'Expect God's Favor': Interview with Joel Osteen

The megachurch pastor says that by expecting the best, we can enjoy the abundant life God wants for us.

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It’s easy to get negative because you get beat down. You go through a few disappointments and it’s easy to stay in that negative frame of mind. Choosing to be positive and having a grateful attitude is a whole cliché, but your attitude is going to determine how you’re going to live your life.

Your book makes the case that if we confidently wait and work, God will make our wrongs right--we'll see God's justice. In parts of the book, it seems like God's justice is expressed in terms of prosperity.

I feel like that gives a bad rap because I don’t in the least bit consider myself a prosperity-type preacher. I don’t think I’ve ever preached a message on finances.

It’s just more an attitude of God wants to bless us where we are. When I say 'bless,' I don’t mean go drive 10 Mercedes and stuff like that. I’m talking about being happy and having good marriages and good relationships. I think sometimes I get grouped in with a prosperity-type... like that’s all I focus on, but I don’t mean it to come off like that.

So what is God’s justice?

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I think God’s justice is making wrongs right.



We deal with a lot of people who have gone through relationship breakups. Somebody walked out on them or they weren’t being treated right. But God’s justice can be, he’s going to bring somebody great into your life at another time. You can't see it now, but you’re going to be happier than you’ve ever been before. It can be in the financial area too.

Your book mentions a man who financially wronged you and your wife Victoria. You say later he lost everything—he lost his money, his family—while God "prospered [you] through several real estate deals."

Exactly. That’s very clear in my mind. We could have sued him, we could have gotten very ugly. But we said we’re going to let God fight this battle. He was another Christian man; he just wasn’t living by Christian principles. I believe we kept a good attitude in the tough times when we weren’t getting our way.

I believe those are times of testing and I can tell you, God did prosper us more than we could ask or think. On some of these real estate deals, it’s just again, God’s favor and God’s blessing. I believe you’re sowing seeds for that when you’re doing the right thing when the wrong thing’s happening.

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Laura Sheahen
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