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2021 online sermons » Victoria Osteen » Victoria Osteen - Stay Strong In God Through Joy

Victoria Osteen - Stay Strong In God Through Joy

Victoria Osteen - Stay Strong In God Through Joy

We love you so much. It's fun to be in the house of the Lord. It's fun to celebrate a God who is for us and not against us. Can you imagine coming to a God who you don't know what he thinks about you, you don't know how he feels about you, you don't know? But we don't come to a God like that. We come to a good God. He's has already told us that he loves us with an everlasting love, that he redeemed us for his good pleasure. He is pleased with you today, he loves you, he gave you his very best, and that is something to celebrate. That's something to remind ourselves of, to stir up every single day of our life, because life doesn't remind us of that.

Life tries to tell us something totally different. It tries to show us difficulties, heartaches, hardships, but Jesus is saying, "I've given you my joy. I've given you what you need to defeat the power of the enemy and stay strong in this life," amen? You've got what it takes to stand strong in the Lord Jesus Christ, and that's what I want to talk a little bit about today. I want to talk about staying strong in God through joy. The Bible says that the joy of the Lord is our strength. That's what Nehemiah told the people who were downcast. He said, "Go eat, celebrate. The joy of the Lord is your strength". It is what is going to sustain you. It's going to fight off anxiety. It's going to help balance your life, and Jesus said the joy that he had, he gave it to us. He said, "My joy I give to you, and I give it to the full".

Now, the joy that Jesus gave us is not dependent on what is going on around us. See, the joy that Jesus gave us is on the inside of us. You see, God does his work on the inside of us. When you said yes to Jesus Christ, the outside didn't immediately change, but the inside did. You see, he put seeds on the inside of you. He gave you a new heart, a new start, the ability to take what he's put on the inside of you and make it come out of you. See, God's blessings start on the inside, but they show up on the outside.

You see, I have a lemon tree, and when I got it and planted it, it had no lemons on it. It was a lemon tree, but it had no lemons, but I took care of it. I watered it. I fed it. I made sure that it was, you know, was in the right soil. I did everything I could to cultivate and develop the lemons, and, sure enough, that lemon tree that had no lemons on the outside produced them from the inside. So, my lemon tree now has fruit that I can eat from, and do you know that's how joy works? Joy is inside of us, but we must cultivate it, we must tap into it, because there is fruit in there that we have to eat from if we are going to overcome the trials of life. You see, you may be in a trial, you may be in a difficulty, you may have lost a loved one, you may have a child who is wayward or far off and you feel sorrow, but do you know on the other side of that sorrow, parallel with that, is joy? It's the fruit of joy that you can eat from, and it causes you to be strong, and it causes you to stand firm, and it causes you to overcome, and that's why joy is so important.

In fact, the Israelites, when God brought them out of captivity, from the oppression of the Pharaoh, it says in scripture that he brought them out with joy and lead them forth in peace. You see, I believe what he was showing us was if you're going to come out of these dark places, if you're going to stand under the trials of life, you're going to have to come out with joy. You're going to have to use the joy to get you out of captivity, to get you out of those anxious thoughts, to get you out of that defeat and discouragement. Joy is the key of coming out. Joy is your key, and it's inside of you, but it's like anything else. You have to tap into it. You have to develop it. You have to use it. The Bible says in this world you're going to have troubles. Jesus said that. He wasn't promising us that we weren't going to have troubles, but do you know what he said about those troubles? He says, "Here is the key. Be of good cheer. Be of good cheer because I have overcome the world. Be of good cheer for I have overcome".

You know what he's saying? He's saying, "Brighten up. Brighten your face up". One scripture says, "Rejoice in the Lord, and again I say rejoice". "Rejoice" means to brighten. You see, there's a light on the inside of you, but you've got to flip it on, and the key to joy is this. I really believe this, because some people just seem to have a different personality. They can just be more joyous. Well, some people may be a little melancholy and they have to work on this, but the truth is in a trial, we all need this joy. We all need it, so we must develop it. Listen, I didn't take my lemon tree and put it in the ground as soon as I needed lemons. I put it in the ground. I cultivated it. I did what it took so the lemons would come out, then I could take them, then I could use them, and, see, when you need joy, you can't try to cultivate it right away. You have to know how to tap into it. The fruit has to already be there, okay? So, I think every day we have to practice joy. We have to laugh in the face of adversity. We have to smile when there is nothing to smile about.

