Joel Osteen - You're Going To Laugh Again
I want to talk to you today аbout: You're Going To Laugh Again. We all go through seasons of struggle and seasons where we're dealing with an illness, loss of a loved one, a relationship didn't work out, we don't understand, doesn't seem fair. It's easy to think that the suffering, the struggle, the weeping is the way it's always going to be. I met a young couple, they were in town for treatment at the medical center, and he had just been diagnose with a very serious illness. As they held their little children they wept, and wept so devastated. God never promised that we wouldn't have seasons of weeping, seasons of struggle.
But Jesus said in Luke 6:21, "Blessed are those who weep now, for in due time you will laugh". The promise God makes us is: the suffering is only a season, the weeping is not how your story ends. You're going to laugh again. God sees what you're going through, he knows what wasn't fair, the lonely nights, the pain, the heartache. The scripture says, "He's collected all of your tears". You may have felt alone, but he's been right there with you. The good news is: he's not going to leave you in suffering, he's not going to leave you brokenhearted, weighed down with burdens.
1 Peter 5:10 says, "After you have suffered a little while", not your whole life, not the next 20 years, but after a little while, it goes on to say, "God himself will strengthen you, establish you and put you back on your feet". You may be in a season of suffering, season of struggle, you feel stuck in your health, your marriage, your finances, seems like it's never going to get better. No, God himself is about to step in and do what only he can do. When you see how he restores you, how he pays you back for what was unfair, how he brings you out better, your mourning is going to be turned to dancing, your sorrow turn to joy, that weeping the laughter. Don't believe those lies that you'll always be lonely, you'll always mourn over that loss, always be brokenhearted over that child. No, your time is coming.
The Psalmist said, "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy is coming in the morning". Notice, weeping may endure. "May" means it's not certain, it's questionable. But here's the promise: joy is coming. Not maybe, not hope so, there's a good chance. The Most High God says, "Joy is on the way". You are going to laugh again. You are going to dream again. You are going to love again. You are going to see God's blessing in such a way, that all you can do is laugh. Laugh in amazement, laugh in gratitude, laugh in the goodness of God.
This is what happened to Israelites. They were been living in Jerusalem when king Nebuchadnezzar came and attack the city. He captured them all, put them in chains and took them to Babylon. Here they were enjoying life, raising their children, going to work - everything changed. Now they were in this season of suffering, being mistreated, wondering "God, where are you? Why is this happening"? Year went by and they prayed for freedom, believed they'd be released, but nothing. 2 years, 3 years, 4 years, finally they accepted it, "Hey, this suffering is our destiny. Being mistreated, taking advantage of, we just have to get used to it". Psalm 137:1 says they went down to the rivers in Babylon and wept, as they remembered Jerusalem. They thought about what used to be, the joy they used to have, all they could do was weep. The Babylonians asked them to sing the songs of Jerusalem, "Let us hear those joyful melodies we've always heard about". The Israelites said, "How can we sing? We're in mourning, we're captive, our hearts are too heavy, the pain too real, the suffering too great". They hung up their hearts on the willow trees, put away their instruments. They were in a season of weeping.
And sometimes we think it's week to weep, "Come on, be strong, get it together". But God made us to feel things. There are times the pressure is so great, the lost is so heavy, the disappointment is so discouraging, we don't think we can go on. That's why he said, "Weeping may endure for a night". You may go through a season of weeping, something that's break a heart, feels too much to carry. Weeping is not a lack of faith, doesn't mean you're not tough enough, it means that your heart is working, it means that you care deeply. One time David came back home and saw that his city had been attacked, and all the woman and children had been kidnapped. The scripture says, "He wept until he could not weep anymore". Now, David was a warrior. He'd killed a lion and a bear with his hands. He had defeated Goliath. He was this strong, feared, courageous leader. But there were times he felt so overcome, so heavy that he wept.
That's the way the Israelites were. There was nothing they could do. The Babylonians were stronger, they were slaves and the Babylonians had more people, more equipment. It look like the suffering, the heartache, the weeping was permanent. How could they ever break free? But here's the key: God has already scheduled a time to end the suffering. He's already a time to end the heartache, to bring you out of what's held you captive, to turn around what's causing the tears. After the Israelites had suffered a little while, after they've gone through that season of weeping, God himself said, "I'm coming down to do something about it". God is not going to let someone continue to mistreat you, to keep you at a disadvantage, where that burden, that heaviness becomes permanent. You may not be able to do anything about it, it's too much for you, but it's not too much for our God. One touch of his favor, and things will shift, chains will break, that child will turn around, that addiction will be broken, that sickness will come to an end.
