Support us on Paypal
Contact Us
Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Joel Osteen » Joel Osteen - Don't Lose Your Joy (2024)

Joel Osteen - Don't Lose Your Joy (2024)

Joel Osteen - Don't Lose Your Joy (2024)

I want to talk to you today аbout: Don't Lose Your Joy. We all go through disappointments and things that are not fair. We're dealing with an illness, raising a difficult child, stressful season at work. It's easy to get discouraged and let the pressures of life weigh us down to where we live with a heaviness, worried about our health, upset over the bad break. We think, "Once this passes, once I get through this difficult season, then I'll be happy again, then I'll have a good attitude", but the scripture (Nehemiah 8:10) says, "The joy of the Lord is your strength". Without your joy you won't be able to stand strong and withstand these attacks. Joy is directly connected to your strength. If you don't have joy, you won't be able to outlast the opposition, deal with the pressures of raising that child, the frustrations at work. Getting your joy back is not an option.

"Well, Joel is telling me to be happier", it's deeper than that. Joy is a necessity, that's what's giving you the strength to overcome. The enemy is not really after your dreams, your children, your health, your finances. You know what he's really after? Your joy. He knows, if you don't have joy you're going to be weak, you'll be easy prey. If he can keep you discouraged, overwhelmed by pressure, upset over who did you wrong, burdened down by the medical report where you never smile, you never have any passion, everything's heavy, then he'll be able to defeat you in any area. And sometimes we're waiting for God to change things, but God is saying, "If you get your joy back, strength will come". You'll feel God breathing on your life, sustaining you, empowering you and causing you to overcome, to outlast, to endure.

David had all kinds of things come against him: armies were attacking, king Saul was jealous and chased him through the desert, people were lying about him, trying to ruin his reputation. One point his own son turned on him and was trying to take the kingdom. David had a good reason to live negative, discouraged, but in the midst of all that adversity, when he could have been complaining, he wrote (Psalm 118:24), "This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it". He was making a decision, "This trouble is not going to take my joy. These bad breaks are not going to cause me to live sour. I will rejoice, I will be glad today. Not next month, not next week, not when things get better. This is the day the Lord has made". If you're going to keep your joy, you have to be proactive. You can't wait to see how you feel. When you wake up in the morning you have to make a decision like David, "I'm going to be glad today. I'm going to smile, I'm going to be grateful, I'm going to see the good. Yes, it's difficult, but I know God's on the throne. I know he's fighting my battles. I know, him being for me is more than the world being against me".

Jesus said, John 16:33, "In life you'll have trouble, adversities and hardships, but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world". This is counterintuitive: when we face trouble, difficulties, it's natural to be negative, discouraged, "Why did this happen"? You have to recognize the enemy schemes. He's trying to get you sour, so you don't have any strength to withstand the trouble. That's when you have to dig down deep and say, "No, I'm not giving away my joy. I need my strength. I'm going to rejoice and be glad despite what's coming against me". If you keep your joy, you can't be defeated. Joy is not just a feeling, it's a force, it's strengthening you, empowering you, causing you to overcome what could have stopped you.

Paul and Silas were put in prison for sharing their faith. They hadn't done anything wrong, but they were arrested and locked up in the deepest dungeon. They could have been complaining, bitter, "God, we were doing what you told us to do, this is not fair". They understood this principle: at midnight they were singing praises to God, thanking him for his goodness, talking about his faithfulness, being of good cheer in the prison, good cheer when it wasn't fair, good cheer when they were mistreated. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, the prison doors flung open, the chains fell off their feet, they walked out as free men.

When you stay of good cheer in the trouble, God goes to work. You're not only going to be strengthened, but angels are dispatched, favor is released, healing is coming. Anyone can be a good cheer when everything's going their way. It's easy to be joyful when we're getting good breaks, our children are healthy and people are treating us right, that doesn't take any faith. The test comes when people do you wrong, when life throws you a curb, the medical report's not good. It's tempting to get sour, live discouraged, let that pressure cause us to lose our passion. You have to decide like Paul and Silas, "I'm going to be of good cheer despite what's happening. I'm going to keep praising when I could be complaining. I'm going to stay in faith when every thought is telling me to doubt. I'm going to put a smile on my face when I could be discouraged". Being of good cheer is what's going to help you to overcome that trouble.

