Pastor Joel Osteen: I Spent 2 Years Trying to Fix a Problem That Never Happened
Joel Osteen, senior pastor of the 40,000-member Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, says people should stop worrying about problems that have yet to occur.
"Jesus put it this way [in Matthew 6:34]: 'Don't worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will have enough worries of its own,'" Osteen says in his Friday blog post, warning Christians that angst and worry can fester, causing turmoil that leads to precious time being wasted.
"Instead, live in today, enjoy the blessings of today, love people today, and don't try to solve problems that haven't even happened yet!" Osteen says.
As an exampe, the megachurch pastor shares a story from his own when he worried for two years that the city was going to put a large warning sign for a speed bump in his front yard.
Osteen allowed fear to take over and in the midst of worrying, he planted a large 6 to 7 foot bush in his front yard, hoping the foliage would block his view of the bright yellow caution sign that he was sure would be placed in his front yard.
Years later, when the city installed the sign, they placed it in front of a different house and across the street.
"I spent two years trying to fix a problem that never even happened. Every time I drove up to my house I thought, 'There's my worry tree,'" Osteen says.
"How much time are you wasting worrying? he asks, encouraging Christians to "live in today, enjoy the blessings of today, love people today, and don't try to solve problems that haven't even happened yet!"
Osteen focuses many of his sermons and blog posts on the importance of avoiding worry, writing last week that God can do a better job of fighting our battles for us if we remain peaceful.
Osteen used the example of the Israelites, who, although they were panicked when trying to cross the Red Sea in Exodus 14, were told the remain calm.
"Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still," Moses commands the Israelites.
Osteen adds, "If you'll make this decision with me that you're going to live at rest, you'll not only enjoy your life more, but I believe and declare God will do for you what He did for the Israelites. He'll part Red Seas; He'll restore your health, and He'll bring vindication, promotion and the fullness of your destiny. He'll fight your battles if you'll remain at rest!"