Senior pastor of Lakewood Church, author and inspirational speaker.
Posted 6/3/15 at 11:50 AM | Joel Osteen
In Acts, chapter nine, there is the story of a man named Saul. Saul was the greatest enemy of the church. He hated believers, and he was passionate about it. He went around having them arrested and put into prison. He was known for his persecution. The Scripture says, "Saul was breathing out threats and slaughter against the disciples."
One day Saul was on his way to arrest more believers in Damascus when suddenly, a bright light shone down from heaven and knocked him flat on his back. Saul became totally blind. The team of men traveling with Saul was speechless. They picked him up and led him into Damascus.
There was a man who lived there by the name of Ananias who was a strong believer. God spoke to him in a dream and told him to go to the house where Saul was staying and pray for him so that his sight would be restored.
You might imagine what Ananias must have thought. I can hear him saying, "Excuse me, God? You want me to go and pray for the man that's actively trying to kill us? The one who is hunting us down? The one who is breathing out threats? I don't think so. How about I send somebody from the prison ministry? ... How about I give him a phone call instead? ... God, that's too dangerous! I'm not going to go." FULL POST
Posted 4/17/15 at 11:31 AM | Joel Osteen
I read about this professor at a major university. He was in class about to hand out the final exam— the most important test of the year. Before he did, he told his students how proud he was of them. Because they had worked so hard, he made them a special offer. He said, "Anyone that would like an automatic C on this test, just raise your hand, and I'll give you a C. You won't even have to take the test." One hand slowly went up, then another and another until about half of the students opted out of taking the test. They walked out of the room so relieved, so happy.
The professor went on the pass out the test to the rest of the students. He placed it face down on the desks and asked them not to turn it over until he instructed them to. For the next few minutes, he encouraged them about how they were going to do great things in life and that they should always strive to do their best. Then he gave the word that it was okay to turn the test over and get started. The test only had two sentences. It read, "Congratulations. You just made an A." FULL POST
Posted 4/13/15 at 10:03 AM | Joel Osteen
In scripture, Joseph was falsely accused and put into prison. I can imagine him year after year praying, "God, please get me out of this prison. God, you know I didn't do anything wrong." Joseph's dream was to one day be free. But God said, "Joseph, that's too small. Not only am I going to bring you out of prison, I'm going to make you ruler over the whole nation."
A few years later when Joseph was in charge of all of Egypt, I'm sure there were nights when he went outside and looked up at the stars and thought, "God, I never dreamed you would put me here. I was just praying to get out of prison. But God, You supersized what I was dreaming about."
Like Joseph, no matter what you're praying about, it may seem big in your mind, but to God, it's a small thing. You might be saying, "God, just help me pay my bills. Help me make it through this month." That may seem like a big thing to you, but God says, "That's too small." He wants to bring you into overflow! He wants you to lend and not borrow. FULL POST
Posted 4/3/15 at 11:30 AM | Joel Osteen
When Jesus rose from the dead, He appeared to the women at the garden tomb first. He told them to go tell the disciples. Word quickly got out that Jesus was alive, and everyone was so excited! There was great joy among all the disciples—all except one, Thomas.
Thomas said, "Hey, wait a minute, guys. I'm a believer. I love Jesus. I know He promised that He would come back to life. I understand that those women said they saw Him. But unless I see Him with my own eyes, unless I feel the nail prints in His hands, unless I touch the scars in His side, I'm not going to believe."
Understand that Thomas spent as much time with Jesus as the other believers. You might say he "grew up in church." In other words, he knew all the scriptures. He knew all the right answers. Deep down, he wanted to believe, but his mind was filled with doubts.
A few days later, the disciples were gathered together when all of the sudden, Jesus came walking through the door. At first, they thought it was a ghost, but soon recognized that it was Jesus. What's interesting is that Jesus didn't go over to Peter and say, "Hello." He didn't go over to Matthew and give him a big hug. He didn't go over to John and say, "Hey! I'm back. It's great to see you!" No, Jesus headed straight toward Thomas. He didn't go out of His way to show Himself to the people who had the most faith. Instead, He went right over to the one disciple who had the most doubt. Jesus looked Thomas in the eyes and said, "Thomas, I've heard what you've said about Me. I've heard you don't believe. You have questions. You have doubts. And you know what, Thomas? That's okay. That's why I've come to you first. Go ahead and feel the nail prints in My hands. Touch the scars on My side. I want to assure you of this, Thomas. I'm a faithful God, and I will do what I have promised." FULL POST
Posted 3/30/15 at 10:21 AM | Joel Osteen
In Genesis 26, scripture talks about a time when there was a great famine in the land. There had been a drought for many years, and the people were struggling to survive. God told Isaac to take a step of faith and plant his crops anyway. It didn't make sense. There was no way to water the crops. It looked like it would be a waste of time. Isaac could have said, "God, have You seen the conditions lately? Have You checked the weather report? Do You realize it hasn't rained in years? Nothing is going to grow." Isaac could have looked at things in the natural and talked himself right out of it; but instead, Isaac had a bold obedience. Scripture says that in the midst of the famine, he sowed a seed in the land.
I can imagine his friends saying, "Isaac, what in the world are you doing? Do you realize nothing is going to grow in a drought?" But Isaac didn't get discouraged. He didn't listen to the naysayers; he just kept planting. What was he doing? He was sowing a radical seed. What happened? He reaped a radical harvest! The scripture says that in the same year, in the famine, he received a 100-fold return. FULL POST
Posted 3/20/15 at 11:14 AM | Joel Osteen
I've been saying it since the beginning of the year, but I want to remind you that we are entering into a due season year—a season where God is going to show up and show out in a new way. Maybe you've been holding on to some promises for a while, or maybe there's a dream in your heart that you've been praying about. I believe in this due season year that God is going to cause things to fall into place. He is going to make things happen that you couldn't make happen on your own.
