Joel Osteen Blog

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Posted 2/1/13 at 2:16 PM | Joel Osteen

An Unexpected Link to Your Destiny

One summer while we were on vacation, I asked the hotel bellman for directions to a certain church in the area that we had heard about and wanted to visit that morning. The bellman was a young man in his early teens, happy-go-lucky, working the weekend shift, and probably not making much more than minimum wage. He said, "The church you want to go to is way too far from here. You'll never get there in time, but there is another church about ten minutes down the road. I think you'll really like it."

I could have thought, "How does he know what I'm going to like? I'm the pastor of a big church. I know what kind of church I'm going to like." But no, we took his suggestion and went to the other church down the road. We ended up meeting the pastor and developing a friendship. It was a divine connection. That pastor introduced me to a publisher that he knew who offered me a contract to write my first book. I wrote that book, and it thrust me into a new level of my destiny. It all started back with that young man at the hotel, parking cars and taking care of the luggage. Yet, it was his input that catapulted me further than I ever imagined.

Friend, you never know who God has ordained to influence your life. Treat every person you encounter with respect no matter how busy you are. Sometimes, it's easy to dismiss people, especially people that we think we'll never see again. We think, "They aren't that important in my life." "He's just parking cars." "She's just answering the phone." Or, we get prideful and think we are more important, "I'm in management. They're in maintenance." "I'm staying at the hotel. They're just working at the hotel." No, the very ones that we dismiss, the ones we think, "Don't bother me. I'm busy," could be the unexpected link that causes you to step into the fullness of your destiny. Don't write people off. Don't judge by the outside and think, "Oh, they don't have anything for me." No, you'll be amazed at who God will use. Stay open. Stay expecting because God can use anybody—even you and me!

Posted 1/25/13 at 2:16 PM | Joel Osteen

Get Out of the Well

I heard a story about a little frog that was born at the bottom of a well. Just a small circular well like you might see on a farm. This frog and his family that lived down there and they were so happy, so content to swim and splash in the water all day long. He thought, "Life is good. We've got all the water in the world to ourselves." As he got a little older, he noticed the light at the top of the well and wondered what was up there. One day, very carefully, he climbed up the side of the well. With great caution he looked over the edge and the first thing he saw was a pond. He couldn't believe it. It was thousands of times more water than what he and his family had. He jumped out of the well and started hopping until he came to a lake. He stood there in amazement. He had no words. He hopped a little more and came to the ocean and as far as he could see was water. He began to realize how limited his vision had been. He thought he had it all but all he really had was a drop in the bucket compared to what was out there for him to enjoy.

Friend, God's dream for your life is so much bigger, so much more rewarding than you can imagine. You haven't even touched the surface of what God has in store. Why don't you stretch your faith and dare to step outside of your well. In other words, step out of your comfort zone. Let go of the limiting mindsets. Turn away from small thinking and, like that frog, go a little further than you're used to. Break out of your box and look out over the horizon. Dream bigger, think bigger, see bigger, and embrace the oceans of blessings God has in store for you! FULL POST

Posted 1/21/13 at 7:11 AM | Joel Osteen

A Thousand Times Before

When we were trying to acquire the former Compaq Center, it was a three-and-a-half year battle. All kinds of obstacles came against us. At times, in the natural, it looked like it wasn’t going to happen. But instead of worrying about it or letting negative thoughts take root, all through the day I would envision the Compaq Center as being ours. In my imagination I could see the Lakewood sign out front. I could see myself on the platform ministering. I could see the crowd long before they got here. Many times at night, Victoria and I would drive up to the building. If nothing was going on we would get out and walk around and pray and believe and dream. That image was becoming engrained in our thinking. The more we saw it, the more it encouraged our faith. In my imagination I could already see the Mayor handing us the keys. I could already see the confetti falling during the Groundbreaking Service. I could already see it full of thousands of victorious believers!

For three and a half years we kept that image in front of us. On December 1, 2003 when the Mayor handed us the key it was just like I had seen it before. On December 13, when the confetti fell on the Groundbreaking Services, it was just like I had seen it before. In 2005, the week of the Grand Opening, a reporter asked me what it was going to be like to stand up and minister here for the first time. I didn’t say it but I thought to myself, “I’ve ministered in this building thousands of times before!” FULL POST

Posted 1/11/13 at 11:24 AM | Joel Osteen

Change the Picture

Several years ago, a lady came down to the altar for prayer. She had just gone through a very painful divorce. Her husband of many years left her for another woman. She was very devastated, very heartbroken. She didn't see how she could ever be happy again. I did my best to encourage her and tell her that God was going to give her beauty for those ashes and pay her back for that unfair situation. She listened, but it didn't seem like my words had much of an impact. She was very depressed. She couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel. She had a negative vision for her future.

