Healthy Pressure | Joel Osteen

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Healthy Pressure | Joel Osteen

Don’t fight the pressure; embrace it. Use it as fuel to go further, to believe bigger, to trust that God is in control.

Well, god bless you, and it’s great to be with you today.
And I hope you’ll stay connected with us during the week through our daily podcast, our YouTube channel, social media, and you can come visit us in person.
We’d love to have you be a part of one of our services.
I’d like to start with something funny, and I heard about this couple that lived out in the country.
They’d been married for 50 years and never had an argument, not one.
Someone asked them the secret of their success.
The men explained, as they were leaving the church, going on their honeymoon, the wife’s horse refused to go She got off, looked the horse in the eyes, and said, that’s one.
He went a little further, stopped again. She got off, looked the horse in the eyes, said, that’s 2.
Wend a little more and stopped a third time.
This time she got off, pulled a revolver out and shot the horse dead.
The husband said, what in the world are you doing? You can’t just shoot a horse.
She looked at him and said, honey, that’s one. Alright, y’all.
Say it like you mean it. This is my Bible.
I am what it says I am. I have what it says I have. I can do what it says I can do.
Today, I will be taught the word of god. I boldly confessed. My mind is alert. My heart is receptive.
I will never be the same in Jesus’ name. God bless you.
I wanna talk to you today about healthy pressure Sometimes we think we’ll get to this place where there’s no pressure.
No people getting on our nerves. No traffic. No delays.
Everything’s fallen into place, plenty in our bank account, healthier than ever, children making straight as, Texas’s undefeated.
Mother-in-law moves to China. If we can just endure, we’ll get to this utopia, this perfect place.
Where we don’t have any more pressure. The truth is not all pressure is bad. There is healthy pressure.
If you were comfortable all the time, you couldn’t reach your potential.
If you didn’t have opposition and things you don’t understand, problems not changing, you would never develop endurance and trust and character.
That pressure is getting you prepared.
You have to have resistance to get stronger and God will allow situations where we’re over our head.
We don’t know how it’s gonna work out, and it’s taking longer than we thought.
He’s not making your life miserable. Those are opportunities to grow. That’s when you have to rely on him.
When you’re pressured, you learn to stretch your faith. Pray bold prayers. Believe for what looks impossible.
The pressure is causing you to get stronger, quit fighting it and learn to embrace it.
God wouldn’t have allowed it if he wasn’t up to something.
Maturity is being at peace in the pressure, trusting in the trouble, staying calm in the conflict.
And, yes, I know we all love the seasons where there’s no pressure and everything’s going great, but those seasons are few and far between.
There are very few times that we’re not dealing with some kind of issue that could have a stress.
You could have a dozen things going right but there’s one thing you could easily worry about.
But that one thing is what causes you to keep pressing forward. It’s healthy tension.
God knows how to put just the right amount of pressure so we don’t get complacent.
We don’t put our faith on autopilot, but we keep stretching. We keep growing.
Years ago, fishing for codfish in the northeast had become a huge commercial business, there was a demand for codfish all over the states, but they had a problem with distribution.
At first, they tried freezing the fish and shipping it out, like the rest of their products, but for some reason, the codfish didn’t have any taste after it was frozen.
Next, they tried shipping the codfish alive. In these big tanks.
They put them on trains and had them shipped across the country in regular seawater.
They thought for sure this would solve the issue, but it only made it worse.
Because the fish were sitting in the water inactive, They became soft and mushy and, once again, lost their taste.
Someone came up with an interesting idea they decided to put some catfish in the tank with the codfish.
The catfish is the natural enemy of the codfish.
So the whole time they were being shipped, the codfish had to stay alert and active and be on the lookout for the codfish.
Well, that solved the problem. When the codfish arrived, they were as fresh and tasty as they were on the East Coast.
Sometimes what we think is an enemy is really an asset.
That person at work that gets on your nerves, You’ve been praying 27 years for god to take them away.
They’re a catfish. God’s using them to grow you up.
To trust him to be your vindicator, to be good to someone that’s not good to you, to learn to forgive, not let people steal your joy.
You wouldn’t be who you are without them.
Next time you see them, instead of being upset, just smile, say, good morning, Mr. Catfish.
