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

You may not see any of this in the natural. It may not look like it will come to pass. But that's okay. The Scripture says, "We walk by faith and not by sight." That means we don't have to see it to believe it. It's just the opposite. If we believe it, then we see it. Take your dreams and the promises God has put in your heart and every day declare that they will come to pass. Just say something like, "Father, I want to thank You that my payday is coming.

You said no good thing will You withhold, because I walk uprightly. And I believe even right now You are arranging things in my favor." Are you a prisoner of fear? Worry? Self-pity? Negativity?

Break those chains and become a prisoner of hope. Expect God's favor. Believe that He is working in your life, even right now.

God has put dreams and desires in your heart.

We all have goals we want to accomplish and situations we believe we will turn around. But often when it's taking a long time and things are not working out, it's easy to lose our enthusiasm. That's when the negative thoughts come, saying:

It never will change.

You never will get well.

You never will climb out of debt.

That child never will straighten up.

If you listen to those negative thoughts, you will likely become discouraged and give up on your dreams. Many times we miss out on God's best because we give up too soon. We don't realize how close we are to victory.

Hold on to your faith. Another few days of believing, another few weeks of doing the right thing, or another few months of staying in faith and you will see that promise come to pass.

Right now, you are so close to seeing that situation turn around. That answer you've been praying about is just right around the corner. You can't afford to get discouraged. You can't afford to give up now.

That's what the scripture says in Hebrews 10:35. It tells us not to cast away our confidence, for it will be richly rewarded. That's saying if we will stay in faith, if we will keep believing, keep hoping, keep doing the right thing, God promises there will be a reward. One translation says, in effect, "Don't get discouraged. Payday is coming."

When you're tempted to get down and things are not going your way, you need to keep telling yourself, "This may be hard. It may be taking a long time. But I know God is a faithful God. And I will believe, knowing that my payday is on its way."

Whenever life grows difficult and the pressure is turned up, that's a sign that your time is near. When lies bombard your mind, when you are most tempted to get discouraged, and when you feel like throwing in the towel—that's not the time to give up. That's not the time to back down. That's the time to dig in your heels. Put on a new attitude. You are closer than you think.

You may have had a lot of things come against you. I know sometimes it seems like the more you pray, the worse it gets. You do the right thing but get the wrong results. Maybe you're treating somebody kindly and respectfully, but they're being unkind and discourteous to you. The easy thing would be to say, "Forget it. I don't have to put up with this." "This marriage never will work." "I'll never be able to raise this child." "I don't like this job."

Instead of getting discouraged, instead of going around all sour, you need to have the attitude to say, "I've come too far to stop now. I've been through too much to back down. I realize the pressure has been turned up because I'm about to give birth to my dreams!"

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