Skip to main content


Change the Picture
By Joel Osteen - Jan 11, 2013
Several years ago, a lady came down to the altar for prayer. She had just gone through a very painful divorce. Her husband of many years left her for another woman. She was very devastated, very heartbroken. She didn't see how she could ever be happy again. I did my best to encourage her and tell her that God was going to give her beauty for those ashes and pay her back for that unfair situation. She listened, but it didn't seem like my words had much of an impact. She was very depressed. She couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel. She had a negative vision for her future.

When your vision is negative, your life will follow that same direction. Sometimes it's difficult. Sometimes you just don't feel like fighting the good fight of faith, but you cannot afford to sit around in self-pity. Life may not be fair, but God is fair. He'll right the wrongs, but you have to do your part. You have to shake off the disappointments and get a fresh, new vision. Your life is not over because somebody left you. If they walked out on you, you didn't need them. God's plan was not cancelled because of a disappointment, an unfair situation, or even because of a mistake you made. If you'll get a new vision, instead of it being a setback, God will turn it into a setup to do something greater.

As I talked to this woman, she was weeping and telling me all the reasons she would never meet anybody, that she was too old, too unattractive, on and on, even though none of it was true. I asked her to do something that would help her to have a new image. I said, "Get a picture frame and put it on the table by your bed with no picture in it, just an empty frame. Every time you see that frame, imagine a picture of you with the new person God brings into your life."

As an act of faith, she put up that picture frame. Every time she saw it, she would begin to thank God that He was directing her steps and bringing the right person into her life. She got rid of the mental picture of defeat, being lonely, and being depressed. She started seeing herself beautiful, happy, and with the person of her dreams.

Three years later, she showed up to the altar. Once again she was weeping, but this time they were not tears of sadness. They were tears of joy. You see, she had this very handsome gentleman by her side. She said, "Joel, this is the man that I saw in that picture frame that you had me put up. We're going to get married next Saturday."

The scripture says, "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy is coming in the morning." My question is what's in your picture frame? What do you see when you look out into your future? More of the same? "I've reached my limits. My business will never succeed. I'll always be lonely, overweight, addicted." That's going to keep you where you are. You've got to change what's in the frame. You've got to put a new picture in there. In this new year, start seeing yourself strong, beautiful, successful, fulfilled. Your life is not going to change until you change the picture. Let go of the old, open your eyes of faith, and see the good things the Lord has in store for your future!
Join the Conversation