Joel Osteen Blog

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Posted 3/23/12 at 11:31 AM | Joel Osteen

Dig a Ditch

In second Kings chapter three, scripture talks about a time when the people were in a serious drought, and there was no sign of relief anywhere in sight. They lived in a valley that didn't get much rain to begin with, so a lack of rain was devastating. The prophet Elijah instructed the people to do something that seemed very odd. He told them to dig ditches in the valley to prepare to catch the rain water that was coming. Most of us today would have said, "Now, Elijah, we are in a valley that never gets any rain, and we're also in the middle of a drought. Why should we dig ditches? If we see some dark clouds or signs of rain, then maybe we'll dig some ditches, but not now." But Elijah told the people, "If you want to see rain, you have to dig the ditches first." So, the people dug the ditches, and the next day they were filled to overflowing. The drought had ended.

In scripture, rain represents blessing, favor and increase. This passage shows us that when we "dig ditches," so to speak, when we make preparations for God's goodness, we set ourselves up for a downpour of blessing. How do we "dig ditches?" By obeying His Word. By giving God praise. Every time you say, "Father, thank You that I'm blessed," you are digging a ditch. You're making preparation for the blessings that will follow. When you say, "Lord, thank You that I'm strong and healthy," you're digging another ditch. You're preparing for God to fill you with health, strength and vitality. When you say, "Father, thank You that my children make good decisions and will fulfill their destiny,"—even when there may not be any sign of it right now—you are preparing the way. Don't be moved by what you see. Don't be moved by negative thinking. Those thoughts may tell you, "It's never going to work out. You've had this addiction since you were in high school. You're always going to be in a drought." No, shake that off and just keep digging that ditch. Keep thanking God that you're free, thanking God for His goodness, thanking God for His favor. If you will do your part and dig the ditches, God is saying, "I'll do My part and bring the rain. I'll help you break addictions. I'll open up new doors. I'll show you favor. I'll heal your body. I'll restore your marriage." FULL POST

Posted 3/16/12 at 10:23 AM | Joel Osteen

What’s Between You and Your Destiny?

In the Bible, when Joshua and the people of Israel were headed toward the Promised Land, right in the middle of their path was a huge obstacle—the city of Jericho. Jericho was a large, fortified city. It had huge walls surrounding it. The Israelites couldn't go around the city; they had to go through it.

Between you and your destiny, there will always be a "Jericho" or something that you cannot go around. You either have to defeat it, or it's going to defeat you.

God told Joshua to tell the people to march around the city walls one time for six days, and on the seventh day, they were to march around it seven times. They were instructed not to say a word. No talking. No whispering. No complaining. They had to march perfectly quiet. On the seventh day, on the seventh time around, God said, "This time I want you to do something different. As you march, I want you to let out a shout of praise."

I can imagine on that seventh day, there was so much excitement. They marched around once, twice, three times with great anticipation. They knew something big was about to happen. On that seventh time around, after the priests blew the trumpets, they let out the high praises of God. They began to shout and cheer and sing, "Hosanna in the highest! To God be all the glory!" so loud that people could hear it for miles and miles. Then all of the sudden, the impossible began to happen. Those thick, fortified walls began to shake and rattle. In a matter of moments, those walls crumbled and came tumbling down! The Israelites were able to go in and take the city, and eventually, they made it into the Promised Land. FULL POST

Posted 3/9/12 at 9:31 AM | Joel Osteen

Nothing Can Keep a Praiser Down!

One of our faithful church members is a gentleman named Freddie Lamb. Freddie always has a smile on his face; he is always full of faith and joy. I see him at church all the time. Back in the 1990's, Freddie was driving on the freeway and had a flat tire, so he pulled off to the shoulder to change it. While he was standing at his trunk about to get the spare tire out, a drunk driver swerved onto the shoulder and ran right into him crushing both of his legs. As a result, both legs were amputated right above the knees.

My parents went to visit Freddie in the hospital when this happened. They didn't really know what to expect. Most people would be very discouraged, maybe even a little depressed. But when my parents walked into that hospital room, Freddie still had a smile on his face. He wasn't bitter or complaining; he was still full of joy. His legs were all bandaged where they had been amputated. Lying on that bed, he lifted them up toward the heavens, just stubs now, and said to my parents, "Look, Pastors, I can still give God praise." Today, Freddie not only walks, but he can run with his new legs. That setback didn't stop him. He still goes all over telling people his story. He is a mighty man of faith and courage. FULL POST

Posted 2/17/12 at 11:38 AM | Joel Osteen

After the Ups and Downs

In Genesis, the Bible tells us about Jacob's son, Joseph. As a young man, he was wearing a coat of many colors given to him by his father. He had God's favor. His life was good. He was on an "up." Then his jealous brothers threw him into a pit. His life went down. He was sold into slavery and went to work for a man named Potiphar. He came back up. Potiphar's wife lied about him and had him put in prison. He went back down. He was good to the people in prison. Pharaoh put him in charge over all of Egypt. He came back up again.