The scripture (Psalm 126:1) says, "God turn the captivity of the Israelites". God freed them. God is about to turn some things in your life, turn problems around, turn loneliness around, turn finances around, turn your health around. The Israelites were weeping. It's not like they had this great faith, they were super strong. No, they were discouraged, they had accepted that the suffering, the struggle, the hardship was their destiny. But God is so merciful, he's not going to let the suffering continue. You may go through seasons of weeping, seasons of sorrow, it's not fair, you don't understand, but it's only a season, it's not permanent, it's not going to last a lifetime.
"Well, Joel, I don't know. I don't see how my situation could ever work out. With what I've been through, with what I'm up against now, how could I ever be happy again"? You're looking at it in the natural, but God is supernatural. He is not going to leave you in a broken place, a wounded place, a lonely place. He wouldn't have allowed the suffering if he wasn't going to bring you out better. That suffering is a set up for God to show out in your life. He turns mourning into dancing, sorrow into joy. The greater the adversity, the greater the joy. The greater the suffering, the greater the blessing. The message translation says, "The suffering is not forever. It won't be long before our great God will have you put together and back on your feet. He has the final say. Yes he does".
And you may be in a season of struggle, but God is saying, "It won't be long 'til I have you back on your feet. It won't be long 'til your health turns around, to that child gets back on course, to that situation in your marriage resolved". Now, it may look like the enemy has won, like what the Israelites, he has you captive, it seems permanent. The good news is: God has the final say. He's in control not just of your life, he's in control of your circumstances. Nothing can stand against him. When it's your time, doors will open, freedom will come, healing will show up, the good breaks will find you.
The scripture (Psalm 126:1-2) says, "When God turned the captivity of the Israelites, it was like a dream. Their mouth was filled with laughter and their lips with songs of joy". Imagine the Israelites back home in Jerusalem, laughing with their families, singing songs of joy. These were the same people that earlier thought the suffering was permanent. The same ones that were sitting by the rivers in Babylon weeping, weeping, thinking they had seen their best days. Now they're not only free, they're not just back home, but they're filled with laughter, their joy is overflowing. That's the way our God is: he's not going to just bring you out, he's going to make the enemy pay. All the suffering, sadness, heartache, God's going to pay you back with more joy. You're going to be happier than you've ever been. You're going to laugh more than you've ever laughed. Like with them, when you see what God does, it's going to be like a dream, you're going to be amazed at how God restores you, re-energizes you, takes you where you never thought possible.
When my father went to be with the Lord, that was the biggest challenge that I ever faced. I didn't see that coming, and I went through that season of sorrow, missed my father, and a season of struggle, trying to learn how to minister, and figure out who I was, and how to overcome negative voices. Many nights I'd get up at three in the morning to write my messages, not sure if I would finish on time. It was stressful, at times I felt overwhelmed. But I've learned: in those seasons of suffering, seasons of struggle something is happening on the inside of us. There's a strength, a perseverance, a resolve that's being developed. If we have the right attitude, we're learning to trust God in a greater way. Even when we feel weak, when we don't think we have the faith, God is using that struggle in ways that we can't see. It's not working against you, it's working for you. It's getting you prepared for something amazing that's coming.
And after I had suffered a little while, not my whole life, God turned things in my favor. I can say like the Israelites: it's been like a dream, I never imagined where God was taking me. But here's the point: when you're in the suffering, in the struggle, in the mourning, you can't see what God is about to do. Most of the time God doesn't show you what's in store. All you can see is more the same.
"Man, the Babylon are bigger. There's no way I can get out. No way I can get well. No way I'll be happy after this breakup". Don't let the size of the Babylonians fool you. Don't let those bad breaks, what you've been through convince you that the suffering is permanent. In just a little while our great God is going to show up not only turn it around, but he's going to fill your mouth with laughter. That means no more heartache, no more suffering, no more loneliness. God is about to do a new thing. He's saying, "You've suffered long enough. You put up with the trouble, the heartache, the sorrow. Those tears of sadness are coming to an end. You're going to see tears of joy, tears of gratitude, tears of thanksgiving. Amazed at the goodness of God".
There was a young woman that came down for prayer with her husband, and she was expecting her first child. She was 12 weeks pregnant, but she unfortunately lost baby. This was her 6th miscarriage. She had not carried a child ever this long, and she had her hopes up, she believed that this would be the one, but it didn't happen. As she was telling me, these big tears were streaming down her cheeks, her husband was weeping beside her. The pain is real, the heartbreak is heavy. The beauty of our God is he can feel what we feel. When Jesus saw Mary and Martha weeping over the death of their brother, the scripture says Jesus wept. What's interesting is he already knew he was going to raise Lazarus, he already knew it was going to have a good outcome, but he was moved by Mary and Martha's tears. He could feel their heartbreak, their sorrow. He begin to weep with them.
