Joel Osteen BlogTweet
Posted 12/14/12 at 10:34 AM | Joel Osteen
A few years after Victoria and I were married, we found this house that we really wanted to buy. It was on a beautiful corner lot with nice trees and a swimming pool in the backyard. We just knew that was supposed to be our house. We made the people a very good offer close to the asking price. Week after week went by and we didn't hear anything. The house wasn't occupied. So every day Victoria and I would go out to that house, and we would march around it, and pray, and believe, quote scripture, sing, shout, and do everything we could think of. We wanted that house so badly!
Finally, the realtor called back and said the owners did not accept our offer. It was too low. So we raised our offer. Now we were just a few thousand dollars from what they wanted. Again, week after week went by. At one point, Victoria and I went on a vacation that we had already planned, but the whole time, all we could do was think about that house. We were consumed by it and became uptight and stressed out about it. We couldn't really even enjoy our vacation because we were so caught up in having that house.
One day when I was so stressed about it, I heard God say something to my heart. He said, "Joel, do you still want the house even if I have something better in store?" Right then and there, I released that house in my heart. I said, "God, we don't have to have this house to be happy. We know that You know what's best for us, and we're not going to live another minute frustrated and upset, missing the joy of the moment." We released it. We said, "God, not our will, but let Your will be done." FULL POST
Posted 12/7/12 at 3:53 PM | Joel Osteen
When my father went to be with the Lord back in 1999 and I stepped up to pastor the church, I was concerned because I didn't minister exactly like my father. My personality is more laid back and easygoing. If you knew my father, you know he was a little bit more fiery than me.
My father had been at the church for 40 years, and I felt this underlying pressure to be like my dad. At first I tried to minister like him and run the church like he did, trying to do everything the same way. But I realized that I was wearing myself out by trying to be something that I wasn't. I wasn't pursuing what God had placed in my heart. I wasn't being true to myself. I was too focused on trying to keep everybody else happy. After all, I didn't want to lose anybody. But, I finally decided that I was just going to be myself and do things the way God was leading me. When I made the change, I discovered that 99.9% of the people were totally behind me and very loyal. But, there were a few that I could tell were not for me anymore. They didn't like the way I ministered. Or, maybe they didn't like the way I was leading the church. I felt this pressure so strongly to fit into their mold and become who they wanted me to be. But friend, there is an anointing on your life not to be somebody else. You are anointed to be you. FULL POST
Posted 11/30/12 at 2:28 PM | Joel Osteen
A while ago, I was reading about a successful, 42-year-old executive. He was on the cover of Newsweek magazine years ago and the headline read, "The Wiz Kid of Wall Street." This man had a brilliant mind. He helped start several major companies. The reporter who was doing the story traveled to the town where this man had lived many years before and interviewed people from his past. He found out there was an alcoholic that lived in the city park who had this man's same name. Toward the end of the interview, the reporter kind of laughed and said, "I found out something you may not know. There was a homeless man that lived in your city at the same time you did. He had your same name, your same age and your same race. What a coincidence." This executive said, "That wasn't a different man. That was me. I was an alcoholic. I was homeless, doing nothing with my life." The reporter was shocked and said, "Tell me more."
The man said, "When I was living in the city park using newspapers to cover me up, I always knew one day I would be successful. I knew one day I would be sitting here, but I was just waiting to get started."
I've found that many people are like this man. They may not be homeless or have an addiction, but they're waiting to get started. They have amazing gifts, talents, businesses, ideas, movies, books, inventions, but they keep putting them off thinking, "One day I'll take a step of faith. One day I'll be more disciplined. One day I'll get my life straightened out. One day I'll go back to school." No, don't live waiting for one day. Start doing what you know to do today. Friends, life is short. Time is flying by. You can't afford to put off what God has put in your heart. You don't have time to live with things holding you back. You have seeds of greatness on the inside. Today can be your new beginning. Today could be the start of something amazing. If we're going to reach our highest potential, we have to be "now" people because there are some opportunities that God brings across our path that have a limited window. They are not always going to be there. FULL POST
Posted 11/23/12 at 10:26 PM | Joel Osteen
Scripture says in First Thessalonians, "In everything give thanks." Notice it doesn't say to give thanks "for" everything, it says "in" everything. In other words, we should have the attitude that says, "God, no matter what's happening, I'm going to choose to be grateful. I'm not going to focus on what's wrong. I'm going to find something positive in my life. I may be sick, but Father, I just want to thank You today for giving me a great family. I may be struggling in my marriage, but God, thank You for giving me a good job. I may not have gotten the position I wanted, but God, I want to thank You that I was able to see another sunrise, that I could hear the birds singing this morning, that I could smell the flowers."
