Joel Osteen - Angels Are Coming
I want to talk to you today about Angels Are Coming. We all have times it can be overwhelming: we're dealing with an illness, child is difficult to raise, trying to pay bills, doors aren't opening for our dreams. We've done the right thing, we've worked hard, but it hasn't improved. Now the pressure feels like too much, we don't say how we can go on. It's not that we're weak, it's not that we don't have faith, it's battle fatigue.
I talked to a man that has lived a blessed life, God's been good to him, but he's had some set setbacks: a relationship is not working out, his business is struggling. He said, "Joel, I'm at a breaking point. I can't take it anymore". And God sees what you're going through, he knows when it's too much. The scripture (Psalm 46:1) says, "God is a very present help in times of trouble". When you feel overwhelmed, thinking you can't go on, God doesn't sit oddly by, think "Too bad, you're on your own". No, God will send angels to strengthen you, to encourage you, to help lighten that load. Angels are called ministering spirits, they are messengers that God uses to carry out his will, to fight battles, to push back forces of darkness and to breathe new life into your spirit, to refresh and re-energize you.
You may be tired today. You love God, you're grateful, but you're weary. You don't see how you can keep moving forward, dealing with the anxiety, believing for your dreams. You've stood strong as long as you can, you think, "I can't handle this anymore", be encouraged: angels are coming, strength is coming, freshness is coming. You're going to feel a supernatural power lifting that load, a new attitude giving you a second wind so you can step up and fulfill your purpose. God knew at times the load would be heavy, he knew the pressures could feel overwhelmed. He's not faulting you because you're not strong enough, "You should be tougher". He knows we're human. We all have breaking points. He sees you being your best, going the extra mile, doing the right thing when nobody thanks you, working hard but not seeing results. He's about to step in and do what you couldn't do. He's already dispatch the angels, they're on the way with healing in their wings, with strength, with favor, with fresh vision, with victory. You may be at a breaking point, but get ready, a breakthrough is coming.
Genesis 28, Jacob had a dream. He saw this stairway going up to the heavens. The scripture (Genesis 28:12) says, "There were angels ascending and descending". They were in heaven, they'd come to earth to carry out God's will, then they'd go back to heaven to get their next assignment. Was this constant flow of activity, thousands and thousands of angels ascending and descending. God was showing us how he's always working, dispatching angels to rescue, to strengthen, to move people out of the way, to bring answers to prayers.
We all have situations where we could feel overwhelmed: get a negative medical report, we're still dealing with an addiction. "How can I take care of my elderly parents and raise my children at the same time? This pressure is too much". What you can't see is angels are coming, God is already dispatched what you need. He's not going to let you be defeated, angels are about to break chains that have held you back. Angels are bringing freedom, angels are headed to your children, angels are holding back wrong influences, angels are in route, bringing energy, courage, fortitude so you can rise up and do what God's called you to do.
When Jesus was on the earth, from the age of 12 to the age of 30 we don't read anything about him. There's nothing recorded in the scripture for those 18 years, but at 30 years old he was walking out to the Jordan river to be baptized by John the Baptist. When John saw him, he pointed in front of a large crowd and said, "There's the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world". He was announced publicly for the first time as being the Messiah. When he was baptized by John, a voice boomed out, "This is my beloved Son in whom I'm well pleased". A dove came and landed on his shoulder, representing the Holy Spirit. Was this incredible moment where Jesus was about to begin his ministry. After 18 years of silence now he was ready to go.
You would think God would send him to a large city, they'd have a big meeting, he'd start doing miracles? Or he'd go to government leaders, influential people, and be celebrated and recognized? But the scripture (Matthew 4:1) says, "The Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the enemy". You can be in the wilderness and be in God's will. You can be in the desert by design. The enemy didn't lead him there, the Spirit led him there. One side of the Jordan river, it was lush and green and fertile, the other side it was barren, nothing growing, dry.
Sometimes we find ourselves in the wilderness, we know we have God's favor, we know he's put big things in our heart, but we're in a dry season. We're not seeing any growth, doors aren't opening, opposition is stronger than ever. You could get discouraged, complain. This is when you have to dig down deep and say, "God, I trust you. I know I'm not in this desert by accident, you've led me here. You won't take me someplace where you won't sustain me. So Lord, I thank you for the strength, the peace, the favor, the courage to stand strong and outlast this test". If you'll have the right attitude, you'll come out of the dry place into an abundant place.