You know, I was talking to a friend of mine the other day, and she's been very discouraged. She's been very down. She's having some difficulties with her daughter and is going through a divorce, and she has a young child, and you know as a mother in here when your child is not doing good, it's hard for you to do good, right? I mean, you just worry, and I've watched her just get more discouraged and more discouraged, and now I see her health is being jeopardized, because anxiety and stress will jeopardize our physical being. So, I began to talk to her the other day because I thought, "You know what? I've just watched day after day after day. You know, I just want to encourage her". So, we've been friends forever. I've worked with her forever. We really love each other, so she knows me pretty well. But I walked in, and I just started deciding that I was just going to make her laugh, you know? I was just going to bring the joy in her, and so I was like, "Hey, can I see your teeth"? She thought, "What"?

The next thing I know I start seeing a little bit of her teeth, and I said, "Oh, man, your teeth are beautiful. Look at your smile. I haven't seen you smile in a long time," and so I just start laughing and cracking up, and I'm being so silly that she starts laughing, you know? So, I began to just brighten her. I began to encourage her joy. See, I was simply changing the atmosphere in her mind. I was simply changing that so that she would be opened up to what God wants to say to her. It's so funny because... Okay, you all, I'm going to just admit something. Sometimes when I talk to you guys, like, I got this light that is shining in my eye, I'm trying to think of what I'm supposed to say, I'm being all serious, and I see sometimes when I watch myself, I'm all cooped like this when I'm talking to you all, and I think, "I got to stop that. How can I stop that"?

I told Joel. I said, "I don't mean to, because I'm such a happy person", but I just all of a sudden start frowning, trying to... And Joel said, "Oh, it's going to take you a year to stop that if you start practicing right now". I'm like, "Hello, Mr. Encouragement". So, I read that if you put a pencil in your mouth, between your teeth, that it makes the sides of your mouth go up. You know, there are studies that say if you'll change your facial expressions, it does something to you emotionally, so what I started doing was sitting at my computer with a pencil in my mouth so I can just be smiling all the time. So, I thought about that, and I took two pencils with me when I was talking to my friend, and I said, I said, "Look at this," and I put a pencil in my mouth, and I said, "Look how it makes me smile". I said, "Here, you put this pencil in your mouth". I said, "I washed it". We're both standing there looking at each other with pencils in our mouths, but can I tell you the atmosphere changed. The joy came. The blessing came. The problems seemed to be smaller.

You see, the joy was there to be her strength, and I began to tell her about the promises of God and the goodness of God, the things that really produce that joy, and I said, "You know, you're worried about your child, and that's certainly understandable, but I want to explain something to you that I truly believe. Your child, your daughter, what she's going through right now, God has given her the grace to go through it. God has given her the grace to go through it. He hasn't given you the grace that she has. He's given you the grace to help her through it, but you can't help her through it with a long face. You can't help her through it with discouragement. God wants you to stir up your joy. He wants you to bring a sense of happiness and joy and elation to her life. You need to elevate and push that joy up for her and for yourself".

Do you know when you push joy up it signals victory? It's like when a guy runs and he wins the race. The first thing he does is throws his hand up. It's because he has victory. We need to change our posture and let the joy come out in our life. We need to put a pencil in our mouths if necessary, because God works through our joy. He brought them out with joy because he knew they needed the strength to go on. They didn't even know all the things they were going to face, but if they could go out with joy, if they could tap into that joy, that joy would be there for them, would be their strength. So, I want to encourage every one of us today to practice joy every day. Look at what your face is saying. What is it signaling to your body and your mind? What are you thinking about? The Kingdom of God starts within us, and it flows out of us, and that's what brings the blessing. So, I encourage you don't let life's difficulties push your joy down. You push your joy up because it signals victory, amen? He's an awesome God.
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