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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Joel Osteen » Joel Osteen - Hearing The Heavenly Cheers

Joel Osteen - Hearing The Heavenly Cheers

Joel Osteen - Hearing The Heavenly Cheers
TOPICS: Encouragement

I want to talk to you today about Hearing the Heavenly Cheers. I grew up playing sports, and I realize the difference it makes to have someone in the stands rooting for you. When you look over and you see your family, you hear them calling your name, with their hands in the air, encouraging you, it makes you run a little faster, jump a little higher, gives you a greater determination, more stamina, all because someone is cheering you on. I was in track and field in high school, and I ran the mile, and one of our meets was out of town. And some friends of mine drove a couple of hours to watch me run. They brought signs that they held up in the stands, "Run, Joel, run". I acted like I was embarrassed, but really I liked it. But as I circled that track during the race, I could hear them calling my name, "Go, Joel, you can do this". I ran that day like I was forest gun. I normally come in third or fourth place, but that day I won the race.

It does something to you when you have people pulling for you. When someone you love is in the stands, and you know they believe in you, it gives you a boost. You'll achieve things you wouldn't normally achieve. Hebrews 11 talks about the heroes of faith, and all these people that have gone before us and the amazing things they've accomplished. Noah, Abraham, David, Sarah, people that were known and not known. They believed and endured, they saw giants defeated, walls come down, Red Seas part. Chapter 12 says, "Seeing that we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us run the race that is set before us".

The great cloud of witnesses that we're surrounded by are the heroes of faith mentioned in chapter 11. This paints the picture of a big stadium up in heaven with a race taking place. The people in the grandstands are the saints of old. These heroes of faith are looking down, cheering us on. You're not running your race alone, all of heaven is pulling for you. Not only the heroes of faith, but your loved ones that have gone before you. Those believers in your family line, your grandparents, relatives you may not have ever met, they're looking over the banisters of heaven. They're in that great cloud of witnesses, saying "You go, girl. You go, boy. Keep running, keep being your best. You've got what it takes".

My father went to be with the Lord 25 years ago next month. People often ask me, "Do you think he knows what's going on? You think he can see what's happening"? I always tell them, "Yes, I know where daddy is. He's in the grandstands. He's in the great cloud of witnesses. I can hear him cheering me on. By faith I can hear him calling my name: Joel, keep going, you're making us proud, you're taking new ground". Your loved ones in heaven are not just floating around, they don't know anything. No, they're cheering for you, they believe in you. They had their time, now this is your time.

Hebrews 11 says something interesting. After talking about all the heroes of faith, and the amazing things they had done, verse 39 says, "None of them received all that God had promised. For God has far better things in store for us that would also benefit them. For they can't receive the prize at the end of their race until we finish our race". This is saying: there are things your loved ones accomplished, but they didn't finish it. It couldn't happen in just one generation, they didn't see the fullness, they're going to see the prize when you finish it. They're going to get their full reward when you step up and do what God's put in your heart.

It's going to take boldness, not letting fear hold us back. It's going to take integrity, excellence, staying on the high road, not letting compromise, temptation, lack of discipline hinder us. Your loved ones are counting on you. They may have fulfilled their purpose, but their assignment wasn't complete. Yes, they endured, they sacrificed, they stressed. Some of them faced injustice, discrimination, and things that were not fair, but they fought the good fight, they didn't give up, they didn't get bitter, they never complained, they just kept honoring God, being their best. Now they're in the grand stands. They've done their part, it's up to us.

20 years before my father went to be with the Lord, he talked about wanting to buy this place, it was called "The Summit" back then. He was speaking for a friend of ours, and I have the recording, he said, "One day we're going to have The Summit for our church home". At that time Lakewood was in a 4,000 seat auditorium, we didn't need a place this big, but sometimes God will put things in your spirit that are for the next generation. You may see further than you're going to go. God works generationally, that's why there are saints of old cheering you on. When you fulfill your course, the scripture says, you will benefit them. This should inspire us to not get complacent, to lay aside weights that are holding us back, to run with passion, with excellence. Your relative are counting on you. You're not just living unto yourself, you're affecting those that will come after you, and you're honoring those that have gone before you. They will benefit, they will receive a reward because you took new ground, you ran your race with purpose.

When we heard that the Compaq Center was coming available, something came alive in my spirit. I didn't know at that time that my father had talked about purchasing this building, I hadn't heard that recording, but deep down I knew it was supposed to be ours. There was a faith that rose up, I can't even take credit for it. The scripture talks about the faith of our fathers, the faith of those that went before us. I believe it was my father in the grandstands cheering me on. It was those heroes of faith encouraging, supporting, believing in me.