In the Old Testament, Nehemiah and his men had just rebuilt the walls around Jerusalem. But the property inside: the houses, the buildings, they were still in ruins, the temple had been destroyed. Now they faced the task of rebuilding the city, and rebuilding the temple. They had opposition, people coming against them. They didn't have the supplies, the materials. They were so discouraged, they felt overwhelmed. The prophet Ezra showed up and said to them in Nehemiah chapter 8, "This day is holy to the Lord your God. Mourn not nor weep, do not grieve or be depressed, for the joy of the Lord is your strength". God knew, if they stayed in mourning, if they stayed discouraged, they would never have the strength to move forward and fulfill their destiny.

We all have these times where we go through setbacks, people come against us, we lost a loved one. It's easy to stay in mourning, discouraged over what happened, bitter over who hurt us, frustrated over how long it's taking. God is saying to us what he said to them, "Stop mourning. Stop being depressed. This is a new day". God has not brought you this far to leave you. You have to get your joy back, so you'll have the strength to step into the new things he has for you.

Nehemiah and the Israelites went on to rebuild the temple, rebuild the city. They saw God protect them, favored them, give them resources to do more than they ever dreamed. But this would have never happened if they had not changed their attitude, and made this decision to get their joy back. "Well, Joel, I'm discouraged today because of the medical report. I'm upset because my child's off course. I'm stressed over this legal problem, that's why I'm sour". The scripture says, "Count it all joy when you face trials". That doesn't seem to make sense, why would God say "Be joyful" when we face trouble, "Be of good cheer" when we go through tough times? It's because if you lose your joy, you're going to lose your strength.

In these difficult times you need your strength more than ever. When you have a child that's hard to raise, it takes a lot of energy. When you're dealing with an illness, that can be emotionally and physically draining. When you're waiting for a dream to come to pass, waiting to meet the right person, you'll be tempted to get discouraged and give up. Your joy is what's going to help you to keep believing, keep standing strong. Go through it negative, discouraged, bitter, you're not going to have the strength to fight the good fight of faith. One way to keep your joy is knowing that on the other side of that difficulty is a new level. On the other side of every setback is new opportunity, new growth. God wouldn't have allowed the trouble if it wasn't going to work for your good. It's not there to stop you, it's there to promote you.

You have to keep reminding yourself, "Even though I don't like this, even though it's not fair, I'm going to keep my joy, knowing that this setback is setting me up for something greater". God never brings us out the same: he makes the enemy pay for bringing the trouble. The key is to keep your joy, so you'll have the strength to make it through the difficulty, and see the greater things God has for you. That's why God told Nehemiah, "Stop mourning, stop being discouraged. Yes, you've been through a lot, yes there are big challenges in front of you, but you have to get your joy back, so you have the strength to go where I'm taking you". You don't have to figure it all out, God will fight the battles, he'll open the right doors, he'll bring the right people, but you can't be weak, defeated. "This is too much for me, I'm overwhelmed", no get your joy back.

See, sometimes the way God delivers us is to cause us to outlast the opposition. You won't have the strength to endure if you get up in the morning thinking, "Oh, man, when is this going to change? I never get any good breaks. I can't take this anymore", that's making you weak, that's draining your energy, that's taking your passion. Your joy is connected to your strength. The more joyful you are, the stronger you're going to be. And I don't mean laughing all the time, I'm talking about a contentment on the inside. You have a song of praise in your spirit, a gratefulness to God. You're always thanking him for what he's done. You have a smile on your face. You're passionate about the day.

See, Ezra said, "This day is holy unto God, do not grieve or be discouraged". He was saying, "This day is a gift from God". He could have chosen anyone to be alive at this time, but he chose you and me. We should feel a responsibility to live it in faith. It's not an ordinary day, every day is a holy day. Don't go through it negative, bitter, complaining. Nothing that's happened to you has stopped your destiny: the trouble, the adversity, the disappointment, it's all a test. That's the enemy trying to deceive you, like he almost did Nehemiah into being discouraged, mourning, going around with a defeated mentality. If you'll get your joy back, you'll get your strength back. If you'll be of good cheer in the midst of your the difficulty, that's your faith at work, that's when God will show up and do what you can't do: open doors like for Paul and Silas, make ways where you don't see a way.

After hurricane Katrina, I saw this news report where people were being interviewed that had made it out. One person after another told about how bad it was, how they barely made it, and how they had lost everything. And they were so upset, discouraged, blaming the city, mad at the response teams. Then this one lady stepped up, you could tell there was something different about her. She had a smile, she looked so peaceful and happy. The reporter said, almost sarcastically, "All right, tell me your story, what's wrong"? She said, "Nothing's wrong, I'm not here to complain, I'm here to thank God that I'm still alive. I want to thank him that my children are all okay, and thank him that we all made it through the storm". The reporter was kind of pleasantly surprised. Everyone had been complaining about not having any power, and how hot it was, no air conditioning. He asked the woman about her house, and whether she had electricity. She said, "No, I don't have any power, I don't even have my house. It was totally destroyed in the storm", but she pulled out a small Bible in her front pocket, she held it up and said, "But I do have my hope, I have my joy, I have my God".

