Another snowbound day in wonderful New England and I’ve been “waiting” for my blog inspiration to come to me as it usually does. Started to think perhaps it would be the first day I didn’t have a ton to blog about, and then bam, it comes. Listening to Joel Osteen’s weekly ministry and I found what I’m looking for.

An excerpt and link to a podcast of his sermon:

One of the greatest needs is to feel a sense of self-worth. Deep down we need to know that we’re important, that our life matters, and that we have something great to offer. But so often, we base our self-worth on our looks, what we’ve achieved, what we own, how perfect a life we’ve lived, or what others say or think of us. The problem with this is those things can change. If you’re basing your self-worth on your looks, your accomplishments, or your popularity; then when that goes down, your self-worth will go down. But if you place your value in Almighty God, nothing you or anyone else do can ever change that value. People may reject you, but God accepts you.

Why did this hit me square across the face today?

Beyond the valuable words in this excerpt – that we should all take to heart and really think about – not to let others perceptions and opinions impact our self-worth or view of our selves – but also because further into the broadcast, he says “…your value doesn’t decreased because you got divorced, or because you had a personal failure or because someone may have passed you by…you may have some ‘dirt’ on you, your dreams may not have played out the way you wanted, but don’t feel washed up, feeling like you don’t have any value, your best days are still in front of you…because life isn’t fair, but God is.

Wow. YES. Life is NOT fair. We’ve all been through some sort of devastation or challenge that pushed us to the limites of sadness or anger and we’ve wondered “why me?” or said those very words…life isn’t fair. But when you connect that phrase with God being fair and everything that is happening in our lives is purposeful and towards our “best days ahead,” then it puts it into perspective…at least for me.

I’ve written about Joel Osteen on several occasions, as his words really strike me, and he puts the scripture into such tangible words and examples that I GET it, and it moves me. It moved me particularly today because – as what happens when I have a good chunk of alone/me time – I start to think, and wonder, about my life, where it’s going, when I’m going to meet the man that is MEANT for me, and my thoughts tend to drag me down instead of boosting me up. I needed to hear Joel’s message today, and snap out of it.

I KNOW I am worth it. I KNOW there is someone out there for me. I KNOW that life’s challenges will lead me to my “best days.” And, I KNOW that despite life’s unfairness, God IS fair. I just need to trust, believe, and know.

I also think this message can be applied to everyone…we all know someone, a friend, a family member, a coworker, that gets stuck in the trap of the “why me?” and dwelling on the past, mistakes they may have made, and aren’t able to look forward, get away from the cynicism, get away from the negativity and push forward. Because, as Joel closed his broadcast, he said ” You have to see yourself as the masterpiece God sees you as…quit beating yourself up for past mistakes. God has forgiven you, forgive yourself. Let go of the ashes and you’ll receive the beauty.”

So, even if you aren’t religious, this podcast is worth a listen because it can apply cross-religion, and well, across life’s challenges.