Joel Osteen BlogTweet
Posted 8/24/12 at 10:35 AM | Joel Osteen
A friend of mine was sitting next to a young man on a plane who grew up in a very poor village in east Africa. Their country was in great famine, and they were struggling just to survive. At seven years old, his father was killed. At twelve years old, his mother died. He was separated from his brothers and sisters and then sent to live with his grandmother. His grandmother was very old and very sick, so at twelve years old, he became her caretaker. He would get up at five in the morning and study for an hour. He loved to study and read and learn. At six o'clock, he would walk to get water—an hour and a half each way. He would come back, make his grandmother breakfast, and then go to the school in the little village. He got out of school at three o'clock, went home, made his grandmother something else to eat, and then took the three-hour walk once again to get more water.
In the natural, it didn't look like this boy had much of a future. All the odds were against him. He was an orphan living in the slums with no parents and nobody to watch after him. But there was something special about this young man. Deep down, he believed that he was a person of destiny, that he had seeds of greatness on the inside. Every night before going to bed in that little mud hut, he would get down on his knees and say, "Lord, I want to go to college. God, I want to have an education. I want to make a difference with my life." FULL POST
Posted 8/17/12 at 10:48 AM | Joel Osteen
There's a story in Matthew 20 about a time when Jesus was leaving the city of Jericho. Two blind men were sitting on the side of the road. When they heard all of the commotion of Jesus passing by, they began to holler out, "Jesus! Have mercy on us!" All of the people around them said, "Be quiet! You're going to disturb Him." But the blind men shouted even louder, "Jesus! Please! Have mercy on us!"
Jesus walked over to them and said something interesting. He asked, "What is it that you want Me to do for you?" It seemed obvious what they needed. They were blind. Why would Jesus say, "What do you want Me to do for you?" See, Jesus knew what their physical condition was, but He was asking about their heart condition. He wanted to know what they were believing. He wanted to know what their level of faith was. They could have said, "Jesus, we just need somebody to help us. It's hard being blind. Jesus, we need better shelter. We need a better place to live." But these men were bold. They knew what they wanted. They said, "Lord, we want our sight." The scripture says, "When Jesus saw their faith, He touched their eyes, and for the first time, they were able to see."
Today, imagine that Jesus is standing before you asking the same thing that He asked these blind men. "What do you want Me to do for you?" The way you respond is going to determine what He does. Now don't say, "God, I just want to get by this year. Times are tough." "God, my family is so dysfunctional. Just try to help us stay together." "God, I don't enjoy my job, but just help me to endure it." Dare to say, "God, I'm asking for a blessed, prosperous year." "God, I want to be free from this sickness." "God, I want to see my whole family serving You." FULL POST
Posted 8/10/12 at 1:10 PM | Joel Osteen
One time at church, I was talking to a college student. She was about to take a very important final exam. She asked, "Joel, would you pray that God will help me make a C on this test?" I kind of laughed and said, "Why wouldn't we want to pray that God would help you make an A?" She said, "Oh, all I ever make in this subject are C's." She had conditioned her mind to strive for a certain level.
Well, I encouraged her to dream a little bit bigger, and we prayed that she would break through and make an A. So, she went home and studied. She prepared. She did her part. A few weeks later, she came back beaming with joy, holding her test results. For the first time ever, she made an A in that subject.
Now, this is just a simple example, but how often do we get conditioned in our minds to live at a certain level? You may think, "This is the way it's always going to be. This is what I make. This is where I live. This is my level of talent." But don't just look at things in the natural. We have to remember that we serve a supernatural God!
Today, I encourage you to break out of the rut and start praying bolder prayers. It's time for you to have some "first times" in your life. For the first time, you have an abundance; you're not struggling. For the first time, your child is making good decisions. For the first time, there is somebody in your life to love. You're not just talking about the dream. You're living the dream. Take the limits off of God. Stop asking for a C and start asking for an A. Stretch your faith. God wants to do something new in your life. He wants to give you the secret petitions of your heart, the things that you dream about but never told anyone. You would love to start a business, love to take a mission's trip, love to get married, love to own your own home, but it seems so unlikely, so far out of reach. If you told your friends, they would probably laugh. They wouldn't understand it. That's okay. You don't need their approval. This is between you and Almighty God. In your quiet time when nobody else is around, you need to be bold and start asking for those hidden dreams, for the promises God has placed on the inside. As you pray those bold prayers according to His will, it won't be long until you see every dream and every desire come to pass! FULL POST
Posted 8/3/12 at 12:42 PM | Joel Osteen
We can all look back through our family lines and see how our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and others in our family history have affected our lives. Sometimes people see negative things that have been passed down, but the blessing of God is passed down as well. In fact, Exodus 20:6 says that He shows love and mercy to a thousand generations of those who obey Him. Maybe you don't know anyone in your recent family history who was dedicated to the Lord, but do you think someone in your history a thousand generations back may have been?