There are times when life throws us such a blow, all we can do is weep. But know this: when you weep God weeps, when you're heartbroken God feels it, when you don't think you go on, you feel overwhelmed, God is right there with you. The scripture says, "He's close to the brokenhearted". And I told that young couple what I'm telling you, that you may be in a time of weeping, but joy is coming. Being heartbroken is not how your story ends. I love what Jesus promised: blessed are those who weep, for in due time you will laugh. It seems like he would say, "You're blessed when the problem turns around, not when you weep. You're blessed when you're promoted, you're blessed when the healing comes", but he said, "You're blessed when you weep, when your heart is broken, when the load seems too heavy". You're blessed because he's about to step in and turn things around, he's about to make up for what you've lost. He's about to pay you back for the trouble. Those tears are painful, but God's about to fill your mouth with laughter. When you're in those suffering seasons, those weeping seasons, those seasons of struggle, you need to keep this promise in your spirit: I may be weeping now, but I know joy is coming. These maybe tears of sadness, but I know I'm going to laugh again.
We prayed, and the couple went back to their seat. Two years later they came to the reception after the service. She had the biggest smile, her husband was beaming from ear to ear, they were each holding a nine-month-old baby, they had twin girls. Those same tears were flowing down their faces, but this time they were tears of joy, they were tears of gratefulness. She said, "We are so happy, we were believing for one child, we never dreamed God would give us too". That's the way God is: he's going to pay you back for the suffering, he's going to take what was meant for harm and turn it to your advantage. Now I can't promise you that you won't have suffering, you won't have tears, things that are not fair, burdens you don't deserve, but I can promise you that God feels what you feel, that he's right there with you, and that the suffering is not permanent. There will be a time when the suffering is gone, and you have the baby, you have the promise, you have the healing, you have the victory. You're not just out of the hardship, but you're amazed at what God has done.
Psalm 126:6 says, "Those who went off with heavy hearts will come home laughing with armloads of blessings". Yes, we all have times where our hearts are heavy, we went through a loss, get bad medical report, not being treated right on the job, can feel like a dead end, like it'll never change. Now, look at the rest of the scripture, your heart may be heavy, but you're going to come home laughing. How? With armloads of blessings. That tells me: God is going to make the enemy pay for the trouble, he's going to bring out better than you were before. That young couple standing in front of me were holding two babies, that was literally armloads of blessings.
You may something heavy on you today, like you're carrying sorrow, carrying pain. But God's about to do an exchange: instead of carrying the pain, not being able to have the children, how about carrying two babies? Instead of carrying the sorrow, how about carrying joy? Instead of carrying the hurt from the breakup, carrying the loneliness, how about someone great walking into your life? Now you're laughing, now you're dreaming, now you're living an victorious life. That's how good God is! You go out with a heavy heart, and you come back laughing, loaded down with blessings, with favor, with peace, with victory.
In the scripture Job went through a season of suffering, there were a lot of pain and heartache. And he had done nothing wrong. The scripture says Job was blameless, he had integrity that he stayed away from evil. Everything was going great, then the bottom fell out. Lost his business, lost his children, lost his health. Sometimes when it rains it seems like it pours. Thoughts will try to convince you that the suffering is permanent, "It's too bad, it's been too long, there's no way it could work out". But God won't let you get in a problem that he can't bring you out of. The enemy is not in control of your life, God is. Satan had to ask God for permission to test Job. He didn't just come put all this trouble on him. There's a bloodline around your life that the enemy cannot cross without God's permission. That's why we can stay in peace even in times of trouble. Sometimes it's simply a test: how are we going to respond in the suffering seasons, in the seasons of struggle, when it's not fair, we're doing the right thing, but the wrong thing has happened?
Job was so distraught that he tore his robe in grief, and sat down among the ashes. After all the heartache, all the loss he was overwhelmed. You can't just pray this away, have enough faith so it doesn't affect you. It's okay to feel things. It's not a lack of faith to say, "God, my heart is heavy. I'm grieving. I don't think I can go on". When Jesus was on his way to be crucified he fell down under the weight of the cross. He couldn't carry it anymore. Here he's the Son of God, yet in his human body he didn't have the strength. God didn't say, "What's wrong with you, son? You need to be tougher, stronger". No, God sent a man named Simon to carry it for him. Sometimes you can't carry the weight of what you're under, you can't carry the pressure.
