Joel Osteen: 'Thanksgiving Not Just a Holiday, It's a Lifestyle'
Joel Osteen, one of the world's most popular megachurch pastors, has shared a special Thanksgiving message with the faithful, reminding them that they should be grateful to God every day, and live a lifestyle of thankfulness.
"Scripture says in First Thessalonians, "In everything give thanks." Notice it doesn't say to give thanks "for" everything, it says "in" everything," Osteen began in his blog post on his official website, posted on Friday.
"In other words, we should have the attitude that says, 'God, no matter what's happening, I'm going to choose to be grateful. I'm not going to focus on what's wrong. I'm going to find something positive in my life. I may be sick, but Father, I just want to thank You today for giving me a great family. I may be struggling in my marriage, but God, thank You for giving me a good job. I may not have gotten the position I wanted, but God, I want to thank You that I was able to see another sunrise, that I could hear the birds singing this morning, that I could smell the flowers'."
Osteen leads America's largest church, which is located in Houston, Texas, serving as senior pastor at Lakewood Church, which boasts a weekly attendance of 43,000 people. He regularly posts on his website, alongside his wife, Victoria, who joins him in many of his speaking appearances around the world.
In his Thanksgiving message, the pastor reminded people that everyone faces difficult situations in life.
"But we have to discipline ourselves so that we don't stay focused on the negative. That's where the mind naturally wants to go," he wrote.
Sharing a story about a young woman who has been blessed with many things in life but finds herself depressed because she has been in a troubling relationship for the past two years, Osteen reminded readers that there are some things in life that we cannot change – people included.
"We can't make them do what's right. And if you're constantly trying to get people to act the way you want them to, you are only going to frustrate yourself. You've got to turn the situation over to God and trust Him to do His part."
Osteen's inspirational message of hope has reached millions around the world, and he has authored a number of bestselling books – his latest book, I Declare: 31 Promises to Speak Over Your Life, offers a series of affirmations to help individuals in their everyday lives.
The Lakewood Church leader concluded his holiday message by reminding people that they need to change their mindset and start thanking God every day.
"Remember, thanksgiving isn't just a holiday, it's a lifestyle. Make it a habit to thank God in all things. Exalt Him above your circumstances. Let your attitude of gratitude be evidence of your faith in Him!," Osteen wrote.