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Watch 2022 online sermons » Joel Osteen » Joel Osteen - Promotion in the Problem

Joel Osteen - Promotion in the Problem

Joel Osteen - Promotion in the Problem
TOPICS: Promotion, Problems, Hard times, Adversity

I want to talk to you today about Promotion in the Problem. None of us like problems and things that come against us, people that are not fair, trouble at work. It's easy to get discouraged lose our passion: why is this happening? But God won't allow a difficulty unless he has a purpose for it. He may not have sent the trouble, but he knows how to use it to your advantage. On the other side of every problem is promotion. The difficulty feels like a setback, but really it's a set up for God to do something new in your life.

When God wanted to promote David, take him out of the shepherd's fields, what did he do? Send him a good break, a friend to help him out, open a new door? No, God sent him a problem, Goliath was standing before David, a giant twice his size. David could have thought, "God you said I was going to do great, things you said you're going to show me favor, why am I facing this giant"? David understood: with that problem came promotion. On the other side of that difficulty was a new level of his destiny. You have to go through it to get to it. Some promotion only comes through adversity, through closed doors, through things that are not fair.

David went out and defeated Goliath, and instantly his life changed. New doors opened, he had respect, influence, favor like he'd never seen. What took David to the throne? A problem. Don't complain about the problem. You can't reach your potential without problems. When you understand that the problem doesn't come by itself, that there is promotion in every problem, then you'll keep a good attitude. "God, I don't like this problem, I'm uncomfortable, but I know you're in control, I know you're ordering my steps. I'm not just going to come out, I'm going to come out stronger, promoted, better than I was before". Sometimes the promotion is you've developed a greater trust in God, you learned that you can make it through things that you thought would take you under. You saw the faithfulness of God. You felt him sustaining you, strengthening you, making ways where you didn't see a way. Your faith grew, your spiritual muscles got stronger, your character was developed. Every time you come through a challenge, that's fuel for your faith. God is preparing you for greater things. The next time you face a problem like that, you'll "Think this is no big deal. I've seen God take me through this in the past, and I know he'll take me through it this time".

See, I've learned: the bigger the problem - the bigger your destiny. The bigger the challenge - the bigger the promotion. God doesn't send big problems to people with small futures. God didn't give David a normal sized problem, he didn't face someone his height, with his training, his experience. Goliath stood nine feet tall, he was the champion of the Philistine army. The tip of his spear weighed 15 pounds. The scripture says he wore gold leggings. He was ahead of his time. (that's where my brother Paul got that idea).

"Joel, I've got big problems"... He's not here, he couldn't hear it... "This sickness looks permanent. My child is way off course. These people at work are holding me down". The size of your problem is an indication of the size of your future. The enemy wouldn't be fighting you so hard, if he didn't know something amazing was in front of you. Don't be discouraged because you have big challenges. Have a new perspective, that means God has something big in your future: big breakthroughs, big opportunities, big victories. If you could see the promotion on the other side of those problems, if you could see the healing, the favor, the fulfillment, you wouldn't be discouraged. You'd go through that difficulty in faith, praising when you could be complaining, thanking God that he's fighting your battles, knowing that it's all a setup for a new level of your destiny.

Are you stressed out over a problem, losing sleep over a difficulty, when in fact God allowed it so he can show his favor in a greater way? Without Goliath David wouldn't have taken the throne. The problem served a purpose. God knows what he's doing. He hasn't allowed anything in your life that he's not going to use for your good. It may not be good, may not be fair. I'm not saying we're going to like it, I'm saying to trust him, that there's a blessing disguised in that difficulty, that there is promotion attached to that problem. The time we can't see it, all we know is "It's a bad break. It's a disappointment. They did me wrong. The door closed. The medical report wasn't good". God is not through working. You don't know what he's up to right now. You keep doing the right thing, having this attitude of faith, and your time is coming. You're going to see the faithfulness of God. You're going to look back and say, "Wow, God, if I had not had that problem, I wouldn't be where I am. If that door had not closed, if those people had not done me wrong, I wouldn't have seen the blessing and the favor that you've shown me".

A few years after I started ministering the church began to grow, and we needed a larger auditorium. My father said that he would never move the church, so we looked for property around the original location. We found a hundred acre tract of land, right off the freeway, about two miles away. Seemed perfect, there was a big sign that said "For sale". We talked to the owner, and told him we wanted to purchase it. He said that it had been on the market for 20 years, and he'd never had one offer. I thought "Wow, God, you saved this property just for us". We were so excited, and he told us we could do our soil samples, and preliminary drawings while we got the contract drawn up.

