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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Joel Osteen » Joel Osteen - From Trouble to Double

Joel Osteen - From Trouble to Double

Joel Osteen - From Trouble to Double
TOPICS: Troubles, Blessing, Encouragement

I want to talk to you today about From Trouble to Double. We all face difficulties and things that are not fair: someone walks out of a relationship, set back in our finances, we come down with an illness. A man told me how a coworker was dishonest and manipulated things, and he made this man look bad. The coworker got the promotion that he deserved. He was so upset, thinking that he had missed his chance. But God sees everything you go through, he sees who did you wrong, the bad breaks, the times you were tak taken advantage of. God doesn't stop all the difficulties, he won't keep you from all the trouble, but he said in Zechariah 9:12, "If you'll be a prisoner of hope, I will restore double back to you".

When trouble comes, instead of being upset, have a new perspective: that just qualified you for double. That bad break looks like a setback, but really it's setting you up to come out with twice what you had before. Twice the joy, twice the resources, twice the influence. God never brings you out the same. He makes the enemy pay for bringing the difficulty. When you understand this principle, you won't live bitter when people do you wrong, or give up on your dreams because something unfair happens. You know, it's setting you up for something greater. That coworker that left you out, they thought they were hurting you, they don't realize they did you a favor, they just qualified you for double. Without that setback you wouldn't see the blessing and favor that you're going to see.

Well, that door that closed, the client you lost, the friend that betrayed you. Yes, it's painful, none of us like it, but instead of living discouraged try a new approach, "Lord, I thank you that double is coming. Thank you that I'll come out better than I was before, stronger, healthier, promoted, increased". God said he'd restore double back to you, but there is a condition: if you'll be a prisoner of hope. That's an interesting analogy. A prisoner means you're captive, you can't get away from it. I should be discouraged by what I'm going through, but I still believe that God is on the throne, that he's turning things to my advantage. This sickness doesn't look good, the medical expert said I'm not going to get well, but I still believe believe, Jehovah rafa, the Lord my healer is restoring health back into me.

"Oh, my child's off course, no sign of him improving, but I know as for me in my house we will serve the Lord. My children are mighty in the land". That's what it means to be a prisoner of hope. You're locked in, you can't be talked out of it. You're praising when you could be complaining, you're thanking God when you don't see any sign of it. You're talking like it's going to happen, when nothing is improving. And in life you're going to be a prisoner of something: prisoner of doubt, prisoner of shame, prisoner of discouragement. Get out of those prisons. God is looking for prisoners of hope, people that don't fall apart when trouble comes, people that keep believing, keep praising, keep expecting, knowing that the trouble is setting them up for double.

"Well, Joel, I don't think this is ever going to happen for me. You don't know what I've been through". The enemy would love for us to be a prisoner of doubt, thinking that we're stuck. Prisoner of shame, "I've made too many mistakes, that's why I'm not expecting anything good". A prisoner of bitterness, "They hurt me, they walked out on me". The problem is: you're in the wrong prison. God wants to pay you back, he wants to give you beauty for those ashes, make the rest of your life so rewarding that you don't think about who did you wrong, you don't focus on the pains of the past. But you have to break out of that prison of defeat, bitterness, self-pity and become a prisoner of hope. "God, I know you didn't bring me this far to leave me. I believe my latter days will be better than my former days. That this trouble is setting me up for new levels of my destiny".

Maybe you had a rough childhood, your parents weren't around, there was a lot of dysfunction, you could live bitter, thinking you're at a disadvantage, "Why wasn't I raised better"? That's going to limit your life. Have a new perspective: that dysfunction qualified you for double. Don't sit around negative, God has something big in your future. He's going to make up for what you didn't get. Not to just where you should have been, if everything was normal and healthy, but because of that disadvantage, he's going to do twice as much. It was meant to set you back, but God is going to use it to set you up, to propel you, to favor you, to take you where you've never imagined. God wants to make you a trophy of his grace. Not just bring you out, but cause you to bloom, to blossom, to see favor, great opportunities, great relationships. Now, do your part and and give him something to work with. Don't have a disadvantaged mentality, have a double mentality. That's what allows God to show out in your life.

The Israelites had been in captivity in Babylon for many years, and not allowed to return home. They had all these disappointments and hardships. Their ancestors had been in slavery, so mistreated, now that same spirit of defeat and disadvantage was on them. The prophet Zachariah showed up while they were prisoners of war. He said to them, "If you'll be a prisoner of hope, God will restore double back to you". Imagine the battle taking place in their mind. "He's saying: be a prisoner of hope? But look what we've been through, look what we're up against. There's no way we could live a blessed life. Be free have abundance"? They had to make a decision, "Am I going to be a prisoner of defeat, focus on all the past hurts, the disappointments, how it's never going to work out? Or am I going to believe what this prophet is saying, that God has double for this trouble, that he's about to pay us back for the unfair things that have happened"?

