Joel Osteen, senior pastor of the Lakewood mega-church in Houston, Texas, urges people to express gratitude each and every day of their lives--and not just on Christmas Day.
In a recent interview, Osteen said he never dreamed he would be a minister, or head a flock of more than 43,000 believers, but he has grown to appreciate God's plan.
"One lesson I've learned is to trust, believe that God's in control, because when I started doing this I never dreamed I'd be a minister. But through it all, I see that God directed my steps the whole way," he said.
"I always think it's important to get up every morning and find something to be grateful for. I find that how you start the day many times determine what kind of day it's going to become," he added.
This is the best time of year to start with a new attitude. This is the season of joy, the time to express gratitude.
— Joel Osteen (@JoelOsteen) December 25, 2014
Joel Osteen says he perfectly understands how one's problems can seem insurmountable, but he urges people to give thanks just the same--even if it's just your average Tuesday.
"It's easy to think 'Oh man, I don't feel like going to work. I've got all these problems,' or there's so much negativity coming. But if you get up and think well, 'I thank God that I've got my health or my family,' whatever it is I believe when you start the day like that, it's gonna feel better," he said.
He explained that he focuses on hope and the "abundant mentality" in his ministry because dealing with challenges is something everyone around the world experiences.
"I find when I give hope I'm speaking to most of the world because everybody faces issues," Osteen said. "I think when you have an abundant mentality, you believe that you can rise higher. You believe that God has given you gifts and talents. You believe that where you are is not where you're supposed to stay. You have to take the limits off of God, you have to make room for him to do something new in your life."
Do you think Joel Osteen's message of gratitude will impact those outside of his flock this Christmas season? Might they follow his example and express their gratitude throughout the year as well?
In today's insanity--both around the world and in local communities--it seems pretty much everyone could use a little dose of hope.