Jentezen Franklin - The Prosperity of Adversity
I wanna start reading from 2 Corinthians 6:9, "Being unknown, yet well known; as dying and behold we live as being chastened or troubled and yet not killed; as sorrowful yet, always rejoicing as poor yet making many rich; as having nothing," listen to this, "and yet possessing all things". There's such an opposite that this Scripture is saying. You can have nothing and possess everything, and you can be unknown and yet well known. What is that talking about? It's talking about something that I wanna plant into your spirit and into your faith today. I wanna preach today on the prosperity of adversity, "The Prosperity of Adversity".
There is a principle and a law in God's word concerning prosperity and adversity, and we are about to reap the prosperity that only adversity can bring. He said in Verse 9 that there would be those that were unknown and yet well known. In Washington, D.C., there is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and that unknown soldier is buried there representing all of those who have been killed, and they don't even know who the soldier is because they don't have the identification, and yet, they're well known because more people have probably been to that gravesite than anybody in the military. Being unknown yet well known.
You know what I think that speaks to is the heroes in the kingdom of God. The greatest people in the kingdom of God are not famous preachers, are not mega-church pastors, are not televangelists, or some person who is seen all the time in front of masses of people, but the most important people, I believe, in the kingdom are unknown yet well known meaning they're unknown by men and women and people, but they're known, well known by God. And I love this fact that he said in Verse 10 that we can be sorrowful meaning our circumstances in life are heartbreaking at times, are tough at times, are hard at times, and he said being sorrowful, listen to this, yet always rejoicing. This is the power of an overcomer and a victorious Christian. Being poor yet making many rich. How can that be? And having nothing and yet possessing all things. He is describing a people who are reaping the prosperity of adversity.
And I heard the Lord in my spirit say that we have turned the corner that we are in position now as a people, as a nation, I believe the world, and I believe your family and your business and your life it's time to begin the reaping of the prosperity of adversity. Adversity has to pay sometime. That's a Bible principle. Prosperity means to be successful, to be prosperous. Adversity means misfortune, suffering, and trouble. And we all go through both of those seasons of prosperity and adversity. But what I'm preaching about today is there comes a moment when the devil has had his time, and Jesus says you've had your season of adversity. And I just wanna make it clear. It's the devil that brings death. It's the devil that come to kill, steal, and destroy. It's the devil that devastates nations. It's the devil, but there comes a moment where we begin to turn the corner and God says it's time to reap the prosperity of adversity.
There comes a time when God says it's about to change, that's how we can be sorrowful yet rejoicing because we know a better day is coming. This is gonna be over after a while. Things are getting better, and they're going to get even better. We've had our times of sorrow as a nation. We've had our times when it looked like that everything was set against us, but God has sent His approval on the prosperity of adversity being ready to be reaped in this season that you and I are in. The prosperity of adversity means there are some compensations in life. It means that there are some joys in our sorrows. There are some crowns in our crosses. There are some mercies in our miseries. There's some love in our losses. There's some appointments in our disappointments. And there's some compensation in our contradictions.
My faith today is greater than it has ever been for the church, and for revival, and for the pouring out of God's spirit. And I'm gonna say it like I want. Even for prosperity in financial things, I believe my faith is greater than it's ever been. I believe God has authorized the body of Christ - His people, His church - to reap the prosperity of adversity. Sometimes you just need a break. Sometimes you just need God to come on the scene, and I believe that we have reached that point. In Ecclesiastes 11:1, He said, "Cast your bread upon the waters, and you'll find it not many days later". He said, "Cast your bread on the waters," and he didn't say it would come back soggy, but I believe it's coming back.
I believe everything that we have cast and everything that we have lost, it's coming back, and it's not coming back soggy. It's coming back with meat on it. Amen. It's coming back. We're not gonna ask that question, where's the meat? God is going to bring back what we have lost, and it's coming back better and greater. Isaiah said they that wait upon, "...the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint".
You see, I believe some of you have been waiting. You've been waiting for weeks and weeks and months, and in some trials for years you've been waiting, but 2020 is going to be the year of reaping the prosperity of adversity. I want you to believe God for it. We often read Galatians 6:7, it says that, "Be not deceived, for God is not mocked. Whatsoever man sows that shall he also reap". Verse 8, "For if we sow to the flesh, we'll reap corruption. If we sow to the spirit, we'll reap everlasting life". And then Verse 9 is what we leave out. He said, "Therefore let us not be weary in well doing," listen, "for we shall reap if we faint not".
