Joel Osteen - From Valley to Victory
I want to talk to you today about From Valley to Victory. We all go through difficulties in life and things we don't understand. We have a setback in our finances, challenge in our health, or relationship didn't make it. When we're in the valley, it's easy to get discouraged and think it's never going to improve. But the Scripture says in Hosea 2:15, "God will transform the valley of trouble into a gateway of hope". You may be in a valley of trouble, a valley of loneliness, a valley of debt - you don't see any way out, it looks permanent. God is saying "I'm about to transform that valley into a gateway of hope, a gateway of increase, a gateway of favor". The valley is leading you to new levels, to better relationships, to greater influence.
The medical report may not look good, you're in a valley of sickness - God is about to transform it into a gateway of healing, a gateway of wholeness. Don't let the valley fool you, God has the final say. Nothing can snatch you out of his hands. Maybe you're in a valley in your finances, business is slowed, you lost the contract - that valley is not the end. It's about to be transformed into a gateway of blessing, a gateway of favor, a gateway of overflow. God is going to open new doors, he's going to cause opportunities to find you.
Perhaps you've struggles with an addiction for a long time, you've accepted that you'll always be in that valley. Your relatives lived in that valley, they all struggles - No, this is a new day. God is doing a new thing. That valley is about to transform into a gateway of freedom. God has a breakthrough coming your way. He is going to make things happen that you couldn't make happen. The Valley is not your destiny. The addiction, the loneliness, the anxiety is not going to hinder you your whole life. You were created to be free, to be happy, to live an abundant, fulfilled life.
And instead of complaining about the valley, being discouraged over what you're going through - all through the day: "Father, thank you that this valley is only temporary. I believe what You promised, that You are about to transform it into a gateway of hope, a gateway of blessing, a gateway of victory". That valley is leading you to the awesome future God has in store. And the truth is - you can't reach your destiny without going through valleys. The valleys are strategic. When you're on a top of a mountain, the only way to go higher is to come down that mountain, go through the valley, then you can go up a bigger mountain. God allows valleys not to hold us back, but because he is taking us higher. Without the valley we would get stuck.
Are you discouraged over what God is going to use to take you to a new level, frustrated, thinking that valley is permanent? Have a new perspective - valley is not there to stop you, it's there to promote you. And what you're up against may be bigger, you feel outnumbered, you don't have the resources. On your own you can't get out. The good news is: you're not on your own. The Most High God is right there with you. He knows how to turn that battlefield into a blessing-field. That valley of trouble into a gateway of victory.
This is what happened with David. When he was a teenager he faced Goliath in the Valley of Elah. It's not a coincidence that this battle took place in the valley. In every morning and every evening for 40 days, Goliath came down, stood on the side of the mountain and shouted insults at the Israelites, making fun, trying stir up troubles. Goliath was huge, he stood over 9 feet tall, his coat of armor weigh 125 pounds. He was the champion of Philistine army. When king Saul and Israelites army heard him, they were terrified, they turn and run out of side. This when on time and time again. And one day David showed up, 17-years-old. When he heard this threats, something rose up in him - a fire, a passion, a courage. He says, "Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the army of the Living God"? He was saying, "This man is not in covenant with our God. He doesn't have the blessing of Jehovah. We may be in a valley, but Goliath can't keep us here. He doesn't control our destiny".
David looked to Goliath, he said (1 Samuel 17:45-46), "You come against me with a sword and a shield, but I come against you in the name of the Lord God of Israel. This day I will defeat you and feed your head to the birds of the air". All of the Israelites were in the same valley, they heard the same threats, but David had a different attitude - he talked back to the enemy. when you're in the valley, like David, you will hear the enemy's threats. He'll try to intimidate you, "You'll never get out of this problem, it's too big. You'll never get well, you saw the report. Your child will never get back on course". Don't do like the Israelites and believe those lies, live in fear, worried. Do like David and talk back to the enemy. What you're saying in the valley is going to have a great impact on whether or not you come out.
The Israelites were saying, "He is too big. We don't have a chance. We'll never defeat him". When you talk defeat, you are inviting defeat. When you talk sickness, you're going to have sickness. When you say "I'll never get out of this problem", it's going to keep you there. Instead of agreeing with the enemy, start declaring what God says about you. When the enemy shouts "You will never get well", do like David, "I will live and not die. God is restoring health back unto me". "You'll never get out of debt. This valley of lack, valley of struggle, not having enough, it's permanent" - "I will lend and not borrow. God is opening the windows of heaven, pouring out blessings that I cannot contain". "Well, that child is never going to do right. He's never going to break the addiction" - "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. My children are mighty in the land. What God has purposed for their life, no bad breaks, no addictions, no person can stop".