They changeed their mindset from a prisoner of defeat to a prisoner of hope. They saw God take them where they never dreamed. Like the Israelites, you may have had more than your share of trouble, disappointments and people that did you wrong. God is saying to you what he said to them, "I'm about to restore double, I'm about to pay you back with twice what should have been yours", but there is a requirement: you have to get rid of that survival mentality, and have a double mentality. Instead of a prisoner of doubt, switch over to a prisoner of hope. Believe that God is working. That what's meant for harm he's turning to your advantage. That that trouble set you up to come out with twice what you had before.

"Oh, man, look what happened to me, another disappointment" - no, I know this just set me up for double. "These Babylonians, they have us in exile, they think they're holding us back, they don't realize they set us up for twice the favor, twice the resources, twice the joy". If you're struggling with anxiety, depression, thoughts will tell you "It's permanent, it's never going to change". Don't believe those lies. That attack is setting you up for double. The enemy meant it to stop your purpose, to push you down your gifts, keep your personality from shining. The good news is it's going to backfire. God's going to use it to take you further than if it had not happen. Or the door that closed in your business, that contract didn't go through, it's not setting you back, it's setting you up. God didn't allow it because he has something much bigger, much better. Double is coming, double the resources, double the influence, double the favor.

When we were trying to buy property to build a new sanctuary, we found this 100 acre tract of land right off the freeway. Seemed perfect, it's about 2 miles from our former location. I met with the owner, and he told me the property had been for sale for 20 years, and he had never had one offer on it. I knew that God had saved that for us. He said, "Joel, you don't need to sign the contract right now, you can do your preliminary drawings while we get the paperwork drawn up". Two months later, we went to his office to sign the contract. We had an 8:00 a.M. Meeting, we showed up at 7:45, his secretary walked out and said, "I'm sorry, the owner sold the property last night". I couldn't believe it. He gave me his word, then sold it right out from under us. I was so disappointed, there were no more large tracks of land. We had looked everywhere, seemed like we were stuck.

I went home and told Victoria how bad it was, how that man had done us wrong, how there was no way we could grow. She said, "Listen here, Joel: God is still in control, he knows what he's doing. We're not going to get discouraged, we're going to trust that he has something better in store". She start started preaching one of my messages. I didn't want to hear that, I wanted to be depressed, I wanted to get in that prison of self-pity, "God where are you? This wasn't fair". Victoria was saying, "No, we're going to be prisoners of hope". 6 months later a friend called said the Houston rockets basketball team was moving out of the Compaq Center, and we should try to buy it. When I heard that, something came alive on the inside. This was more than I could imagine. By the grace of God things fell into place, and in 2003 the Houston city council voted for us to have this building.

What's significant is our old sanctuary held 8,000 people, this place holds 16,000 - exactly double. That man thought he was setting us back, the truth is he was setting us up for double. He didn't even do it of his own accord, he was a pawn in the hand of God. God on purpose closed that door. I wonder if there are things you're disappointed about now, doors that have closed, injustice, you're wondering, "Why it happened"? If you only knew what God had in store, you wouldn't be disappointed. Yes, on the surface it can be discouraging, painful, hard to deal with. You have to remind yourself that trouble is qualifying you for double. It's setting you up up for a level of your destiny that you could have never seen if it had not happened.

God said in Isaiah 61:7, The Message translation, "Because you got a double dose of trouble, your inheritance in the land will be double and your joy will go on forever". Sometimes it seems like we get a double dose of trouble, it's one thing after another - that's not how your story ends. Get ready, a double dose of blessing is coming, a double dose of favor, a double dose of health and vitality, a double dose of opportunity and influence. Get this down in your spirit: double for that trouble. "Well, Joel, you're just trying to get people's hopes up". Yes, I'm trying to convince you to become a prisoner of hope, to where you can't be talked out of it, because when you do, God says double is coming. One translation of the verse in Zachariah 9:12 says, "I will pay two blessings for each of your troubles".

