Senior pastor of Lakewood Church, author and inspirational speaker.
Posted 12/6/13 at 6:27 PM | Joel Osteen
One time Victoria and I were at Disneyland with our children. It was ten o'clock at night and we'd been at the park all day long. As we were leaving, Victoria wanted to go into the gift shop with our son, Jonathan, and pick up a few souvenirs. I was carrying our daughter, Alexandra who was two years old at the time and was asleep on my shoulder. I was hot, tired, and had been walking around all day. I said, "Victoria, no, I don't want to stop at this gift shop." She said, come on, Joel, it's just going to take me a minute." I said, "All right." And I went out and sat on the bench at the entryway to the park.
It just so happened there was a big clock up in front of me. I waited five minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes. When you're the one waiting, things seem to take so much longer. And the longer I waited, the more frustrated I got. I not only gave away my joy, I gave away my peace, my strength—everything I had! I was hot and Alexandra was making me more hot as I was holding her. What was my big problem? Did I have a major accident? Did I lose my job? No, I just had to wait an extra half hour at Disneyland. FULL POST
Posted 11/29/13 at 10:24 AM | Joel Osteen
When our son Jonathan got his driver's license a couple of years ago, we bought him a used car. A few months after he got that car, Alexandra, at age thirteen, came up to me and said, "Daddy, when I get my driver's license are you going to buy me a car?" She wanted to get this on the record early on. I said, "Yes, Alexandra. I'm going to buy you a car." She said, "You promise?" I said, "I promise."
Do you know that since the day I gave her my word she has not asked me one time to buy her that car? She is totally convinced that I will do what I said. So much so, that she talks about that car as if it's already hers. She has no doubt that car is coming. But how would I feel as a father if she came up every day and said, "Daddy, please get me that car. Daddy, I'm begging you. When I get my driver's license please get me a car." FULL POST
Posted 11/15/13 at 11:33 AM | Joel Osteen |
There's a man in the scripture by the name of Zerubbabel. He had a dream to rebuild the temple. The whole city had been destroyed, but Zerubbabel came back and laid the foundation. The people in the city were not for him. They didn't want the temple rebuilt. They went to the authorities and had an order issued telling him to stop. For ten years, no work on the temple was done.
I can imagine Zerubabbel, week after week, going by the property and seeing the empty foundation and all the supplies stacked up all around. It was like rubbing salt in a wound. I'm sure he thought, "God, I started off good. I had big dreams. These people came against me. I had so much opposition." Now he's thinking it won't ever happen. But we have to remember, God never starts something that He can't finish. FULL POST
Posted 11/8/13 at 11:19 AM | Joel Osteen |
One day after service, I met an older gentleman. He was telling me that he had been at a pharmacy earlier that week to pick up a prescription. He thought his insurance would pay most of it. He ended up not having enough money when it was time to pay. In line behind him was a young man who attends Lakewood. He had just finished working out and ran into the drug store to get something to drink. He overheard the conversation between the cashier and the man and that he didn't have enough money. The young man said to the older man, "You stay here. I'll be back in ten minutes." He ran home, got his wallet, came back and bought the man's prescription.
As the older man was telling me the story, he was so excited and said, "Joel, I came to Lakewood today for the first time because if there are people like that at Lakewood, then I want to be here." FULL POST
Posted 11/1/13 at 10:53 AM | Joel Osteen
One day, I read about this 7-year-old girl named Jamie. She lived on a farm with her family. They had a cow that was about to give birth. Her father had already told the family that they weren't going to keep any more cows. Moving forward, every time one was born, they would have to either sell it or give it away. But for some reason, little Jamie really wanted to keep this calf that hadn't even been born yet. It was a desire of her heart. She started pleading and pleading with her father, "Daddy, please let me keep it. Daddy, please make an exception."
After a couple of weeks, she wore her father down. He said, "Jamie, I'll make a deal with you. If the calf is born black then you can keep him. But if he is brown or spotted like the rest of our cattle, we're going to give him away." She agreed. Well, little Jamie didn't know any better. She started praying and praying. Every night before she went to bed, "God, I'm asking that this cow be born black and that there won't be any doubt that he belongs to me." FULL POST
Posted 10/25/13 at 11:13 AM | Joel Osteen
In scripture, a lady named Rachel died after giving birth to her second son. There were complications during labor, and she was in so much pain and agony. Right before she died, she named the boy Ben-Oni which means "son of my sorrows." She labeled her son based on what she had experienced. Now this little boy was going to have to go through life being called Son of My Sorrows.