It's so important what you're saying in the valley. If it's going to be transformed into a gateway of hope - you have to speak words of life, words of faith, words of victory. This is where the Israelites missed it. They were talked about how big Goliath was, David was talking about how big our God is. They were magnified the problem - David came alone and started magnifying our God. And the enemy has no new trucks, he is not creative. You can go back and look what he's done in the past, that's how he is going to try to deceive you. In this valley, thousands of years ago he was threatening with loud insults trying to intimidate with lies - it's no different today.
Goliath may not stand on the mountain side and shout down to your valley, but in your toughs loud threats will come, things that can keep you awake at night, cause you to live worried, stressed out. Recognize what's happening. Don't be one of there Israelites and run and hide for 40 days, and let the 40 days turn into 4 mounts, then 40 years. Be a David. There's nothing more powerful against these negative threats than God's Word coming out of your mouth. "I may be in a valley, but can I tell you: I'm coming out. I will fulfill my destiny. I will accomplish my dreams. I'm strong. I'm healthy. I'm well able".
David told king Saul that he wanted to fight Goliath. Saul told him all the reasons why he couldn't do it, "You're too young. You don't have the training, the experience. He is too big. He is the most skilled warrior". Sometimes people will try to keep you in the valley. People will tell you what you can't do, what you don't have, how you just have to learn to live with the addiction. "Don't try to start this business, there's giants out there. You can't teach that class, there's too much competition, you better stay where you are". Don't expect everyone to cheer you on. All your friends are not going to celebrate you, challenging the stretch to the next level. But just because they don't see it in you, doesn't mean you don't have it. God has put greatness in you, things that other people has never imagined, potential that's going to catapult you to a new level. Well, don't let someone talk you out of what God put in you. Don't let their lack of support cause you to stay in the valley.
David could have thought, "I guess king Saul is right. I don't have the training. I don't come from influential family. He is much bigger than I am. Maybe I should just accept this valley". If David would let Saul discourage him, we wouldn't talked about him. If he would believe the threats of Goliath, he would've never fulfilled his destiny". At some point we will all be where David was, in a valley with the big obstacle - we didn't get the scholarship, the relationship didn't work out, we lost the loved one. The fear, depression, anxiety - it feels permanent, nobody is there to support us. That's where you have to dig down deep and say, "No, this valley is not my home. This defeat, this lack, this trouble, this addiction is not how my story ends". You are on the verge seeing that valley transformed into a gateway of something amazing. God is about to do something unusual, out of the ordinary. Something that will thrust you to a new level.
King Saul wasn't for David, but that didn't stop David. David's family didn't believed in him. His brothers made fun of him, but that didn't keep him from his destiny. Don't be discouraged by who is not for you, by who doesn't cheer you on - you don't need them. You and God are a majority. He is breathing in your direction right now. You're about to come out of that valley. It's going to happen sooner that you think. There's a breakthrough, a promotion, a healing, a divine connection, that's headed your way. Get ready for that valley to be transformed. It looks permanent, but things are suddenly going to change, suddenly your health turns around, suddenly your business takes off, suddenly your child gets back on course. That valley is leading you to victory.
David was in this valley of Elah. Goliath is coming down to mountain to face him. David didn't have any armor, didn't have a sword, a shield. All that he had was a slingshot. He reached down and picked up five smooth stones from the stream. God is showing us: there's provision in the valley. David didn't bring the stones into the valley, he didn't have someone helping him, giving him the stones. What he needed was right there in reach. What you need to get out of that valley is with in your rich. You don't have to wait on some person, some good breaks, a company to call you, a neighbor to help you out. Look around you and look in you. Sometimes all you need is your praise. Praise is a weapon. Praise breaks chains, praise confuses the enemy. Praise makes you powerful.