After 40 days of fasting in the desert, the enemy came to Jesus to tempt him. It was when he was the weakest, he was tired and hungry. He tempted Jesus three times. He said, "Turn these stones into bread. You're hungry, make something to eat". Jesus wouldn't do it. He said, "Bow down before me and I'll give you all these kingdoms". Jesus refused. Final temptation, he took Jesus to a high place, overlooking the temple. He said, "If you're the Son of God, jump off this ledge. You said your angels will protect you". Once again, Jesus wouldn't do it. After he passed these tests, the scripture (Matthew 4:11) says, "Angels came and strengthened him".
You can imagine after not eating for 40 days, having to deal with the temptations, being hot and dry how overwhelmed he must have been, how he didn't think he could keep going. But God knows when the pressure is too much, he knows when you can't take it anymore. Here Jesus is the Son of God, he's all powerful, but in his human body he had limitations. He faced times where he felt like he was at a breaking point. Notice what God did: he sent angels to strengthen him, angels to refresh him, give him what he needed for his destiny. The scripture (Luke 4:14) says that "Jesus came out of the desert in the power of the Spirit". How could he come out more powerful when he's been in a dry place, no food, being tested, facing opposition? Angels showed up, they brought supernatural strength, energy, favor and courage.
You too may be in a dry place, you don't see how you can keep going, you're fighting the good fight but you're suffering from battle fatigue. It's been so long, feels like it's too much. God sees what's happening. You didn't go into that dry place by accident. That wilderness was not easy, but you passed the test. You've stayed faithful, you didn't give up, you didn't quit believing. Like with Jesus, God's about to send angels to strengthen you, to bring new life, fresh vision, encouragement. You're not just going to come out of the desert, barely making it, beat up, bedraggled, you're going to come out in the power of the Spirit, with fresh vision, fresh favor, renewed strength, ready for the new levels that God has in store.
When my father went to be with the Lord, that was the most difficult thing that I had ever faced. I thought he'd live another 20 years. I worked with him behind the scenes for 17 years, and I loved doing the production, putting his messages on television. We travel the world together, he'd come over to our house at night, we'd have dinner, we go watch the astros play baseball. Life was good, but in 1999 he had a heart attack and passed. My life was suddenly turned upside down. We didn't know what was going to happen to the church, how it was all going to work out. I couldn't see it at the time, but like with Jesus, the Spirit led me into the wilderness.
Sometimes what we think is the enemy is really the hand of God moving us into our destiny. The closed doors, the bad breaks, the loss, nothing happens without God's permission. You shouldn't fight everything you don't like. There are deserts you have to go through to get to your destiny. In those dry places and those wilderness seasons you have to know: God is right there with you. He's not going to let you go through anything you can't handle. The moment it becomes too much, God will send the angels.
And I knew deep down I was supposed to step up and pastor the church, but I had never ministered, I was dealing with the loss of my father, all these changes. I thought I'd be so upset and so distraught, but I felt a peace that I can't explain. Yes, I miss my father, but I didn't fall apart, sinking discouragement, "God, why did this happened"? I felt a supernatural strength, there was a courage, a confidence, a knowing that I was well able, that everything was going to work out, that God was still in control. I look back now and realize that wasn't normal, that was God sending angels, strengthening me, giving me the grace to go through the desert, to not give in to the temptation to get bitter, live sour.
It was difficult, none of us like to go through the wilderness, but something happens in the desert: God is getting you prepared to come out in the power of the Spirit. Some things can only take place in the dry season, the loss, the disappointment, the bad break. You may find yourself there now, you're facing pressure that you've never faced, feels like you're at a breaking point, can I encourage you? Angels are coming! This is not a surprise to God! He led you to the wilderness, he doesn't leave you out there alone. He knows the pressure, he knows the struggle, the loss, the pain, what didn't work out. That that load is about to be lightened. Like God did for me, you're going to feel strength that you can't explain. You're not only going to come out, but you're going to come out stronger, with greater confidence, greater courage, greater faith.
In the book of 1 Kings, the prophet Elijah had this showdown with the false prophets of Baal. They had a contest to see whose God was real. They worshiped an idol named Baal, Elijah worshiped Jehovah. They both built an altar and put wood on it, whatever God started the fire would be the true God. The prophets of Baal went first: they prayed, sang, dance for hours, nothing happened. When it was Elijah's turn, he prayed and fire came down from heaven not only burned up the wood, but burned up the stone. He destroyed 450 of the false prophets of Baal - an amazing victory! But when the king's wife Jezebel heard about what happened to her false prophets, she was furious. She sent word to Elijah saying, "If I don't kill you by this time tomorrow, I'm going to take my own life". Elijah was so afraid, he took off running into the desert.
