Joel Osteen - Ready To Rise
I want to talk to you today about Ready to Rise. We all face things in life that try to push us down. It's easy to lose our passion and think that's the way it's always going to be, but God didn't create to be overcome, he created you as an overcomer, and he's put something in your spirit called "Bounce Back". Bounce back means when you get knocked down, you don't stay down, there's a force breathing in your direction making things happen that you couldn't make happen, giving you strength that you didn't have. It causes you to rise up.
Because you have bounced back that difficulty cannot defeat you. It may hold you back temporarily, but it's just a matter of time before you rise back up. You may have things that have come against you now, thoughts will tell you "You'll never get well. This pandemic has ruined your finances. You'll always struggle with this addiction". Don't believe those lies. You may be down, but that's not your final destination. God is saying, "Get ready to rise. Get ready for favor. Get ready for breakthroughs. Get ready for healing". What was meant for your harm, God is turning to your advantage.
Micah 7:8 said, "Rejoice not over me my enemies when I fall, for I shall arise". He wasn't complaining about the trouble, he wasn't discouraged over being knocked down - he understood this principle that there was bounce-back in his spirit. In the middle of the difficulty he was speaking victory. If you're going to come out of that challenge you have to do like Micah, "This problem didn't come to stay, it came to pass. God being for me is more than the world being against me. I shall arise".
When you say that, forces of darkness tremble. When you declare "I shall arise" angels go to work. No more, "It's never going to change. My business never going to make it. My child will never get back on course" - zip that up. If you talk defeat, you're going to have defeat. Say with Micah, "Yes, I've had difficulties, I'm not denying the problem, not acting like it doesn't exist - all I'm saying is: I'm not staying here, I shall arise. I will see the goodness God. My latter days will be better than my former days".
God hasn't brought you this far to leave you. He won't let you get in a problem that he can't get you out of. And that person that walked out on you, they didn't stop your destiny. Quit giving them that much power, thinking that they ruined your life. God has somebody better coming.
David said (Psalm 40:2), "God lifted me out of a pit and he set my feet upon a rock". You may be in the pit so to speak, you don't see how you could get out - the good news is: you don't have to get out by yourself, the Most High God is about to lift you out, he's about to free you from that addiction, he's about to turn the medical report around, he's about to open new doors, bring new opportunities, new relationships. That pit is not your destiny. Get ready to rise.
Paul said (Romans 8:11), "The same spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives on the inside of you". The forces of darkness did their best to stop Jesus, but they couldn't keep him from rising. That tells me: nothing you face can keep you from your purpose - no pandemic, no sickness, no addiction. The enemy may have done his best, but his best will never be enough.
Few years back we had a big hurricane here in Houston. I noticed all the different kinds of trees that were blown down, huge oak trees that were 3 or 4 feet around. I saw pine trees over a hundred feet tall laying in yard after yard: big trees, small trees - none of them could withstand the hurricane-force winds. There was only one type of tree that wasn't blown down - it was the palm tree. It's because God designed the palm to withstand the storm. Unlike most other trees the palm is able to bend, so it doesn't break.
A certain kind of palm can bend all the way over to where the top is almost touching the ground. During the hurricane it may stay that way for 3 or 4 hours all bent over, looks like it's done, but when the wind dies down, when the storm is over it stands right back up to where it was before. All these other trees down on the ground - what's the difference? God put bounce back in the palm tree. It may get pushed over, but it's only temporary.
Psalm 92:12 says, "The righteous will flourish like a palm tree". The reason God chose a palm and not oaks or pines is he knew we would go through storms, he knew things would try to push this down and keep us from our destiny. So he said, "I'm gonna make you like a palm tree. I'm going to put bounce back in your spirit". And you may go through difficulties, a loss, a disappointment, but at some point the winds will stop, the storms will pass and like that palm tree you'll come right back up. You may be bent over now, you're facing challenges, thoughts are telling you, "It's never going to work out" - get ready to rise, you have bounced back power. When that storm is over you're not going to be laying down, defeated, beat up - you're gonna rise up healthy, blessed, prosperous. You're not going to look like what you've been through, nobody is going to be able to tell that you even had that difficulty.
What I love about God is he doesn't just bring you through the storm, he makes the enemy pay for bringing the trouble. When the palm tree has been over during the hurricane, you would think that's damaging the tree and making it weaker. But research shows just the opposite - when the tree is being pushed over and stretched by the winds, that's strengthening the root system and giving it new opportunities for growth. When the palm tree straightens back up after the storm, it's actually stronger than it was before. When you come out of that storm, when you straighten back up you're not going to be the same - you're going to be stronger, healthier, better off, ready for new growth.
