Beliefnet News

Houston pastor and author Joel Osteen, drew about 37,000 people to a Chicago ballpark for “America’s Night of Hope” Saturday.

Preaching hope amid global economic fears that followed the downgrading of America’s credit rating the preceding night, the 48-year-old pastor proclaimed that “a resurrection God” was capable of “breathing new life,” according to the Chicago Sun -Times.

“You wouldn’t be alive unless God had another victory in store for you. You need to get ready, because jubilee is on the way,” he told them.

It’s a message that rang true for many in the crowd — which erupted in applause and cheers throughout the event..

Osteen’s message has inspired millions around the country and in Houston, where his multimillion-dollar ministry has its headquarters.

“He’s got such a warm, positive message. It’s infectious,” said Mike Jasinski, 29, of Ingleside. “You can’t help smiling when he starts talking.”

He said he rediscovered his faith during Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. He has been watching Osteen’s television program for years, and seeing the minister Saturday was a reminder of how faith changed his life, he said.

Osteen kicked off the event by welcoming the crowd and touching on his religious philosophy, followed by a message from his wife, also a minister at their Lakewood Church. “This world, this economy would like us to believe ‘I can’t,’ that we’re hopeless, we’re helpless and our hands are tied,” she said. “But we’re going to celebrate the ‘I can.’ ”

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