Joel Osteen — You Can Handle It
I want to talk to you today about you can handle it. Nothing that comes your way in life is too much for you. God promised he will never let us face more than we can bear. We all go through challenges, disappointments, unfair situations. It's easy to let it overwhelm us to where we think, "This is too much. I can't deal with this illness. I can't handle this difficult child". Or, "I can't take this traffic. It's driving me crazy. This relationship issue, it's going to be the end of me".
No, God would not have allowed it if you couldn't handle it. But as long as you're telling yourself it's too much then you'll talk yourself out of it. You've got to get in agreement with God. You are not weak. You are full of can do power. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives on the inside of you. All through the day, whether you're stuck in traffic or facing a major disappointment, your attitude should be, "I can handle it. I can handle this grouchy boss. I can handle this difficult child. I can handle these people talking about me. I can handle the Texans not winning".
You can't have a weak defeated mentality. You've got to have a warrior mentality. This is what Joseph did. He was betrayed by his brothers, thrown into a pit, spent years in prison for something that he didn't do. But he didn't get depressed. He didn't start complaining. His attitude was, "I can handle it. God is still on the throne. He wouldn't have allowed it unless he had a purpose for it so I'm going to stay in faith and keep being my best". In the end, he was made second in charge over all of Egypt.
Listen, no person can keep you from your destiny, no bad break, no disappointment; no sickness. My mother was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer in 1981, given a few weeks to live. She could have fallen apart and thought, "God, it's not fair. I've served you all these years. I don't understand it". No, her attitude was, "I can handle it. I'm not a victim. I'm a victor. Nothing can snatch me out of God's hands". This week you know we're celebrating her 80th birthday. Still strong and healthy, full of joy, full of peace.
My father, back in the 1950's, he was the pastor of a large denominational church. His future looked very bright. They had just built a beautiful new sanctuary. But through a series of events my dad had to leave that church. It was a major setback. A big disappointment. He had given years of his life there. But daddy didn't sit around nursing his wounds. His attitude was, "I can handle it. I know when one door closes God always opens up another door". He and my mother went out and launched Lakewood Church and here we are today still going strong.
Paul put it this way. Philippians 4:13, "I have strength for all things through Christ who empowers me". Listen to his declaration. "I am ready for anything. I am equal to anything through him who infuses strength into me". I like that. I'm ready for and equal to anything. He was saying, "The enemy may hit me with his best shot but it won't stop me. I'm more than a conqueror".
Paul knew what he was talking about. He had been shipwrecked, spent the night on an open sea, gone days without food. He was falsely accused, beaten with rods, thrown into prison. If anyone had a right, at least in the natural to be negative, bitter, complain, it would have been Paul. But he understood this principle. His attitude was, "I can handle it. I am ready for and equal to it. Why? Because almighty God, the Creator of the universe, has infused me with strength. He has equipped me, empowered me, anointed me, crowned me with favor, put royal blood in my veins, called me to reign in life as a king".
In difficult times, like Paul, you've got to talk to yourself the right way. If you don't talk to yourself, your thoughts will talk to you. They will tell you, "It's too much. It's never going to change. It's not fair. If God loved you he would have never let this happen". No, the scripture says, "Rain falls on the just and the unjust". Just because we're a person of faith, that doesn't exempt us from difficulties.
Jesus told a parable about this where one person built their house on a rock. They honored God. Another person built their house on the sand. They didn't. What's interesting is the same storm came to both people. The wind, the rain, fell on both houses. The difference is when you honor God the storm may come but when it's all said and done you will still be standing. The other house built on the sand was washed away.
The enemy may hit you with his best shot, but because your house is built on the rock his best will never be enough. When the storm is over you will not only come through it, but you'll come out stronger, increased, promoted, better than you were before.
Now you've got to do like Paul. Shake off a victim mentality and have a victor mentality. You're not a weakling. You're not lacking. The most powerful force in the universe is breathing in your direction. Every morning you need to remind yourself, "I am ready for and equal to anything that comes my way. I am full of can do power".
Listen, that sickness is no match for you. That relationship issue is not going to keep you from your destiny. The loss of that loved one did not stop God's plan for your life. Don't let it overwhelm you. You can handle it. You've been armed with strength. When you have this warrior mentality, this attitude of faith, knowing that you've been equipped and empowered, then all the forces of darkness cannot stop you.