By faith I could hear the heavenly cheers. I could hear David say say, "Joel, the giant may look big. I've been there, but I can tell you: our God is bigger. I defeated it, you can defeat it too". I could hear Gideon saying, "You feel unqualified, intimidated, you don't think you can pastor the church. I've been there. I was hiding when God called me a mighty hero. I was afraid, but God called me to lead the people. Joel, you have what it takes, you a mighty hero". I could hear my father saying, "Joel, that building was destined to be ours, fight for it, believe for it, you've been raised up for this time". When you know heaven is cheering for you, you'll feel supernatural strength, you'll have the faith to do what God's called you to do.

And we read about the heroes of faith in chapter 11, but can I encourage you? The list is not complete. I'm looking at heroes of faith. I'm looking at David's and Sarah's and Joseph's and Gideon's. I'm looking at giant killers, barrier breakers, people that take new ground, people that are finishing what was started generations back. I can imagine my father up in heaven saying to people in the grandstands, "Look at them. Look at Joel, that's my son. Look at him believing for big things, look at him setting new standards". There are people in the grandstands right now bragging on you, admiring your accomplishments, telling others how proud they are of you. Your loved ones that have gone on, they see your faithfulness, they see your generosity, they see you overlooking wrongs, they see you keep going when you feel like stopping, they see you raising that child by yourself, going the extra mile, doing the right thing when it's hard.

God not only sees it, but your relatives in heaven, they see it. By faith you need to hear the heavenly cheers. The people that mean the most to you, the ones that invested in you, that raised you, made sacrifices for you, they're not only proud of you, but they're pulling for you. They have your name up on a sign so to speak, they're cheering you on. As you run you're not just running for you, you're running for your grandmother, you're running for your great-grandfather, those in your family line that you've never met, but because of you they're being rewarded. They couldn't finish it all, God had better things in mind for you. You honored them by running with purpose, running with excellence.

My grandfather on my mother's side was born in the early 1900s. He was orphaned when he was 8 years old. His father died of an illness, and he was sent to different homes to live. And he wasn't really treated right, but that didn't stop him. He worked at the Exxon Refinery in Baytown for almost 40 years and never missed a day of work, not to go to the dentist, not to go out of town, he was faithful. When he retired, he would come down to the church practically every weekday and do chores. I would see him under the portable buildings working on the plumbing. He and my grandmother had one child, my mother. He died at 96. Not many people knew him, he was quiet and unassuming.

I missed my grandfather, but I know where he is. He's in the grand stands of heaven. He's one of the heroes of faith. He fulfilled his purpose, he played his part in the plan of God for our family. He was faithful, he was generous, you could count on him. I can hear him cheering me on. When I get tired, have things come against me, I can hear granddaddy saying, "Joel, you're doing good. Keep going, you're making us proud". When you say, "Joel, I don't have have anyone in the grandstands like that. My family didn't honor God, we weren't faithful, we were dysfunctional". You wouldn't be hearing this if there wasn't someone in your family line that honored God.

You may have never met them, but can I assure you? They know you, they see you, and they're cheering you on. You're making them proud. Your faithfulness, your hard work, your skill is causing them to be blessed. You're helping to finish what God started through them. When you hear those cheers from the grandstands, cheers from loved ones that serve without fanfare, that endured hardships, that defied odds, accomplished more than people thought, you'll draw strength and inspiration that will help you to believe bigger, you to go further, you to accomplish more. And sometimes when you feel down, nobody's encouraging you, the obstacle looks too big, you need to look up and hear them calling your name. They believe in you, they know you have what it takes. They made it in their day, but this is your day. God has raised you up for this time.

David said to his son Solomon (1 Chronicles 28:9), "Get to know the God of your ancestors". There's something about knowing those that went before us, knowing what they accomplished, what they endured, how God stepped in and made ways, opened doors, turned situations around. In the grand stands of heaven, imagine that we could pull people out and talk with these heroes of faith individually. What would they say to us? I can see an older gentleman step out of the grandstands, looks very handsome, very distinguished. He says, "Hello, my name is Moses. We stand there in awe, chills going up and down our spine". Man that's Moses, then he calls you by name, "Hey Robert, hey Jennifer, hey Maria, I've been cheering for you".

