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Strengthened in Adversity
By Joel Osteen - Oct 06, 2010

One day a few years after Victoria and I were married, there was a knock on the door. I answered it and a police officer was standing there. He handed me an envelope and said, "Somebody really doesn't like you." I said, "What do you mean?" I didn't think I had an enemy in the world. He said, "This man is suing you over some property that you sold him."

Come to find out, the person who bought our house from us was suing us over the plumbing. He didn't just sue us; he sued the builder, the architect, the real estate agent, the plumber, and anybody he could think of. We knew we hadn't done anything wrong; after all, we didn't build the house. The plumbing worked fine for us. But for the next six months, I was in that lawsuit; I was sick to my stomach! I was so worried. I thought it was the worst thing that could have ever happened to me. I let it steal my joy and cause me to live all stressed out.

In fact, several weeks before I had to give my testimony, I started preparing and studying. I got out all my documents and started thinking about what I was going to say. I went in and gave my testimony at the lawyer's office, and when I got finished, I was so nauseated I couldn't even drive home! I had to have somebody come pick me up!

Long story short, several months later, the lawsuit was thrown out and we were totally cleared, and of course, very grateful. The lawsuit in itself didn't seem like it was working for my good. I didn't feel like I was being strengthened through that adversity. It seemed like it was a waste of energy, unnecessary stress and heartache. I didn't see how anything good would ever come out of that. But fifteen years later, when we acquired the former Compaq Center, a company filed a lawsuit to try to keep us from moving in. This time, when I went to give my deposition, I wasn't the least bit nervous. I knew exactly what to expect. I had been through that process before. I gave my testimony just as calm, clear and effective as can be.

Looking back, I knew God was getting me prepared through that first lawsuit. Had it not been for that man suing us over the plumbing, I may not have had the confidence and the experience to overcome when it came to a lawsuit that really mattered—a lawsuit between me and my destiny.

Today, remember, no matter what you may be facing, God has equipped you for victory. He has a bigger purpose in mind. Just keep moving forward and keep trusting Him. Keep hoping, keep praying and keep believing because God is at work. He will strengthen you during adversity and prepare you for greater victories!

It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect (Psalm 18:32, NIV).

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