By Joel Osteen
We all love to see miraculous transformations. Whether it’s a sports team that goes from worst to first in a single season, a life-saving surgery for a child, a person that loses hundreds of pounds, or even the amazing home make-overs on TV, that takes a home in much need of TLC, and literally transforms it into a beautiful mansion — we all love the ending outcome of miraculous transformations.
Anytime we want to have a change though, especially one that will make our lives better, it requires us to believe that it can happen. We have to make a choice to have hope.
Most of us have found ourselves in a place where we were on the edge of loosing something very precious to seemingly everything. Whether you’ve lost your job, your mortgage is in risk of foreclosure, your relationships are struggling, or you or a loved one needs healing, I want to encourage you to never give up!
It all begins with a choice; the choice to never give up. God always completes in us what He has started; His good work and good plan. (Phillippians 1:6) “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
I love the story of a man named Ira. His story is the perfect example of what happens when you never give up. By the time he was 12, both of his parents had died. He and his brothers had no choice but to take care of themselves. So they got jobs working at a ranch.
Through hard work and refusing to give up, Ira eventually got married and saved enough to buy a small ranch of his own. He kept dreaming, staying focused and making good decisions.
He bought a small grocery store, which turned into a big success. But he didn’t stop there either — he then sold the store to purchase a large 20,000 acre ranch in West Texas.
Not long after this big move, the Great Depression hit with full force and Ira fell behind on his payments. The bank threatened to foreclose and take away everything he’d worked so hard for through the years. At the last moment, just days before Ira lost everything, massive reservoirs of oil were discovered on his ranch!
Instead of losing everything, Ira received more than enough resources to bless his entire family and many more throughout his area. He provided jobs for people in need, built schools, children’s homes, Boy Scout camps, Salvation Army centers and developed a town that still exists today.
I love this story because his life was suddenly transformed.
Now I’m not saying that you’re going to find oil on your property or instantly become a millionaire! But what I am saying is that no matter how dark things look, God can turn things around in a single moment.
We all just enjoyed the changing of seasons, from winter to spring. Spring symbolizes new birth, a fresh start. No matter how cold and harsh your winter might have seemed, or even been, I want to encourage you to see your new fresh start in God. This spring, let this truth take root in your heart and mind: In a single moment, God can make all things new for you.
It all starts with your mind and attitude. Even if you don’t physically see this change right now, God can transform your heart and thinking, giving you peace that the world can’t give you. It’s a sustaining peace. It’s hope. Hope carries you through as you wait for your completing moment.
Ephesians 1:19–20 says: “I pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead…” (NLT) Think about it! The Bible says that God gives the same power that raised Jesus from the dead to those who believe Him.
He triumphed over every force of darkness, disease and destruction. And He’s promised to give this same victory to everyone who puts their trust in Him!
God’s incredible power is available for you, but you have to do your part and believe in Him and by faith, receive what He is offering and persevere in your hope!
When you face challenges and tough times, do you focus on the negative and begin to complain about how unfairly you are being treated? When you give in to those thoughts, you stop the transformation process.
When you are filled with doubt and unbelief, God’s miracle for you is put on hold. And it stays on hold until you begin to walk again in obedience and put your complete trust in Him.
When you stay positive, full of hope, and do not give up on God, He can take any situation in your life, any circumstance, regardless of the economy or what the world might say, and turn things around in a single moment for your benefit. Your life can change in a moment just like Ira’s and just like the disciples — who went from being alone and afraid to boldly proclaiming the message of Christ to every nation, making an impact on the entire world!
2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us, “…anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (NLT)
No matter what you are facing today, I want to encourage you… When you decide to not give up and put your whole trust in Christ, you pave the way for greater things to happen for you, in you and through you!
We are all hearing the negative reports about the current economic conditions; I hear them too. But in order for us to overcome these challenges, it’s important to know what God’s Word says about it.
His Word promises us in Philippians 4:19: “And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (AMP). God promises us that He is able to meet every need.
Remember, no matter what challenges you’re facing, God will make all things new in your life!
But it’s up to you and your choice! Keep choosing to stay in hope, believing for God to make things new, in His time. Remember, if we don’t give up, in due time we will be richly rewarded!
Joel Osteen is pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas — USA. His message reaches all across America and 100 nations of the world. Joel’s books, Your Best Life Now and Become a Better You, quickly became #1 New York TimesBestsellers and are distributed worldwide in several languages