When we walk into divine blessing and God gives us something we don't deserve, we have to realize that sometimes it's because somebody in our family line sowed those seeds. Every act of kindness, every time one of your relatives sacrificed and honored God, they set you up for success. They may not have reaped a reward in their lifetime, but God is faithful. He doesn't forget about it.
In my own life, I realize that the reason I am doing what I am doing today is because my parents sowed seeds for 40 years before I ever got here. I'm reaping the rewards of a generational blessing. My father went to school with holes in his pants. He would put cardboard in the bottom of his shoes because they were so torn up. They made great sacrifices so that we could be where we are today. One way I can honor them is by wearing my blessings well—by thanking God for His faithfulness and fulfilling what has been handed down to me. FULL POST
Posted 7/27/12 at 11:59 AM | Joel Osteen
I've talked to a lot of people over the years that really get down on themselves because of the mistakes they have made in the past. They don't think they deserve God's goodness. They think they've gone too far. But the amazing part about the mercy of God is that even when we bring trouble on ourselves, even when it's our own fault, God will still receive us when we come to Him. He still extends forgiveness; and when we repent and receive that forgiveness, we don't have to live in condemnation. God says, "I will still bring you to a flourishing finish."
Think about Sampson in the Bible. His birth was predicted in scripture. An angel appeared to his mother and said, "You're going to have a son. He will be a deliverer." As long as his hair wasn't cut, Sampson would have supernatural strength. He had a supernatural beginning. He grew up to do great things. He had uncommon strength and could not be conquered by his enemies. But over time, he let his guard down. He became undisciplined and revealed the secret of his strength when he wasn't supposed to. They ended up cutting his hair, and he became weak and was captured by his enemies. They were still so afraid of him that they gouged out both of his eyes. This once powerful man who carried God's anointing and favor ended up chained, working as a slave, grinding at the mill. You would think after all that, "God wouldn't have anything to do with him. He had his chance. He had a supernatural birth, supernatural strength and favor. He made wrong choices and gave it all away. Too bad for him." However, that's not the way our God thinks. God will always give you another chance. FULL POST
Posted 7/23/12 at 9:06 AM | Joel Osteen
There's a couple I know who have a son, and for many years, he was on the wrong course. He was raised in a great environment, but for some reason, he got involved with the wrong crowd, got into drugs, and ended up in and out of jail. This couple prayed and sought God. They also got him treatment and did everything they knew in the natural. But it seemed like the more they did, the worse he got, and it was taking a huge toll on the family. It didn't look like he was ever going to change. But instead of complaining about it, every day they would speak God's Word over their son. They would say things like, "Father, You said as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. You said the seed of the righteous would be mighty in the land, so we thank You that our son will fulfill his destiny. He will do great things for You."
They didn't call him what he was, they called him what they wanted him to be. About two years ago, this son went through a total transformation, got back in church, got off the drugs, went back to college and got his degree. Today he has a successful career. In his spare time, he volunteers at the ministry helping other young people who are struggling with addictions. What am I saying? Don't give up on your family. Don't give up on your son, daughter or spouse. God never ends on a negative. But as in this case, it may get worse before it gets better. That's a sign the enemy is taking his best shot. But know this: his best will never be enough. The forces that are for you are greater than the forces that are against you! FULL POST
Posted 7/13/12 at 12:55 PM | Joel Osteen
A while back, I met a sharp young couple with three small children from New Orleans. They had lost everything during Hurricane Katrina. The house that they had worked so hard for was swept away along with their furniture, possessions and car. They made it out of the city with just the clothes on their backs. A rescue bus had dropped them off at the Houston Astrodome. One of the couples from Lakewood Church, who was volunteering, reached out to them and helped them find an apartment and get back on their feet.
The man told how he was the first one in his family to ever own a home, and the first one to ever graduate from college. Their future was bright. Everything was going well. But when Hurricane Katrina hit, it just took the wind out of their sails.
Since they didn't have a car at the time, another couple from Lakewood would pick them up every Sunday and bring them to church. They would hear about how God created us to be victors and not victims, and how God will pay us back double for our trouble. Every week, this couple began to shake off self-pity and got a fresh, new vision for life.