When you have praise coming out of your mouth, you are unstoppable. The enemy cannot keep a praiser down - just ask Paul and Silas. As they sing praise at the midnight, prisons doors flung open. Just ask Jonah, sitting in a belly of a fish. As he offer a sacrifice of praise, the fish spit him up on a dry ground. All David had was the 5 small stones. That didn't seem like much, but a stone with God's favor is more powerful that an automatic weapon. your praise may not seem like much, but you pray - angels are going to work. When you praise, the Creator of the universe begin to change things in your favor. And most of the fight we fight are not physical, they're spiritual.
And praise is an powerful weapon. When you praise in the valley, it's even more effective, because enemy expect you in the valley to be negative, bitter, complaining, but when you're going through the day saying, "Father, thank you that you are still on the throne. Thank you that you are bigger than this problem. Thank you that no weapon formed against me will prosper". Praise will cause you to defeat giants in your life.
When Goliath saw David, how young he was, how small, he begin to laugh. He said, "Am I a dog, that you've come to me with a stick"? He is saying, "Is this the best you can do? Is this all you've got"? He discounted David, making fun of him. David didn't pay any attention. He took a stone, put it in the slingshot. When he slung it, it hit Goliath right between the eyes, knocked him unconscious. David went over, take Goliath's own sword and cut his head off.
Overnight David became a national hero. He went from a shepherd boy, that nobody had ever heard that to be in the talk on the town, everyone admired and love. God knows how to transform a valley of trouble into a gateway of blessing. You may be in trouble now in your health, your finances, a relationship - it's a setup. It was meant to stop you, but God has another plan. He allowed it, cause it's about to launch you to a new level. You are going to come out promoted, stronger, healthier, better than you were before.
It's not a coincidence that Davit wrote in Psalm 23:4, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow death". He didn't say "Though I stay in the valley. Though I live in the valley". no, the valley is not your home. The valley is temporary. You just passing through the valley. It's just a matter of time before it's turn into a gateway: a gateway of favor, a gateway of healing. but don't let the valley become permanent in your thinking. Don't go around talking about, "My sickness. My depression. My arthritis is acting up". Don't take ownership of it, it's not yours. God made you healthy, whole, free, blessed, prosperous. Anything otherwise is on an foreign territory.
David said, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow death", then the next verse he said, "God anoints my head with oil and my cup runs over". God is showing us: you have to go through some valleys before you come to the anointing where your cup runs over. David could have started the chapter talking about "My cup runs over. God anoints my head", then in the end talk about the valleys. He did just the opposite - it's because valley precedes overflow.
You maybe dealing with a sickness now, but on the other side of that valley is your cup running over with good health. Things maybe slow at the office, but when you make it through the valley, there's an abundance, good breaks, promotion. That family member is causing trouble, but on the other side of the valley is great joy, great peace. Your cup is going to run over with great relationships. None of us like go through the valleys, but if you'll keep the right perspective, knowing that that valley is leading you to overflow, then you go through it with a good attitude.
Now, I wonder, how often we get stuck in the valley complaining "I can't believe this happen". God is waiting to transform it into a gateway of blessing, but we have to pass the test. How we go through the valley makes a difference.
I know a pastor that wanted to build a new auditorium, the had needed the space for long time. He sow friends building nice sanctuaries, they were doing great things, but every time he tried to move forward, he had some kind of setback. He was tempted to get discouraged, thinking would never work out. When you're in the valley - it's a test. God is up to something you can't see. It's easy to complain and live negative, but you have to trust him in the valley.
This pastor keep being his best, month after month, thanking God that he is working, declaring that a new sanctuary is on the way. Look like he was stuck, the odds was against him, said it would never happen. But God know how to transform that valley of trouble into a gateway of blessing. When it's your time, all the forces of darkness cannot stop what God has ordained for you.
One day, unexpectedly the mayor of this small town called and told how there was a group that built the huge building for a casino, but before they moved in they went bankrupt. They had over 40 acres of parking, a building , they could fit 4 football fields inside. It was just a few miles from his church. The mayor asked if he was interested in purchasing it. The pastor told it would be over 50 million dollars, it was huge first class. The mayor said "No, you can purchase it for under 2 million dollars". Instead of having to build his own facility, God dropped much bigger, better facility into their hands.
When you go through the valley in faith, thanking God, then you're going to come into that anointing when your cup runs over. God is going to do things that you never dreamed. He is going to transform the valley of trouble into a gateway of abundance. You may feel like you're stuck, you're doing the right things, but the wrong things is happening. The good news is: that valley is not permanent, you are coming through. Well, if you could see what's on the other side, you would be amazed. Your cup is going to run over.