Sometimes in life, people will put a negative label on you not because of anything you've done but because of the pain and heartache they've experienced. Hurting people end up hurting other people. Bitter people are quick to stick on those negative labels.
A few minutes after Rachael died, her husband Jacob came rushing in. The nurses were holding the baby. They handed him to Jacob and said, "This is your son. His name is Ben-Oni, son of my sorrows. When he heard that, something rose up in Jacob and he said, "No. That is not his name. No matter what he's been through, my son will not be called Son of My Sorrows. His name will be Benjamin." Benjamin means "son of strength, son of power, son of my right hand." FULL POST
Posted 10/18/13 at 12:06 PM | Joel Osteen
There's a story about two lumberjacks. They were out chopping down trees. One said, "I'm going to take a break and go sharpen my axe." The other said, "I don't have time to do that. I've got too much work to do." He kept chopping and chopping. The first man went and sharpened his axe. He came back three hours later and chopped down twice as many trees as the man with the dull axe, and he did it in half the time.
Friend, sometimes you need to take a break and "sharpen your axe," so to speak. In other words, take time to sharpen your skills, increase your ability, and invest in developing your gifts and talents.
If you'll sharpen your skills, you'll get more done in less time. If you'll sharpen your skills, you may not have to work so hard. Whether you're a teacher, a mechanic, a banker or a doctor, don't settle where you are and just coast off of what you've already learned. Stir up what God has placed within you and get better at it. FULL POST
Posted 10/11/13 at 6:19 PM | Joel Osteen
My friends, Craig and Samantha have a son named Connor. He's a very handsome, fun little boy. Connor has been diagnosed with autism. At five years old, he didn't speak in complete sentences. He would speak phrases here and there, maybe three or four words together, but nothing much more than that. Day after day, Craig and Samantha just kept speaking faith into Connor, telling him that he was more than a conqueror, that he could do all things through Christ. Every night at bedtime, Craig or Samantha would sit down and read two or three books with little Connor. Then they would pray together before they went to bed.
One night, just as Samantha was about to turn off the light in Connor's room, she heard him speaking. He went on and on, so clearly and fluently. She ran and found the video camera and captured his first real complete sentence. Here's what he said: "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…"
What happened? Like a flood, God's favor came on little Connor—a flood of healing, a flood of restoration, a flood of wisdom. Little Connor broke out of his limitations. Now, Craig and Samantha have a new confirmation of God's faithfulness. That's a night that they will never forget. Even though little Connor still doesn't speak perfectly clear, they know he is well on his way. What God started, He will finish. FULL POST
Posted 10/4/13 at 7:13 PM | Joel Osteen
When you consider your dreams and goals, do you ever think they look too big or too impossible? When we think limiting thoughts, it's like building a box around our dreams. Doubt and unbelief limit what God can do in your life. That's why it's so important to meditate on the fact that we serve the God of the breakthrough! Like a flood, in an instant His favor can overtake you and change things. In an instant, He can open the right door. In an instant, He can cause someone to pay a debt. In an instant, you can be healed.
Don't accept things in your life that are far less than God's best. Be breakthrough-minded. No matter what's happened in your past, this is a new day. New seeds have taken root in your heart. I believe the God of the breakthrough is about to visit your house, not with a trickle of favor, not with a stream of blessing. No, get ready for a flood of God's favor, a tidal wave of His goodness. FULL POST
Posted 9/27/13 at 11:56 AM | Joel Osteen
You were not created to just get by with an average, unrewarding or unfulfilled life. God created you to leave a mark on your generation. You have seeds of greatness planted within you by our Creator. When life weighs you down or tries to limit or label you, you have to know that with God, you have what it takes to overcome and rise above circumstances, oppositions and obstacles.
Know today that there is no force in the universe that can stop you from fulfilling your God-given destiny except for you. God is for you. The enemy is against you. They both have a plan for your life. You cast the deciding vote for whose plan you will actually live out.
Today, if you've felt limited, overwhelmed or burdened down by circumstances, that's not God's plan for your life. John 10:10 says He desires that you have life and have it to the full, in abundance. Today is your day to take the limits off. It's time to shake off the past; it's time to shake off burdens; it's time to Break Out!
My deepest desire is to see you rise above anything that has held you back. I want to see you break free from the past and break out of confining mindsets. That's why I wrote my new book, Break Out!: Five Ways to Go Beyond Your Barriers and Live an Extraordinary Life. I want to provide you with practical steps and encouragement for living a life without limitations—the life God designed for you! FULL POST