Senior pastor of Lakewood Church, author and inspirational speaker.
Posted 10/10/14 at 9:48 AM | Joel Osteen
When my father was alive, I used to say to Victoria, "I wonder what's going to happen to me and around here when my father goes to be with the Lord?" My father and I had traveled the world together for 17 years. I worked with him day in and day out here at the ministry. He would come over to our house many nights. We would have dinner or go watch the Astros play baseball. Much of my world was built around my father. In the back of my mind, I thought, "When my dad dies, it will never be as good as it is right now." In 1999, my dad suddenly had a heart attack and went to be with the Lord. I mourned the loss of my father, but I didn't get bitter. I didn't have a chip on my shoulder. I didn't feel cheated. I knew that God had fulfilled the number of my father's days. I knew it was a part of God's plan. FULL POST
Posted 9/29/14 at 12:50 PM | Joel Osteen
You were created to be successful, to accomplish your goals, and to leave your mark on this generation. You have greatness inside of you! The key is to get it out and not let the cares of this world distract you from your God-given mission. You already have what it takes to win. You are talented enough, you're smart enough, you're experienced enough. You have the right personality and the right looks. You didn't get shortchanged. You're not lacking. You are fully equipped. The question is, what is holding you back?
We all need encouragement in this life. We all need to stop and examine our thoughts, words and actions. We all need someone that will spur us on in the direction of our dreams and goals. That's what I've dedicated my life to—encouraging you and helping you to see yourself the way God sees you so that you can embrace all that He has for you! FULL POST
Posted 9/22/14 at 10:54 AM | Joel Osteen
For years my father tried to buy the property across the street from our first small church. It was a big open field, about 20 acres, with cows grazing on it. At that time Lakewood only owned two acres. That was barely enough room for the church and the people to park. My dad knew that one day he was going to build a larger sanctuary. They were going to expand it so that property was extremely valuable to him. He went and met with the owners and they were willing to sell it. They wanted $400,000 which was a fair price back then, $20,000 an acre. The owners were even willing to finance it. My dad was prepared to present the opportunity to the congregation and start raising the funds, but down inside something didn't feel right. He had unrest inside. He thought it was just his nerves. He tried to push it down, but week after week that feeling wouldn't go away.
Every time he thought about it, he could hear the alarm inside going off. Finally, he told the owners that Lakewood wasn't going to purchase that property. Five years went by. My dad got all stirred up. "We need that property. We need a bigger sanctuary." He went back. The owner said, "Fine. We'll sell it to you for the same amount as we asked before." Just as he was about to announce it he could hear the alarm going off again. He felt that same uneasiness. In his mind, it didn't make sense. Now he had the money. They had the property but no peace. Five years later, ten years after the initial meeting, he went back to meet with the owners. This time the market had gone down. The economy was low. The owners were desperate to sell. My father walked in. The owner said, "We asked $20,000 an acre before. How about we sell it to you for $5,000 an acre now?" My dad said, "I think that would be okay." The property went from $400,000 to $100,000. FULL POST
Posted 9/12/14 at 9:29 AM | Joel Osteen
One time, I saw a story about this German Shepherd. She was pregnant with puppies. One day she was walking across the street and was hit by a car and both of her back legs were broken. She was able to drag herself off the street and back to her house.
As the weeks went by, she began to slowly recover. But because her legs weren’t properly reset, she dragged her back legs when she walked. Her joints had been messed up. Eventually, she had her puppies. They seemed to be healthy and whole, but a few weeks later when the puppies started walking, they dragged their back legs just like their mother.
The owner was dumbfounded. He thought maybe they had been injured in the accident as well. He took them to the veterinarian to have them checked out. The doctor discovered there was nothing wrong with the puppies at all. They were perfectly healthy. Those puppies were simply copying their mother. They walked that way because it was all they had seen modeled. In their minds, that’s the way they were supposed to walk. FULL POST
Posted 9/5/14 at 3:55 PM | Joel Osteen
I have a friend who lost his wife to cancer a while back. They had been married for over 30 years and were best friends since high school. Their sons had grown up and were successful. Just when they thought they would step into this new season to travel and enjoy each other’s company, she came down with this sickness. For months and months, he took care of her and treated her like a queen. She fought the good fight of faith and ended up graduating to heaven. It was very difficult on him. He’s a strong man with a deep faith, but it was harder than anything he imagined. He told me how he felt so lost, so empty, so alone at his house at night. He’d reach over in bed, and she wasn’t there anymore. He never dreamed life was going to turn out that way. He was in a drought. He could have gotten bitter and depressed. It would have been easy to settle in that empty place, but he understood that the droughts happen. There are dry seasons when we feel empty, but that is not the end of the story. Rain is coming. The scripture says, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”
In the natural, rain can take a dry, barren place and bring new life. It may have been that way for a month, a year or even 20 years, but when the rain comes, things that seem dead begin to bloom, blossom and flourish. They just needed some rain. You may think life is over and done in the loss of a loved one, loss of a dream, loss of a relationship, feeling lonely and empty. But no, all you need is some rain. The God we serve is saying, “I’m going to send rain to your barren places. It’s not over. I’m going to rain down new opportunities, new relationships, new ideas and new dreams.” FULL POST
Posted 9/1/14 at 10:35 AM | Joel Osteen
I know a man that lost his wife over ten years ago. She was killed in an automobile accident. It was a very tragic situation. Of course, there is a normal period for grieving. That’s a part of the healing process. That’s the way God made us. But some ten years later, this man was still grieving. He let a season of mourning turn into a lifetime of mourning. He ended up a very bitter, angry man. What happened? He was holding on to the ashes. God wanted to give him beauty, but because he wouldn’t let go of the old, he couldn’t receive the new.