You don’t know it, but god’s using you.
Some of the things that we’re asking god to take away that make us uncomfortable and causing pressure.
If he removed them right now, we would get stuck. He’s using them to keep us fresh.
Keep us growing, keep us stretching. That’s why you can’t pray away everything you don’t like.
The catfish, you may not like that pressure, but is working for you is healthy pressure.
A minister friend of mine was very well known and influential He was loved by people all over the world, but in his hometown, the local newspaper didn’t like him.
For 40 years, they never wrote a positive article.
It’s always something demeaning, something out of context, where they were putting in down, showing him in a bad light.
And we’ll get him so riled up and so passionate. This went on for years.
At the end of his life, a reporter asked him, who had helped him the most?
What were the pivotal events that kept him going?
He said, what helped me more than anything else was my local newspaper.
They were so biased against me, so determined to make me look bad.
They didn’t realize they caused me to pray bolder, to work harder, to believe bigger, to go further.
He said, I wanna publicly thank them for what they’ve done to build my ministry.
What was that? A catfish? God could have changed the newspaper’s mind.
He could have put someone in that loved his ministries, but god used his pressure.
He uses opposition, things that are not fair, things that make us uncomfortable.
If we’ll have the right perspective, like him, Instead of being sour, discouraged, trying to straighten them out, we use that as fuel for our faith.
To pray, to stretch, to believe, then instead of stopping us, it will propel us.
I’ve learned you can’t pray away the catfish.
God’s not going to remove what he’s using to keep you growing and stretching and believing.
What’s interesting is a few weeks before this man passed, The local newspaper did this huge front page glowing story on how amazing his ministry was and how he had done so much good for the city.
He said, if they had done that 40 years earlier, he would have never accomplished what he did.
Don’t fight the catfish. Don’t fight the pressure. Embrace it.
Use it as fuel to go further, to believe bigger to trust that god is in control.
But practically, at every stage of life, there are going to be some catfish.
People that are not for you, neighbor that gets on your nerve, a problem that’s not going away, that catfish is not really your enemy.
It’s a tool that god allowed to keep you fresh and growing.
Potential is released when you’re under pressure.
It’s nice to be comfortable, not have any opposition, know where all the funds are coming from, all the people lined up, that’s appealing, but it’s limiting.
The greatness god put in you is going to come out by stretching, by going beyond what you’re used to.
By being good to people that are not good to you.
By not letting that pressure cause you to shrink back, but instead, you dig down deeper knowing that god is getting you prepared for something greater.
When my father went to be with the lord, I knew I was supposed to pastor the church, I’d never ministered.
I was nervous. I didn’t have the training, but I took that step of faith.
A few weeks later, One Sunday morning after church. I I just finished ministry.
I was in the front lobby walking behind these two ladies, and they didn’t know I was there.
Now I overheard one of them say he’s not as good as his father.
The other answered that, yeah, I don’t think the church is going to make it.
You know what those ladies were? No disrespect. They were catfish. Have you noticed catfish have a big mouth?
You can’t become who you were created to be without resistance.
That resistance is not working against you. It’s healthy pressure.
It’s designed to make you stronger, but you have to handle it the right way.
Pressure can defeat you or pressure can propel you. And at first, what those ladies said, discourers me.
I thought, you know what? They’re probably right. But then something rose up on the inside.
I thought they don’t determine my destiny. They didn’t know me before I was formed in my mother’s womb.
They didn’t call me, annoint me, crown me with favor, Plan out my days for good.
Instead of defeating me, I turned it around and used that pressure as fuel to go further.
To study harder, to pray bolder, to be more determined, more passionate, more disciplined.
David said in Psalm 4, god enlarged me in my distress.
He didn’t get in large with good breaks, open doors, the right people showing up, Those were the good times.
He was enlarged when his father didn’t believe in him, when his brothers were making fun, when King Saul was jealous and trying to kill him.
He had a lot of catfish, a lot of things he didn’t understand, situations that weren’t fair, family turned on him, a son that tried to take the throne?
Here’s the key. He used that pressure as fuel for his faith. He didn’t get bitter.
He didn’t try to pay people back, prove to his father who he was.