Maybe you've had an addiction for 20 years and tried your best to break it without success. The good news is that this is your due season! This is your year to be free! Promotion is coming. Good breaks are coming. Miracles are coming! Keep believing, keep expecting and keep honoring God because abundance is headed your way!
I believe that as you read these words, something is igniting in your spirit. If you'll let these words take root in your heart, they can help ignite your dreams, ignite your faith and ignite your hope. Your mind may try to talk you out of it because you can't figure out how it's going to happen. That's okay. That's not your job to figure it all out; your job is to believe. Your job is to say, "Yes, God. This is for me! I believe that it's my due season year." FULL POST
Posted 3/16/15 at 10:59 AM | Joel Osteen
My nephew, Matthew, is my brother, Paul's oldest son. At the age of twelve, Matt started struggling with depression. He lost all interest in school. He wouldn't engage socially with the other students or hardly even his own family. It seemed like the more Paul and Jennifer prayed the worse things got. It got so bad that he eventually dropped out of school. Matt has always been so smart, so talented, but it didn't look like he would fulfill his destiny.
The scripture says, "If you don't get tired of doing what's right, you will reap a harvest." Paul didn't see anything changing, but he kept praying. He kept believing. He prayed, "God, You said as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. You said the seed of the righteous will be mighty in the land. You said Your plans for Matt are for good and not evil."
Year after year went by. There was no sign of anything improving. But one day, unexpectedly, out of the blue, it was like those chains of depression were broken off of Matt. He got his joy back. He got his passion back. He had a whole new outlook on life. He went back and finished high school. He went to college and got his bachelor's degree. He went on to law school and got his law degree. Today, Matt is an attorney working with us on staff in the ministry. He's married, happy and fulfilling his destiny. What happened? Matt came into his due season of harvest. FULL POST
Posted 3/9/15 at 12:05 PM | Joel Osteen
When my father was a young minister back in the 1950's, he would travel from town to town speaking at small churches and conventions, and he carried his own sound equipment in the trunk of his car. One evening, he arrived a couple of hours early at the auditorium where he was going to preach to get everything setup. Several hundred people were expected that night, which was a big deal for my father at the time. He wanted it to all go perfectly. But in the midst of the excitement, he accidentally locked his keys in the trunk of his car and couldn't get the sound equipment out. He and some other people started working on the trunk, shaking it and jiggling it. They tried using a coat hanger to get it open. No success. It looked like his big evening was ruined. Just when he was about to give up, it dawned on him that he hadn't prayed yet.
One thing I can tell you about my father is that he knew how to pray bold prayers. He wasn't ashamed to pray about anything. Growing up, he would pray over the lawnmower, over the dishwasher, over anything that wouldn't work. My father told all the people standing there that he was going to pray and ask God to help him open the trunk. They looked at him strangely. That seemed so far out. They were thinking, "You can't pray for a trunk to open." FULL POST
Posted 3/2/15 at 2:29 PM | Joel Osteen
When I was eight years old, I went to a department store with my father where he was buying a suit. The man waiting on us found out that my dad was a minister. He said in a very demeaning, condescending way, "Well, you know. If you can't afford it, we can give you a minister's discount."
Well, my father had been raised in extreme poverty. He came out of the Great Depression. They didn't have enough food to eat. Daddy had to put cardboard in his shoes as a little boy because they had holes in them. When this man said sarcastically, "We can give you this discount," it rubbed my father the wrong way. I could see it in his eyes. Daddy thought to himself, "I am not a beggar. I don't need a handout. I'm a child of the Most High God!" It wasn't out of arrogance but out of a confidence of who he was and Who he represented. He looked that salesman in the eyes and said, "No, sir. I don't need a minister's discount. Do you know who my Father is?" That man stepped back like Daddy came from some kind of influential, well-to-do family. He didn't know Daddy wasn't talking about his earthly father; he was talking about his heavenly Father. He was saying in effect, "This is a new day. I've stepped out of poverty and lack. The God I serve doesn't need a discount. He is well able to take care of me. He is El Shaddai; the God who is more than enough!" FULL POST
Posted 2/17/15 at 1:22 PM | Joel Osteen
Did you know that God will bless you through your relationships? He will pour out His favor on you by using the people in your life. He'll use your friends, family, coworkers and even your spouse. It says in Proverbs 18:22, "He who finds a wife… receives favor from the Lord." Men, do you realize that your wife is bringing you favor from the Lord? Victoria never lets me forget that! We should always be thankful for our relationships and not take our loved ones for granted. We should do our best to seek peace and choose love.
One way we can show love is by giving others room to make mistakes. Ladies, the scripture says in First Peter that you are to "enjoy your husband." It does not say that you are to remodel that man! It doesn't say to try to change him or make him fit your mold. No, let him be who God made him to be and learn to enjoy him. He may have weaknesses. He may do things that you don't particularly care for, but don't focus on that. Focus on his good qualities. Don't fall into the trap of comparing your husband to someone else's husband. "Well, my husband never brings me flowers like Susie's husband. They go out on a candlelight dinner every weekend. I don't know what's wrong with my husband." No, quit comparing and be grateful for the man God has given you. If you're single today, be thankful that you have a perfect Provider, a faithful Companion, one who will never leave you nor forsake you—Almighty God! Let Him fill the needs of your heart and direct you to the right person at the right time if you so desire. FULL POST