Year after year for Joseph was up and down, good break/bad break, promotion/setback. But Joseph understood that if he would abide in God and not let his heart become bitter, God would lead him into victory again. He didn't start complaining or start asking, "God, why is this happening to me?" He just kept moving forward and being his best. One day, he hit that tipping point where God said, "All right, Joseph. You've done your part. You've proven that you're going to be faithful, now I'm going to do My part. I'm going to cause you to remain steady."

A lot of times, people look at Joseph's life and all the ups and downs that He went through. They notice how he kept a good attitude during tough times, which is important. But what I want you to see today is that Joseph eventually came to a place where he came up and never went back down again. God established him. God set him on high. Understand today that the same God who brought you up can keep you up. You don't have to get set in your thinking that life is going to be all ups and downs, one good break and one bad break. No, keep abiding. Keep being faithful, and you, too are going to come to that place where God not only lifts you up, but He will keep you up and lead you into the life of victory and blessing He has in store for you! FULL POST

Posted 2/15/12 at 11:06 AM | Joel Osteen

Bible 360

If you watch our weekly program, you've noticed that at the beginning of each service, we raise our Bibles and declare, "This is my Bible, I have what it says I have; I can do what is says I can do..." If there's one thing I've learned about God's Word, it's that you cannot expect to receive the good things of God if you don't know about them.

At a very early age, I developed a habit of reading my Bible every day. As a kid, I remember so many mornings watching my dad at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and an open Bible. He'd take a big sip of hot coffee and let out a big "Ahhhhhh." Sometimes his eyes never left His Bible, and sometimes he'd look over at me and grin.

Today, there are so many great ways to read and study God's Word. I'm amazed at how many people hold up their iPads and phones when we say, "This is my Bible..." in church. Technology has made it easier to carry God's Word with us everywhere we go, and it has made studying the Bible more productive, even fun.

I have an app on my phone called Bible360 that my friends Mark Burnett and Roma Downey told me about. With apps like Bible 360, you can find scriptures quicker and easier, cross-reference different translations, and learn more about biblical history. You can even take virtual tours of ancient places or go where Jesus walked and taught. You may find that when you have a great Bible app or find an interesting Bible study website, you begin to look forward to reading your Bible more or studying things that you have always wondered about. FULL POST

Posted 2/10/12 at 1:49 PM | Joel Osteen |

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Favor through Relationships

Did you know that God will bless you through your relationships? He will pour out His favor on you by using the people in your life. He'll use your friends, family, coworkers, and even your spouse. It says in Proverbs 18:22, "He who finds a wife, finds favor from the Lord." Men, do you realize that your wife is bringing you favor from the Lord? Victoria never lets me forget that! We should always be thankful for our relationships and not take our loved ones for granted. We should do our best to seek peace and choose love.

One of the ways we can choose love is by giving each other room to make mistakes. Ladies, the scripture says in First Peter that you are to "enjoy your husband." It does not say that you are to remodel that man! It doesn't say that you're to try to change him or make him fit into your mold. No, let him be who God made him to be and learn to enjoy him. He may have weaknesses. He may do things that you don't particularly care for, but don't focus on that. Focus on his good qualities. Don't fall into the trap of comparing your husband to someone else's husband. "Well, my husband never brings me flowers like Susie's husband. They go out on a candlelight dinner every weekend. I don't know what's wrong with my husband." No, quit comparing and be grateful for the man God has given you. If you're single today, be thankful that you have a perfect Provider, a faithful Companion, one who will never leave you nor forsake you—Almighty God. Let Him fill the needs of your heart and direct you to the right person at the right time if you so desire. FULL POST

Posted 2/3/12 at 10:42 AM | Joel Osteen

Your Mistakes Don't Cancel Your Destiny

Back in Bible days, if you would have asked Jacob "Who are you?" he would have said, "I'm a cheater. I'm a deceiver. I'm a liar." But really, that's not who he is, that's what he did. We've all done things we're not proud of. We've all made mistakes and said things we didn't mean. But because of the blood of Jesus, God isn't holding that against us. When we repent, scripture says He takes our sin and casts it as far as the east is from the west and remembers it no more. Always remember, God looks beyond your behavior, beyond your performance, and He sees you for who you really are: a person of destiny created in His image with a purpose to fulfill.