The enemy would love for you to spend your whole life sitting in the ashes, bitter over a relationship that didn’t work out, angry over a job you didn’t get, feeling sorry for yourself because of a loved one who died. It’s time to turn those ashes loose. If you went through a divorce, let it go. God has somebody better in your future. If you weren’t treated right growing up, let it go, and God will make it up to you. Quit mourning over what you cannot change. If God wanted you to have that position that you didn’t get, you would have it. Shake off the self-pity. Shake off the disappointment. FULL POST
Posted 8/25/14 at 11:06 AM | Joel Osteen
I know this couple that was believing to buy a new house. They found one that they really liked, but for some reason, the financing didn’t go through and they got turned down. This happened three different times. Each time, it was something very odd that stopped the whole deal. They had been in their apartment year after year with three children. They were tempted to think, “It’s never going to change. What’s the use of even trying? This is just our lot in life.” But deep down, they knew that it was only temporary. They stayed in faith. Last week, they brought me a picture of their brand new, beautiful home that they just moved into. They said, “Joel, this is God doing more than we could ever ask or think.”
Sometimes in life, you may hit some setbacks, but don’t believe the lies that are telling you, “It’s never going to change. You’re never going to see that breakthrough.” No, every day remind yourself, “It’s only temporary. This is not going to last forever.” In fact, there is a scripture that says, “The things that we see are subject to change.” You may have been turned down a dozen times, but the good news is that it’s all subject to change. God is still on the throne. The next time you apply could be the time it all works out. The next time you resist and don’t give in to that addiction could be the time you break totally free. The next person you meet could be the person of your dreams. Keep believing. It’s not permanent! FULL POST
Posted 8/15/14 at 5:41 PM | Joel Osteen
In the Bible, when David faced Goliath, everyone around him was talking about the mountain. They were saying, "Goliath is so big. There's no way we can defeat him." Then along came a young man named David. He was only 17 years old. But somehow, he had a different perspective. When he saw Goliath, instead of saying, "He's so big. We don't have a chance," he said, "Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the Living God?" He was saying, "Hey, wait a minute. This is not right. This mountain doesn't need to keep us from our destiny."
David's friends and the people around him began to laugh. They said, "David, are you crazy? You can't fight Goliath. You're just a kid. You're too small. You don't have any experience." But David shook it off. He went out to face Goliath--his mountain--and Goliath began to laugh. When he saw how young and small David was, he said, "Am I a dog that you would come at me with a stick?" He was saying, "Don't you have anything better to send out against me than this little runt? It's not even going to be a fight." FULL POST
Posted 8/1/14 at 5:27 PM | Joel Osteen
In First Kings, chapter 18, the Samaritans had been in a great famine. For three and a half years, there had been no rain. The people barely had food; they were barely surviving. The prophet Elijah showed up and said to King Ahab, "I hear the sound of the abundance of rain!" When he said that, there wasn't a cloud in the sky. There was no sign of rain at all, yet he chose to believe what he heard in his spirit in spite of what he saw. With his eyes he saw drought, famine and barrenness, but down in his spirit he heard the sound of the abundance of rain.
This is what faith is all about. You've got to believe what you hear in your heart even when what you see is just the opposite. You hear abundance, but you may see lack. You hear health, but you may see sickness. You hear rain, but you may look around and see drought. I'm sure Ahab thought, "Old Elijah, the heat must be getting to him because there's not a cloud in the sky. It's not going to rain." FULL POST
Posted 7/29/14 at 12:40 PM | Joel Osteen
One time, I was walking through a government building. There were two sets of double doors about fifteen feet apart. They were both automatic doors. When you walked through the first set of doors, you had to let them totally close before the next set of doors would open. As long as I stayed at that first set of doors, the second set would not open.
It's the same principle in life. If you're sitting around nursing your wounds, feeling sorry for yourself, you're not going to see anything new. You've got to let those doors totally close. Let go of the disappointments. Let go of the failures. You cannot change the past, but you can change the future. If you'll move forward, you'll see the new things God has for you.
The Scripture says that "God will give you beauty for ashes." Here's the key; you have to let go of the ashes before you can receive the beauty. Ashes represent our broken dreams, failures, disappointments and hurts. We all have our share of ashes. As long as you're holding onto the ashes, thinking about the disappointment, mad at somebody, bitter at the past, then you won't receive the beauty. An exchange has to take place. It's an act of faith to say, "God, I'm forgiving this person who hurt me." Or, "I lost my biggest client, but I'm not going to have a chip on my shoulder." "My friend betrayed me, but I'm going to keep a good attitude." That's when God can give you the beauty. FULL POST