A couple of months later we went to sign the contract. We had an eight o'clock appointment, we arrived at 7:45. His secretary came out, said "I'm sorry, the owner sold the property last night". I couldn't believe it, he didn't keep his word. I was so discouraged, went home, told Victoria. She said, "Listen here, Joel, that means God has something better. We're going to trust him, he hasn't brought us this far to leave us". She started preaching one of my messages. I didn't want to hear that, I wanted her to be depressed with me. Misery loves company. It's good to have friends that pull you up, and don't join you in defeat.

A few months later we found another large track of land. This seemed even better, had more access to it. When the owners found out, they told the people that on the property on one side, they called and said they wanted to donate 10 acres to us. Now, I knew it was God, people were giving us property. We went to close on the hundred acres, and the same thing happened - they sold it the day before. I thought, "God, this is a big problem. There are no more large tracts of land, we're stuck, we have no room to grow. I didn't see any options". But just because we run out of options, doesn't mean God has run out of options. He won't let you get in a problem that he can't bring you out of. The reason it's not working out your way is because God has something better. We had a legitimate problem, nobody could argue about that, we were limited, we couldn't find any more space. I was tempted to worry, live stressed, but I've learned: the problem doesn't come by itself, there is promotion in the problem. If you'll stay in faith, trust when it doesn't make sense, believe when you don't see a way, thank God when there's no sign of things changing, then you'll see what God was up to.

Six months later a friend called, hadn't spoken to him in a long time. He said, "Joel, the Houston Rockets Basketball Team is moving out of the Compaq Center, you should try to get that for your church". When I heard that, something came alive on the inside. I called the mayor, he was a friend of my parents, and I was so nervous, I told him what I wanted, didn't know how he would respond. He said, "Joel, I think Lakewood having the Compaq Center would be great for our city". I nearly passed out. Things fell into place. Three years later we had the building. Never dreamed we'd be here. This was far beyond what I had in mind.

See, sometimes God closes doors because you're thinking too small. He doesn't let your plans work out because he has much bigger plans. You're hoping to get that new position, move up one notch, God is about to catapult you ahead. You're believing to feel a little bit better, God's going to heal you completely. You're hoping your child will just stay out of trouble, God's going to use him to do great things, to leave his Mark. Don't be discouraged because you're still in the problem, things aren't improving, doors are closing, people aren't changing. Those lies will start to whisper, "It's never going to happen. You'll never get well. Never break this addiction. Never accomplish the dream". No, that problem didn't show up alone. That problem came with a purpose, with a promotion, with a blessing. You keep honoring God, you're going to come out of the problem into the promotion. Out of the sickness into health. Out of trouble into peace. Out of struggle into freedom. Out of lack into abundance. The enemy sent it for your harm, but God has already turned it to your advantage.

And here's the key: don't get tired of doing the right thing. Don't let doubt, what's not happening, what's not fair to talk you out of the promotion. Keep believing, keep praying, keep expecting. You're on the verge of seeing God show out in your life. The problem is not permanent, the problem is a sign that promotion is coming, you're about to see breakthroughs, restoration, divine connections, dreams coming to pass.

God said there in Psalm 50:15, "Trust me in times of trouble, and I will rescue you and you will give me great glory". He didn't say, "Trust me, and I'll keep you from trouble. Trust me and you won't have any difficulties". He said, "Trust me when you're in trouble. Trust me when things don't make sense. Trust me when the medical report is not good. Trust me when a loved one doesn't make it". If you'll trust him, God says "I will rescue you, and you will give me glory". God is not going to leave you in the trouble, leave you in the heartache, leave you in the dysfunction - that is not how your story ends. Don't believe the lies that say, "It's permanent". God sees what you're going through, he's about to rescue you, he's about to turn things around. Chains that have held you back are being broken. Difficulties it look like they'll never improve, you're about to see a suddenly, a breakthrough, a healing, a promotion. It's going to be unusual, uncommon, you couldn't make it happen - you will know it's the hand of God.

When my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 1981, she was in a time of great trouble. She had a big problem, but in that trouble she chose to trust God. She believed that he could restore health back into her. Instead of being worried, living depressed, all through the day she would quote scriptures: "Father, thank you that the number of my days you will fulfill, that I will live and not die, and declare the works of the Lord". Against all odds, with no medical treatment available, God rescued her from that trouble. He made a way where we didn't see a way. For the last 40 years she's been giving God glory. That big problem came with a big promotion. Her story of healing has helped people around the world. She's 88 years old now, still praying for people every week. The enemy would have been smarter to leave her alone, but God will make the enemy pay. "What was meant for your harm, he'll turn to your advantage".

