Senior pastor of Lakewood Church, author and inspirational speaker.
Posted 4/18/14 at 11:13 AM | Joel Osteen
In John 11:25, Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me shall never die."
What an amazing and simplistic promise. We don't have to work to earn salvation. We don't have to strive to be "good enough." All we have to do is believe in Jesus—who He is and what He did for us on the cross over 2,000 years ago.
When we believe in Jesus, we experience His resurrection life. His power flows through us, and our spirit becomes born again. We become alive. In the same way, anything that you place "in Him" becomes alive. He is the source of life, and when you place your hope in Him, your hope becomes alive. When you place your trust in Him, your trust becomes alive. When you place your dreams in Him, your dreams become alive. That's why John tells us in scripture to remain in Him like a branch remains connected to a vine because when we stay connected to Him, we stay connected to His resurrection power. FULL POST
Posted 4/11/14 at 6:02 PM | Joel Osteen
One time, I heard about this wealthy man. He was known for being very eccentric and far out. One night, he was having a big party at his house. In his backyard, his swimming pool was filled with sharks and alligators. He announced to all the guests, "Anyone who will swim across my pool, I will give you anything that you want."
In a few minutes, there was a big splash. He looked over and this man was swimming 90 to nothing, dodging the alligator, maneuvering his way around the sharks as frantic as could be. He made it to the other side just in the nick of time and jumped out totally panicked. The wealthy man came over and said, "I can't believe it. You're the bravest person I've ever met. Now what do you want me to give you?" The man said, "What I want more than anything else is the name of the person that just pushed me in!"
Here's my point: Sometimes in life, it feels like we got "pushed in," so to speak. We weren't expecting the circumstances—a bad medical report, a relationship didn't make it, a business went down. It may be a surprise to us, but it is not a surprise to God. If you do get pushed in, don't sit around nursing your wounds. Do like this man. Just go for it! Just get to the other side! Do your best and keep honoring God. Keep doing what you know you're supposed to do. God has already given you the strength, wisdom, favor and determination to not only make it through, but to come out better than you were before. FULL POST
Posted 4/4/14 at 4:49 PM | Joel Osteen
I was watching the football game a while back. One of the players had a broken hand and bruised ribs. He's a big offensive lineman and wasn't expected to play. The trainers wanted him to sit it out, but he wasn't about to miss the game. He had a big cast on his arm. He was wearing a special vest to protect his ribs. He was all bandaged up. He looked like a mummy. A reporter asked him how he felt. He said, "It's a little painful, but I'd rather be in the game in pain than sitting on the sidelines watching."
If you're going to become all God has created you to be, you can't let that injury, that hurt, that disappointment, that setback cause you to sit on the sidelines of life. You might need to take some time out, but do like this player. Bandage up what's hurting. Forgive the person who did you wrong. Let go of what didn't work out and get back in the game. FULL POST
Posted 3/28/14 at 5:10 PM | Joel Osteen
One time, I received a letter from a young couple. They had both been raised in low-income families. All they saw modeled growing up was lack and struggle. Their families had accepted this lifestyle, but not this couple. They had been coming to Lakewood. They didn't have a "not enough" mentality; they had an abundance mentality. They knew God had a Promised Land of blessing in store for them.
So, they took a step of faith. On their very average incomes, they decided to build their own house. They didn't take out a loan. Whenever they had extra funds, they would buy the materials and hire the contractors. A couple of years later, they moved into this beautiful house in a nice neighborhood, all debt free. It was like God had multiplied their funds. Not long ago, they sold that house for twice what they had put into it. The lady wrote, "We never dreamed we would be blessed like we are today." She went on to say something interesting. She said, "My great-grandparents and my grandparents always told me that if I had beans and rice, that was good enough. But, I always knew one day I would have steak." FULL POST
Posted 3/21/14 at 4:25 PM | Joel Osteen
In Scripture, there was a lady who had a son that got sick and died. She was a friend of the prophet Elisha. Elisha came to her home, prayed for the little boy, and he came back to life. It was an amazing miracle! Sometime later, there was a famine in the land. This same lady had to leave her home and property in Israel and move to the land of the Philistines. Years went by and the famine was over. This lady decided to go back to her home there in Israel, but when she got there, somebody was living in her house, farming her property. It wasn't right.
She went to see the king. He had the power to correct things. She didn't know what the king would think. After all, she had been gone for a long time. He could have said, "Too bad. You lost your rights when you left. Don't bother me. It's not my problem." He could have been uninterested. But it just so happened that when she went, there was a man with the king by the name of Gehazi. Gehazi was Elisha's main assistant, his right hand man. The king asked Gehazi to tell him some stories about the miracles that Elisha had performed. Gehazi started telling the story about the woman who had a son that was sick and how he died and Elisha prayed and the boy came back to life. FULL POST
Posted 3/14/14 at 6:06 PM | Joel Osteen
There's a young lady in the scripture by the name of Rachel. She wanted to have a baby so badly. God put this dream in her heart. Year after year went by and she couldn't conceive a child. At the same time, her sister Leah had a baby. Rachel was happy for her, congratulated her, but all the while, she kept praying and believing God for her own baby. But, still it didn't happen.
