Every Sunday or Monday night, I watch the week’s Joel Osteen sermon on TBN, and it helps set the tone for the week, keep me positive and help me think clearer and more focused. Sometimes you just need a little extra positivity boost, and sometimes it just feel refreshing to hear the things you try to live on a daily basis.

This week’s sermon falls into both categories for me, as it was all about letting go of the past and expecting MORE than the status quo for our lives. A few snippets I jotted down will follow, with my thoughts, and here is an excerpt of the sermon itself as well:

Ephesians 3:20 says, “God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above and beyond all we can imagine.” When you live a life that honors God by obeying His Word and you are a person of excellence and integrity, then the Scripture says that God’s blessings will chase you down and overtake you. You won’t be able to outrun the good things of God. God doesn’t want you to have an average life with average relationships, just barely getting by. No, God desires that in all things you prosper in Him. He wants to amaze you with His goodness. He wants to mend broken relationships, bring healing, and do the impossible in your life. But too often, we let our past set the tone for our future and we’re not really expecting anything different. God wants us to shake off the old and embrace the new thing He wants to do in our lives now, expect His far and beyond favor now.

It feel so encouraging to read this passage because it makes me feel so much better about my life, about where this decade will take me, knowing I have God in my corner, and knowing He will bless me with the good, that it will happen for me, I just need to keep that faith alive and know it will happen. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next month, but when it is MEANT to happen.

He also goes on to say that we shouldn’t drag around the baggage from the past and expect God’s goodness in the future, which is absolutely true. While the last decade has bearing on the next, it shouldn’t dictate it…no matter how tough 2009 was, this is a new decade and things have shifted for the better. Going into each day thinking: This difficulty isn’t going to stop me, it’s meant to bring me down, but God’s going to use it to lift me up. – that is such a powerful message for me!

He also goes on to say:

Too often we allow our circumstances to set the tone. All that does is set us up for more of the same. Don’t ever name your future by your present concerns and circumstances. Don’t go into 2010 thinking already that it will be a hard year, that you won’t get any breaks. Name your future blessed, prosperous, successful, talented, wise. You may feel like you are stuck in a rut and you won’t rise any higher…don’t speak of that. Name your future, see that God’s face is shining down on your. Your greatest victories aren’t behind you, they are still ahead of you. When you think of your future, think of that enthusiasm. Think that something good is going to happen to you. Be confident.

Don’t let the past set the tone for our future…shake that off, it’s time to arise, it’s a new day, put on a new attitude. Don’t come into the new decade down in the dumps, discouraged, no dreams, no goals, no enthusiasm, make up your mind to shine this year and be your very best. The glory of the Lord is on you.

I’ve been so up and down during the last week or so, feeling a little ho-hum about my life right now, only because it feels a bit at a standstill, but hearing Joel’s words gave me the hope and optimism back that I was starting to lose. I’ve worked hard to stay positive, while still being realistic over the last year, and in feeling like I was backsliding away from that was frustrating me, because I don’t want to be sad, I don’t want to be down or pessimistic, I want to be happy. That’s me and I’m going to strive to bring that back, and try to remember these words when I start getting down.

And I think these words are again universal, to anyone who gets stuck in a negativity rut. And ya know what? It’s just not worth it to be negative and down. It doesn’t accomplish anything, so why not just try and make the best of what you’ve been handed?