He didn’t give up in the shepherd’s fields, when it didn’t look like his dreams would ever come to pass, he saw it as healthy pressure.
King Saul was chasing him.
David had done nothing but good for Saul, so loyal and honoring, but Saul was a catfish.
He wasn’t there to destroy David, but to develop David.
So David could show god what he was made up.
One time out in the desert, Saul and his men were sleeping in. David snuck up on him.
This was his big chance. He could have killed Saul but he wouldn’t do it.
He knew Saul was anointed as king, and god said to touch not the anointed.
Even though Saul was trying to kill David, David wouldn’t kill Saul.
All that pressure wasn’t defeating David, it was developing David.
He was growing with greater characters, proving to god that he was ready to lead the people.
Saul looked like an enemy, really, he was an asset.
You don’t really know who you are until you’re put under pressure.
You don’t know your true character until it’s tested in the fire of affliction and adversities.
You’re not getting your way. Maybe you’re dealing with a catfish at work, or catfish at the gym, a catfish at your school, perhaps you’re married to a catfish.
We’re not gonna go there, but quit letting that pressure defeat you, make you sour, give up on your dream, Do like David, keep the right perspective, you’ll be able to say, god enlarge me in my distress.
He took what was meant to stop me and turned it around and used it to increase me.
The catfish is a tool. It’s an opportunity to come up higher in our character.
Anyone can treat people the way they treat us.
Anyone can take revenge, talk bad about who’s talking bad about you. That’s the easy way out.
But to reach your destiny, you have to do some hard things.
You have to take the high road, stretch when you wanna stay comfortable.
Be more determined than what’s trying to stop you.
You have to ignore the negative voices and do what god put in your heart.
When you do this, god will enlarge you in your distress.
Won’t be the good breaks, the people cheering you on, the doors that open that cause you to see new levels, it will be the catfish, the saws, the local paper that wouldn’t acknowledge you, the two ladies that said you couldn’t take that pressure and turn it into power.
Our mindset should be I will not shrink back be talked out of my dreams, settle for mediocrity.
I’m gonna stand stronger. Believe bigger. Pray bolder. Be more determined. Yes.
This catfish looks like an enemy, but I know the truth. It’s an asset.
When we were trying to acquire this building, the former Compact Center, There was this very influential business leader here in town that everyone knew, and he was against us.
He was very vocal about it He did not want a church in the Compact Center and especially Lakewood.
A friend of mine was at a business lunch in downtown with several hundred people.
He was seated at a table with this man.
The subject of the compact center came up, He didn’t know this man was my friend.
He laughed and said sarcastically, it will be a cold day in hell before Lakewood gets the compact center.
This man minute to be discouraging, degrading, but god knew I needed that as fuel for my fire.
He didn’t realize it, but he was a catfish, a pawn in the hand of god.
I don’t even blame him. God used him as healthy pressure. And god calls my friend to hear that.
This was a set up not meant to defeat us, but to empower us.
But it all depends on whether you recognize the purpose of the catfish.
If you take the pressure the opposition, the setback is negative. Man, we don’t have a chance.
It’s not gonna work out. I’m so overwhelmed. Then the pressure is going to defeat you.
You have to realize that catfish is there for one reason to stir your faith up.
The right attitude is, god, I know you’re bigger than what we’re facing.
You being for us is more than the world being against us.
We may not see a way, but we know you have a way.
Let that pressure fuel your faith to where you stretch and grow and believe.
But there were plenty of times during our 3 year battle, trying to get enough council members to vote for us and dealing with a lawsuit oppositioned from a huge company, I was tempted to get discouraged, think it wasn’t gonna work out.
Every time I did, I would hear those words a cold day in hell. I would see that man’s face.
I would pray harder, stand stronger, be more determined, He doesn’t realize it, but he’s a big reason we got this building.
If I ever see him, I’m gonna buy him dinner. Some fried catfish.
But I made myself laugh.
I wonder if there’s some catfish in your life that you’re not recognizing.
You’re seeing the pressure the wrong way, thinking it’s too much. The problem’s too big. It’s been too long.
You’re letting it defeat you, causing you to lose your passion. Have a new perspective. It’s healthy pressure.
God’s going to use it to enlarge it in your distress. He’s about to do something new.