We all face difficult situations in life. No one on earth is exempt from trials. But we have to discipline ourselves so that we don't stay focused on the negative. That's where the mind naturally wants to go. I was talking to a young lady not long ago who was down and discouraged. She'd gone through a troubling relationship. She said, "Joel, nothing's going right in my life." She explained how the last two years, she'd been so depressed. And, I told her what I'm telling you today. You've got to change your focus. I said, "Look at you. You're beautiful. You've got a great personality. You've got family that loves you. You're healthy, and yet, you're allowing this one circumstance, this one person to steal your joy week after week, month after month." The fact is that there are some things in life we cannot change. We can't change people. We can't make them do what's right. And if you're constantly trying to get people to act the way you want them to, you are only going to frustrate yourself. You've got to turn the situation over to God and trust Him to do His part. FULL POST
Posted 11/16/12 at 12:24 PM | Joel Osteen
The Scripture talks about "the hidden petitions of your heart." I believe those are things that are supposed to be between you and God. Sometimes, people get off course because they share their dream with people who can't handle it. Sure, that person may want the best for you, but they may not fully understand what God has placed in you, or they may not have faith for it like you do. You have to resist the urge to go around telling everyone all of your goals and dreams because some things are meant to keep to yourself.
If Joseph would have understood this, it would have saved him a lot of heartache. As a teenager, he had a dream that his older brothers would bow down before him one day. God was showing him that he was going to lead a nation and have great success. The mistake he made is that he went out and told everyone. Now, his older brothers didn't get excited about the fact that they were going to bow down to him. That just didn't go over so well with them. Certain dreams you should keep to yourself. You may be excited, but other people are not going to be as excited. Like Joseph's family, they may not celebrate what God has placed in your heart. You'd be much better off to just learn to keep it to yourself. FULL POST
Posted 11/9/12 at 12:50 PM | Joel Osteen
Growing up, my parents knew this couple. They had been friends for a long time. This couple really loved my parents, but they didn't attend Lakewood. They lived on the other side of town and thought it was too far. It was about a 30-minute drive, which is really no big deal nowadays. But for years they told my father, "If you ever bring Lakewood to our side of town, we will be there every time the doors open. In fact, there are so many people, thousands on this side of town, that would love to attend Lakewood."
My father heard him say that so much that he was convinced that there was this mass of people on the other side of town waiting for Lakewood. So he rented an auditorium less than five minutes from the house of this couple, spent thousands of dollars on the building, the sound system and the advertising; and for one month, every Thursday night he brought Lakewood to that side of town. The truth is, God didn't call him to do it; these people called him to do it. They talked him into it. It was a good idea, but it wasn't a God idea. There is a difference. There can be a lot of things that look fine on the surface, but you've got to search your heart and say, "God, is this for me? Is this a part of my destiny? Is this a God idea or is this just a distraction? Is this just people trying to squeeze me into their mold?" FULL POST
Posted 11/2/12 at 4:41 PM | Joel Osteen
There's a story about a man who fell into a pit. Different people came along to voice their opinions. The Pharisee said, "You deserve to be in the pit." The Catholic said, "You need to suffer while you're in the pit." The Baptist said, "If you'd get saved, you wouldn't have fallen into the pit." The Charismatic said, "Just confess, 'I'm not in the pit.'" The mathematician said, "Let me calculate how you fell into the pit." The IRS agent said, "Have you paid taxes on that pit?" The optimist said, "Things could be worse." The pessimist said, "Things will get worse."