When you're at the department store, sometimes there's a two for one sale, you buy one and get two. God says here: when you have one disappointment, I'm going to pay you back with two blessings. When you face one setback, I'm going to give you two promotions. When one friend walks away, I'm going to bring you two new friends, better friends. When you face a sickness, I'm not only going to restore your health, but I'm going to give you greater peace, a double blessing. The fact that God allowed the trouble is a sign that he wants to increase you, that he has something greater in store. If you'll pass the test, on the other side of that difficulty is double honor, double favor, double resources. And no, we don't like the trouble. None of us like the disappointments, the injustice, but without it we wouldn't see the fullness of our destiny. Don't let the difficulty cause you to give up, get sour. Have a new perspective: the trouble means double is in your future.

This is what happened with Job. Everything was going great, life was good, then the bottom fell out: lost his health, his family, his business, he had boils all over his body, it's very painful. And Job was a good man. The scripture says he honored God and lived with integrity. Having faith doesn't exempt us from from difficulties. Just because you're having trouble doesn't mean you've done something wrong, the storms of life come to us all. The good news is: nothing can happen to you without God's permission. He's in control in the good times, and in the tough times. No, he doesn't stop every difficulty, he doesn't prevent every attack, but he wouldn't have allowed it if it was going to keep you from your purpose.

With Job it seemed like everything was out of control, but the fact is: Satan had to ask God if he could test Job. God said a limit as to what he could do. What I'm saying is: God is not just in control of your life, he's in control of your enemies. He has a hedge of protection around you that the enemy cannot cross without God's permission. And if he's allowing a difficulty, you have to remind yourself: it's not there to defeat you, it's there to promote you. On the other side of that trouble is the double portion, greater joy, greater courage, greater influence. But the challenge is: we all want the double without the trouble. At least I do. But unfortunately they're connected. You have to go through it to get to it.

The longer I live, the more I've learned to trust God in the trouble, not fight what doesn't go my way, stay in peace when things happen that I don't understand. I recognize that God is up to something. He doesn't allow anything that's not ultimately going to work for your good. One way to stay in faith in that trouble is to keep reminding yourself that that setback is really a setup, that double is coming.

Things got so bad for Job, his wife told him to just curse God and die. His friend said it was his own fault, that he was getting what he deserved. In difficulties you have to be careful who you listen to. Don't give just anyone your ear, some people don't have your best interest at heart. They'll judge you, condemn you, try to straighten you out, tell you everything you've done wrong. They can't even run their own life, but they're telling you how to run your life. You need to be around people that speak faith into you, people that tell you that you're coming out, that healing is on the way, that God has beauty for those ashes, and that even if it is your fault, even if you made the mess, God's mercy is bigger than your mistakes. He never gives up on you, he's the God of another chance, his arms are still open wide. He can still get you to your destiny, but you have to tune out all the accusing, condemning voices, and get back in the game.

The enemy would love for you to be a prisoner of guilt, prisoner of shame, prisoner of regrets, "I'm washed up". Come out of that prison. You're locked up with the wrong thoughts. Try a new approach: a prisoner of hope. You're redeemed, you're forgiven, you're restored, your future is bright. The enemy wouldn't be trying to keep you in that negative prison if he didn't know that double was coming. Yes, you may made a mess of your life, but God knows how to not only clean up the mess, but how to bring you out where nobody knows what you've been through. Your mistakes are not going to be your identity. Those negative labels people have tried to stick on you are coming off today. Your own thoughts that have tried to convince you that you've missed your chance, just sit on the sidelines, those strong strongholds are coming down. This is your time to break free from that negative mentality, and become a prisoner of hope. God said, "There's one thing I want to hold you captive". Not fear, not guilt, not doubt, not discouragement. No, get locked up with hope. Believe the trouble will give way to double, believe that your past is forgiven, believe that your future is bright, believe that there are beauty for those ashes, believe that God's favor surrounds you like a shield.

After Job listened to his wife, and looked around and saw all the troubles, he sat down among the ashes. He didn't think he'd ever be happy again. He said in chapter 7, "I will never experience pleasure anymore". In the difficult times the enemy loves to whisper the never-lies, "You'll never be happy, you'll never get well, never meet someone, never get out of this problem". Don't believe those lies, he wouldn't be telling you that if he didn't know there was something great in front of you. Few verses later Job said, "I hate my life". He was so discouraged, he didn't want to live, he thought he was done. What's interesting is: even though he had given up, God had not given up on him. God knows that we're human, that sometimes our emotions get the best of us, we feel things, we get discouraged and we let doubt in, we think that we're stuck.