It says "He will rescue you, and you will give him great glory". The reason you'll give him glory is because when he brings you out, it will be better than you've imagined. I wanted to buy property to build a new auditorium, God gave us an auditorium that was already built, on the busiest freeway in our city. You may be facing a problem today, my encouragement is: that problem didn't come along. There is promotion attached to it. God has the final say. Trust him not just to make it through, not just to survive, but have a new perspective, "Father, I know this problem means that I'm about to see a new level of my destiny. Lord, I trust you in this trouble. I would have never seen the Compaq Center without those doors closed". You could say, "The Compaq Center was attached to a problem". My mother would have never impacted so many people without that challenge in her health. David would have never become king without Goliath.

Who knows where that problem is leading you. You may have had closed doors, things haven't worked out, who knows what doors God is about to open? You may have some giants, facing sickness, setback in your business, a person walked out of your life - who knows what kind of favor, blessings, fulfillment is headed your way? The setback is a set up for God to show out in your life. Trust him in the trouble. Not when you get out, the test is when you're in it. Nothing looks like it's going to change, that's when you have to dig down deep and say, "God, I don't like this problem, but I know it's not by itself, that there's promotion on the other side. So, Lord help me to believe. Help me to stay in faith".

See, we all face things that we don't understand, things that are not fair, but I've learned: God will not mismanage your life, he will not allow hardships, bad breaks that don't have any purpose. He's not sitting back in heaven thinking, "Oh, man I can't believe that happened to you, too bad". He's ordering your steps. Nothing happens without his permission. He's promised that all things will work together for your good. Sure there are things we don't understand, things that don't make sense, I can't explain it, but I can tell you: if you'll stay in faith, not get bitter, just keep doing the right thing, over time you'll see it all come together. The scripture says it this way, "Since the Lord is directing our steps, why try to figure out everything that happens along the way". There will be plenty of things that don't make sense right now. If you try to figure it out, you get confused, discouraged - put it in God's hands, "God, this problem doesn't make sense to me, but I believe you have a purpose for it. When it all comes together, I will give you great glory".

This is what three Hebrew teenagers did in the scripture, they wouldn't bow down to king Nebuchadnezzar's golden idol. He made a decree that no one could worship any God except his God. He didn't believe in Jehovah. He was so upset, he threatened to have them thrown into a fiery furnace. They were doing the right thing, honoring God, not compromising, and look what happens. They have a big problem. Sometimes you have problem not because you're doing something wrong, but because you're doing something right. When you honor God, it stirs up the enemy. It will stir up the jealousy, resentment, anger, critical spirit in people that don't honor God. It's not so much they don't like you, they don't like the blessing and favor that's on your life. The good news is: they cannot stop what God has ordained. God being for you is more powerful than any force that is against you. He has you in the palm of his hand. Nothing can snatch you away. You may get thrown into a furnace, but God can make you fireproof, he controls the universe.

These teenagers weren't worried. They weren't panicking, stressed out. They told the king, "We know, our God will deliver us. But even if he doesn't, we're still not going to bow down". When you have a made up mind like that, "God, I'm believing you're going to keep me from this trouble, that this door will open, and things will go my way, but even if it doesn't, I'm still not going to get discouraged, I'm still not going to complain, I'm still going to give you praise", that kind of attitude cannot be defeated. The king was so furious, he had the guards heat up the furnace seven times hotter than normal. They already had a big problem, it already didn't look good, now the fire was hotter than ever.

Sometimes God will let the odds be against you in a greater way on purpose, so when he turns things around, it's a bigger miracle, so everyone will see his favor on your life. The guards tied the teenagers up, bound their hands and feet and threw them into the furnace, they fell to the ground. It was so hot, that the guards were instantly killed. Nebuchadnezzar was watching all this from a distance, he noticed the three teenagers stand up. He couldn't believe it. He said to his staff (Daniel 3:24-25), "Didn't we throw three men inbound? I see four men loosed and one looks like the Son of God". He ran over to the furnace window and shouted, "Shadrach, meshech, Abednego, servants of the Most High God". A few minutes earlier he didn't believe in the Most High God. Sometimes your problem is so God can change other people's minds. God can see the big picture. He'll use you to demonstrate his power, his favor, his blessings, so others will believe.