It's interesting how we can lose perspective. He had just called down fire from heaven, saw God destroy 450 men, but when this one woman made a threat... There's a whole message there, but I'm not going there... When this one lady made a threat, he was filled with fear. Are you running from things because you've lost perspective? You're listening to threats, believing what the enemy whispers in your mind when you've seen God deliver you in the past, you know he's more powerful than what you're up against. Elijah should have answered back, "Jezebel, I'm not afraid of you. You can save your threats. God delivered me from all your false prophets, I am confident he will deliver me from you too".
Somehow he lost perspective, and he sat down under a tree in the desert. So exhausted, so overwhelmed he didn't want to live. He prayed to die. He said in effect, "God, I'm done. This pressure is too much, just take me on home". He was at this breaking point, ready to give up. What's interesting is God didn't say, "Elijah, what's wrong with you? Man, you you should be stronger. You should have more faith. You shouldn't let this pressure get to you". God doesn't fault us for not being strong enough. He knows there are times that we feel overwhelmed. The scripture (Isaiah 40:29) says, "He gives strength to the weary". He doesn't condemn the weary.
This could have been the last we ever read about Elijah: he's tired, he's weary, he's ready to give up. What did God do? Verse 5 says, "An angel showed up". While Elijah was in the desert sleeping, this angel cooked him food, made some bread. Got him some water. He woke Elijah up and told him to eat. Elijah saw the freshly baked bread and he thought he was dreaming. He ate and went back to sleep. The angel woke him up a second time, told him to eat some more. Elijah ate the food, now he had the strength to make a 40-day journey. His whole attitude and perspective changed. He got his fire back, he realized God was still on the throne, and that he was bigger than anything he was facing. He came out of the desert with a new passion, more energy, ready for the next season of his life.
But notice how good God is: he could have had the angel lead Elijah to some food, show him where to hunt, help him find an animal where he could cook the food, show him where the water was. But the angel not only brought the food to Elijah, but he cooked it for him. God has these times where he's going to cook the food for you. You're tired, you lost perspective, weariness has set in, God has angels preparing your meal. You're not going to have to go after it, it's going to come to you: the strength, the encouragement, the provision, the right people. God is not going to let you miss your destiny.
Friend of mine is a well-known pastor. Years ago, before anyone knew him he was very discouraged. He'd been pastoring for several years small church, less than a hundred people, and they hadn't seen any growth, building was run down, needed repairs. He couldn't pay his bills, working part-time on the side trying to keep it all going. And some of the members were disgruntled. He got to the point where he was done. The pressure was too much, he didn't have it in him anymore. He would travel during the week and speak at other small churches, and he had one last commitment and then he was going to be finished, he's going to walk away. He spoke that night and poured out his heart and soul as he always did, no one could tell that he was at a breaking point. They couldn't see that he was drained on the inside, that he had nothing left to give.
After the service the pastor had dinner for him in the back, word came that there was a lady that wanted to to see him. He asked them to tell her that he was too tired, he had a long drive home, plus he didn't want her to have to wait that long for them to get finished eating. They told her, but she said, "I don't mind waiting, I have to see him". Hour later he walked into this empty church, and there was this older woman with her hospital wristband still on. She was taking chemotherapy for cancer. She was very frail, her voice weak, her hands trebling. She said, "I had to tell you: if it had not been for you, I wouldn't be alive. I listen to your messages all through the day. That's what's giving me the strength and the faith to keep going. And I drove here from two hours away to tell you: whatever you do, don't stop ministering".
They both stood there and wept, and wept. She had no way of knowing what he was dealing with. Today that pastor goes all over the world. He says, "The reason I'm I'm still in ministry is that woman". When I say God's going to send an angel, sometimes God will use people as an angel. The scripture says, "Some have entertained angels unaware". That friend that encouraged you, that neighbor that said the right thing at the right time, that coworker that showed up right when you needed them, sure you knew them, but what you didn't know is they carried out the assignment of an angel. They became a messenger of God.
