'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.

BY: Laura Sheahen


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So what is God’s justice?

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.

I don’t think it’s just snap your fingers. We’ve got to have an attitude of faith when things aren’t going our way.

Do you think that God ever shows his favor by presenting us with something difficult and not fun? Could it be God's will to give up everything and live in poverty, or help others in some way?

I think it is in some ways but God gives you grace to do that. If my dad was alive today and he had his way, he would live over there in India. That’s the way he felt prospered, to be with the people. He loved living in the Third World. I used to travel with him. We’ll go back into places that I, as a guy in my twenties, didn’t like.

Prospering just doesn’t have to do with money. God lets us go through difficult things. There’s not a person alive who can say, "You’re never going to have a tough time and God’s going to make your path easy." It’s in the difficult times that we’re growing and you can’t just rebuke everything hard. We’ve got to endure it and fight the good fight of faith and pass the test.

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