Don’t Give Up Your Joy
By Joel Osteen - Jun 10, 2009
One day, I was driving in a crowded parking lot looking for a place to park. It seemed I had been driving around forever when I saw a couple coming out of the building walking towards their car. I turned down the closest aisle to follow them to their car and it just so happened they were parked at the spot closest to the door, right up front. Well you know me, I was just thanking God for His favor as I waited for them to back out. As they were leaving, another car came from the main road and turned down the wrong direction on that aisle, cutting me off and beating me to that spot! My first inclination was to honk my horn and give him a piece of my mind but then I remembered that I’m a pastor and I can’t do that. At that moment, I had to make a decision: I am not going to let this upset me. I thought to myself, “I’ll give him that parking spot but I will not give him my joy.” I just went on past that parking spot and didn’t make a big deal about it. A few minutes later, I found another place to park. As I started to enter the building, a young couple walked out and stopped me. They told me they had a son who was in the hospital. It turns out they had been reading my book, and the wife began to weep and weep as she told me how it was a source of hope and encouragement to them. She said, “Joel, I know that just seeing you here today is God letting us know that everything is going to be okay.” After we talked a moment and prayed together, I thought to myself, “I didn’t get the parking spot that I wanted, but I got the spot that God wanted me to have.” I knew God was directing my steps that day. He had me in the right place at the right time. I can’t help but think if I had gotten upset with that other guy, and argued and tried to set him straight, I probably wouldn’t have been where I was supposed to be. I would have lost my joy and lost the opportunity to be a blessing to somebody else. Friend, remember, when your plans don’t work out and things don’t go the way you plan, it doesn’t mean that you’re not in the right spot. If somebody is rude to you, if you’re tempted to get upset, just take the high road and stay in peace. God is a God of justice. He sees every wrong that’s ever been done. If you’ll keep your peace, He’ll make your wrongs right. He’ll take what you thought was a setback, what you thought was a disadvantage, and He’ll turn it around and use it to your advantage. Let’s learn to pass the tests and learn to hold on to joy because it is the strength you need to live in victory in every area of your life.