Maybe a relationship didn't work out, that person left you, now you're in the valley - that is not the end of your story. god has an running-over blessing, somebody better that you've ever dreamed. Stay in faith in the valley, don't listen to Goliath, don't believe the lies that it's never going to work out, "It's too late. The obstacles is too big". Like this pastor, that valley of trouble is leading to a gateway of abundance: abundance of joy, abundance of good health, abundance of resources.
2 Kings chapter 3, the Israelites had been traveling for 7 days on their way to attack the Moabites. They went a long way around to surprise them, but they run out of water. There was nothing for them or the animals to drink. The king of Israel said, "Has God brought us here to die"? Someone spoke up and said, "Let's ask the prophet Elisha". He said in verse 16, "This is what the Lord says, this dry valley will be filled with water. You will see neither wind nor rain, but you will have an abundance of water, plenty for yourselves and your animals. And the Lord will give you victory over the Moabites".
That didn't make sense. The valley was going to be filled with water with no rain? I'm sure they tough, "Elisha, you missed it this time. That's impossible. Where is the water gonna come from"? The next morning they woke up, and suddenly water started flowing into the valley with no source. They went out and defeated the Moabites.
You don't have to figure out how God is going to bring you out. It may not seem possible, you've looked all the options and don't see a way - that's okay, God has way we've never tough of. We think natural, but God is supernatural. He can cause the property to find you. He can have the right people knock on your door. He can heal you without the treatment. The valley doesn't stop our God. He is not limited by what you don't have. He is not intimidated by what you're up against. He spoke world into existence, He flung stars in the space, He knows how to turn your situation around.
You may be in a valley that's dry, it looks permanent - get ready, water is about to flow into your valley. You're not going to see wind nor rain, it's not going to be ordinary, it's not going to happen a normal way - it's going to be a hand of God, there's no explanation. It doesn't make sense - it's God bringing water without rain, promotion without qualification, an auditorium without having to build it. A baby when you were told it wasn't possible. don't get discouraged because the valley is dry, there's no water, God controls the faucet. His favor can open a door that couldn't open. He can make things happen, that can't be explained.
When David was 37 years old, he was about to step into a new level of his destiny and become the king of all of Israel. He was at the valley of ruffian. Ruffian means giants. 20 years earlier he defeated Goliath, now he face not just one giant, but a valley full of giants. God helped him and his men and they won the victory. The Scripture says, David renamed the valley. Instead of living in the valley of ruffian, he called it "The God of breakthrough".
And you may be in a valley now, things are difficult, but like with David one day you're going to rename that valley. Instead of a valley of disappointment, when you see what God does, you're going to say, "That was a valley of favor, a valley of blessing, a valley where God showed out in my life". Instead of a valley of sickness, a valley of suffering, that was a valley of healing, a valley of wholeness, where God made a way where I didn't see a way. Or instead of valley of addiction, a valley of failure, that was a valley of freedom, a valley of restoration, where I saw God's grace as never before. Don't let the name of that valley fool you - god is about to transform that valley into a gateway of blessing.
When my father went to be with the Lord, I was in a valley of loss, a valley of sadness. I can say now - that was a valley of increase, that valley launch me to a new level. When my mother faced cancer, that was a valley of illness, a valley of pain, but now, 40 years latter she can say, "That was a valley of breakthrough, a valley where God helped me to defeat a giant".
When king Jehoshaphat and people of Judah were surrounded by three major armies, they didn't have a chance. but God caused these armies to become confused, and they ended up destroying each other. The people of Judah went in and gather all the spoils. Jehoshaphat named that place "The valley of blessing". Thing may be tough right now - stay encouraged, one day you're going to say like him, "That was a valley of blessing".
God is working behind the scenes in your life. He hasn't brought you this far to leave you. He sees the tears, the injustice. That valley of trouble is about to be transformed into a gateway of hope, a gateway of healing, a gateway of promotion. It maybe uncomfortable now, but the valley is necessary, God is using it to take you to a new level. Now, do your part - praise Him in the valley, keep a good attitude in the valley, be good to others in the valley. If you'll do this, I believe and declare: like David you're going to defeat giants that are much bigger. Like Elisha you're going to see water without rain. God is about to do things you can't explain, unusual favor, healing, restoration, breakthroughs. Get ready, you're about to go from the valley to victory, in Jesus name.