Recently, they brought pictures of the new house where they just moved. He told about the new job he now has making better money. In New Orleans, they had an older home that needed remodeling. They were happy with it. They were grateful. But here, God blessed them with a brand new house. Before, they had hand-me-down furniture, but God blessed them with brand new furniture. Before, their children went to an okay school, but here, they go to an excellent school. What happened? They kept moving forward. Instead of holding on to bitterness, questions and self-pity, they turned the page and walked into that flourishing finish. FULL POST
Posted 7/6/12 at 10:23 AM | Joel Osteen
In one of our services at Lakewood, Danny Gokey, who previously sang on American Idol, told us about how his wife was born with a heart condition. They did everything they knew in the natural. They prayed that she would be healed, but during one of her surgeries, there were complications. The young lady went to be with the Lord, and Danny was devastated. He sunk into a deep depression. He thought his life was over. He couldn’t understand how that could have happened.
The scripture talks about how God has written every page of our lives in His book. He holds the future, and the good news is that your book ends in victory! Your final chapter is not you falling apart, going bankrupt, getting betrayed or living lonely. No, God’s plans for you are for good, to bring you to a flourishing finish.
When you go through a disappointment or something doesn’t work out, the key is to not get stuck on that page. If you will keep moving forward, you will come into a new chapter; a chapter of victory and restoration. Danny got stuck on that negative page for a while, but he told how one day he put his foot down and said to himself, “I refuse to let this disappointment ruin the rest of my life.” He started moving forward, and God began to open up new doors. Today, Danny has a successful career in the music industry. Not only that, he started a charity to help families that are struggling named after his wife, called Sophia’s Heart. FULL POST
Posted 6/26/12 at 10:04 AM | Joel Osteen
One time, I read about a small fish called the Moses sole. It’s a little flounder that’s found in the Red Sea. There are also large sharks in those waters that would typically eat these small fish; but back in the early 1970’s, a group of researchers noticed something amazing about the little Moses sole. All the other fish in that category, same size and same weight, would be eaten by the sharks. But for some reason, these sharks would not eat the Moses sole. They found out that this little Moses sole has a very unique defense system. Any time it senses some kind of danger, it naturally secretes poisonous toxins from its glands. These toxins literally cause the shark’s jaws to freeze. There was a picture of this little Moses sole inside a shark’s mouth. The shark had obviously come in for the kill. All it had to do was bite down and there was dinner. The only problem was that the shark couldn’t do it. God put something on this little fish to protect him, and as long as the shark was near that Moses Sole, his jaw was frozen. He would have to swim away for a few seconds before it would be released and go back to normal.
I believe that’s a picture of what the scripture means when it says, “The favor of God will keep my enemies from defeating me.” God has put something on you that will cause you to be victorious over your enemies. Who are your enemies? Scripture tells us that it isn’t the people in our lives; we don’t battle against flesh and blood, but against the forces of darkness in the spiritual realm. (See Ephesians 6:12). The way you release that protection and cause your enemy’s jaw to “freeze up” is by submitting yourself to God. James 4:7 tells us, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” When you put God first place in your life, you are walking in His divine protection, wisdom, favor and grace. When you acknowledge Him as Lord, when you declare His goodness and thank Him for His favor, you are causing the jaws of your enemy to lock up! Every time you say, “Lord, thank You that Your gracious hand is upon me. I bless You and praise You for Your goodness and faithfulness,” the enemy is paralyzed. However, if you go around talking about how big the problem is, how you’re never going to make it, that does just the opposite. That acts like bait. That attracts the enemy. That will make it more difficult. In essence, it paralyzes you! FULL POST
Posted 6/22/12 at 10:37 AM | Joel Osteen
Years ago, Victoria and I found two acres of property that we really wanted to buy so we could build a house on it. It was a beautiful, desirable piece of property close to the city. God has blessed us through our books and other avenues, so it was in our budget. We follow God’s principles with finances; we tithe, sow seed, and we’ve always made good investments through the years. But, I was praying and debating with myself about whether or not we should buy this property. I thought, “You know what? We don’t really need two acres to live on. We’re fine where we are.” But down deep inside I wanted it. It was a desire of my heart, but I kind of felt guilty, like it was more than we needed.
One day, I was on an airplane 35,000 feet up in the air. It was a clear, beautiful day, and I was sitting by the window looking out toward the ground. I sensed God speaking something to my heart. He said, “Joel, you wonder if it’s okay to buy that property. What do you think those two acres look like to Me? What do you think it looks like from My point of view, from My perspective?” Well, from where I was 35,000 feet in the air, two acres looked like a little dot, just like you took your pen and touched the earth. It was nothing. I felt God say, “Joel, I give you permission. It’s okay to have enough land the size of a pinhead to Me.” FULL POST