|Hubby, Me and Joel Osteen - Night of Hope, Oakland, CA|
We do not attend a church formally in our hometown, but I do watch Joel Osteen on TV every Sunday at home, and we will attend Lakewood Church whenever we are in Houston on the rare occasion. Today's message spoke so loudly to me that I wanted to share it. Joel talked about how important it is to not only pray for what we want in life, but to also thank God in advance for it, to expect it, and how doing that strengthens our faith even more, rather than doing the opposite and draining us. When you Give God praise, He will give you the strength to keep believing.
We all want something in life. For me, it's a baby and to create a family. Joel talked about how many of us ask God for what we want, and that we continue to ask and beg and plead so much for the same thing, that in a way it tells God that we don't have faith that he'll bring it to pass. He compared it to an example where his own daughter asked him if he would buy her a car when she turned 16. He promised her that he would. Because she had faith in him and trusted him on his word, she didn't keep asking and begging him for the car everyday. Imagine how draining that would have been for both of them had she done that. Instead, she started acting as if the car was already hers, talking excitedly about the car she would soon be driving and all the freedom it would bring. That made him want to buy her the car even more, because she was already grateful for it and trusted Him to take care of her. This is a simple example sure, but I think it speaks volumes. How must our heavenly father feel when we don't trust Him and keep asking day in and day out as if He didn't hear us?
In the sermon Joel encouraged everyone to change the way we pray and start turning our requests into praise. God hears us the first time we ask for something, so we don't have to keep asking time and time again. Instead we should be thanking him in advance for bringing it to pass. So instead of saying, "Lord, please please bless us with a health baby and a family" turn that into "Thank you Lord for giving us the perfect family when the time is right." Have faith that it will happen instead of asking for it with a doubting mentality. Every single time you start worrying or doubting, get in the habit of immediately stopping and thanking God for handling the situation on your behalf. Changing that one habit will also help you change the way you feel about the obstacle itself. It will empower you and help you live in peace, rather than living with doubt and worry about the situation.
Wow, I guess I never realized that as much as I do pray for what I want and thank God for the things I do have, I barely ever thank Him for the things he has in my future and that have yet to happen. I can see how switching the focus of my prayers of just asking into actual praise will show more trust in God and will also help save my own sanity. From now on, I'm going to go to bed thanking God for the things I have, but also thanking Him for the things I have yet to receive.
It's funny how such a simple message can speak volumes in your life when you least expect it. Please take a half hour and watch Joel Osteen's message today. Even if you aren't a religious person, I think it can speak to you on some level. And just a P.S...his sister struggled with infertility for years so he uses having a child as an example of a dream in quite a few of his sermons. You may pick up on that when you watch.