John Osteen: "Beauty For His Ashes"

Do you know John Osteen? I'm inspired by his testimony as a Christian and pastor.

He's the founder and pastor for 40 years of one of America's largest churches today, Lakewood Church, that is now pastored by his son Joel Osteen ( after his death at age 77 in 1999.

In the book "Your Best Life Now," his son Joel told of an earlier tragedy that happened to him. Here are excerpts and spiritual lessons we can learn from pastor John Osteen's experience of "beauty out of the ashes."

"Daddy went through a tragedy early in life. He married ... and unfortunately that wasn't one of his better choices. Sadly, the marriage didn't work out, and he went through a divorce. Daddy was heartbroken. His dreams were shattered, and he didn't think he would ever preach again. It was one of the darkest hours of Daddy's life. He was tempted to hold on to the hurt and pain, continually blaming himself. He could have easily allowed his disappointment and disiilusionment to keep him from moving forward and fulfilling his God-given destiny. But Daddy quit mourning over what he had lost; he had to learn how to receive God's mercy, and to start believing God for something better... Daddy made a decision to receive God's mercy for his mistakes and failures. And little by little God began to restore Daddy's life and his ministry. Daddy began to minister again, but he never dreamed he'd get married again and have another family. Then one day he met a nurse working at one of the hospitals where he visited some of his church members when they were sick. For my Dad, it was love at first sight. He started looking for any reason he could find to stop by that hospital ...He was there so much, my mother told one of her friends, 'That minister has the sickest congregation I've ever seen!' She didn't realize at that time that Daddy was there to see her. To make a long story short, they fell in love and got married. God gave Daddy beauty for his ashes, and Daddy went on to touch the world."

John Osteen pastored Lakewood Church (now numbering 42,000) for more than 40 years. Today, all of his children by his second marriage are working in the ministry. God took what the enemy meant for evil, and He turned it around and used it for good. And it happened because pastor John did not stay trapped in the past, focused on his sadness and disappointments. He learned to receive God's love, forgiveness, mercy, and victory for his life.