Everyone has an opinion. If you try to please every person, the one person that will not be happy is you. And it's funny; sometimes the people who are trying to run your life can't even run their own. It's good to get advice. It's good to listen to opinions, but you've got to be confident enough in who God made you to be that when something doesn't bear witness with your spirit, you have a boldness to say, "Thanks, but no thanks. I love you. I appreciate your advice, but this time, it's not for me."
I have a friend who's on staff here with us. Several years ago, a man came up to him and said, "I feel very strongly that you're supposed to go out and start your own church. You're a great minister. You're anointed. I know it would be a success." FULL POST
Posted 10/26/12 at 1:24 PM | Joel Osteen
When my father went to be with the Lord, I had to accept the fact that God's purpose for my life was not the same purpose as my father's. His calling was to help bring down the denominational walls and let people know about the fullness of the Spirit. When I took over, I felt pressured to be like my father, to fit into that mold. I thought I had to minister like him, run the church like him, and go down that same path. But when I searched my heart, I knew my calling was to plant a seed of hope, to encourage people, to let them know about the goodness of God. At first, it was difficult because some people had been in the church for 40 years. I thought, "I can't be anything different. What would they think? They may not like me. They may not accept me."
One day I read a scripture talking about David. It said, "David fulfilled his purpose for his generation." I heard God say right down in here, "Joel, your father fulfilled his purpose. Now quit trying to be like him and go out and fulfill your purpose." When I heard that, it was like a light turned on inside of me. I realized I don't have to try to be like my father. I don't have to fit into a certain mold. It's okay to run my race. I am free to be me. After all, God doesn't want us to be an imitation of somebody else; be the original God created you to be. FULL POST
Posted 10/19/12 at 11:35 AM | Joel Osteen
In scripture we see that for many years Elisha served the prophet Elijah. He was his protégé. Elijah had seen God's favor in incredible ways. He is the one who called down fire from heaven and 400 false prophets were destroyed. One time, Elijah prayed that it wouldn't rain. For three and a half years, there was no rain. He was one of the most powerful, anointed people that ever lived. When he was getting very old and about to be taken to heaven, he said to Elisha, "What do you want me to do for you for serving me faithfully all these years?"
Elisha could have asked for something simple. He could have said, "How about a couple weeks off?" or, "How about that new iPad? I'd really like that." He could have said, "My request is that I'd be able to carry on your ministry." But, Elisha was bold. He looked at Elijah and said, "What I really want is a double portion of your spirit." He was saying, "I want to do twice what you've done. I want to do twice the miracles, have twice the anointing, twice the favor, twice the influence."
Elijah could have looked at him and said, "Boy, who do you think you are? You sure are greedy. You need to be a little more humble." No, Elijah basically told him, "You just keep serving me faithfully and what you have asked will come to pass." FULL POST
Posted 10/12/12 at 11:46 AM | Joel Osteen
I believe God has new levels of freedom for you today. One of the ways you can see yourself go to a higher level is by learning to choose your battles and refusing to fight battles that don't matter. Friend, you don't have to fight every battle. You don't have to respond to every critic. You don't have to be offended because of what someone said. You're not a crow; you're an eagle. You can rise above it. You can soar at new heights.
This is what Nehemiah did. God called him to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. He and his men got started, but he had two main critics: Sanballat and Tobias. They were constantly criticizing him, spreading rumors, and trying to make him look bad. They said, "Nehemiah is not a builder. He doesn't know what he is doing. If a fox runs on this wall, it's going to fall down."
The whole time, Nehemiah and his men had to listen to these two men belittle them, ridicule them, and make fun of them. What did Nehemiah do? He simply ignored them. He let it go in one ear and out the other. When that didn't work, they went to the city leaders and started spreading lies. They said, "Nehemiah is not building this wall for our good. He's just building a kingdom unto himself." They started questioning his motives. Don't you know that Nehemiah was tempted to come down off that wall and say, "Guys, I'm going to shut you up? I'm going to show you who I am." No, he was smart enough to realize they were a distraction. He chose to ignore them and went on to build that wall in record time. FULL POST