Joel Osteen, senior pastor of the 40,000-member Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, says if he could do one thing differently in life, he would trust in God more.
In a revealing message on the Joel Osteen Ministries' blog, he reveals that he most regrets the time he has spent needlessly worrying about situations and circumstances that were out of his control, especially those that never came to pass.
"I wonder how many things you're worried about that are never going to come to pass?" the megachurch pastor asks in his post titled, "If I could Do One Thing Over."
Osteen goes on to say that if he were to do it all over again, he would "trust God more" and wouldn't waste precious hours in frustration and worry.
"I wouldn't lose sleep worried about the budgets, or worried if I was able to minister, or worried if people are going to like me. None of that worrying helped me to move one inch forward. When I look back over my life, most of the things I worried about never came to pass. I wasted a lot of time and energy being uptight," Osteen writes.
The megachurch pastor compares worry to "a thief" that robs people of rest, joy, and creativity.
"[Worry] will rob you of your sleep at night. It will rob you of your joy and your creativity. It's hard to make good decisions when you're worried. If you allow it, worry can keep you from your destiny. The Scripture says we can't add one inch to our life by worrying," Osteen continues.
When we focus too much on worrying, we are worshipping the act of worrying instead of God, the pastor says.
"When we worry, we're making our problem our God. If you worry about your health night and day, and you can't sleep — that's all you talk about, all you think about — you're making that sickness your God," he explains.
To combat this, Christians must take their focus off of worry and put it back on God.
"Use that same energy to thank God that He's still in control. Every time you're tempted to worry, turn it around and thank Him that He's taking care of that situation. Let the worry be a reminder to switch over into praise. Don't let worry rob you anymore of the blessings God has in store for your future!" Osteen encourages.
The megachurch pastor has spoken on the importance of fighting worry before, saying in a recent blog post that God is better at fighting battles when believers stop worrying and choose peace instead.
"God will fight your battles if you'll stay at rest. If you'll quit worrying about the medical report, if you'll quit being upset over the contract you didn't get, if you'll quit being stressed by those people who are talking about you. If you'll remain at rest, God will fight your battles," he advised.
"What's causing you to be stressed? Are you carrying a load that you're not supposed to carry? Are you allowing someone to dump their burdens on you, trying to be the savior? Turn that over to God. Don't let them pull you out of rest. Are you allowing traffic, people or a grouchy boss to upset you? They may not change, but you can change."