see the goodness of God in a new way.
In the scripture Jesus took the little boy's lunch broke it and multiplied it. [Matthew 14:13-21]
The blessing was in the breaking.
At times we all feel broken.
Like the young woman who lost her baby.
When you feel broken don’t give up on your dreams.
Don’t get bitter.
It's a sign that God is about to multiply you.
This is what David meant when he said God enlarged me in my times of distress.
That person that didn’t keep their word thought they were hurting you but they were setting you up for God to multiply you.
God has beauty for your ashes.
Joy for your mourning.
The brokenness is only temporary.
Don’t settle in the valley.
It’s only temporary.
The valley is not your home.
The Shepherd is leading you thru the valley.
John 12:24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
Seed isn’t any good until it’s planted in the dark ground.
Some people want the fruit but they don’t want to go thru the process.
They don’t want to be uncomfortable.
They don't want to stretch nor deal with adversity.
Without those dark places your potential cannot be fully released.
It looks like it’s buried and over.
The seed isn’t buried – it’s planted.
It has the life of Almighty God on the inside.
Over time once the seed germinates instead of being one seed buried it becomes a beautiful flower/plant and produces much fruit.
We all go thru dark places and it’s easy to feel buried.
To feel like that divorce tainted your future.
If you’d never gone thru the dark places you wouldn’t know what was on the inside of you.
When John died it felt like Joel was buried.
He could feel the pressure.
But as something was dying God was birthing something new.
That’s what caused Joel to blossom.
In the dark places remind yourself new growth is on the way.
When you come out you’ll bear much fruit.
Better, stronger, fully in blossom.
Be willing to go thru the process.
Trust Him.
God knows what He’s doing.
There may be dirt all around you right now.
It’s not there to stop/bury you but to bring out seeds of greatness.
Go thru the dark place with the right attitude.
And see God turn your question marks into exclamation points.
To increase where your cup overflows.

Altar Call

Watch online at http://www.lakewoodchurch.com/pages/watch-online.aspx (while available)
#634, Blessed In The Dark Places

Anointed Messages is the ministry. Anointed Messenger is the person who delivers the messages. God is the Source. Visit my website. AnointedMessages.com


  1. Pastor Joel, I'm in such a dark place right now that saying "in quiteness and calmness be my strength" was not working, but then a voice said put Joel on and I caught the middle of "Blessed in Dark Places" and all I could do was thank God for hearing my cry for help. Thank you for encouraging me to fight the good fight of FAITH!!! Lots of Love to You and Victoria.
    Kim - New Jersey

    1. Kim I'm so glad Pastor Joel's message blessed you. You are in my prayers - God bless you!

  2. I am crying as I type this... today is the day I needed to hear this... the dark place is no fun but I know and have faith that God has put this here for a reason and I will get past this dark place and be a better! Thank you God thank you for all the blessings!!

    1. Yes, God is good and He will never leave you or forsake you!

  3. For Lent instead of giving up something I decided to not let the negative thoughts in my head take over me. I was praying for God to give me the strength to deal with these negative thoughts and to not abandon me since I sometimes feel alone when the negative thoughts takeover. Then message 634 came on XM radio and I knew God was with me. His message was exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you Pastor Joel☺

    1. What a great idea! I'm so glad Pastor Joel's message reached you at exactly the right moment. May God continue to bless you and show you favor as you grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. 😇

    2. What a great idea! I'm so glad Pastor Joel's message reached you at exactly the right moment. May God continue to bless you and show you favor as you grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. 😇


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