I tell you, it's been a few times when I felt like quitting and like giving up, but there's a great promise. Let us not be weary in well doing. You will reap if you don't quit if you don't faint. I used to sing a song in this church that I wrote, and it says, "Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on". This is the second verse, "Hold on, hold on, hold on," and then I'd sing the bridge, "Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on". If you don't faint, you will reap. You're laughing at me, but at least I made you smile, but you go on and laugh because you're about to reap the prosperity of adversity.
Have you had a lot of adversity? Hold on because if you don't lose your faith and your joy there's always, "Weeping endures for the night", Psalms 30:5, "but joy comes in the morning". And now, I believe we're going to enjoy the prosperity of coming out of weeks and weeks of adversity and days and days and months and months and years even of our past. God says there comes a moment where I want you to, listen to what He said, having nothing yet possessing all things. How do you do that? God restores you. God blesses you. Hebrews 13:5, "He will never leave us, and He will never forsake us". Isaiah 59:19, "When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will raise up a standard against Him".
There is a wave of wonder that is about to hit the body of Christ. There is a wave of wonder that is about to hit the earth. This is divine set up. I believe it with all of my heart. There's a wave of wonder and signs and wonders and miracles and blessings that are coming out of this whole mess, and we need to know that we're going to reap the prosperity of adversity. I just believe it with all of my heart, and "When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord raises up like a mighty wave, a standard against him". And if we will lift Jesus up, I promise you right in the middle of it, God is going to send the harvest.
Let me show you what I'm talking about. We know the malignant work of Satan goes on. He's not taking any days off. He's always got a Cain for every Abel. He's got an Ishmael for every Isaac. He's got a Korah for every Moses. He's got a den of lions for every Daniel. He's got a giant for every David. He's got a fiery furnace for Hebrew children who take a stand. He's got a Herod for every John the Baptist. He's got an antichrist for the real Christ. He's got an Esau for Jacob. But I'm telling you that we're going to reap. If you've got one of those kind of situations, always something, that is the adversity, but He's also got prosperity for every adversity and if we will let God, He'll take the devil's tool out his hand and destroy him with it.
Now listen, I really feel the Lord right here. David took Goliath's sword, the very thing that Goliath thought he would destroy David with. God took the sword out of Goliath's hand and put it in David's hand, and David cut Goliath's head off with the weapon that was designed to destroy him. I can't help but believe that the devil's tool is being taken out of his hand and what he meant to do to destroy our nation, destroy our world, destroy the church, destroy your family. God says I will take the tool of the enemy and put it in your hand, and I'll turn it around for the good when my wave of wonder hits, and you're gonna see more people saved, more family blessed, more prosperity from the adversity than you would've got if things would've gone as normal. Hallelujah. I'm preaching myself happy today.
You know, the devil said I'm gonna take my number-one greatest tool, death, and I'm gonna destroy Jesus with it, and he said if I destroy Jesus with my best tool, death, then I'll win. But when Jesus died, God took death, the death of Jesus Christ, and He used it as a tool to defeat death, to defeat sin, to defeat hell. He used the very thing the devil thought was his greatest tool to destroy Jesus with, death. Jesus used it to turn around and bless us with eternal life. That's called the prosperity of adversity. The prosperity of adversity for you and I is Jesus took all of the adversity on the cross so that you and I could have the prosperity of adversity, and I thank Him for it today.
The tool of the devil was on the road to Damascus. His name was Saul of Tarsus, and he was killing Christians. He was persecuting, locking them up and killing them, ordering them killed, assisted murders of Christians. As a matter of fact, he was there ordering and destroying the church. He was the weapon in the devil's hand, the tool in the devil's hand, but amazingly, God took the tool of the devil, slapped him down off his high horse, opened his eyes to who Jesus was, took the tool out of the devil's hand called Saul of Tarsus and changed his name into Paul the Apostle, and He used what was destroying the church to bless the church with half the New Testament.
The man who wrote half of the New Testament, the Apostle Paul was at one time the devil's greatest tool against the church. But God said, I'm gonna take the adversity and turn it into prosperity. That's reaping the prosperity of adversity. God wants to take the adversity that you've been through this year and turn it into prosperity and blessing of your soul, your spirit, your body, your mind, and your finances. Sometimes you've got to get low before you can go high. In Luke 16: Zacchaeus, come down. You gotta get low. He was up in the tree. You remember the story? He said, Zacchaeus, come down outta that tree. And sometimes you have to come down before you can go high. Sometimes you have to go low before you can go high. The man with palsy was let down. His friends tore the roof off the church and started letting him down, why? Because sometimes you've got to get low before God can take you high.