Isaiah said, "Take hold of his strength". When you make this declaration, "I can handle it," that's not just being positive. You're talking hold of strength. When you say it you're getting stronger. That's why the scripture says, "Let the weak say, 'I am strong.'" if you're always talking about the problem, "I can't stand this job". "This professor is so difficult. I'll never pass his course". "My loved one didn't make it. I don't know what I'm going to do". All that's doing is draining you.
When you talk defeat strength is leaving. Energy is leaving. Creativity is leaving. Quit letting those things overwhelm you. You are not a victim. You are a victor. If it came your way you can handle it. You are ready for it and equal to it. If you will stay in agreement with God, he will take what is meant for your harm and he will use it to your advantage. That difficulty won't defeat you. It will promote you.
I read about this businessman. He had worked for a large home improvement company for over 30 years. They had retail stores all over the country. He had helped build it from the ground up. But one day they had this corporate restructuring. They decided that they no longer needed him. Of course, he was disappointed. It didn't seem fair. But instead of sitting around nursing his wounds, thinking about what he lost, he had the attitude, "I can handle it. This is not going to defeat me. It's going to promote me".
In difficult times you have to remind yourself that that is not a surprise to God. God is not up in the heavens scratching his head, saying, "Oh, man. He got laid off. That messed everything up". "Oh, she got diagnosed with cancer". "Joseph got thrown into a pit". "Joel lost his father. Now what am I going to do"? No, God knows the end from the beginning. He has already written every day of your life in his book. The good news is if you will stay in faith, your book ends in victory.
This executive, instead of looking for another job, he got a couple of his friends and they started their own company. They called it the home depot. It's become one of the largest most successful home improvement stores in the world. What am I saying? That difficulty is not meant to defeat you. It's meant to promote you. A setback is simply a setup for a greater comeback. "Well, Joel. It's so hard and I don't understand it. It doesn't seem fair". You're talking yourself into defeat.
If it came your way you can handle it. Start talking to yourself a new way. "I'm well able. I'm equipped. I'm empowered. I'm ready for anything". The fact is God is not going to deliver us from every difficulty. He is not going to keep us from every challenge. If he did we would never grow. The scripture says, "Our faith is tried in the fire of affliction".
When you're in a tough time that's an opportunity to show God what you're made of. Anybody can get negative, bitter, blame God; lose their passion. That's easy. But if you want to pass the test, if you want God to take you to a new level, you cannot be a weakling. You've got to be a warrior. Dig your heels in and say like Paul, "I can handle it. I'm ready for it. I'm equal to it. I know God is still on the throne. He is fighting my battles and on the other side of this difficulty is a new level of my destiny".
Colossians 3:12 says, "God has given us the power to endure whatever comes our way with a good attitude". Maybe at the office you're not being treated fairly. It's one thing to go to work negative, discouraged, complaining, bad mouthing the boss. That doesn't take any faith. But if you want to pass the test you've got to go to work with a smile on your face, with a good attitude, being good to people, doing more than you have to.
At your house, maybe your spouse is not treating you the way they should. It's easy to think, "I'm going to treat him the way he is treating me". "These kids are disrespectful. I'm not going to give them the time of day". But if you want to pass the test, you've got to be good to people even when they're not being good to you. You've got to do the right thing when the wrong thing is happening.
See it as an opportunity to grow. Every time you do the right thing a blessing will follow. When you take the high road there will always be a reward. Too often the mistake we make is we're constantly telling ourselves, "It's not fair. It's not right. When they change, when it improves, then I'll have a better attitude". No, you've got to make the first move. You do your part and God will do his part.
Quit worrying about God changing another person and first allow God to change you. Is there something you're letting overwhelm you? You think it's too much. Why don't you get up every morning and make this simple declaration, "God, I want to thank you that I can handle anything that comes my way today. I can handle a difficult boss. I can handle getting stuck in traffic. I can handle my plans not working out. Lord, thank you that I'll have a good attitude wherever I am". You have to decide before you leave the house that nothing that comes your way is going to upset you. Decide ahead of time.
A friend of mine was going to have her family over for dinner on Christmas Eve and then they were going to her in-laws for a Christmas day lunch. She was in charge of bringing desserts for both parties. She is a very organized, very detailed person. A couple of weeks before Christmas she called her favorite bakery where she had ordered desserts many times before and she ordered seven pies: two pecan, two pumpkin and three lemon meringue.