When you're in difficult times you need to remind yourself, "I may bend, but I'm not going to break". God won't let you face anything that's too much for you to handle. And things may be coming against you, but note this: down is not your destiny, defeat is not how your story ends, sickness, trouble, lack, not having enough is not permanent. I believe even now the winds are starting to subside, forces that have hindered you are being broken, powers of darkness are being pushed back, you're about to see breakthroughs, freedom, joy, victory.
In Micah chapter 7, Micah lists all these negative things that have happened to him, he talked about how he was overwhelmed with sorrow, he'd gone through bad breaks - it's very depressing. If he would have stopped there, we wouldn't be reading about him. He went on to say in verse 7, "But as for me, I'm not giving up. I'm sticking around to see what God is going to do. I know he will make things right". He had this attitude of faith, "I've come too far to stop now". He was expecting God to turn it around. That's why he said in the next verse, "Don't rejoice when I fall, I shall arise".
But sometimes we've been in the storm so long, we forgotten what it's like to be standing back up. The enemy would love to convince us to settle for being bent over, living in dysfunction, bitter over who hurt us, thinking that we'll never be happy again. We need to do like Micah, "Yes, I've had some bad breaks. Yes, life has thrown me some curves, but I'm not giving up on my dreams, I'm not settling for mediocrity, I'm sticking around to see what God is up to. I know he's going to make things right".
Don't get talked out of your dreams. Don't let the delays, the unfair childhood, the unexpected storm convince you that you've seen your best days. God is up to something. What looks like a setback is all a part of his plan. He may not have sent the difficulty, but he wouldn't have allowed it if it was going to keep you from your destiny. If you'll have this to the faith, God will make things right in your life, he'll restore what the enemy tried to steal, he'll pay you back for the wrongs, he'll open doors that you couldn't open, he will get you to your destiny.
In Genesis 37 Joseph was a teenager and God gave him a dream that he would be an leadership, he would have great influence. He had many older brothers, but he was the favorite son of their father Jacob. Because he was born later in Jacobs life, Jacob treated him differently. He even had them make Joseph a special robe of many colors. I'm sure Joseph was proud of that robe, made him stand out, gave him prestige. His brothers were jealous of Joseph, they didn't like the special treatment, they didn't like the fact that he had these dreams and he thought he was going to do something great.
One day his father asked him to travel to another city to check on his brothers. They were out working in a field. When they saw Joseph coming from a distance, wearing the colorful robe, they thought, "This is our big chance to get rid of Joseph". They took the robe off of him and threw him into a pit. They were going to put blood on the robe and tell their father "He had been eaten by a wild animal", but about that time a caravan of Ishmaelites came passing by. The brothers decided to sell Joseph as a slave, instead of leaving him there to die.
It's interesting how God will always have the right people show up at the right time. That caravan had been traveling for months, they had left long before Joseph went to check on his brothers, but God has everything figured out, he knows what you're going to need, when you're going to need it, who's going to need to be there. You don't have to worry, God has it all lined up, he's going to get you to your destiny. People can't stop you, a bad break, injustice - God is ordering your steps. He's in control not only of your life, he's in control of the circumstances around you.
Now Joseph was no longer the favorite son, wearing the colorful robe - he was a slave in a foreign country, working for a man named Potiphar. Year after year went by, Joseph kept doing the right thing, being good to people that weren't being good to him. I can imagine many lonely nights he thought about home and about that robe he used to have, and what it meant. Tears would fill his eyes, thoughts would whisper "It's not fair. You'll never accomplish your dream. You'll never see your father again. You'll never have that robe of many colors". But deep down I can hear Joseph praying, "Father, thank you that what you started in my life you will finish. I don't see a way, but I know you have a way. I believe I will rise again. What you promised me will come to pass".
13 years after Joseph was thrown into the pit, the Pharaoh had a dream and he didn't know what it meant. Joseph was in prison. Someone remembered that he could interpret dreams and they called Joseph in, he told the Pharaoh what the dream meant, how it had to do with the food supply and how they needed to store up grain and get prepared for the famine. The Pharaoh was so impressed with Joseph, his advisors discussed: who should be appointed for the new position? Pharaoh told them: no one could do it better than Joseph. He put Joseph in charge of the whole nation. He said in verse 44, "No one will move hand or foot in all of Egypt without your approval".
