From JO’s sermon tonight:
we all go through difficulties in life, things we don’t understand. it’s easy to get discouraged, and think, “why is this happening to me?” but God uses difficulties to move us toward our destiny. nothing happens by accident; you may not understand it, but God wouldn’t have allowed it if it wasn’t going to work to your advantage. looking back over my life, the times I was uncomfortable, had a disappointment, somebody did me wrong, it didn’t make sense to me then, but years later I realized, if that hadn’t have happened, I wouldn’t have met that person, if that door wouldn’t have closed, this bigger door wouldn’t have opened, if those people wouldn’t have done me wrong, I wouldn’t have the experience I needed for this challenge that I’m facing. now I can see, the whole time God was directing my steps; I thought I was going backwards, but He was setting me up to move me forward. I didn’t like it, I felt like I was stuck, but the truth is, that trouble was transportation; it was moving me into my destiny.
you won’t become all that you were created to be without difficulties. you don’t grow in the good times; you grow in the tough times. trouble prepares you for the next level, develops something in you that you can’t gain when it’s easy and everything is going your way. in the difficult times, your spiritual muscles are developed; you gain strength, endurance, wisdom. every obstacle that you’ve been through has deposited something on the inside. every relationship that didn’t work out, you gained experience, something that will help you in the future. the times you failed, you blew it, they weren’t wasted; you gained insight. it’s all a part of God’s plan.
don’t complain about the trouble. don’t get upset because life dealt you a tough hand. the reason you have big challenges is because you have a big destiny; average people have average problems. ordinary people have ordinary challenges. here’s the key; you’re not average, ordinary, you’re a child of the most high God. the Creator of the universe breathed His life into you. He crowned you with favor, put seeds of greatness on the inside. you’re not ordinary, you’re extraordinary. don’t be surprised if you face extraordinary challenges; it’s because you have an extraordinary destiny. God is getting you prepared for something greater than you ever imagined.
think about Moses; he was born into trouble. it was no fault of his own. as a little baby, when he was the most vulnerable, life dealt him an unfair hand; the king ordered:
Exodus 1:15-16 (NIV)
15 The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, 16 “When you are helping the Hebrew women during childbirth on the delivery stool, if you see that the baby is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live.”
it looked like Moses was done, too bad, he was born at the wrong time. but Moses had a mother who understood this principle; she didn’t believe that that trouble could keep her son from his destiny.
Exodus 2:3 (NIV)
3 But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile.
Moses could’ve dumped over and drowned, starved to death, been eaten by wild animals; there were 1000 things that could’ve gone wrong. but that trouble wasn’t a surprise to God; the king issuing that death order did not cancel Moses’ purpose. God has the final say; people don’t determine your destiny, God does.
Exodus 2:5-10 (NIV)
5 Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe… She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. 6 She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him… 10 … he became her son.
God could’ve stopped the trouble, caused the king to change his mind and not issue that death decree; that would’ve spared Moses’ life. instead, God used the trouble to move Moses to where He wanted him to be. Moses would have never learned what he needed for his destiny being raised in the environment that he was born into. in the palace, Pharaoh’s house, he learned about leadership, business, how to speak to people, how to conduct a meeting; the Egyptians were known for their superior education and ingenuity.
you may not like the trouble, you’re uncomfortable, it’s not fair, but God knows what He’s doing; that trouble is transportation. just like with Moses, it’s taking you to the next level, getting you prepared. you wouldn’t be who you are today without all the things you’ve been through. don’t complain about the trouble; it’s not hindering you, it’s preparing you. it’s not going to defeat you, it’s going to promote you. you may not see how your situation could work out, but God has a way. He’s already lined up the right people. He has the breaks you need. like with Moses, there will be a Pharaoh’s daughter there to be good to you. you trust God when everything is good; why don’t you trust Him in the trouble, believe that even though you don’t understand it, He’s directing your steps?
you don’t have to live frustrated because you had a bad break; that trouble means that you’re headed somewhere, you’re on the way to your destiny. if you’ll stay in faith, you’ll begin to see God connect the dots; you’ll see that there was a reason that that door closed, that person walked away, it didn’t work out the way you had planned. it’s because God had something better in store; He was using that trouble to move you into your divine destiny. “something like that would never happen for me.” how do you know? your story is not over; God is not finished with you. that bad break, divorce, betrayal, loss, is not your final chapter; if you’ll keep being your best, dreaming, honoring God, that trouble won’t stop you, it will become transportation, and move you to the new things that God has in store.
what you’re dreaming about may be too small. that door may be closed because God has something bigger for you. you’re working for a company; one day, you’re going to own a company. you’re believing to manage that addiction; God is going to free you from the addiction. you’re content to be single for the rest of your life; God’s going to bring somebody better than you ever imagined.
don’t get discouraged by the trouble; it’s not the end. you trust God in the good times; I’m asking you to trust Him in the trouble. when you don’t understand it, you feel overwhelmed, uncomfortable, dare to believe that He’s in control, knows what’s best, that your steps and stops are ordered by the Lord. it’s a powerful attitude when you can say, “God, it feels like I’m going backwards, but I trust You.” a lot of times, we try to pray away the difficulties, trouble, bad breaks. here’s the key; you’re not anointed from trouble, you’re anointed for trouble. the scripture says:
Psalm 46:1 (NASB)
1 God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
He’s not going to stop every disappointment, bad break, but He will give you the strength, grace, power to go through it with a good attitude.
