Joel Osteen, senior pastor of the Lakewood megachurch in Houston, Texas, with a flock of more than 43,000 and one of America's most popular television preachers reaching millions across the world, said he "never dreamed" he would be the minister he is today.
The bestselling author who released his latest book, You Can, You Will: 8 Undeniable Qualities of a Winner in September, revealed in a recent interview that when he just started out as a speaker, he "never dreamed" he would be a minister, but has since grown to appreciate that God had been guiding his steps all along.
"One lesson I've learned is to trust, believe that God's in control, because when I started doing this I never dreamed I'd be a minister. But through it all, I see that God directed my steps the whole way," Osteen told Fox News last weekend.
Osteen, who promotes hope as his signature message in his ministry, said he believes it's important for people to be positive about life even when times are difficult. One way to do this, he said, is to be thankful every morning.
"I always think it's important to get up every morning and find something to be grateful for. I find that how you start the day many times determine what kind of day it's going to become," said Osteen.
"It's easy to think 'Oh man, I don't feel like going to work. I've got all these problems,' or there's so much negativity coming. But if you get up and think well, 'I thank God that I've got my health or my family,' whatever it is I believe when you start the day like that, it's gonna feel better," said Osteen.
He explained that he focuses on hope and the "abundant mentality" in his ministry because dealing with challenges is a universal theme for people around the world.
"I find when I give hope I'm speaking to most of the world because everybody faces issues," said Osteen. "I think when you have an abundant mentality, you believe that you can rise higher. You believe that God has given you gifts and talents. You believe that where you are is not where you're supposed to stay. You have to take the limits off of God, you have to make room for him to do something new in your life."