Full text of Joel Osteen’s sermon titled “Don’t Waste Your Pain” which was delivered in February 2016.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here:
Notable quote from this message:
But if you go through a painful time and you don’t come out with what you were supposed to learn, you’re doing yourself a disservice.
Joel Osteen – Pastor, Televangelist
God bless you! It’s always a joy to come into your homes and you ever in our area, please stop by and be a part of one of our services. I promise you we’ll make you feel right at home. But thanks so much for tuning in today, and thank you again for coming out.
And I’d like to start with something funny. And I heard about these four Catholic ladies. They were bragging on their sons. The first one said, “My son is a Priest. When he walks in the room, everyone calls him Father.”
The second said, “My son is a Bishop. When he walks in the room, everyone calls him Your Grace.
The third said, “My son is a Cardinal. When he walks in the room, everyone calls him Your Eminence.”
Fourth lady said, “My son is six foot, three; has broad shoulders, is incredibly good looking, dresses impeccably well. When he walks in the room, all the ladies say ‘Oh My God’.”
All right. Come on 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 confess my mind is alert; my heart is receptive; I will never be the same; in Jesus’ name. God bless you.
I want to talk to you today about “Don’t waste your pain”.
We all go through disappointments, setbacks, loss. Pain is a part of life. It’s easy to get discouraged, even bitter, think, “Why is this happening to me”?
But one of the best principles I’ve learned is don’t put a question mark where God has put a period. All of us have things we don’t understand. One reason is we can’t see the big picture for our lives.
If you have a puzzle, on the front of the box there’s the picture. You see what it’s supposed to look like. Maybe it’s a sunset overlooking the ocean. As a whole, it’s fantastic, so beautiful.
But if you were to take one piece and isolate it, you would think, “Look at this funny-looking piece. It’s a mistake, it’s not going to fit anywhere. It’s an odd shape. There’s nothing beautiful about it.”
But the fact is that piece has a perfect place. It’s already been fitted, planned, designed. When the other pieces come together, it will fit in.
The reason you can’t see it now is because they all are not in place yet. In the same way, sometimes we look at pieces in our lives that don’t make sense.
“Joel, I went through a divorce. I lost a loved one. I’m going through cancer. My business went down. This piece couldn’t be a part of God’s plan.”
But you have to trust that, even in the painful times, the times you’re hurting, you’re lonely, you’re taking the treatment, on the surface that piece doesn’t make sense. But God doesn’t make any mistakes. He’s already designed your life, laid out all the pieces down to the smallest details, and God never said that we would understand everything that happens along the way.
He didn’t promise that we’d never have any heartache, pain, disappointment, loss, setbacks. But he did promise that it would all work out for our good, and that piece that’s painful, doesn’t look like it makes any sense, when everything comes together, it will fit perfectly into place.
The key is what we do in our times of pain. Pain will change us. Heartache, loss, disappointments, they don’t leave us the same.
When I lost my father, I didn’t come out like I was before, I was changed. If you go through a divorce, a legal battle, a friend betrays you, eventually that will pass. You’ll get through it, but you will be different.
Now, how the pain changes you is up to you. You can come out bitter, or you can come out better. You can come out with a chip on your shoulder, blaming God, or you can come out stronger, with a greater confidence in God. You can come out defeated, giving up on your dreams, or you can come out with a new passion, a new fire, excited about the new opportunities in front of you.
All of us experience pain. My challenge: don’t just go through it, grow through it. That difficulty is an opportunity to get stronger, to develop character, to gain new confidence. Anybody can give up. Anybody can let it overwhelm you. But you know what that’s doing? Wasting your pain. That pain is not there to stop you. It’s there to prepare you, to increase you, to develop you.
The scripture talks about how God is in control not just of our lives, but he’s in control of our enemies. Satan had to ask God for permission to test Job. The enemy may turn on the fire, but the good news is God has his hand on the thermostat. God controls how much heat, how much pain, how much adversity. He knows what we can handle. If it was going to harm us rather than help us, God would have turned back the intensity.
In those tough times, when you’re uncomfortable, going through a loss, dealing with an illness, you could easily let it overwhelm you. It’s helpful to remind yourself, “I may be in this fire, but I know who controls the temperature. The God who breathed life into me, the God who is for me and not against me, the God who crowned me with favor, the God who takes pleasure in prospering me, he’s in complete control. He’s not going to let it get too hot. He’s not going to let it defeat me. I may not like it, but I’m not a whiner, I’m a warrior. I know I can handle this.”
You have that attitude, you’ll come out stronger, increased, promoted, better than you were before.
We’ve all heard the saying, “No pain, no gain”. If everything was always easy, we wouldn’t be prepared for our destiny. Some of the things I face today, if I would have faced them ten years ago, they would have overwhelmed me. I couldn’t handle it back then. God knows what you need, when you need it.
Every struggle is making you stronger. Every difficulty is growing you up. Every painful time, even though you don’t like it, it’s developing something in you that can only be developed in the tough times. Don’t complain about the pain. Without the pain, we couldn’t reach the fullness of our destinies.
Researchers did an experiment with bumblebees. They took them up into space to study the effects of weightlessness on them, and the bees floated through the air with great ease, didn’t have to use their wings. I’m sure they thought, “This is the way we were made to live, no struggle, no adversity, no resistance”.
For a few days, everything was great. But on the fourth day, something happened. They all died. They loved it being easy, no adversity. But the problem was they weren’t created to not have any resistance.