Psalm 89:20-24 (NLT)
20 I have found my servant David.
I have anointed him with my holy oil.
21 I will steady him with my hand;
with my powerful arm I will make him strong.
22 His enemies will not defeat him,
nor will the wicked overpower him.
23 I will beat down his adversaries before him
and destroy those who hate him.
24 My faithfulness and unfailing love will be with him,
and by my authority he will grow in power.
it doesn’t say, “I will anoint him so that he doesn’t have problems, opposition,” it says, “I’m anointing him for the trouble, sickness, legal battle.” quit telling yourself, “I can’t take this, it’s too much for me”; you’re anointed for that difficulty. just like with David, right now, God is steadying you, making you strong. you don’t have to fight those battles, live stressed out; God said HE would push down your enemies. that sickness, legal problem, trouble at work, is not going to get the best of you. why? you’re anointed for trouble. I’m looking at powerful, anointed, determined, favored people. the most high God says, “you will rise to power”; that means, you will see increase, promotion, healings, breakthroughs.
you may be in trouble; don’t worry, it’s not permanent, it’s transportation. you’re about to see God begin to connect the dots in your life; it hadn’t made sense in the past, but you’re going to see what God has been up to. instead of fighting everything that doesn’t go your way, why don’t you believe that God knows what He’s doing? instead of saying, “God, why is this happening to me?” no, “God, I know, You’ve got me in the palm of Your hand. You’re directing my steps. Lord, I may not understand it, but I trust You.”
this is what Joseph had to do in the scripture. as a teenager, God gave him a dream that he would lead a nation, but along the way, one bad thing after another happened to him: he was thrown into a pit, sold into slavery, falsely accused, put in prison. he spent years doing the right thing with the wrong thing happening. it didn’t look like it would ever work out, but Joseph understood this principle; that as long as he kept being his best, that trouble could not keep him from his destiny, it was moving him forward. if you study his life, you’ll see how God connected all of the dots. every step was strategically orchestrated; if you left one out, the next one wouldn’t work. if Joseph’s brothers hadn’t have thrown him into a pit, he never would’ve been sold into slavery to a man named Potiphar. if he had never been sold to Potiphar, he would never have met Potiphar’s wife, and been falsely accused and put in prison. if he hadn’t been in prison, he would’ve never met the butler and the baker and told them that he knew how to interpret dreams. if he hadn’t told them that, the Pharaoh would have never called him up to interpret his dreams, and eventually put Joseph in charge of the whole nation.
any of those steps along the way, if you isolate them, it doesn’t make sense, it looks like a bad break. but you have to believe, like Joseph, that that disappointment, what looks like a betrayal, a setback, is all a part of God’s plan. it’s transportation; it’s moving you little by little into your destiny. God knows what He’s doing. God knew that He would need someone in control of Egypt that would show favor to the Israelites, so years earlier, He started this process of getting Joseph in place. it looked like trouble, but the truth is, it was the hand of God. Joseph’s brothers took his coat of many colors, his coat of favor, but they could not take the calling on his life. what people take from you cannot stop your purpose. what’s on the inside is more powerful than anything that’s on the outside. you keep doing the right thing despite the trouble, bad break, betrayal, one day you’ll see, like Joseph, God begin to connect the dots. God will take you to your throne, so to speak. you’ll say like Joseph did:
Genesis 50:20 (NIV)
20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good
the scripture talks about:
Psalm 34:19 (NIV)
19 The righteous person may have many troubles,
but the Lord delivers him from them all
that means that God will stop the trouble. but another way to see it is like the post office delivers a package; it may start in New York, but it gets delivered to California. “deliver” means that they transport it, move it from one location to another. that package might have to go through 5 different stops along the way. in the same way, right now, God is delivering you from trouble; you’re en route, the process has started. there may be a few stops along the way; don’t worry, you’re not delivered yet. like Joseph, you may be in the pit, in the prison, but the palace is coming. you’re in debt? God is delivering you into abundance. you’re dealing with depression? He’s delivering you into joy. you’re fighting that illness? He’s delivering you into health, wholeness and victory.
when thoughts tell you, “this trouble is permanent, it’s never going to change,” just answer back, “no, I’m being delivered. I’m already en route. I know that this sickness, trouble, is only temporary; it’s just a stop along the way.” your trouble is transportation. you may feel like you’re trapped in negative circumstances: depression, addiction, mediocrity. it doesn’t seem like anybody can hear you; you don’t think you could ever get out. that is not how your story ends. the same God that brought Joseph out is the God that’s going to bring you out.
I believe tonight that dreams, hope, health, abundance are waking up. that trouble is not going to stop you, it’s going to move you to a level of your destiny that you could’ve never experienced without it. you may not have chosen what you’ve been through, but when you see how God pays you back, the new doors He opens, how He uses it to your advantage, you’re going to say, “I wouldn’t change it.” friends, you are anointed for that trouble. it may look like a setback, but really it is a setup for God to do something greater in your life. if you’ll trust God in the trouble, your trouble will become transportation; God is going to open new doors, turn impossible situations around, and take you into the fullness of your destiny.