She had to work Christmas Eve on the morning but in the afternoon she was going to drive with her mother to the bakery and pick up the pies. But that day a snowstorm unexpectedly came in. The roads were very difficult to travel. The whole city was frozen over. She and her mom braved the bad weather. They finally made it to the bakery just before they closed on Christmas Eve.
She walked up to the counter, gave the young man her receipt and said, "I'm here to pick up my seven pies". He said, "I'm sorry, ma'am. We don't have any more pies". She said, "That's impossible. I've ordered these two weeks ago. I've got to have these pies for my Christmas dinners". He said again, "I'm sorry. The weather was so bad we didn't think anybody else would come in so we've sold all the pies". She was very upset. She started telling her mother how wrong that was and how she was going to call the owner, how that was ruining her Christmas, on and on.
Another customer had come in. She overheard everything that was going on. This lady walked up to my friend with a big smile and said, "Hey, it's Christmas. Why are you so upset? I'm going to pray that you find your desserts". My friend rolled her eyes and thought, "Lady, I don't need prayer. I need pies". She thanked her for praying and got back in the car.
Her mother said, "Why don't we call this other bakery"? It was across town. The daughter said, "Oh, mom. We'll never get across town in this bad weather. Plus, they're not going to have any pies left late on Christmas Eve". She finally talked her daughter into calling. She called the bakery, asked if they had any pies and the lady said, "Let me check". She came back on the line and said, "All we have left are seven pies: two pecan, two pumpkin, three lemon meringue".
Friends, God is in complete control. You don't have to get upset when things don't go your way. You have the power to remain calm. You can handle any situation. Quit letting little things steal your joy. Every day is gift from God. Life is too short to live it negative, offended, bitter, discouraged. Start passing the tests. Start believing that God is directing your steps. Believe that he is in control of your life. Believe that he has solutions to problems that you haven't even had. If you will stay calm and stay in faith God promised that all things will work out for your good. Well, you say, "Joel, I was in that same type situation but it didn't have a good end. They didn't have any pies left". Well, maybe God is trying to help you lose some weight. You can handle it.
I read something interesting about a spider. We've all seen how a spider spins a web in order to catch another insect. That web is filled with a sticky substance so when another insect comes in contact with it, it not only gets tangled in the web but it actually gets stuck. Have you ever thought about if the web is so sticky how can the spider that's spinning the web walk across it and not get stuck?
It seems like he would get trapped in his own web. But the way God made the spider is its body releases a special oil that flows down to the legs. That way it can just slide across the web. You could say the spider doesn't get stuck because of the anointing that's on its life. In the same way God has put an anointing on your life. It's like oil that causes things not to stick.
When you walk in your anointing, knowing that you can handle anything that comes your way, then things that should bring you down won't be able to. You get laid off. It wasn't fair. You should be discouraged. You should be upset but you stay in faith and you end up with a better job. A relationship comes to an end. You should be bitter, should be discouraged, but you keep moving forward and God opens up a new door. At the office, people are playing politics, talking behind your back. You should try to get even. You should try to pay them back but because of this anointing it just slides right off of you.
Many of you can say like me, "How did I make it through the loss of my father"? How did you make it through that slow season at work? How did you make it through that illness, that breakup? It's because of the anointing God put on your life. He gave you strength when you didn't think you could go on. He gave you joy when you should have been discouraged. He made a way when it looked impossible. Now we can all say with David, "Where would we be without the goodness of God"?
Bottom line: God has infused strength into you. He has equipped you and empowered you. You are ready for and equal to anything that comes your way. Now when you face difficulties, remind yourself, "I am anointed for this. I'm not going to fall apart. I'm not going to start complaining. I can handle it. I know God is still on the throne. He is fighting my battles and if God be for me who dare be against me"?
Another friend of mine, he's had cancer three times. I've never once heard him complain. I've never seen him depressed. We used to play basketball together. Nobody even knew anything was wrong. He doesn't have a weak, defeated, poor old me mentality. He's got a warrior mentality. He knows he can handle it. He's anointed for it.
A couple of years ago the cancer came back for the third time. The doctors told him they were going to harvest his white blood cells before he took chemo; then they could use them to help restore his immune system after the treatment. He asked the doctors how many of these cells they needed. They gave him a number. He said, "Doctors, I'm going to give you twice what you need".
For the next couple of months all through the day he would go around saying, "Father, thank you that my white blood cells are multiplying, they're getting stronger, increasing. They will do exactly what you have created them to do". What was he doing? Talking to himself. Taking hold of that strength. Went back to the doctors. They said, "You're a man of your word. You've given us four times the amount that we were hoping for". He took that treatment and today he is totally cancer free, healthy and strong.
