Skip to main content


Changing You Not Your Circumstances
By Joel Osteen - Sep 04, 2015

I'm a very goal-oriented person and when I was younger, like most people, I never liked to wait. But it seemed like the more impatient I was, the more I found myself in situations where I didn't have a choice; I had to wait. I never dreamed it was God putting me those situations. I was sure it was the enemy trying to slow me down. I tried to pray away every traffic jam, every slow driver, every delay. I prayed that Victoria would get dressed faster and the kids would be ready on time. No wonder it didn't work! I was praying against what God had ordained. He loved me too much to answer my prayer. I wanted God to change the situation; God wanted the situation to change me.

One Sunday morning when our services were still held at our Northeast location, I headed out for church. I like to arrive at least 30 minutes early so I can go over my notes and get ready. But when I came to the main intersection to leave my neighborhood, it was blocked off because of the marathon that happens here every January. So I turned around to go out the backside of the neighborhood, but it was blocked off as well. I tried another place and another and another. There was no way to get out. I was so frustrated. I went back to the main intersection and said to the police officer standing there, "I pastor a church across town and I'm trying to get on the freeway, but I can't seem to get out of the neighborhood." All he had to do was move one cone and let me cross the road. It was early Sunday morning, and there was not another car or person in sight. He was going to try to help me. He said, "Alright, let me see what I can do." Then he turned and looked at his supervisor across the intersection. Before he could say anything, his supervisor started shaking his head "no". I couldn't believe it! He didn't even know what we were going to ask. I wanted to say, "Tell him I was going to buy him a new car and he just said no." I turned around so frustrated and drove through the neighborhood another 10-15 minutes, and finally found a small side street that was open. The funny thing is that when I got to church, Victoria was already there. She left 30 minutes after me. I said, "How did you get here so fast?" She said, "I went the normal way. The intersection was open for me." God knows how to put you where you're supposed to be. If He has you there, don't fight it; embrace it. Stay in peace. He's working something in you so He can do something through you!

Maybe that's where you are today, fighting something you don't like. Why don't you get a new perspective? God wouldn't have you there unless you needed it. It may not be good, but God knows how to use it for your good. Instead of living frustrated, sour or bitter, have the attitude, "I may not like this, but I know I'm on the threshing floor. I'm being refined, I'm getting better, and I'm coming up higher in every area of my life!"

"For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow." (James 1:3, NLT)

Join the Conversation