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When you experience troubles in life, you search for a person that you could look up to. You tend to find someone who can understand your woes, and give you sound advice; someone who would inspire you and give you hope.
Such has been the role of Joel Osteen to millions of people all over the globe. He has been named as the most watched inspirational figure in America, according to Nielsen Media Research. But who is Joel Osteen?
Let me give you a closer look at the life of this widely known and well-loved televangelist.
His Early Life
Born on the 5th of March 1963, Joel Scott Osteen is the son of Dolores Pilgrim and John Osteen, a former Southern Baptist pastor and the founder of the Lakewood Church. He studied at Humble High School in Texas and graduated in 1981. He took up Radio and Television Communications in Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma. However, he was not able to finish his degree.
Joel Osteen stayed away from the limelight despite his father’s suggestion that he preach. For 17 years, he opted to direct and produce his father’s sermons, even if his father constantly encouraged him to be in front, not behind, the camera.
His father’s health deteriorated due to heart and kidney problems, thus prompting him to take over. He finally gave in to his father’s desire on January 17, 1999 and preached his very first sermon despite some reluctance. Six days later, John Osteen passed away due to a heart attack.
Two weeks after his father’s death, Joel Osteen bounced back and began preaching regularly. He listened to himself on tape, and memorized his remarks. With a positive attitude, he preached by teaching Biblical principles in a very simple way.
He wanted to focus on God and His kindness, and the power of love, instead on focusing on sins. He even said in an interview that God is a God of mercy, and that there is mercy for every mistake we make.
Because of his passion, he became the new senior pastor of the Lakewood church on October 3, 1999. The attendance of the Lakewood Church swelled from a mere 5,000 to an astonishing 43,000.
The Lakewood Church
Lakewood Church acquired the former home of the NBA Houston Rockets, the Compaq Center, in 2003. 15 months and almost $105 million later, the Compaq Center was renovated to accommodate more people by adding five storeys. 56,000 faithful believers attended Lakewood’s grand opening in 2005, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Texas Governor Rick Perry. Since then, their services have reached people in more than 100 countries.
Joel Osteen’s family is also involved in the ministry. On April 4, 1987, he married his co-pastor Victoria Iloff, whom he met at a jewelry store her father owned. They have a son and a daughter named Jonathan and Alexandra. His siblings serve in the church full time, too.
The Best-Selling Writer
Osteen did not stop at inspiring people through his sermons. He also wrote books that will ignite a fire in the hearts of many. In October 2004, he released his first book entitled “Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential”.
This book, which focused on helping people experience the full potential God has prepared for each of us, was warmly received by millions of people. For more than two years, it remained a bestseller and even ranked number one on The New York Times Self Help Best Seller list.
He has written other books, like Think Better, Live Better: A Victorious Life Begins In Your Mind (2016), The Power Of I Am: Two Words That Will Change Your Life Today (2015) and You Can, You Will: 8 Undeniable Qualities of a Winner (2014) to name a few.
Dealing with Criticism
Nevertheless, Joel Osteen received criticism as all televangelists do.
In August 2017, he was questioned for allegedly not making the Lakewood Church available to people who needed shelter in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. He countered this by saying that the church doors were closed due to the flood.
He was also accused of promoting prosperity gospel, a belief that financial blessings are God’s will for His believers. In response, Osteen said that if prosperity means God desires His people to be blessed in every way possible, then he is a prosperity teacher; but it if it focuses on monetary gain, then he is not one.
He tries to avoid dabbling in politics and other sensitive topics like abortion and same sex marriage. He believes that God likes and accepts all types of people and that God will be the judge of a person’s character. He claims that gay people are welcome in his church even if homosexuality is a sin according to the Scriptures.
Joel Osteen is indeed a man of character, a man of faith and a man of God. In the eyes of many, he will continue to be an inspiration, a beacon of light in the darkness.