When your vision is negative, your life will follow that same direction. Sometimes it's difficult. Sometimes you just don't feel like fighting the good fight of faith, but you cannot afford to sit around in self-pity. Life may not be fair, but God is fair. He'll right the wrongs, but you have to do your part. You have to shake off the disappointments and get a fresh, new vision. Your life is not over because somebody left you. If they walked out on you, you didn't need them. God's plan was not cancelled because of a disappointment, an unfair situation, or even because of a mistake you made. If you'll get a new vision, instead of it being a setback, God will turn it into a setup to do something greater. FULL POST

Posted 1/4/13 at 10:12 AM | Joel Osteen

Make Room for Abundance!

In Second Kings, there is the story about a widow who doesn't have money to pay her bills. In those days, if you couldn't pay your bills, your family was taken and sold as slaves, and that's exactly what was about to happen. The creditors were coming to take her sons as payment. The only thing she had of any value was a small pot of oil to cook with. The prophet Elisha showed up at her house and told her to do something that seemed strange. He said, "Go out to the neighbors and borrow as many big, empty pots to hold oil as you can possibly find." He said specifically, "Borrow not a few. Get as many as you can." He was saying in effect, "Don't shortchange yourself; make room for abundance."

The widow went out and borrowed some pots. I can imagine she found five or six of these big, empty pots. When she came home, Elisha told her to pour her oil into one of the empty containers. It appeared as though she would just transfer it from one container to the other, but the scripture says, "Her oil never ran out." She kept pouring and pouring. God supernaturally multiplied it until all of those containers were completely filled. Here's my point: She was the one who determined how much oil she would have. If she would have borrowed one container, she would have one full. If she would have borrowed ten, she would've had ten full. If she would have borrowed 50, she would've had 50 full. It wasn't up to God how much she increased, it was up to her. God has unlimited supplies. That's why the prophet said, "Borrow not a few." FULL POST

Posted 12/28/12 at 8:25 AM | Joel Osteen

The Power of Expectation

 I read this study that was done with people who needed arthroscopic knee surgery. Their knees were worn down, and they needed to clean the joint out. With permission from the family, instead of actually performing the surgery, the doctors simply put a certain number of patients under anesthesia and made three tiny incisions around the knee without actually do anything.

Of course, when the patient woke up, he or she thought they had the full surgery. What's interesting is that two years later, the patients who had the fake surgery reported just as much relief from pain as the patients that had the actual surgery. And it wasn't just in their minds. When the doctors examined their knees, they could see that the knees did in fact improve. The doctors' conclusion was, "Since the brain expected the knee to get better, it got better. It helped the body to heal." You could say those doctors tricked the patients into having a new vision for themselves, and just like gravity, they moved toward it.

Scripture tells us that when we believe, all things are possible. The problem is that too many people allow their circumstances to shape their faith instead of allowing the Word of God to shape their faith. FULL POST

Posted 12/21/12 at 10:39 AM | Joel Osteen

How Will it Happen?

You may have heard the story of Jesus' birth many times, but have you ever really put yourself in the story or tried to imagine what it must have been like for Mary?

Mary was just a humble, teenage girl living in Nazareth. It was one of the poorest, most rundown cities of that region, and she didn't have any notoriety to speak of. One day, an angel appeared and said, "Mary, you are highly favored of God. You're going to give birth to a son without knowing a man. He will be the Son of God."

God gave Mary this amazing promise that wasn't even believable in the natural. You can imagine the thoughts of doubt and unbelief that must have bombarded her mind. Thoughts like, "How can I have a baby without a man? That's impossible. That defies the laws of nature." If Mary would have only considered her circumstances, she certainly would have been tempted to give up. But instead of looking at her circumstances, she looked to God Almighty. She understood the principle that if God says it, He will bring it to pass.

When Mary answered the angel, she didn't say, "Oh, that sounds far out. I don't see how that can happen." No, Mary was bold. She made a statement of faith. She said, "Be it unto me even as you have said." In other words, "I'm in agreement. Let it happen. If God says I'm highly favored, I believe it. If God says the impossible is going to happen, I believe it." Friend, that's the way we need to be when God puts a promise in our hearts. Instead of trying to reason it out, we have to be fully convinced that what He said, He will do. FULL POST

Posted 12/14/12 at 10:34 AM | Joel Osteen

God Has another Door

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

Don't Get Squeezed into a Mold

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

Don't Live Waiting for "One Day"

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

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