He’s getting you prepared for something you’ve never seen.
Paul said in Romans 5, let us rejoice in our trials, knowing that the pressure is producing unswerving endurance.
Indurance is developing maturity of character, and character is producing hope, confident expectations of god’s goodness.
Paul was saying, if you’ll see the pressure the right way, the difficulties, the delays, the soles, If you’ll stay full of joy and not get bitter, then that pressure is making you stronger.
It’s doing something on the inside getting you prepared for what god has in store.
Here’s a key. Pressure is going to produce something, either faith, hope, endurance, or it’s gonna produce discouragement, weakness, can’t do it.
My question is, what is the pressure in your life producing?
Are you seeing it as negative, not fair, letting it defeat you? Have a new perspective.
See it as healthy pressure. God wouldn’t have allowed it if it was going to stop you.
That catfish may be annoying. You don’t like it, but it’s serving a purpose.
It’s there to help you grow, to stay fresh, to build your fame.
And every time you get rid of 1 catfish, God brings you through with the victory.
You get rid of Saul and you take the throne. Those two ladies are gone, and you’re up ministry.
The cold day in hell has happened because you have the compact center.
And the catfish has to drive by and see it on the way to work.
All those victories are fueled for your faith.
Next time you face pressure, the next time a saw shows up, You’re tempted to be overwhelmed.
You can look back and say, god, you brought me through in the past.
I know you’re gonna bring me through this time. You healed my mother of terminal cancer.
You changed that city council member’s mind and gave us the Compact Center.
You caused me to walk into a jewelry store and meet Victoria.
You taught me how to minister when others said I couldn’t.
Now when those voices whisper, it’s never gonna work out.
My answer is, I’m sorry, you got here too late.
I’ve come too far to not believe I’ve seen too much of god’s goodness to be talked out of it.
Too many doors have opened. Too many giants have fallen.
Too many divine connections, too many ways where we didn’t see a way.
And I know none of us light pressure, but your potential is released when you’re under pressure.
You really don’t know what you can do until you’re put under greater pressure.
I saw a man on a video. This car had fallen off the jacks onto his friend.
This man was just average size.
He ran over and lifted the car by himself so his friend could get out.
He never dreamed he could lift a car, but something happened under pressure.
And sometimes, god will let you be under more pressure than you think you can handle.
It’s not to discourage you, but so you’ll discover what’s in you. God created you.
He’s the one that put the potential, the gifts, the talents, the greatness in you.
And the only way it’s going to fully come out is through pressure. Don’t fight the pressure. Embrace it.
It’s not the time to get bitter. Live overwhelmed. This is too much for me. Quit talking like that.
You’re defeating yourself. When you’re under pressure, your declaration should be, I can handle this. I am well able.
I have strength for all things. I am strong in the lord.
That’s what’s gonna cause you to stand strong and endure.
My father told about this man out in the country that was walking home at night.
He took the shortcut through the cemetery, He didn’t realize they had dug a hole for a grave in the path that he normally walked.
It was so dark he couldn’t see it, and he fell in the hole. It’s about 10 feet deep.
For 2 hours, he hollered and screamed and kicked and clogged, but nobody heard him.
He tried grabbing onto the sides, climbing out, but he fell back again and again.
Finally, he just sat in the corner, realized he’d have to wait till morning, About midnight, this drunk man came wandering through the cemetery, and he fell in the same home.
He didn’t see the other man, He just sat there watching silently, watching it all take place.
And the drunk man began to panning.
He started hollering and screaming at the top of his lungs, The man sitting in the corner decided to have some fun.
He said, in a real deep, scary voice, you can’t get out of here, But you know what? He did.
You don’t know what you can do until you’re put under pressure.
Joel, you can’t take over your father’s church and minister for a thousands of people.
You don’t have the training, but you know what? I did.
You can’t raise a $100,000,000,000 to renovate the Compact Center.
You don’t have that experience, but you know what? We did.
Dodi, you can’t be terminal cancer with no treatment available, but you know what? She did.
Look back over your life and all the things you did under pressure. You defied the odds.
You broke barriers in your family. You raised that child that people didn’t think you could raise. You reached goals.
You never dreamed you’d reach. You overcame obstacles that even surprise you now.