We get more in awe, "He knows my name". He goes on to say, "My encouragement is: it's not too late to accomplish your dreams. You see when I was 80 years old, I thought I was done, I made mistakes, I was living in the desert, been out there for 40 years so discouraged, when all the sudden God came to me in a burning bush, and said 'go deliver the Israelites'. I didn't think I could do it, I was intimidated, I stuttered, but something rose up in me, a faith, a fire, an anointing. I stepped out and God made things happen that I never imagined".

Moses is in those stands right now, calling your name, saying "You can still accomplish your dreams". You're not too old, you haven't made too many mistakes, you haven't gotten too far off course. God knew every wrong turn, he knew every bad decision that we would make. His mercy is bigger than those mistakes. He's already planned your comeback. What he started in your life, he's going to finish. Now, you have to do your part: quit believing the lies that you're washed up, you missed your chance. The enemy is called the accuser, he'll keep reminding you of everything you've done wrong, every mistake, every flaw, every weakness. He'd love for us to go through life guilty, condemned, down on yourself. But I can hear some encouragement from heaven. It's Moses, he's saying, "No, no, take it from me. The best part of your life is still in front of you".

God is about to reignite your dream, he's restoring the passion. Guilt, shame, regret, those things are leaving you now. You're about to feel a new sense of destiny. Doors are about to open, opportunity you thought was too far gone is about to come back again. God didn't change his mind about your purpose. He didn't disqualify you because you made a mistake. He hasn't forgotten about you out in the desert. You may have been there a long time, but this is a new day. He sent me as that burning bush to say, "Get back in the game. Get your fire back, get your passion back, it's still going to happen".

I see a woman step out of the grand stands, we don't recognize her. The scripture never gives us her name (?Jochebed?), yet she's in the heroes of faith. She smiles and says, "Hello, I'm Moses mother. My encouragement is that God will take care of your children. See, when my baby was born, king Herod (?Pharaoh?) put out a decree that all the Hebrew baby boys under the age of two would be killed, but I knew the hand of God was on my baby, that he was born to be a deliverer. So I put baby Moses in a basket, and sent him down the the Nile River. There were snakes, alligators, all kinds of danger, but I knew Jehovah knows how to protect his children. It just so happened, Pharaoh's daughter was out taking a bath. She heard the cries coming from the basket. When she saw little Moses, it was love at first sight. She took him in to raise as her own son, but she needed someone to nurse the child. She asked her assistant, she said, 'i know just who to get'".

She went and got Moses mother. She not only helped raise her son, but the Pharaoh's daughter paid her for doing it. Only God could make that happen. With everything going on today, it's easy to worry about our children: are they safe? Who are they hanging around? What are they watching? Who's influencing them? There are so many things coming against them. But Moses' mother would tell you, "When you commit your children into God's hands, he'll keep them from the alligators, the snakes, the wrong people. He'll close doors that need to close. He'll push back evil and harm. He has a hedge of protection around your children". When you're tempted to worry, lose sleep, you can hear Moses's mother saying, "I've been there. Looked like it would never work out for my child, there were all kinds of danger, but God is faithful, he will protect your children, he has angels watching over them".

You may have a child that's off course now, family member that's not making good decisions - that is not permanent. The hand of God is still on them. Because you're honoring God, the enemy cannot take them out. There is a bloodline that he cannot cross. It may seem like they're never going to make good decisions, but God is working. Things are happening that you can't see. Like with Moses, the alligators are not harming them. The basket is not topping over. God is still in control, even though your child is going down the Nile River so to speak. He's still ordering their steps. Even though you had to turn loose, there's nothing more you could do. You may have turned loose, but God didn't turn loose. You had to let go, but God didn't let go. You don't know where they are right now, but God knows exactly where they are. He's already lined up Pharaoh's daughter, the right people that will help them get get back on track. You don't have to live worried, God knows how to hide your children, he knows how to make them invisible to the enemy. Moses' mother is saying, "God did it for my child, he's going to do it for yours".

When you get to know the God of your ancestors, it'll encourage you. Moses mother is in our family line. When you became a believer, all these heroes of faith are a part of your lineage. They're in the grandstands, cheering you on. "Well, Joel, this is all encouraging, but man I've had a lot of bad breaks, had a setback in my finances, my health went down, people did me wrong, that's why I'm discouraged".

I see a man walk out of the grand stands, he says, "I know how you feel. I've been there, my name is Job. Life was going great when everything fell apart: lost my health, I had big boils all over my body, lost my family, lost my business. Got so bad, my wife even told me 'Job, just curse God and die'. All my friends said it was my own fault. I was so depressed that I sat down among the ashes. And yes, sometimes life is not fair, we don't understand everything that happens, but I can assure you: God wouldn't have allowed it if he wasn't going to somehow bring good out of it. He's not just making your life miserable. That setback is a setup for God to show out in your life in a great way".

