Senior pastor of Lakewood Church, author and inspirational speaker.
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
Posted 7/18/14 at 6:10 PM | Joel Osteen
Back in the 1960's, Lakewood was still in its original building; a feed store that held 200 people. The church was really growing. They needed a larger auditorium. My father told the congregation that on a particular Sunday, he was going to receive a special offering for a new building. He asked them to pray about what God would have them to give. He encouraged them to stretch their faith, believe big and do their very best. He received the offering, and it was a little over $6,000. To them back then, that was like $600,000. Daddy was so excited. That was enough to pour the foundation and get the building started.
But one day driving home from church, my father passed a small Spanish church about six blocks from Lakewood. This Spanish church had been building on a little auditorium for years. They would do some construction, take time off, build some more, on and on. As my father passed, he heard the voice of the Holy Spirit inside say, "I want you to give that special offering to this Spanish church so they can finish their building." FULL POST
Posted 7/11/14 at 5:34 PM | Joel Osteen
You might have heard the story of how my father and mother started Lakewood Church in 1959 in an old, rundown, abandoned feed store. They had 90 members. A few years later, my father named the church, Lakewood International Outreach Center. He put a big blue sign out front. The sign cost more than the building. The truth is, they were not an international outreach center. They were a small neighborhood church with 90 people. But when my father drove up to that building and saw that sign, his vision was being increased. He was moving toward it. Every week when those 90 members saw that sign again and again, something was being birthed on the inside. Seeds of increase were taking root. Do you know what Lakewood is today? An international outreach center, touching the world! He called it like he saw it in the spirit, and it came into being. FULL POST
Posted 7/4/14 at 9:13 AM | Joel Osteen
I know this woman who had smoked cigarettes from an early age. She had tried to quit time and time again, but she just could not stop. She was constantly saying, "I'll never break this addiction. It's too hard. And even if I do, I know I will gain so much weight." This went on for years. One day, someone told her to change what she was saying and to call things that are not as if they were. She started saying, "I don't like to smoke. I can't stand the taste of nicotine. I'm going to quit and not gain any extra weight." She said that day after day.
Even when she was smoking and enjoying it, she would say, "I can't stand to smoke." She wasn't talking about the way she was. She was talking about the way she wanted to be. About three months later, one morning she noticed the cigarette tasted funny, almost bitter. She thought she had gotten a bad pack. It got worse and worse. Several months later, it had gotten so bad that she couldn't stand it anymore. She stopped smoking, and do you know she never gained one extra pound? Today, she is totally free. She broke that addiction, in part, by the power of her words. She prophesied her future. FULL POST
Posted 6/27/14 at 2:55 PM | Joel Osteen
Have you ever been in a hurricane? Living in Houston, I sure have. In the center of the hurricane, there's something called the "eye of the storm" where it's very calm and peaceful. All around there is chaos, winds blowing 100 plus miles an hour, debris flying left and right, danger everywhere; but as long as you're in the eye of the storm, it's as calm and peaceful as can be.
In life, there will be times when it seems like everything is out of control. Challenges, adversities and stress will come. But just like the eye of the storm, in the midst of that difficulty, there is a place of peace where you can go. The Scripture calls it "the peace that passes all understanding." That means you'll have peace when you should be upset. You'll have peace when really you should be stressed out.
The disciples were so afraid, so distraught that they ran in to Jesus and said, "Jesus, wake up! We're all about to die!" Jesus got up and simply spoke to the storm. He said, "Peace. Be still." Instantly, everything calmed down. Jesus was in the storm, but He didn't let the storm get in Him. He knew His authority. He knew who He was. He knew His power wasn't based on circumstances. He wasn't going to fret because He was in faith. He stayed in peace and brought peace to the situation. FULL POST
Posted 6/13/14 at 5:59 PM | Joel Osteen
I read a story about a five-year-old boy who loved the piano. He played every chance that he got. He never had any formal lessons or training. In fact, some people told him he was too young and too small; but in spite of those comments, he continued practicing. The only song he really knew how to play was "Chopsticks." It's just a very simple tune.
One day, his father surprised him with tickets to the symphony to hear this world-renowned Italian pianist. This man was one of the greatest piano players that had ever lived. That night on the way to their seats, the little boy noticed the beautiful grand piano up on the stage. When no one was watching, he snuck over, sat down and began to play his elementary version of "Chopsticks." About that time, the curtain began to rise. Everyone was expecting to see the world-renowned pianist. Instead, they saw this little five-year-old boy. He was so caught up in his world that he didn't realize what was happening. When he finally looked up, he was petrified. FULL POST