The scripture (John 16:22) says, "No person can take your joy". No bad break, no disappointment, no storm, no calamity. Nothing can take it, you have to give it away. It's your choice. You're in charge of your joy. You need it for your destiny, to raise your children, to accomplish your dreams. It's designed to strengthen you, to empower you. Too often we make the mistake of giving it away. We had a disappointment, gave some away or that person did me wrong, I gave them some joy. Made that mistake last year, gave that some joy. We wonder: why we're discouraged, why don't we have the passion for our dreams, the stamina for our children? Because we're low on joy. The good news is: you can get your joy back. It's a decision that you make, like David, "This is the day the Lord has made, I'm going to rejoice today, I'm going to be glad today, I'm going to live this day in faith".

This is what Habakkuk did, a man in the scripture, he said (Habakkuk 3:17), "Though the fig tree does not blossom, and there be no fruit on the vine. Though the olive trops failed, and the fields have produced no food. Though there are no sheep in the pin and no cattle in the stalls". He was saying, "Man, business isn't good, my crops didn't make it, my storehouses are empty". He could have stopped there and just complain, been discouraged, in self-pity. But he went on to say, "Yet, will I rejoice in the Lord, and joy in the God of my salvation". He was saying, "All these negative things have happened, but I know a secret: I'm not giving away my joy. In this trouble I'm going to be of good cheer, for I know salvation is coming". Salvation means deliverance, breakthroughs, healing, abundance. He was expecting God's goodness. That joy is what gives you the strength to stand strong and come through the difficulties.

Many times we never see God turn it around, we never see him pay us back because we get discouraged and give up on what we're believing for. We need to have that spirit like Habakkuk, "Yes, I went through a loss, the dream didn't work out, the relationship failed, but I'm not going to live discouraged, replaying the hurts. Yet, will I rejoice". If you're going to reach your potential, you have to have "Yet" faith. "My business is slow, yet I still believe abundance is coming. The medical report wasn't good, yet I'm still trusting God that healing is on the way. That person did me wrong, I'm not bitter, yet I will rejoice, knowing that God's my vindicator, knowing that God will make it up to me". Get your joy back. When you have your joy, you're showing God that you trust him. When the enemy brings trouble, he expects you to fall apart, complain, blame people. When you do like Habakkuk and say, "Yet, will I rejoice", you give the enemy a nervous breakdown. If he can't steal your joy, he can't defeat you.

I heard about this little bird that lived in a cage. And every day he would sit on his swing, and sing and sing, from morning to evening. He was so happy, didn't have a care in the world. One day his owner was cleaning out the bird cage, like she did every week, he was still on his swing, singing away, and she had the vacuum hose up there, vacuuming out the bottom of the cage when the phone ring. She leaned over to reach the phone, when she did, her other hand went with the vacuum went up and accidentally sucked the little bird down the hose. After she hung up, she noticed that he's not there, thought "Where'd he go"? And she looked all over the house, and different rooms, behind every curtain. Finally it Dawned on her that the unthinkable may have happened. She ran in and opened up the vacuum bag, and sure enough there he was, all disheveled looking. She felt terrible, she dusted him off, cleaned him up the best she could, and then she put him back up on that swing. She said, "The most unusual thing happened, he didn't sing anymore. He just sat there and stared out into space, he lost his song".

Sometimes that's what happens to us. We're going along fine, everything's great, then we hit some turmoil, we go through a disappointment, somebody does us wrong, the medical report is not good, we get sucked down that vacuum hose so to speak. And sure, we thank God that we made it out, but too often, like that little bird, we've lost our song, we don't have the joy we once had, we're not pursuing dreams, we're not passionate about life, just going through the motions. You have to get your song back. That disappointment did not stop your destiny, that bad break did not catch God off guard. He still has amazing things in your future. But here's the whole key: the enemy would love for us to live discouraged, not dreaming, not believing. Don't fall into that trap. This is when you have to dig down deep and say, "God, I'm counting it all joy. I don't understand it, but I'm not going to live bitter, frustrated, with no passion. I'm going to keep a smile on my face, a song of praise in my heart, thanking you for what you're about to do".

