The Wall Street Journal interviews Joel Osteen, who’s coming to Yankee Stadium on April 25:
Joel Osteen has become one of the most popular preachers in America, filling a basketball arena each Sunday in part with a message that God will reward an optimistic approach. “God wants to increase you financially, by giving you promotions, fresh ideas and creativity,” he wrote in his bestselling book, “Your Best Life Now.”
I asked him, if a positive disposition is supposed to bring you success, how should you interpret it if you’re failing economically? Do hard times flow from grumpy dispositions?
“People in tough times — it doesn’t mean they don’t have a great attitude,” Mr. Osteen told me at The Wall Street Journal’s office after scoping out Yankee Stadium where he will preach on April 25. “All through the scripture there’s people like Joseph [who] was treated so unfairly [and] spent 13 years in prison for something he didn’t do. But he kept that good attitude, and in the end, he saw God’s blessing and favour. I wouldn’t ever say if you’re having tough times then there must be something wrong with you or your attitude. Life’s a fight. It’s a good fight of faith. I encourage people to stay up, stay hopeful, stay faith-filled.” (Read a transcript of the full interview.)
In fact, rather than making Mr. Osteen’s message less relevant, the economic downturn may make it more appealing — a way people can armour themselves for hard times. “I believe that when you think of the negative, and you get up discouraged — there’s nothing good in my future — I really believe it almost ties the hands of God. God works where there’s an attitude of faith. I believe faith is all about hope.”
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