If we are going to be all God has called us to be, we have to separate our "doing" from our "being". If you live in guilt and condemnation, it will keep you from receiving the mercy and blessing of God. It will limit your life. That's why it's so important to shake off the past and say, "No, I am not what I did. I may have failed at my marriage, but I am not a failure." "I may be struggling with alcohol, but I am not an alcoholic. I'm a child of Almighty God, and I know my destiny is bigger than my mistakes. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength and I will overcome!" FULL POST

Posted 1/27/12 at 8:47 AM | Joel Osteen

Just Get Back Up!

When things aren't happening on your timetable, when you don't see anything changing, are you tempted to get complacent or quit trying?

I have a friend who struggled with an addiction for a long time, many years. In high school, he got mixed up with the wrong crowd; and twenty years later, he was still addicted. He's a good man, has a good family. He's gone through a lot of counseling and to different treatment centers with no success. I've prayed for him personally at the church altar several times. This young man could have easily just given up and thought, "Well, this is just my lot in life. It's never going to change."

But he was determined. He had a made-up mind. Even though he would fall, he would get back up again and again.

About two years ago, he told me that after being addicted for twenty-one years, he is now totally free. I congratulated him and asked him how he did it. I thought maybe he went through some kind of new, special program. But he said, "Joel, I didn't do anything new. In fact, I can't really put my finger on it. It's just like something broke on the inside. All of the sudden, I didn't have the desire anymore. I had a strength that I had never felt before." What's interesting is that in years past, he could stop for two or three weeks, but then he would crave that drug so strongly and would always go back to it. He couldn't resist the temptation. But he said, "This time I'm not even tempted by it anymore. It's not even a struggle." That's the power of God at work in this man's life! That's God taking him out of the enemy's reach! FULL POST

Posted 1/20/12 at 11:21 AM | Joel Osteen

Don't Get it Backwards

What are you seeking in this New Year? What are your highest priorities? So many people make their lists and fill their days trying to make things happen. Or, they seek after something newer, bigger or better.

Of course, I'm all for having goals, dreams and pursuing what God has placed in your heart. But what I've seen over and over in my own life is that when I'm doing my best to please God and obey His Word, I find that, out of the blue, a good break or unexpected favor comes. I don't have to manipulate things. I don't have to struggle to make it happen. I obey God; I put Him first place in my life, and I receive the reward of diligently seeking Him. (Hebrews 11:6)

Jesus said in Matthew 6:33 to "seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Notice the key in this verse: seek first the Kingdom. In other words, don't seek the blessing, seek the One who blesses. Don't be consumed by things. Don't chase after money, fame, fortune or a bigger "this or that." Instead, chase after God! If you will seek Him first, then all of His blessings will be added unto you. Not a few things. Not a half a dozen things. God is a God of abundance, and He says "ALL things." In other words, when you keep Him first place, you won't be able to contain all the good things that He will bring across your path! He'll fill you to overflowing. He'll give you things that money can't buy. You can work 24/7, but you can't buy health. You can't buy strength. You can't buy a good night's rest. Seek first the Kingdom, and God will reward you! FULL POST

Posted 1/7/12 at 10:04 AM | Joel Osteen

Open Up!

Psalm 81:10 says, "Open your mouth wide and I will fill it." As we enter the new year, ask yourself, "Do I have my mouth open wide for this year?" In other words, what are you expecting? What are you ready to receive from Almighty God?

If you've been thinking, "I don't think I'll ever get a pay raise with the economy like it is." "I don't think I'll ever get promoted; I'm not that qualified." "I don't think I'll ever get well," then the problem is that your mouth is barely open. You're not expecting good breaks. You're not expecting increase. You're not expecting God to show up and turn it around, and unfortunately, you won't be disappointed. Jesus said in scripture, "According to your faith it will be done unto you." He might as well have said, "If you've got a cup, I'll fill you with a cup level of blessing. If you've got a bucket, I'll fill you with a bucket level of blessing." But He also says, "If you've got a barn, I'll fill you with an overwhelming load of blessing!" In other words, if you'll take the limits off of God, if you'll go out each day expecting far and beyond favor, you won't be disappointed.

Let me ask you, do you go out each day knowing that favor is already in your future? Or have you gotten stuck in a rut? That's what happened to the people of Israel. They were headed toward the Promised Land. They had big goals and big dreams, but along the way, they hit some setbacks in their thinking. They got so discouraged they gave up on their dreams and just settled where they were. One day God said to them, "You have dwelt long enough on this mountain." Today, I believe God is saying to each one of us, "You've been where you are long enough. It's time to move forward." God is saying, "This is a new day. Get your fire back! Where you are today is not where you're supposed to stay." FULL POST

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