Senior pastor of Lakewood Church, author and inspirational speaker.
Posted 5/9/14 at 3:45 PM | Joel Osteen
A while back, I heard a story about a young mother in the 1960's. She and her family moved to New York City from Puerto Rico. They were very poor. They lived in a rough neighborhood in government housing with drugs, gangs and violence all around. At the age of nine, her young son, Victor, was recruited by a gang. By the time he was twelve, he was hooked on heroine. He had already been arrested, involved in robbing, stealing, killing and all kinds of illegal activity.
His mother was so heartbroken. She couldn't control her son. She was a very small woman. She only spoke Spanish, but she was very feisty. One thing this mother knew how to do was pray. Every day, seven days a week and twice on Sundays, she would go up to the little storefront church in the projects with her sister and they would pray for her son, Victor. She didn't just pray for God to keep him out of trouble. This mother knew how to pray God-sized prayers. She said, "God, I'm asking You to make my son a minister. Use him to touch people all over the world." FULL POST
Posted 5/2/14 at 3:43 PM | Joel Osteen
One time, when I was a little boy, my father went out and bought a brand new car. We were so excited! We couldn't wait for him to get home so we could see it. We were all standing at the end of the driveway looking down the road, waiting for my father. We finally saw him drive up in this new car. The kids all jumped in the car so excitedly. We "ooh'd" and "ahh'd." My dad drove us around the neighborhood. Daddy was so proud of this new car. He was just beaming with joy.
Later that night while my father was watching television, a commercial for a car came on the screen, but the camera only showed very tight shots so you didn't know what kind of car it was advertising. It showed a close-up of the engine and talked about how it had the most powerful, efficient engine made. It showed a close-up of the shocks, the suspension and talked about how it had the latest, greatest shocks and a smoother ride than any other car. It showed close-ups of the interior and talked about how it was made with precision from the finest products, on and on. It talked about how this car would outlast any other car. The more my father watched this commercial, the more depressed he got. He thought, "I bought the wrong stinking car! That car on the screen can run circles around my car!" Just when he was about to get sick to his stomach, the camera pulled out wide, and the car they were advertising was the exact car my father had just bought. It was sitting in our driveway. FULL POST
Posted 4/25/14 at 5:20 PM | Joel Osteen
You've probably heard the saying, "Still waters run deep." The surface of the ocean is always changing, depending on the wind, tide, season and even the time of day. It can be very smooth and calm at one point, and later in the day, it's rough and choppy. When the wind is strong and the tide is right, there can be ten-foot waves or small whitecaps. What's interesting is that if you go down about 30 feet, the water never changes. It's as calm and still as can be. Right above it on the surface, it may change a dozen times a day, but 30 feet down it never changes; it's always calm.
That's the way you and I need to be in life. On the surface, there will always be activity and change. We may have storms in life with waves and wind, some days bigger than others. You can't get away from all the traffic, or a person that irritates you, or a challenge in your relationship or your health. That's just life. Those things create waves on the surface. But deep down in your spirit, you've got to have calmness, a supernatural peace deep within. FULL POST
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