Job was honest, he sat down in those ashes and said, "God, I can't take it anymore". Then he started complaining, he said, "Why was I born. You should've let me die at birth, God, I hate my life". He didn't hold anything back. One thing I love about God is he's merciful, he doesn't hold things against us. If we had to perform perfectly, never complain, always have strong, unwavering faith, none of us would have a chance. But God knows when pressure is so strong, the weight so heavy that you can't carry it by yourself. Job finally got pass all the doubt, the fear, the self pity. He looked up and said, "I know my redeemer lives. God, even if you take my life, I'm still going to trust you".
While job was sitting in the ashes, boils all over his body, going through loss and heartache, God said (Job 8:21), "I will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy". I'm sure Job thought, "God, are you kidding me? You're telling me with all these trouble, all these headache, all these bad breaks that I'm going to laugh again, that I'm going to be happy, that I'm still going to enjoy my life"? That's the promise all through the scripture: weeping endures for a night, but joy is coming. After you've suffered a little while God will step in and put you back on your feet.
That's what happened with Job. God not only healed him, not only restored what he lost, but he gave he gave him twice what he had before. He came out with twice the cattle, twice the sheep, had more the children. Like the Israelites, he went out with a heavy heart, but he came back full of joy, with armloads of blessings. The scripture (Job 42:16-17) says, "After this challenge, Job lived a hundred and forty years, and enjoyed his children and grandchildren for four generations. He died an old man, having lived a long, good life". Some scholars say that whole trial lasted less than a year. Wasn't decades of his life, it was just a season.
And all of us are going to have some of these seasons of suffering, seasons of struggle, seasons when it's not fair. Like Job, you'll be tempted to get bitter, blame God, give up on your dreams. But you have to remember: God is still on the throne. The enemy didn't take control of your life. God is yet going to fill your mouth with laughter. He's still going to your home with armloads of blessings. Not the same way you were, but stronger, healthier, promoted, at a new level of your destiny.
I talked to a young woman from Africa. Her dream was to get her doctorate so she could become a professor. She finished her masters, and was studying for her final exams to get into the doctorate program. But her landLord told her that she had to move out of her apartment, he broke the lease without any warning. She had to move into the dorm. It was right in the middle of her main exams, and threw things off to where she couldn't study. She ended up getting turned down for the program. She was so discouraged, mad at the landLord, mad at herself. She'd applied to 16 different universities, and was turned down each time. Every door closed, looked like her dream had died. And she told how she was heartbroken, how it felt unfair. She was in a season of struggle, a season of weeping. For a time, like Job, she sat down among the ashes. She thought it just wasn't meant to be.
She'd applied is very prestigious university in Italy. They liked her, but they had twelve people on the waiting list in front of her. But two weeks before school started, they emailed back and said, "We've never done this, but we're going to open a position just for you". When she arrived, they informed her that out of hundreds of doctorate students she had been chosen as one of the six to be enrolled in the advanced study program. That meant she had a not only had a full scholarship, but she didn't have to live in the dorm, she would have her own executive apartment in a beautiful neighborhood by the university. She was so excited, she said "This was more than I ever imagined".
What am I saying? God knows how to pay you back for the wrongs. He knows how to turn your sorrow into joy. She went out with a heavy heart, but she came back laughing, with armloads of blessing. The suffering is a setup, it's God positioning you for something greater. That's going to feel unfair, overwhelming, "Why is this happening"? God knows what he's doing. He may not ascend it, but he's going to use it to move you into your purpose.
God told Abraham and Sarah that they were going to have a baby, but they were both way too old, Sarah had been barren her whole life. Back in those days if the wife didn't have children, they were looked down on, seeing is not up to par. Sarah had this promise, but it was so far out, she laughed in disbelief. She thought, "How could an old woman like me have a child"? Years went by, and no sign of a baby. I can imagine Sarah seeing other women laughing, having children, playing. She thought, "God, why won't it happen for me"? She finally accepted that it wasn't meant to be. But just because you give up, doesn't mean God gives up. At 90 years, against all odds she got pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Isaac which means laughter. She said in Genesis 21:6, "God has brought me laughter, and all who hear about this will laugh with me". She laughed the first time in doubt, in skepticism, thinking there's no way. She thought she was done, but her next laugh was in amazement.
You may have had disappointments, things haven't worked out, you're in that suffering season. You think the struggle, the weeping is the way it's always going to be. Now, like God did for her, you're going to laugh again. It's not too late, you haven't had too many bad breaks. God sees what you've been through. He sees what wasn't fair, and he is yet going to fill your mouth with laughter. Now, I believe and declare: that season of struggle is coming to an end. The suffering season has run its course. You're going to feel that heaviness lift off of you. You're about to come into armloads of blessings, something that you cannot explain, the goodness of God, in Jesus name. And if you receive it, can you say amen? Amen.