Here are some quotes from Joel Osteen that will surely inspire you:
Joel Osteen Quotes
“God made you a masterpiece – be blessed, secure, disciplined and equipped.” – Joel Osteen
“Don’t worry about your future or how you’re going to accomplish a dream. God has already lined up what you need.” – Joel Osteen
“When the negative thoughts come – and they will; they come to all of us – it’s not enough to just not dwell on it… You’ve got to replace it with a positive thought.” – Joel Osteen
“All of us can look back and see things that should have defeated us. You’re still standing. That’s the goodness of God.” – Joel Osteen
“You are strong, blessed, healthy, redeemed. You are God’s masterpiece.” – Joel Osteen
“You’ve been armed with strength for every battle. The forces that are for you are greater than forces against you.” – Joel Osteen
“Too often we get frustrated by difficulties. But you have to realize, you can’t have a harvest without a few weeds.” – Joel Osteen
“No one can offend you without your permission. They can say whatever they want, but you have the right to ignore it.” – Joel Osteen
“God wants to bless you in such a way that people notice. He wants to show out in your life.” – Joel Osteen
“You can’t have a blessed day thinking about who offended you and what didn’t work out. Think on the positive things.” – Joel Osteen
“In the dark places, we prove to God what we’re really made of. You have to be faithful when things aren’t going your way.” – Joel Osteen
“It takes determination to see a dream come to pass. The question is not will you start, but will you finish.” – Joel Osteen
“Time spent worrying drains your energy – it makes you weaker. You were created to live a peace-filled life.” – Joel Osteen
“God is more interested in changing us than changing our circumstances. He loves you too much to let you stay where you are.” – Joel Osteen
“When you’re really believing, when you’re in peace, you’re showing God by your actions that you trust Him.” – Joel Osteen
“Your dream may look impossible, but God said blessings will chase you down. Ask big. Take the limits off of God.” – Joel Osteen
“God is called the author and finisher of our faith. He’s not only given you grace to start, He’s given you grace to finish.” – Joel Osteen
“Don’t get upset when there’s a detour on the way to your destiny. Keep a good attitude and it will all work out.” – Joel Osteen
“Successful people don’t waste their time looking at what others are doing, they’re too busy focusing on their own goals.” – Joel Osteen
“That setback may have been meant to stop you, but if you’ll stay in faith, God’s going to use it to increase you.” – Joel Osteen
“God doesn’t require us to be perfect. All He asks is that we keep trying and taking steps to improve.” – Joel Osteen
“Sometimes we’re waiting for other people to change, but God is waiting for us to change.” – Joel Osteen
“God is not as concerned about our comfort as He is our purpose. Sometimes He shakes things up to get us to our destiny.” – Joel Osteen
“Time is more valuable than money. We can make more money but we can’t make more time. Use your time wisely.” – Joel Osteen
“Keep in mind that you’ll have true happiness, true fulfillment, not living to get but living to give.” – Joel Osteen
“Difficulties are a setup for God to do something greater. Setbacks are a setup for God to move you toward your destiny.” – Joel Osteen
“Pass the test of being grateful for the small things and big things will be released in your life.” – Joel Osteen
“While waiting for things to change, don’t be discontent with where you are. Learn to enjoy the season that you’re in.” – Joel Osteen
“See every adversity, every disappointment in a new light: it’s not there to defeat you; it’s there to make you better.” – Joel Osteen
“It’s easy to go through life offended and carrying around baggage. One of the best things you can do is drop it. Let it go.” – Joel Osteen
“None of us like difficulties. If we had a choice, we wouldn’t go through them, but challenges prepare you for your future.” – Joel Osteen
“No matter who does you wrong, you don’t have to stay defeated. Disappointments are inevitable, but misery is optional.” – Joel Osteen
“You don’t have to worry or be stressed out. Stay in peace. God is directing your steps. He controls the universe.” – Joel Osteen
“You’re not defined by your past; you’re prepared by it. You’re stronger, more experienced, and you have greater confidence.” – Joel Osteen
“The more people try to push you down, the higher God will take you. That’s the way God is.” – Joel Osteen
“If you live in the past, you’ll get stuck where you are. What’s in your past is not nearly as important as what is in your future.” – Joel Osteen
“I think how you start the day many times determines what kind of day you’re going to have.” – Joel Osteen
“The older I get, the better I understand that every day is a gift.” – Joel Osteen
“Let go of offence. Let go of fear. Let go of revenge. Don’t live angry, let go now!” – Joel Osteen
“You can be happy where you are.” – Joel Osteen
“So many people are looking at what’s wrong, and I try to encourage them to look at what’s right in their life. A lot of people have it a lot worse than you do.” – Joel Osteen
