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

The potential buyers came to look at the house, and the owners left so they could take their time. A few hours later, they received a call from the real estate agent saying the couple definitely wanted to purchase the house. The buyers told my friends that they'd been torn between their house and another one. But during that last visit, they'd seen something that convinced them to buy my friends' house.

"We saw a picture of you and your pastor, and we thought: 'These people love God. They go to Lakewood. This must be the house for us!'"

My friend told me: "Joel, you helped me sell my house."

I told him that was great: "Now let's talk about my commission."

Know that God has all kinds of ways to bring your dreams to pass.

He can cause a simple photograph to be in the right place at the right time to help you. He can cause a police officer to pull you over in the middle of the night and help you find something you've been looking for.

God is in complete control. So be a prisoner of hope. Get up each day expecting His favor.

When negative thoughts come and your burden seems so heavy you feel discouraged, just keep telling yourself: "I'm closer than I think. Right now the Creator of the universe is lining up things in my favor: the right people, the right breaks, the right opportunities." Maybe you have been through tough times. Resolve to move forward. Don't stay there. Put on a new attitude. Disappointments come and go, but God's favor is for a lifetime.

A friend told me a story about an executive who had an interesting print hanging in his office. It depicted a large rowboat stranded on a beach. Two oars rested gently in the sand, with the ocean at low tide twenty or thirty feet behind it. The boat looked too heavy to drag, too big to move. It was just stuck there in the sand.

The picture wasn't a thing of beauty. It wasn't inspiring. In fact, it was depressing. Here was this boat created for the water, a very nice boat made to dance on top of the ocean waves, stuck in the sand. But at the very bottom of the picture was a small caption that gave meaning to the otherwise unremarkable picture. It read: "The tide always comes back."

With that simple caption, the print took on new meaning: When the tide returned, that stranded boat once again would find its purpose. It would return to the place it was meant to be.

My friend told me that the executive once had gone through a great disappointment. He didn't think he would ever be happy again. Then he saw the painting at a small antique store and bought it for just a few dollars. Every time he looked at it, he said to himself: "The tide is coming back."

That print spoke faith into his heart. The caption gave him hope that things would change in his favor.

You may find yourself in a similar situation. Stuck. Stranded. Robbed of your purpose. Things may not be going your way. You've lost your energy and enthusiasm.

Heed those words: "The tide is coming back." Hear my message: God is breathing new life into your dreams.

You will feel the wind of His spirit lift your sails once again. You are not meant to simply endure life. Barely getting by is not acceptable. You were meant to dance on top of the waves.

Tell yourself each and every day: "The tide is coming back. Today is the day! I am closer than I think!"

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