Would have never happened without the pressure. The pressure was necessary to release your potential.
The pressure is what god used to bring out of you what he put in you.
The catfish had a big mouth, but it was necessary. You needed salt to be jealous.
You needed those people to not believe in you.
You needed to not feel qualified to not have the training that pressure prepared you. It develops you.
That’s what’s called you to blossom into who you are.
God enlarged you, not in the good times, but under pressure in that distress.
The people of Israel had been in slavery for many years, and god told Moses to go tell the pharaoh to let the people go.
Well, Moses was intimidated, insecure.
He had a problem with stuttering, He was already under enough pressure way over his head, going to do something he didn’t feel qualified to do.
The scripture says, god hardened the pharaoh’s heart, so he would not let the people leave.
Here, god just told Moses, tell him to let the people go, but god calls the pharaoh to be stubborn and say no.
What was that? The pharaoh was a catfish.
God was using the pharaoh to create the right environment so he could show his power in a greater way.
The pressure was a setup. God wanted there to be more opposition, more adversity.
So when he turned it around, it would be a greater miracle.
There are times, god will tell you to do something. He’ll lead you down a path, open a door.
You know it’s his hand to favor, then he’ll increase the pressure.
People come against you, a setback in your business, a betrayal, a closed door.
Now you’re right where Moses was. God, where are you? I did what you said, but it didn’t work out.
The people said no. The pressure is intensified.
You could give up on that dream, get discouraged, and lose your passion, but the increased pressure is a sign that god is about to show out in a greater way.
He wouldn’t have caused the pharaoh to say no if he wasn’t about to do something unusual and uncommon.
God did miracle after miracle, not only changed the pharaoh’s mind, but the Israelites left with abundance.
Pharaoh’s people gave them all their treasures. They saw the red sea parted. They saw their enemies drowned.
All that pressure was ordained by god to bring them out of captivity into a victorious abundant line.
Don’t fight the pressure. Embrace it. You don’t know what god is up to.
Telling favor to say, no, god, we need him to say yes. No, the pressure is a setup.
It’s getting you in position for god to do something that you’ve never seen.
You may be under a lot of pressure now, You could feel overwhelmed, discouraged, god has you in the palm of his hand.
He did not bring you this far to fail you now, stay in faith.
That pressure is doing a work on the inside. It’s getting you prepared.
Ferro said no a few times, but your yes is coming. That catfish was ordained by god.
It’s causing you to stretch, to believe, to trust, to dig down deeper. God sees your faithfulness.
He sees you doing the right thing when it’s hard, being at peace in the pressure.
Staying calm in the conflict. You are passing the test.
Now believe and declare that pressure is about to be turned into power.
God’s about to launch you to a new level of your destiny.
Like Moses, you’re gonna see red seas part. Doors open enemies defeated.
The pressure is releasing your gifts, your potential, talents, favor, the fullness of your destiny, in Jesus’ name.
And if you receive it, will you say amen?
I’d like to give you an opportunity to make Jesus the lord of your life.
Would you pray with me? Just say, lord Jesus, I repent of my sins, come into my heart, I make you my lord and savior.
If you prayed that simple prayer, we believe you got born again.
We’d love to send you some free information on your new walk with the lord.
You can text the number on the screen or go to the website, but I hope you’ll get into a good Bible based church.
And keep god 1st place.
Do you have a dream that’s waiting to happen, but it often feels like you’ll never get is your dream to start a business, to see a loved one come to the lord?
Are you asking god, will it ever happen?
Sometimes it feels like our dream is so far off, but I believe you’re closer than you think.
You’re on the verge of seeing things change in your favor, new doors opening, the right people showing up.
I’d love to send you our new hopes and dreams 2024 planner.
It’s not only a calendar, but it has scriptures and inspiration place to journal. It’ll help
you stay focused and encouraged so you can see your dreams come to pass.
As you support the ministry this month with a special end of year gift, of any amount, we would like to bless you with the hopes and dreams 2024 planner.
With the new planner, you will start the new year with fresh ID fresh hope, and endless possibilities.
You’ll find monthly calendars and plenty of space to plan for a better day ahead, plus there are inspiring scripture and thoughts that will encourage you to believe for your dreams.
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