Some of the greatest people in the Bible doubted. Thomas was close to Jesus, one of his disciples, he traveled with Jesus, and ate dinner and did life together. Yet, when Jesus rose from the dead, Thomas said, "I'm not going to believe unless I see him with my own eyes". Jesus didn't hold that against him, Thomas went on to share the good news throughout all of India. Toward the end of John the Baptist life, John said to his disciples, "Go ask Jesus if he's really the Messiah". Now, remember John was the one that baptized Jesus. He was in the water when the heavens opened, he heard the voice boom out, "This is my beloved son", he saw the dove land on Jesus. All these incredible signs, yet now he's wondering is he really the the Messiah? You would think if we'd seen all that, we would believe.

But God didn't hold that against him. You may have doubts, at times you feel discouragement trying to come on, that happens to us all. I'm saying: don't stay there. Don't get locked up in that mindset, let that pass come back to that prisoner of hope. Our attitude should be, "I'm not changing my mind, I know God is faithful. He's been too good to me, not to believe. He's opened too many doors I never dreamed would open. He's brought too many divine connections. He's made too many ways when I didn't see a way. He's protected me too many times, pushed back forces of darkness, poured out blessings that I cannot contain. I've been too blessed to not believe". And sure doubt may come, times where we could feel discouraged, worried, "How's this going to work out"? Well, I've learned to say, "No, thanks, I'm going to be a prisoner of hope. I've seen God do it before, and I know he'll do it again. That's what set you up to see the double, the abundance, the greatness of our God.

Sitting in those ashes, Job suddenly had a change of heart (he must have turned on Lakewood). He looked up to the heavens and said, "I know my redeemer lives". He was saying, "God, I know you're still still on the throne. I may not understand all this, but I trust you with my life". When we hear about Job, most of the time we think all the suffering, the hardship. And yes, it was rough, but that's not how his story ended. The scripture says, "God restored Job's fortunes and gave him twice what he had before". God could have just restored him back to normal, brought him back to the way he was, he would have been grateful. But look at how God works: Job came out with twice, the cattle, twice the sheep, twice the joy, twice the influence. He got a double dose of trouble, that set him up for a double dose of blessing.

Could it be the trouble you're going through is really God getting you in position so he can give you double? What if Job would have known early on that this was all a setup for God to do something amazing in his life? He would probably handled it differently. He would have trusted God in the trouble, stayed in peace in the trouble, and kept that attitude of faith, knowing that it was all going to work out to his advantage. It would be easier if God would promise us double without the trouble, but usually there are some tests that we have to go through, difficulties and things we don't understand, that's when we prove to God what we're made of. That we're faithful in the fire, that we're calm in the chaos, that we trust in the trouble, that we praise in the problem, that we're unshakable, we're immovable, we are prisoners of hope. We know God wouldn't have allowed it if it wasn't going to work for our good. So when trouble hits, instead of having a defeated mentality, we have a double mentality. "The enemy meant it for harm, but God, we believe we're coming out with twice in increase, promoted, better than we were before".

I met a young woman at the altar one Sunday. She and her husband came down for prayer. She told how she had had seven miscarriages, now the experts said that they would never be able to have children. All the fertility treatments hadn't worked. And I'll never forget the tears running down her beautiful face, the sadness in her voice, the pain and heartache they were feeling. She had always dreamed of being a mother, now it didn't seem possible. And sometimes life can throw us a curb, our dreams get shattered, there's heartache and things that can squeeze the life and joy out of us. I love how God came to heal the brokenhearted, to restore what was stolen. I told them what I'm telling you that God sees what you're going through, and when you believe, stay in faith he can do amazing things. This couple made the decision to be prisoners of hope. Despite what the medical report said, they believed their baby was on the way. Every day they thank God that he was bringing them this child.

Two years later I saw them after the service in the lobby. The woman was carrying a beautiful baby girl, the husband was carrying a baby boy, they had had twins. I saw the same tears running down her cheeks, but this time they weren't tears of sadness, they were tears of joy. When you have a double dose of trouble, get ready, a double dose of blessing is coming. Now, you may be in a difficult time today, keep the right perspective: that trouble has qualified you for double. It's not there to set you back, it's setting you up for increase, for favor, for new levels. This is not the time to get discouraged, this is the time to be a prisoner of hope. God has not brought you this far to leave you. He sees you doing the right thing when it's hard. Like that young couple, praising through the pain, keeping a good attitude when it's not fair, believing when there's no sign of things changing. Because you're locked into hope, you are passing the test. I believe and declare: what God promised you that double is coming, something you've never seen, twice the joy, twice the resources, twice the influence, the double blessing, in Jesus name. And if you receive it, can you say amen? Amen, I receive it as well.
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