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

Psalm 30:5 says that weeping may endure for a night, but I know joy is coming in the morning. You must get up each day knowing this could be the day you get the break you need. This could be the day you see your health turn around. This could be the day your child comes back home. This could be the day you meet the man or woman of your dreams.

Zechariah 9:12 says that we should be prisoners of hope. It's easy to give up. It's easy to get discouraged. But God wants us to be so full of hope, so full of expectancy, that we just can't help believing for the best.

When you're a prisoner of something, it's like you're chained to it. You can't get away from it. I know people who are prisoners of fear, prisoners of worry, prisoners of doubt. You've heard them. "Nothing good ever happens to me." "It's never changing, Joel. It's just been too long."

They are chained to despair and discouragement. Break those chains. Become a prisoner of hope. No matter how long it takes, no matter how impossible it looks, your attitude should be: "I just can't help it. I know it will work out. I know I will overcome. It may be taking a long time, but I know this too shall pass. It may be difficult, but I know that means I'm close to my victory."

Today is the day!

Down in the Florida Keys, there was a treasure hunter whose motto was "Today's the day." Every day for sixteen years, Mel Fisher sent his divers out with those encouraging words to find a Spanish ship that sank off the Keys in 1622. He often had to pay his men in promises while dodging bill collectors. He and his family lived on a leaky houseboat for years. One of his sons and a daughter- in-law were lost at sea as they searched for the treasure. Still, Fisher never gave up. He refused to abandon his dream or to give in to critics and doubters. He held on by declaring that each day would be the day. Then, in 1985, Mel's divers found the "mother lode" of gold and silver and jewelry from the wreckage of the Spanish galleon. Nearly thirty years later, divers were still bringing up treasure from that site.

Is today the day for you to accomplish your goal, to land your dream job, to find love, to restore your health? You are closer than you think to a better life, a richer relationship, a healthier body. Rewards await you if you stay steadfast in your faith.

Don't let doubters ruin your optimistic spirit. If somebody says to you, "What is it with you? What makes you think everything will work out? Do you really believe you will always succeed?"

Just tell the doubters: "I don't think it will happen. I know it will happen! I'm a prisoner of hope. I can't get away from it. I just can't make myself get negative. I just can't make myself complain. Hope feeds my faith and lifts my spirits."

The doubters may say, "Well, I don't know why. I saw the medical report. It doesn't look good for you."

"Yes, but I have another report," you can tell them. "It says God is restoring health back unto me."

"Well, I saw your child. I don't think he'll ever do what's right." "Really? I have another report. It says as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

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