Could you use a boost in optimism? Are you in such challenging times that you think there is no end in sight, and that maybe your best days are behind you?
Joel Osteen, senior pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, has written his most recent book, “It’s Your Time” to tell people that now is not the time to get discouraged. He has these six specific words to offer: “You are closer than you think.”
Joel (and I choose to call him by his first name because he does that in all of his ministry teachings) has written a book with five parts, each of which I will very briefly summarize. Joel’s message of encouragement takes him 300 pages to tell, and each page is packed with stories, affirmations of faith and reasons why God is the answer and faith is the way for fulfillment of His plans for you.
Part One: It’s time to believe
It is during life’s most difficult times that it seems hardest to see a way out. Joel explains that maybe you don’t have an answer or the strength to keep on fighting, but that God has both just waiting for you. Joel says that it is your time to believe.
Part Two: It’s time for favor
Joel wants people to know that you are never alone, and God has not abandoned you. God has released blessings into your future, and you can claim His favor through faith and by accepting His plans that He has preordained for you. Joel says that it is your time for favor.
Part Three: It’s time for restoration
Joel offers encouragement that not only does God want you to survive during tough times, but that He will provide ways that allow you to be creative and innovative so that you can soar to even greater heights than you ever did before. Joel says that it is your time for restoration.
Part Four: It’s time to trust
This part contains many messages drawn from stories of people for whom the right people, the right skills and the right opportunities were placed in their path through their trust in God. Joel says that it is your time to trust.
Part Five: It’s time to stretch
Joel offers prayers, inspiring stories and practical tools for activating all of the good things that God has in store for you. In this section Joel presents ways for you to not only pick up the pieces but to stretch towards achieving above and beyond what you’d ever dreamed of having. Joel says that it is your time to stretch.
This book is more than a “feel good” book. It is not even a “read once, pass it on” type of book. This is a teaching book that will earn a place on your bookshelf as a reference guide for receiving encouragement when you need it and passing encouragement on to others when they need it. Is there any among us who doesn’t need a dose of that on a daily basis?
Recommended reading by R.C. Johnson:
How Joel Osteen Inspired Me to do Mental Imaging
Book Review: Rediscovering the Kingdom by Myles Munroe
The Saint John’s Bible: My Personal Observations
Book Review: 90 Minutes in Heaven by John Piper with Cecil Murphey
Book Review: God’s Master Plan for Your Life by Gloria Copeland
Book Review: The Seven Pillars of Health by Don Colbert, MD
Book Review: The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel
Have You Heard About Sky Angel TV Programming?
Joel Osteen, It’s Your Time, Free Press, New York, NY, copyright 2009
wikipedia.org, Joel Osteen
wikipedia.org, Lakewood Church