And just when it seemed like Job was going to settle there, he looked up to the heavens and said, "I know my redeemer lives". He was saying, "God, I know you're still on the throne. You have the final say. I don't understand this, but I trust You". God not only brought Job through the difficulty, but Job came out with twice what he had before: twice the cattle, twice the sheep, got his joy back, his health back, his dreams back. And we hear a lot about the trial of Job, and all the suffering, and yes that's true, but the scripture says after the difficulty Job lived 140 years, and enjoyed four generations of his children.

You may be in a difficult time now, things have happened that you don't understand, and thoughts will whisper, "It's always going to be this way. You're always going to be sick, always depressed, always lonely". No, listen to Job. As he stands on the balconies of heaven, what's he saying? "I know it's been rough, but can I tell you? Double is coming. God is going to make the enemy pay twice the joy, twice the peace, twice the strength, twice the resources".

Now you have to get in agreement with God. You're not going to see double if you're sitting in the ashes, bitter, discouraged. Tune all that out and start listening to the heroes of faith. Get to know the God of your ancestors. They walked where we're walking, they faced opposition, giants, trouble, sickness, but they stand as a testimony to the goodness of God. They're in heaven not just worshiping, not just praising, but they're cheering you on. They're calling your name, saying "Don't get bitter, keep believing. Don't give up on that dream, keep pressing forward".

I know a woman that wasn't able to have children. She had had seven miscarriages, she was about to give up and just think it wasn't meant to be. And she heard me talking about Job, and how God paid him back with double. And that took root in her spirit, that dream came back to life. And few years ago she gave birth to not one, but to twins. She said, "Joel, I'm like Job. God restored back unto me double". Why don't you get that down in your spirit? Someone walked out of a relationship, broke your heart? You can sit around, let that sour your life, or you can do like her, "Father, thank you that you're bringing me someone twice as good, as that old goat that left, I mean that person that left. Twice as fun, twice as friendly, twice as godly, twice as good looking, twice as well off". When you do that, Job has his hands in the air, cheering you on saying, "God did it for me, he's going to do it for you".

All of heaven is cheering for you. I can see Joseph step out of the grand stands, he said, "I had a lot of detours, delays, people betrayed me, my family threw me into a pit, but can I tell you? God is faithful. It was all a part of his plan to get me in position as the prime minister of Egypt". His encouragement is: God is working all things for your good. Trust him when you don't understand. The detours are Divine detours, your steps are being ordered by the Most High God.

I see another man stepping out, he says, "Joseph, you think you had it bad? That was nothing, I was dead. My name is Lazarus. For four days I was in a tomb wrapped in grave clothes stinking, but Jesus showed up and told me to come back to life. I'm here to encourage you that God can bring dead things back to life". He can bring a dead dream, dead marriage, things that look dead in your health, your finances, your mind. Get ready, a resurrection is coming. Life, health, favor, victory. My question today is: can you hear the cheers from heaven? Do you realize you're not in this race all alone? All your ancestors, all those that went before you, including the heroes of faith, they're watching you, they believe in you, and they're counting on you to finish what God started.

As amazing as David was, Abraham, Ruth, Sarah, the scripture says they didn't see the fullness of the promise. That God has better things in store for us. When you take new ground, when you stretch and break barriers, you overcome what should stop you, your faith is going to benefit those that went before you. They'll receive a prize, because of what you've done. How this should inspire us to not live like a daysical lives, indifferent, upset over the traffic, and "I don't feel like pursuing my dreams, this addiction is always going to hinder me, Joel". No, have a new perspective: all of heaven is cheering for you. The saints of old are calling your name. Your loved ones dream to this day. The opportunity, the open doors, the favor, this is your time to shine. The baton is in your hand.

Moses is done running, Abraham's finished, Esther through, your loved ones did their best, now all of heaven is watching you. The good news is: they know you have what it takes, they know you're a giant killer, they know you're going to set new standards, they can see your seeds of greatness. Now, make sure that you know it too. I believe and declare: as you hear the cheers from heaven, you're going to go where no one in your family has gone. The anointing is increasing from generation to generation. Forces that have held you back are being broken right now. Favor is coming, healing is coming, breakthroughs, the fullness of your destiny, in Jesus name. And if you receive it, can you say amen? Amen, I receive it as well!
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