In John 20, Mary Magdalene scooped down, the scripture said, to see the angel in the tomb. See, she had to go low before she could get high on the fact He is risen, and He is alive. And Simon Peter wrote these words when he said "humble yourself". Get low before you get high. Humble yourself before the mighty hand of God. One thing this Coronavirus has done is it's brought a humility. I think people realize everything that we thought we had as a surety - everything has been shaken. Hebrews said everything that can be shaken will be shaken. But I wanna say it like this. There's been a shaking free too. Because the stuff that doesn't matter, doesn't matter. All that matter is Jesus.
And there is coming the reaping of the prosperity out of this adversity, and we're gonna have Him more than we've ever had Him before. But you gotta get low. That's why Peter said to humble yourself in due season, and you will be exalted. If you get low and you go down - the harder you fall, the higher you bounce. And many of you right now need to hear that word because you have to get low before you can go high in the kingdom. And your finances have been down. And your growth has been down. And your business has been down. And, you know, the enemy's just trying to defeat you in your mind. But God sent me with this message today. To tell you to get ready to reap the prosperity that only adversity can bring.
God has come today to your house to bring prosperity out of the long weeks, months, and years of adversity. You're gonna have revival like you've never seen it before. We're going to have revival in this nation like we have never seen it before. We're gonna reap the prosperity of adversity. The devil shoulda left us alone, but now he's awakened the church and awakened the people of God. And you wait till we get back together in this building and other buildings. We're gonna shout like we've never shouted. We're gonna enjoy the prosperity of adversity.
You know, I thought about the fact that David, you know, was anointed to be king of Israel, but then he goes through 15 years of hell on earth. Adversity. He didn't go straight to the palace. He went through 15 years of being chased by Saul, being humiliated, living in a cave, being surrounded with a buncha men who were in debt, distress, and discontent. And they were all there, and he had to take nothing and make it into something. He lost everything that he had. But he's going to reap the prosperity of adversity. He didn't go straight to the palace. God never lets us go straight to the blessing. And ol' David started reaping the prosperity of adversity. And God restored him, and put him over the kingdom, and blessed him, and took him to the high places. 'Cause that's the kinda God you serve.
Job went through the adversity. He had seven sons and three daughters. He was the wealthiest man in the east. He had 7.000 sheep, 3.000 camels, 3.000 oxen, and 500 donkeys. He had a large household with servants and employees that did nothing but look after the vast flocks and worked the ground. The thousands of acres that he owned. The richest man in the east. The wealthiest man in the east. But then adversity started, and it kept coming. And it kept coming.
And some of you think it's strange that you're going through this time. Maybe you lost your job. Or maybe something happened, and you didn't see it coming, and now you find yourself in such an adversity like you've never faced. But the Lord sent me today with this message. That having nothing yet possessing all things, you're going to reap the prosperity of adversity. Because when God restored Job, the scripture said, the season of adversity turned. And I believe the turning is here. It's here right now for our nation. It's here right now for the world. It's here right now for all of you and your family and in your business.
And listen. The Bible said that Job went into that trial. But in Job 42, it says after this, the Lord restored Job double. The Lord restored him double. He went from 7.000 sheep to 14.000 sheep. Three thousand camels to 6.000 camels. He went from 3.000 yoke of oxen to 6.000 yoke of oxen. He went from 500 donkeys to 1.000 donkeys. God said I'm gonna give you double for your trouble. That's what you call the prosperity of adversity. This is your catch-up year. Hallelujah.
I'm telling you that the enemy thought that he would take this year, 2020, and wipe us out. But God's taken that weapon like He did out of Goliath's hand and putting it in the church's hand. And He says I'm gonna bless you. I'm gonna prepare a table before you in the presence of your enemies. I'm gonna cause even the enemy to bless you. I'm gonna cause the giants to feed you. There'll be food for you, he told Joshua and Caleb. And I'm telling you today that God's going to use what the enemy meant for our destruction for our good and for our prosperity.
So praise the Lord right there in your living room or wherever you're listening to this. Because it's the truth. It is the truth. I feel faith for this. We're gonna have prosperity in the midst of adversity. You know, it's good to be optimistic in times like these. Don't be an ol' pessimist. Don't be an ol' cover girl for the Book of Lamentations, going around sad and negative. We need some optimism from God's word. You know, the optimist sees a doughnut. The pessimist sees a hole. Which one are you?
One man - the first time he saw a train back in bygone days, he predicted they'll never get it started. And then when they got it started, his only comment was they'll never stop it. You know, some people just see life like that. They just see the negative side of everything. But we're gonna quit looking at the negative right now, and we're gonna say I'm gonna reap the prosperity of adversity. Adversity qualifies you for unprecedented prosperity.