Senior pastor of Lakewood Church, author and inspirational speaker.
Posted 11/21/14 at 10:28 AM | Joel Osteen
In the book of Numbers, Moses sent twelve men to spy out the Promised Land and see who inhabited it. After 40 days, ten of them came back and said, "Moses, we don't have a chance. The people are huge. Compared to them, we look like grasshoppers." Notice their "I am" — "I am weak. I am inferior. I am intimidated. I am afraid." What happened? Fear, intimidation and inferiority came knocking at the door.
But two spies, Joshua and Caleb, came back with a different report. They said, "Moses, the people are big, but we know our God is much bigger. We are well able. Let us go in and take the land at once!" Notice their "I am" was just the opposite. "I am strong. I am equipped. I am confident. I am more than a conqueror."
What's interesting is that the negative report from the ten spies spread like wildfire throughout the rest of the camp. Before long, some 2,000,000 people were intimidated and afraid. Nobody even paid attention to Joshua and Caleb, who had the report of faith. Here's what I've learned: a negative report always spreads faster than a positive report. When people are murmuring, complaining and talking defeat, be on guard. Make sure you don't let the wrong "I am" take root. FULL POST
Posted 11/17/14 at 1:40 PM | Joel Osteen
Every day, life brings new opportunities and presents you with thousands of new choices. One of the first choices you get to make each day is about your attitude. Yes, whether you realize it or not, attitude is a choice. You can't just wait and allow your circumstances to dictate your attitude; you have to be on the offensive and choose your perspective for each day. When you wake up with enthusiasm and choose to be grateful, you are "putting on" the right attitude. You are setting your day up for success and opening the door to be used by God in a powerful way.
Everyone faces difficulties. We all have obstacles that can seem impossible to overcome. However, the difference between those who are able to rise above their adversities and those who get stuck in them is attitude. I've heard that attitude determines altitude!
You don't have to be around our ministry very long to hear a message on the importance of having a thankful attitude. A thankful attitude is a form of praise. It shows that your faith and hope are in Almighty God. I believe it is one of the main keys to living the abundant life God has in store! FULL POST
Posted 11/14/14 at 10:26 AM | Joel Osteen
I have a friend who bought some property out in the middle of nowhere. He hardly paid anything for it, less than $100 an acre. He bought several hundred acres. On the surface, it seemed like he had wasted his money. The land was dry and barren. You couldn't grow crops on it. You couldn't raise cattle. It was like the desert, just rocks, clay and cactus. He would go out from time to time and check on it. It always puzzled me as to why he bought that property. I thought surely he must have some family up in that area.
One day we were talking and it came up. I asked him why he purchased it. He said, "Joel, I don't really know. I was just driving by it and felt drawn to it. I felt such a peace, and I knew that property was supposed to be mine." I thought to myself, "The next time you feel drawn to something, you need to do your research first!" It didn't make sense to me. Fifteen years later, he was notified that the state was putting in a new highway. It was going to go right through his property. They had to buy him out. He sold that property for more than 100 times what he paid for it! The next time he buys property, I'm buying next door! FULL POST
Posted 11/7/14 at 10:34 AM | Joel Osteen
There are many different ways that people view God. Some people view Him as a God who is far off, way out there, untouchable, somewhere out in the universe. Some people see Him in a very formal way and have a deep respect and reverential fear of Him. Some people think He is just out to get them. They think He has a baseball bat, looking down from heaven waiting for them to make a mistake. They feel a pressure that they can never live up to. If that's you today, understand that's a wrong image of God. That's not who He is. But scripture tells us how we should view God—as a loving father.
A loving father is for you. He helps you overcome mistakes, cheers you on as you pursue your dreams, and always believes the very best in you. Many people know God as their Savior. But when you know God as Father, your relationship with Him takes on a whole new meaning. You realize that He is not a God who is far off. He is not out to get you. He is not just there to point out what you are doing wrong. He's personal. He's a constant source of strength and encouragement. He is there to lift you up when you fall, to encourage you when you are down, to push you forward when you feel like giving up! FULL POST
Posted 10/31/14 at 10:13 AM | Joel Osteen
I heard a story about a man named Nick. He was a big, strong, tough man. He had worked out in the railroad yards for many, many years. He was one of the company's most reliable employees. But Nick was a chronic worrier. He was always fearing the worst and talking about what might happen.
One summer day, the crew was told that they could leave an hour early to attend a birthday party of one of the foremen. Nick was out working in one of the refrigerated boxcars when somehow he accidentally got locked inside. He didn't have a cell phone or radio, and everybody else was gone. When he realized he was trapped in that car, he began to panic. He started screaming at the top of his lungs. He beat on those doors hour after hour until his fists were bloody. He finally had his voice give out. Nick was very aware that he was in a refrigerated boxcar. He guessed that the temperature was well below freezing. He began to fear the worst. He thought, "If I don't get out of here, I could freeze to death. There's no way I can make it all night." The more he thought about it, the colder he got. Shivering almost uncontrollably, he found a piece of cardboard in that boxcar. He wrote a note. It said, "So cold. Body getting numb. These may be my last words." FULL POST
Posted 10/24/14 at 9:51 AM | Joel Osteen
In John chapter 5, there was a man who was crippled. For 38 years, he had been lying by the pool of Bethesda, a place where miracles took place constantly. There were actually angels present and whenever an angel would stir the water, the first person who got into the pool would be healed.
I can imagine the first few months that he was there, he had great expectation, thinking, "This is going to be my day. I'm going to be the one who gets healed today." He was passionate. He had enthusiasm. But a month went by and it didn't happen. He probably got a little bit discouraged. And then three months, and it still doesn't happen and he's more discouraged. Then a year…then five years. Now 38 years later, he is still lying by the pool totally convinced that it's never going to happen.
One day, Jesus came by and asked this man a question. He said, "Sir, do you want to get well?" In a sense, that was an odd question. Of course he wanted to get well. He had been lying by the pool 38 years hoping to get in. But, Jesus wanted to see his attitude. FULL POST
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