A man I know was always so happy and upbeat, very successful, had a beautiful family, but a few years back he went through an unexpected divorce. He was so discouraged, he wasn't the same person. Normally he was outgoing, fun to be around, now he was just the opposite, like he is in this fog. The next year his company went through a restructuring, and he was forced to retire early, another big disappointment. At his lowest moment he's flipping through the channels, and he heard me talking about how God can give you beauty for ashes and how if you get your joy back and start believing again, God will take what was meant for harm, and turn it for your good.

He told me: those words were like water to a man that was dying of thirst. Realized he had to get his joy back, and changed his attitude, and started being grateful, and enjoying his children again. With that joy came his strength, and came his passion for life. Couple of years ago through these random circumstances he met this beautiful woman, they fell in love and were married. He said, "Joel, I have never been this happy in all of my life". Recently this new company was starting in another state, a man he had interviewed with 30 years ago and didn't get the job called and asked if he would come and run this new company. He thought his career was over, but God had something more than he ever imagined. Who knows what God will do if you get your song back, get your joy back? The joy is what gives you the strength to stand strong and believe again, so you can see the goodness of God in greater ways.

In the Old Testament one way an army would overtake a city was by clogging up the wells that provided water. They would take stones and throw them into the well, until the water wouldn't flow. This was their source of life, and eventually the people would have to come from behind the walls, the army would come out and attack. This is what happened with Isaac. Genesis 26 says: the Philistines clogged up all the wells that belonged to Isaac and his family. It's the same way with our enemy: there is a well of joy on the the inside of each one of us. The scripture talks about how out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water. Jesus told the woman in John chapter 4: if you drink this ordinary water you'll thirst again, but the water I give you will become a spring, welling up, bubbling continually within you. That's the joy God placed on the inside.

But like with Isaac, the enemy comes and tries to clog up our well. He uses stones of disappointments, stones of hurt, stones of guilt from mistakes we've made, stones of doubt, we don't think we can do it, stones of offense, they did us wrong. Now, we don't have the joy, we're not passionate, it's because our well has become clogged. We've let hurt, bitterness, fear, condemnation stop that flow. See, there's a difference between a dry well and a clogged up well. A dry well is finished, it's done, nothing left, all washed up. But a clogged up well is one that has all this potential, all this water ready to flow, it's just being limited by what's blocking it. You may not have the joy that you should, you've been through some bad breaks, some disappointments, now that joy is not flowing. The good news is: your well is not dry, it's just clogged up. If you'll get those stones out, it's going to start flowing like never before, rivers of living water.

Verse 18 says, "Isaac redug the wells that the Philistines clogged up". Maybe today you need to redig some wells, you need to unclog what stopped up your joy: a disappointment, a bad break, a delay, things haven't happened on your timetable, now you're sour, not believing. Get that stone out. It it may be that you need to forgive someone, let go of that offense. It's not affecting them, it's clogging up your well. Perhaps you need to forgive yourself, quit living condemned, feeling guilty, focused on your mistakes. God doesn't remember it, why are you remembering it? Or the disappoint that you went through, the door that closed. That doesn't mean that it's never going to happen, that means that God has something better in store. You have to get that stone of discouragement, get rid of that stone of doubt, thinking it's too late, you've been through too much, that's clogging up your well, keeping you from believing and expecting God's goodness.

Or is there a stone of insecurity, not feeling valuable, thinking you're not up to par, not attractive, not talented. That stone is keeping you from shining, from blossoming, seeing the fullness of who God made you to be. He didn't create create us to live worried, discouraged, limited. Jesus said that he came that your joy would be full. He put that river in you to continually flow. You have to make this decision, "I will be glad today. Yes, I've had some difficulties, but I'm going to be a good cheer. Not because everything is perfect, but because I know my God is on the throne. What he has purposed for my life will come to pass".

David had made some mistakes, he was very down on himself, so discouraged. He said in Psalm 51:12, "God, restore unto me the joy of my salvation". He recognized his well was clogged, he asked God to help him. You may be fighting discouragement, life has thrown you some unexpected challenges. My prayer today is that God is going to restore your joy. Not a trickle, not a stream, but a river of living water, that joy bubbling up on the inside. That's how you're going to have the strength to outlast the attacks, to withstand the opposition. Your joy is directly connected to your strength. No person can take it, no circumstance. Now, do your part, don't give it away. If you'll do this, I believe and declare: discouragement is leaving right now, fear cannot stay, doubt is going. You're about to see a new level of joy, a new level of strength, a new level of favor, the fullness of your destiny, in Jesus name. And if you receive it, can you say amen? Amen! I receive it as well.
Are you Human?:*