Joel Osteen Book Excerpt: 'It's Your Time'

Until I met the older hiker, my perspective was limited and so was my thinking. I knew only what I'd read on the sign. He knew I was just ten minutes from my goal, and when he told me I was closer, he gave me a fresh perspective. He knew more about the trail ahead of me, just as God knows more about what lies ahead for you. I don't know where you are headed, what your dreams are, or how many obstacles you have to overcome. But I encourage you to let these words reach deep down into your spirit. Receive them by faith.

You are closer than you think.

A global recession has forced many to postpone their dreams and cancel their plans. You may have lost your job. You may have lost your savings, maybe even your home. It could be that you have health concerns or relationship problems. Maybe you are frustrated because it's taking so long to get where you want to be in your life. Yet now is not the time to talk yourself out of your goals and dreams. Now is not the time to get discouraged. You may think, as I did climbing that trail, that you're not even halfway there. You may feel you have so far to go. But the truth is, you don't know. Your dream may just be up around the corner. You may think it will take another two years. But if you stay in faith, who knows? It may just be two more months. You are closer than you think. I believe it's your time.

Amber Corson was a stay-at-home mom with three young children. When her husband was laid off from his Florida construction job as the economy soured, Amber had to take a night-shift job to help support the family.

She'd been working that late shift for four weeks. One night she was driving home, tired, scared, missing her kids, and worried about their future. Amber felt like God had bigger plans for her family than to struggle. She prayed on that drive home. "God, please tell me what I can do to get my family through this." She said His response came to her "like a breath."

"I gave you a gift. Go plant gardens. Do your heart's work."

Amber had a degree in horticulture that she'd never used. She was so talented she'd been certified as a master gardener. She had a natural talent for making things grow. That night, she told her husband what God had put in her heart. She prayed on it. In the next few weeks, she said, things "just fell into place like it had been planned for me all along."

She called her landscaping business Eden Paradise Gardens. It grew quickly and flourished beyond anything she had dreamed. It was her time!

God wants to breathe new life into your dreams. He wants to breathe new hope into your heart. You may be about to give up on a marriage, on a troubled child, on a lifelong goal. But God wants you to hold on. He says that if you'll get your second wind, if you'll put on a new attitude and press forward like you're headed down the final stretch, you'll see Him begin to do amazing things.

Tune out the negative messages. Quit telling yourself: I'm never landing back on my feet financially. I'm never breaking this addiction. I'm never landing a better job.

Instead, your declarations should be: I am closer than I think. I can raise this child. I can overcome this sickness. I can make this business work. I know I can find a new job.

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