They walked out of the fire, everyone gathered around, verse 27 says, "They noticed, not a hair on their head with singed, not any of their clothing was burned. They didn't even have the smell of smoke". God knows how to bring you out of difficulties, where you don't look like what you've been through. Nobody will ever know you went through the trouble, through the sickness, through the breakup, through the pandemic. You're so blessed, healthy, happy, fulfilled, generous, nobody can tell you were ever even in the fire - you don't have the smell of smoke. Nebuchadnezzar said in verse 28, "Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego". Now he's worshiping the God he didn't believe in hours before. This could be the end of the story: God protected these teenagers, God changed the mind of the king, that's all a great miracle. But verse 30 says, "Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to much higher positions in Babylon". Hidden in that problem was promotion. They couldn't see it at the time, "God, this king is coming against us". Modern day, "God, these people at work are not fair, dealing with this sickness, had a set back in my finances".

We would be grateful if God just brought us out. But what I want us to see is: there is promotion attached to the problem. God is not going to just bring you out, that difficulty is setting you up for new levels. New levels of influence, new levels of favor, new levels in your career. Even with this pandemic, in a sense we're all in a problem: there's uncertainty, work is disrupted, people are fighting illness, things have slowed. God is not going to just bring you out, but there is a promotion with the pandemic. God didn't let the whole world be impacted just to get us back to where we were. Greater things are coming, new doors are going to open, family members that are off course are going to turn around. Areas that you've struggled in year after year, there's going to be supernatural breakthrough. Chains are being loosed. Like with these teenagers, the big problem means God has big favor coming, big blessings, big influence.

Now keep doing the right thing, don't bow down to compromise, don't give in to doubt and fear, "It's never going to happen". No, God is about to do something that not only amazes you, but other people are going to see the goodness of God on your life. Like Nebuchadnezzar, they're going to acknowledge that you serve the Most High God. How did this happen? Through a problem. Don't complain about it, the problem has a purpose, and the problem has a promotion.

Psalms 66:12 says, "We went through the fire and through the flood, but you brought us to a place of great abundance". Notice, you have to go through the fire, through the flood, to get to the abundance. On the other side of the fire you'll see the promotion, on the other side of that closed door you'll see your Compaq Center, on the other side of that sickness you'll see greater favor, greater anointing, greater ministry, like my mom. But don't get stuck in the fire, "Why did this happened? I don't understand it, I was doing the right thing"? The right attitude is, "I may be in this fire, but I know it's only temporary. Looks like a setback, but I know it's a setup. Abundance is coming, healing is coming, breakthroughs are coming, favor is coming.

This is what happened with the Israelites. They were in a dead end at the Red Sea. The Pharaoh and his army was chasing them, they had nowhere to go. They were praying, "God, deliver us. Do something. Don't let us be recaptured". The scripture (Exodus 14:21) says, "A strong east wind began to blow". That was a nice way of saying, "A storm was coming". They were already in a problem, about to be recaptured, what did God do? Send them another problem. Dark clouds started rolling in, thunder started roaring, sand and debris hurling through the air. I'm sure they thought, "Man, just our luck. We're already in trouble, now bad weather, now this storm is going to kill us". What they didn't realize is: that east wind, that storm they thought would stop them, was sent by God to blow back the Red Sea, to force those waters to open up, so they could go through on dry ground. The storm was a part of the miracle. The storm was not only what would bring them out, but the storm would defeat their enemies.

God had a purpose for their problem, they couldn't see it at the time. Maybe the east wind is blowing in your life. You're asking God to help you, and seems like the problem's getting worse. You don't see how it can work out, you're tempted to live discouraged. You don't know what God is up to. His ways are not our ways. What you think is another storm, another problem, can be what God uses to make a way, to open up a new path, to do something that you've never seen. Now we don't like the storms, the thunder is loud, the wind is blowing, but God is in control of the winds, he's in control of your circumstances. God sent these strong east winds not to harm them, but to blow back the waters. What looks like it's going to defeat you, God is going to use that to move you forward.

Like these people, you're going to look back and say, "Wow, that east wind, what I thought wasn't good, that storm looked like it's going to stop me, but God used it to promote me". God is going to do something that you're not expecting, you didn't see it coming. Suddenly your health turns around, suddenly the door opens, suddenly the right person shows up. You've been through the fire, through the flood, now get ready for abundance. Enemies that have been chasing you are being defeated: depression, addictions, trouble at work, health issues, that storm is coming to an end. You're going to see the hand of God do unusual, uncommon things. Because you trust him in the trouble, I believe and declare, he's about to rescue you. You're going to have favor in the fire, promotion in the pandemic, strengthen the storm, turnarounds in the trouble. What's held you back has been broken. When you see what God does, you will give him great glory, in Jesus name. And if you receive it, can you say amen today? Amen!
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