“If one dream dies, dream another dream. If you get knocked down, get back up and go again.” – Joel Osteen
“A good thing to remember is somebody’s got it a lot worse than we do.” – Joel Osteen
“Life’s a fight. It’s a good fight of faith.” – Joel Osteen
“People in tough times – it doesn’t mean they don’t have a great attitude.” – Joel Osteen
“In difficult times, we’re not supposed to quit believing; we’re not supposed to quit growing.” – Joel Osteen
“It’s in the difficult times that we’re growing and you can’t just rebuke everything hard. We’ve got to endure it and fight the good fight of faith and pass the test.” – Joel Osteen
“Why don’t you start believing that no matter what you have or haven’t done, that your best days are still out in front of you.” – Joel Osteen
“It doesn’t matter who likes you or doesn’t like you, all that matters is that God likes you. He accepts you, he approves of you.” – Joel Osteen
“Let go of yesterday. Let today be a new beginning and be the best that you can, and you’ll get to where God wants you to be.” – Joel Osteen
“Every day we have plenty of opportunities to get angry, stressed or offended. But what you’re doing when you indulge these negative emotions is giving something outside yourself power over your happiness. You can choose to not let little things upset you.” – Joel Osteen
“When you focus on being a blessing, God makes sure that you are always blessed in abundance.” – Joel Osteen
“God wants us to prosper financially, to have plenty of money, to fulfill the destiny He has laid out for us.” – Joel Osteen
“We were old sinners – but when we came to Christ we are not sinners anymore.” – Joel Osteen
“I believe if you keep your faith, you keep your trust, you keep the right attitude, if you’re grateful, you’ll see God open up new doors.” – Joel Osteen
“Choosing to be positive and having a grateful attitude is going to determine how you’re going to live your life.” – Joel Osteen
“You’re going to go through tough times – that’s life. But I say, ‘Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.’ See the positive in negative events.” – Joel Osteen
“The main rule to me is to honor God with your life. To life a life of integrity. Not be selfish. You know, help others. But that’s really the essence of the Christian faith.” – Joel Osteen
“God wants to bless us where we are.” – Joel Osteen
“There’s plenty about God that I don’t understand and can’t explain. But I come back to my core belief that God is good, that He’s for us.” – Joel Osteen
“I think sometimes the critics want me to beat people down, and that’s not in me. I want to lift people up.” – Joel Osteen
“Nothing in life has happened to you. It’s happened for you. Every disappointment. Every wrong. Even every closed door has helped make you into who you are.” – Joel Osteen
“I want to challenge you today to get out of your comfort zone. You have so much incredible potential on the inside. God has put gifts and talents in you that you probably don’t know anything about.” – Joel Osteen
“If you want to reap financial blessings, you have to sow financially.” – Joel Osteen
“I don’t focus on the critics. Everyone who is making any difference in any field has critics. As long as I feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, then I don’t worry about it.” – Joel Osteen
“If you don’t set the tone for the day, the devil will set it for you.” – Joel Osteen
“I purposely don’t talk about money, because people are already skeptical about TV preachers. But I do say that I want you to be blessed. To me, prosperity is having health, having great children, having peace, good relationships. It’s not about the money.” – Joel Osteen
“I always want to listen to people and receive good criticism, but I just don’t have to answer to them; I have to answer to God.” – Joel Osteen
“Any of us can be happy and have a good attitude when everything is going our way. But I believe it’s the real test of your character and of your faith to say, ‘Things are not going our way, but I’m still being good to people; I’m still attending church; I still have a good attitude.” – Joel Osteen
“You are victors, not victims!” – Joel Osteen
“Keep a good attitude and do the right thing even when it’s hard. When you do that you are passing the test. And God promises you your marked moments are on their way.” – Joel Osteen
“You’ll never rise any higher than the way you see yourself.” – Joel Osteen
“I really believed that fear is contagious.” – Joel Osteen
“Every setback means you’re one step closer to seeing the dream come to pass.” – Joel Osteen
“The greatest difficulty always comes right before the birth of a dream.” – Joel Osteen
“God’s desire is that we excel.” – Joel Osteen
“Every day is a gift from God. There’s no guarantee of tomorrow, so that tells me to see the good in this day to make the most of it.” – Joel Osteen
“Do all you can to make your dreams come true.” – Joel Osteen
“We need to, you know, restore people. We need to show mercy. I mean, because as much mercy as you show people, that’s the mercy you’re going to be receiving.” – Joel Osteen