But Philippians 1:28 says, "Do not be intimidated by your enemies". Don't be intimidated by that cancer. It's no match for you. Sickness cannot keep you from your destiny. God has you in the palm of his hand. Nothing can snatch you away. If it's not your time to go you're not going to go. Don't be intimidated by that financial problem. Don't be intimidated by what somebody said about you. There is an anointing on your life that seals you, protects you, enables you, empowers you. God has infused you with strength. The scripture calls it "Can do power".
I was at the beach one time when our children were much smaller. Alexandra was maybe three years old and Jonathan about six. We were having a good time, playing in the sand, making castles, when this little yellow bumblebee came and landed right beside Alexandra. She took off running afraid. I simply swatted the bee out of the way. We went back to playing.
About 30 seconds later that bumblebee was right back flying all around. My kids started screaming, "Daddy! Get him! Get him"! I got my towel and I knocked him down to the sand. I thought, "I'll show him who's boss". About a minute later there he was again buzzing all around, flying by our head. This time I got my towel. I not only knocked him down to the sand but I got my tennis shoe and I squashed him in the sand as hard as I possibly could. I was tired of dealing with him.
We went back to playing. A couple of minutes later I looked over just to make sure he was still dead. I couldn't believe it. I saw one wing start to move. I saw this other wing come up out of the sand. I thought, "This is the bumblebee from hell".He started walking across the sand like he was dazed. I was amazed not only that he was alive but that he could get back up again. About that time he started flying off away from me.
Just when I thought he had learned his lesson, "Don't mess with me," he turned around and came right back and buzzed by my head like three or four times. I had to dodge to get out of the way. It was just like he was saying, "Ha, ha, ha! You couldn't kill me". Alexandra said, "Daddy, kill him for good this time". I said, "No, Alexandra. This bumblebee deserves to live. I'm a thousand times bigger than him and I still couldn't keep him down".
That's the way you need to see yourself. No matter how big that enemy looks. No matter how powerful it may seem. There is a force in you that is more powerful than any opposition. Greater is he that is in you than anything that comes against you. If you will just be like that bumblebee, refuse to give up, refuse to fall into self-pity, refuse to let it overwhelm you. Instead, have this attitude, "I'm ready for and equal to anything that comes my way. I've been anointed with can do power. I am armed with strength for this battle".
When you have this warrior mentality, this "I can handle it" attitude, all the forces of darkness cannot keep you from your destiny. But some of you, you've already decided, "Joel, I can't handle this sickness anymore. I can't handle this problem at work. I can't handle taking care of my elderly parents and my family too". No, quit telling yourself it's too much. Those negative, defeated thoughts are draining your energy. You wouldn't be there if you couldn't handle it. God would not have allowed it if you weren't ready for it and equal to it. You're anointed for it. When you press past what's coming against you, on the other side of that difficulty is a new level of your destiny.
I heard about this wealthy man. He was known for being very eccentric, very far out. One night he was having a big party at his house. In his backyard his swimming pool was filled with sharks and alligators. He announced to all the guests, "Anyone who will swim across my pool I will give you anything that you want".
In a few minutes there was a big splash. He looked over and this man was swimming 90 to nothing, dodging the alligator, maneuvering his way around the sharks, as frantic as can be. He made it to the other side just in the nick of time, jumped out totally panicked.
The wealthy man came over and said, "I can't believe it. You're the bravest person I've ever met. Now what do you want me to give you"? The man said, "What I want more than anything else is the name of the person that just pushed me in".
Here's my point. Sometimes in life it feels like we got pushed in. We weren't expecting it. A bad medical report. Relationship didn't make it. A business goes down. It may be a surprise to us but it is not a surprise to God. If you get pushed in don't sit around nursing your wounds. Do like this man. Just go for it. Just keep being your best. Keep honoring God. Keep doing what you know you're supposed to do. God has already given you the strength, the wisdom, the favor, the determination, not only to make it through but to come out better than you were before.
Remember, that difficulty is not going to defeat you. It's going to promote you. You can handle it. Take hold of this strength. Get up every morning. Remind yourself, "I'm ready for and equal to anything that comes my way". If you will do this God promises he will infuse strength into you. I believe and declare you will overcome every obstacle, defeat every enemy and become everything God has created you to be. In Jesus' name.