In the November issue of Simple Grace, bestselling author and pastor Joel Osteen opens up about the heartbreak that set him on the path to lead the largest church in America.
Joel is famous for sharing his message of hope with a smile, but many are surprised to learn that his journey began with tears.
When his father, Pastor John Osteen, passed away, Joel was left with huge shoes to fill. “My dad was my best friend. My whole world turned upside down,” shares Joel. “When he went to be with the Lord, we didn’t know how the church could go on—even the local paper predicted it wouldn’t survive. At the time, I was working behind the scenes and was very nervous to speak in public. I had preached only once…the Sunday before my dad died.”
But in the months following his father’s death, Joel felt strongly that he needed to step up and lead the church. So he put aside his fear and began to follow the plan God laid on his heart, and soon the church that was predicted to fail, was growing and thriving. “What I thought was my darkest hour, God showed me would become my brightest hour,” he says. "God has plans for us that are much bigger than anything we’ve ever dreamed!”
Read the rest of Joel's tips for feeling close to God in the November issue of Simple Grace on sale now at stores nationwide, or download it instantly on NOOK. Stay up to date on the latest exclusive interviews and inspiring stories on the Simple Grace Facebook page, or follow us on twitter Simple Grace @simplegracemag.
Glean more wisdom and powerful insight into developing a stronger faith in Joel's new book The Power of I Am (FaithWords, 2015; Hardcover $26, Kindle & Nook $13)