He had his staff bring a royal robe and put it on Joseph. He took off his prison clothes, took off his slave clothes and he put on a robe of honor, a robe of influence, a robe of authority. Imagine now Joseph thinking back about the robe his brothers took away from him, that robe that represented favor. He was disappointed at the time, he wanted it back, it didn't seem fair, but now he realized: without losing the robe of many colors, he would have never had the robe of authority, that robe that said "I'm in charge of a nation".
If you knew what God has in store for you, you wouldn't be discouraged over the robe of many colors that you lost, that job that didn't work out, the person that walked away, that loan that didn't go through. If you could see the robe of authority that's coming: the robe of influence, the robe of abundance, the robe of unprecedented favor, you wouldn't be bitter over who hurts you, upset over the time in the pit, frustrated by what you lost. What God has in your future is so amazing, you'll never complain about your past. You may be down now, but like Joseph, get ready to rise. Favor is coming like you've never seen. God is about to do something unusual, something uncommon that will catapult you to a new level.
Your story doesn't end with the robe of many colors that you've lost, doesn't end with the dream that didn't work out, a relationship that didn't make it, a business that went down. The robe of many colors were simply foreshadowing what God was about to do. It was supposed to be temporary, it wasn't supposed to last. If the door closed - accept it and move on. Don't spend your life wishing you had the robe of many colors back, when God has something so much better in your future. Don't go around bitter because someone threw you in a pit, someone betrayed you, someone cheated you in a business deal, a dream didn't work out - God saw it, he wouldn't have let them take the colorful robe, he wouldn't have left that bad break happen if it was going to keep you from your destiny.
How many of us are longing for the robe of many colors, wishing we could go back to when we knew we were favored, before the setback, before the health issue, before the pandemic? Here's the key: not having the robe of many colors doesn't mean that you don't have favor, it means greater favor is coming. You had to lose that robe to step into the awesome future, that God has in store. You haven't seen heard or imagined where God is taking you.
You may feel like you're in that pit - that's okay, the pit is leading you to the palace. You had a setback, that's okay, it's setting you up for greater honor, greater influence, greater authority. Don't sit around wishing for the robe of many colors, get ready for the greater things that God is about to do.
Joseph was in charge of the food supply, there was a great famine in the land and the only place they had food was in Egypt. One day his brothers, the same ones that threw him into the pit traveled to the palace looking for food. Joseph came out, but they didn't recognize him. The last time they saw Joseph he was in the pit, defeated, no future, but God has the final say. They knew him in the pit, but now he was so blessed, had so much influence, so much prestige - they didn't recognize him.
That's the way God vindicates. When he raises you up you'll be so blessed, so favored, that your enemies don't recognize you. 13 years earlier Joseph was down and his brothers were up. Joseph was in the pit, they were on top. Now Joseph was up and his brothers were down, Joseph was in charge and his brothers were in need. When you let God fight your battles, there will be a day like with Joseph when the tables are turned. You will be up and those that tried to stop you will be down. God knows how to make things right.
You may be in a tough time, but stick in there and see what God is up to. Keep believing, keep praying, keep dreaming - your time is coming. The pit is only temporary, the depression, the sickness, the lack is not how your story ends. God is working behind the scenes. You are closer than you think, it's going to happen sooner than it looks, God is about to surprise you. Joseph woke up one morning in prison, seemed like another ordinary day - a few hours later he was the prime minister of Egypt. There wasn't any sign of it. That's the way God works: many times you don't see anything happening and suddenly things fall into place, suddenly your health turns around, suddenly you meet the right person, suddenly you're promoted.
The Psalmist said (Psalm 68:1), "Let God arise and his enemies be scattered". Let means you have to allow it. You can let it or you cannot let it. We can't stop God from arising, this is talking about in our thoughts. When you let God arise, you make him bigger than your problems, bigger than that sickness, bigger than the financial trouble. You focus on his greatness, you think about his power, you talk about how he's brought you through in the past, you go around bragging on what he's done, declaring his promises: "No weapon formed against me will prosper. What was meant for my harm God is turning to my advantage".
The bigger you make God, the smaller your problems become and the more faith will rise in your heart. But the enemy is always trying to get us to let the problem arise. Maybe your child is off course, it's easy to talk about "How he's not making good decisions, how he's never gonna reach his destiny, I don't know what I did wrong". You're letting the wrong thing arise, turn it around and start letting God arise, "Father, thank you that as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. Thank you that my children will be mighty in the land. Thank you, that my seed, the seed of the righteous is blessed".