Jesus had just finished the last supper with his disciples, and he told them how he was going to be crucified, how he was entering the darkest part of his life. After dinner that evening he went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. He took his closest disciples and asked them to pray for him. He said, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow, even to the point of death". You can imagine the weight of what he was carrying, the pressure he was under. He was saying, "I'm at my breaking point. I have to have some help". The people he was counting on unfortunately fell asleep, they were too tired. He woke them up, said, "Please, stay up and pray. This is a critical time for me". They said, "Of course we will". They had good intentions, but they fell back asleep.
And sometimes the people you're counting on will let you down. They love you, they want to help, but they're not there when you need them. You can't rely on people, you have to turn to God. Jesus was so overcome with emotion, he sweat great drops of blood. He said, "Father, if you can, please take this cup away from me". Didn't look like he could go on. How could he handle all that pressure? The scripture says, "An angel appeared and begin to strength in him".
Friends may let you down, but God will always be there for you. When it feels overwhelming, you don't know how you can raise that child, how you can deal with that sickness, how you can keep your business going, feels like it's about to break you, can I encourage you? Angels are coming! God has not forgotten about you, he knows what you're dealing with. Those times you feel troubled, you don't see how you can go on, he's going to lighten that load, he's going to relieve the pressure. You're going to feel a supernatural strength, enabling you to outlast the opposition, overcome the adversity, to step into that destiny that belongs to you. May feel like it's too much right now, but when that angel shows up, you're going to come out in the power of the Spirit.
Jesus went over and saw his disciples still not awake. This time instead of trying to wake them up he told them sleep on. He was saying, "Something happened over there in the garden. No disrespect, but I don't need you anymore. What you couldn't see is an angel showed up and empowered me for my destiny. He strengthened me where I was weak, he lifted me where I was down, he filled me with hope where I had despair. I was in great sorrow, but now I'm in great peace. I was deeply troubled, but now I'm deeply confident. I will fulfill my destiny". That's what happens when the angel shows up. You may be facing things that have you troubled, you don't know how it's going to work out, that pressure is weighing on you, like you're at that breaking point. God sees you, he's concerned about you, he has angels coming.
Isaiah 40:31 said, "You will run and not be weary". Yes, it's been hard, you've had to struggle, it's taken a long time, but this is a new day, that weariness is coming to an end. You're about to start running: running into your purpose, running into opportunity, running into great relationships, running into good health, running into freedom, running into ease, where it used to be a burden, so heavy like with Jesus, there's going to be a supernatural grace to handle it. Now, all those people you thought you had to have, the ones that fell asleep, didn't support you, weren't there for you, no offense but you don't need them. Tell them to sleep on, the angel showed up. Your arm was string for this battle, you're anointed for this adversity, you're favored in the famine. You can handle that pressure, you're empowered for your purpose.
What's significant is Jesus was so troubled in his spirit, and sweating those great drops of blood, but after the angel showed up and strengthened him, he never talked anymore about being troubled or overwhelmed. When the guards came to arrest him, Peter cut off one of the soldiers ears. Jesus thought, "You're finally awake, I don't need you now, I have the grace to carry out my assignment. I have the favor to finish my mission". When he was brought before Pilate, falsely accused, Jesus didn't fall apart. When the soldiers were mocking him, put that crown of thorns on his head, that should have been too much, surely he would say "God, take this away, I've changed my mind", but he had supernatural strength. Those angels put in him everything he needed to finish his purpose.
None of us will ever face what he did, but what I want us to see is God will never let the pressure keep you from your destiny. He'll never let you feel so overwhelmed that you can't fulfill your purpose. That's when he'll send angels. What God has destined for your life, all the forces of darkness cannot stop. You may be in a difficult season, like Jesus, a dark hour, you don't see how you can face what's in front of you. God knows what you're dealing with, he's already dispatched the angels. He's about to bring strength, power, endurance into your spirit. The fact that you're in that difficult times tells me that you're on the verge of a new level. You're not going to just come out, not the same, but in the power of the Spirit. You're going to see something you've never seen.
The enemy wouldn't be fighting you if he didn't know you were about to take new ground, set new standards, break out of limitations that have held you back. It may seem like it's over your head, but it's not over God's head. Angels are coming, strength is coming, a second wind is coming. I believe and declare: God is about to lighten that load, lift your burden, ease the struggle, relieve that pressure. You're going to feel a supernatural strength. You will run and not be weary, outlast the opposition, overcome the adversity, and reach the fullness of your destiny, in Jesus name, and if you receive it, can you say amen? Amen, I receive it as well!