Well, Leah had another baby, and another, and another. And of course, it's good to be happy for others. It's good to rejoice with them, but God doesn't want you to just celebrate everybody else's victory. He wants you to have your own, too. He wants to give you the desires of your heart. He wants you to be celebrated.
Rachel did her best to keep praying and believing. But after years of frustration, seeing her sister have babies and her not having her own, she got discouraged and said, "Hey, this is my lot in life. It's never going to happen." The one thing I love about God--just because we give up on a dream doesn't mean that God gives up on the dream. The scripture says, "God remembered Rachel." It doesn't say that Rachel remembered God. This is how much God wants you to fulfill your destiny. It says, "God remembered Rachel, answered her prayer and gave her a baby." FULL POST
Posted 3/10/14 at 11:14 AM | Joel Osteen
One time, I saw a documentary on championship racehorses; the kind you see running the Kentucky Derby. It's not a coincidence that those horses end up being the fastest horses in the world. They've been carefully studied and carefully bred for generations. It can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to breed a racehorse with a champion stallion. Before breeding, the owners will go back 50 or 60 years and study the bloodline of a particular stallion. They'll research his father, his grandfather and study how long their stride was, how tall their legs were, their takeoff speed, their endurance. With all this information, they'll choose what they believe to be the perfect match. They understand winners don't just randomly happen. It's in their DNA. That's what sets these horses apart. They have generation after generation of champions on the inside. FULL POST
Posted 2/28/14 at 6:21 PM | Joel Osteen
Your memory is very powerful. You can be driving in your car when all of the sudden, you remember a tender moment. Maybe it was a sweet time with your child or loved one. It could have been five years ago. But when you remember it, it brings a smile to your face. You start to feel those same emotions, joy and warmth, just like it was happening all over again.
On the other hand, you can be enjoying your day, but then start to remember a sad event when you weren't treated right, somebody did you wrong, or you went through a loss. Before long, you'll be down and discouraged. What made you sad? Dwelling on the sad memories. What made you happy? Dwelling on happy memories.
It's interesting that our mind will naturally gravitate toward the negative. A study showed how positive and negative memories are handled by different parts of the brain. A negative memory takes up more space. There's more to process. Because of this, we will remember the negative more easily than the positive. The example they used is that a person will remember losing $50 more than they will remember gaining $50. The negative carries more weight. It has a greater impact than the positive. FULL POST
Posted 2/21/14 at 1:49 PM | Joel Osteen
A while back, late on a Friday night, my family and I were in the airport parking lot having just returned home from a "Night of Hope" in another state. It was about two o'clock in the morning. When we got to our cars, my mother's battery was dead. Something must have been left on.
My brother Paul and I, along with my friend Johnny, got out the battery cables and hooked up her car battery to my car battery. Her lights came on, but the car wouldn't start. The engine wouldn't turn over at all, not one sound. A mechanic came out from the airport to help us. He worked and worked, but he couldn't get anything going. Johnny was reading the owner's manual. It's like we were missing something. The engine would not turn over. It was so late and freezing cold on top of that. After about 30 minutes of trying everything we possibly could, Paul said to my mom, "Mother, the car is not going to start. Why don't you just ride with me, and we'll come back tomorrow and get it?" FULL POST
Posted 2/18/14 at 11:53 AM | Joel Osteen
On January 8, 1986 at 4:00 in the afternoon, I walked into a jewelry store to buy a battery for my watch. Out walked the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. It was Victoria. I didn't tell her, but I thought, "This is my set time of favor." I knew God had ordered my steps to that store. It took me about a year to convince her that it was her set time of favor, too!
In all seriousness, God has set times of favor for you today and in your future. These are times you've been praying for, believing for, standing in faith for. Let me assure you, you're going to come into set times of favor where a problem suddenly turns around, a set time where you meet the right person, a set time where a good break thrusts you years ahead.
That's why Habakkuk said, "The vision is for an appointed time. It may seem slow in coming, but wait patiently, for it will surely come." Notice he didn't say "maybe it will come." Not, "I hope it will come." No, he was sure that God had already set the date.
Today, you can be sure that the appointed time for your breakthrough has already been put on your calendar! It won't be one second late.
Sometimes we think, "Well, everybody is getting ahead of me. My friends are all married, and I'm still single. My co-workers are being promoted, but I'm still stuck here." No, don't get discouraged. Your set time is coming. It is not going to be one second late. FULL POST