That's letting God arise. That's what causes things to change. When you speak defeat you bring defeat on the scene, but when you speak victory you bring God on the scene. He created the universe, he flung stars into space, there's nothing that he can't do. Maybe you're struggling in your finances: business is slow, you can't go to work. You can either let that defeat arise, you'll feel discouraged, worried or you can let God arise, "Father thank you that I will lend and not borrow. The economy is not my source, You are my source. You said you would prosper me even in the desert".
When you let God arise, the scripture says your enemies will be scattered. Depression, lack, trouble cannot stand against our God. When you let him arise, chains that have held you back are broken. Problems that look permanent will turn around. When God arises, favor comes, new doors open, things that you couldn't make happen. Now the question is: are you letting God arise are you letting the problem arise? All through the day it's so important to keep a song of praise in your heart.
Instead of worrying, thinking about all the things that are wrong, what might not work out, in your thoughts, "Lord, thank you that there's nothing you can't do. There's not a mountain you can't move. You're a way maker, a promise keeper, a miracle worker". Take the same time that you'd normally worry and turn it into worship. That's not just being positive, that's letting God arise, that's what allows the most powerful force in the universe to go to work on your behalf.
"Well, Joel, this all sounds good, but I don't think I'm gonna rise back up. I've made a lot of mistakes, nobody did me wrong like Joseph, I brought the trouble on myself". Jesus told a story about a young man like this in Luke 15. He asked his father for his inheritance early, he left home and went out and spent all the money partying, living wild, making poor decisions. When he ran out of funds, he got a job working in a hog pen feeding hogs. He was so desperate and so hungry, he had to eat the hog food to survive.
One day he was sitting around depressed, mad at himself, feeling condemned. He began to think about home and how even the servants at his father's house had a hot meal every day, they had plenty of food. Here he was out there starving. Verse 17 says, "He came to himself and said: I will arise and go to my father's house". He made a decision that he wasn't going to stay in that defeat, he wasn't going to sit around guilty, depressed, beating himself up, but he was going to go back home.
He didn't know how his father would respond, he didn't know if he'd tell him to stay off the property, but when the father saw him a long way off he took off running toward his son, he hugged him and kissed him.
Now, the son was wearing these dirty clothes, he'd been in the hog pen, smelly. The first thing the father said was, "Go get the best robe and put it on my son". Not any robe, not one that's been used, not a hand-me-down - go get the finest robe. It's interesting that God gave Joseph a royal robe of influence, a robe of authority. God gave this young man a robe of honor, a robe of favor.
Both of them rose out of what was holding them back. The difference between the two is: God calls Joseph to raise up. He didn't have to do anything to make it happen, he just kept honoring God, being his best and Pharaoh called him in. But with the prodigal son he had to make a decision, that he wasn't going to sit around discouraged, defeated, thinking about all the mistakes he had made. If he had not said, "I will arise" he would have never seen the coat a favor.
I'm wondering: are you waiting for God to do something for you, when he's waiting for you to say, "I will arise. I'm not going to go through life beating myself up, living condemned. Yes, I've made mistakes, but I know I'm forgiven, I know I've been redeemed"? If you'll arise, there's a robe of favor waiting for you, a robe of honor. Those mistakes you made didn't cancel your destiny. Quit listening to the accuser reminding you of everything you've done wrong, God has already forgiven you. Now forgive yourself and move on. It's time to arise and go to your father's house.
Proverb 24:16 says, "A good person falls seven times, but they rise again". Get your fire back, get your passion back, nothing you've done is too much for the mercy of God. He knew every mistake we would ever make, he's already taken into account all wrong turns, he has a plan even for the times when we missed it. Now arise and go get that road that belongs to you, you can still become who you were created to be.
When the winds blow in your life, the storms come, remember this phrase "There's bounce back in your spirit". You may bend, but you're not going to break. Like the palm tree you're going to come right back up. All through the day let God arise. In your thoughts keep thanking him for his promises, making him bigger than what you're facing. If you'll do this, I believe and declare: like with Joseph you're going to see promotion, vindication, breakthroughs. God is going to make things happen that you didn't see coming. You may have lost the robe of many colors, but get ready for the robe of authority, the robe of influence, the robe of favor, in Jesus name.