Senior pastor of Lakewood Church, author and inspirational speaker.
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
Posted 2/7/14 at 6:07 PM | Joel Osteen
In First Kings, chapter 18, there had been a drought, a great famine in the land. For three and a half years, the people were struggling, barely making it. The prophet Elijah lived in the land, but he didn't complain. He didn't start begging God. Instead, he went on top of Mount Carmel and started thanking God for the rain that was coming. He thanked God that the answer was on the way. He thanked God that the clouds were already starting to form. He was praising God for His faithfulness—I guess you could say…he was singing in the rain!
Elijah sent out his assistant seven times to check for rain. Each time he came back and said, "No rain; not a cloud in the sky."
Elijah didn't get discouraged. He didn't start begging, "Come on, God. I've been asking You again and again." No, Elijah just kept saying, "Lord, thank You for the rain that's coming. I may not see a way in the natural, but I want to thank You that You are a supernatural God." FULL POST
Posted 1/31/14 at 4:55 PM | Joel Osteen
A couple of weeks ago, our daughter, Alexandra, was comparing a copy of my first book from ten years ago with a copy of my newest book, Break Out. She was looking at the cover photos and said, "Wow, Daddy! You look better today than you did ten years ago." And I jokingly said, "What would you like me to buy you?"
But do you know how many times I have said, "I'm getting stronger, healthier and wiser? My youth is being renewed like the eagles." Every time you say something, you are moving toward it. But if you're always saying, "Man, I'm so out of shape, I'll never lose this weight," you're moving toward the wrong thing.
A gentleman told me a few weeks ago, "Joel, when you get old, it's all downhill." He looked to be about 70 years old. He was declaring, "I'm going down." He was prophesying poor health, lack of vision, hard of hearing into his future. If he keeps that up, he'll keep moving toward it. By the way he looked, he had already been saying it for a long time! FULL POST
Posted 1/24/14 at 6:39 PM | Joel Osteen
In John chapter 9, Jesus was traveling through a village. He saw a man on the side of the road who was blind. The man didn’t call out to Jesus. He wasn’t like blind Bartimaeus who said, "Please Jesus, have mercy and heal me." This man was just quietly sitting there, and Jesus went to him.
Now throughout the scripture, there are examples where people used their faith, reached out to God and received their miracle. The woman with the issue of blood fought her way through the crowd, touched the edge of Jesus’ robe, and she was instantly made whole. The lepers cried out, "Jesus, please heal us." Jesus healed them. An army captain came and said, "Jesus, if You’ll just speak the Word, my little daughter at home that’s so sick will be healed." Jesus spoke and the daughter was well. These people all initiated their miracle. They reached out in faith and saw God’s goodness. FULL POST