Daily Readings from All Things Are Working for Your Good


By Joel Osteen

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Learn how God can bring joy to the dark times in your life with this daily devotional from #1 New York Times bestselling author and Lakewood Church pastor Joel Osteen.

All of us will go through dark times that we don’t understand: a difficulty with a friend, an unfair situation at work, a financial setback, an unexpected illness, a divorce, or the loss of a loved one. Those types of experiences are part of the human journey, but in his book All Things Are Working for Your Good, Joel Osteen teaches that if we stay in faith and keep a good attitude when we go through challenges, we will not only grow, but we will see how all things work together for our good. Now, Joel Osteen offers this companion devotional, that will provide motivation with daily readings and inspirational prayers that will encourage you through the darkness, as you seek the light in God’s will.

If we will go through the dark place in the valley trusting, believing, and knowing that God is still in control, we will come to the table that is already prepared for us, where our cup runs over.



And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:28 NKJV


All of us will go through negative things that we don’t like or understand, such as loss, sickness, or divorce. Those experiences are a part of the human journey. But when we find ourselves in such difficult places, it’s easy to get discouraged, give up on our dreams, and just settle.

We may not realize it, but when we feel buried in difficulties, we have great reasons to be encouraged. God wouldn’t have allowed the difficulties unless He was going to use them to cause us to grow and reach our highest potential. Those obstacles and challenges are all a part of His plan to make us into who we were created to be. That’s where our character is developed. If we stay in faith and keep a good attitude when we go through challenges, we will not only grow, but we will see how God works all things together for our good.

That is why I wrote this devotional—to help you harness insights from All Things Are Working for Your Good and to focus on how to trust God when life doesn’t make sense. It will help you understand that there are seeds of talent, potential, and greatness buried deep within you that will only come to life in the dark times. As you learn to trust Him to be with you through the difficulties, it’s just a matter of time before you break out and blossom into your full potential. I hope that these devotions will inspire you each day, and they will help you overcome the challenges or barriers that might keep you from discovering your best life possible.

Your life can be transformed and renewed as you allow God’s Word to refresh and to reshape your thinking, speaking, and daily activities. You will find a wealth of Scriptures and points for contemplation. Allow the Scriptures to speak to your heart. Be still and listen to what God is saying to you. Day by day, the barriers that hold you back will begin to loosen and fall off your life.

No matter what challenges or troubles you face, God has it all figured out. He can see things you can’t see. His ways are better than our ways. God has promised, “I’m going to cause good things to work out that you could never make happen on your own.” Discover the keys to knowing that God is always for you, that it’s all good, and becoming the person of faith and character God designed you to be, even when hope seems impossible.


Strength of Heart

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 73:26

Life is full of things that we don’t like—we get disappointed, a friend betrays us, we didn’t get the promotion that we worked so hard for. We see these things as being negative, thinking, That was bad. It didn’t work out. My prayers didn’t get answered. It’s easy to get discouraged and lose our passion.

But God won’t allow a difficulty unless He’s going to somehow use it for our good. If you’ll keep the right attitude, everything that happens in life will push you further into your destiny. This includes the closed doors you face, the delays, and the loan that didn’t go through. God says, “It’s all good. I’m in control. It may not feel good, but if you’ll trust Me, I’m going to use it for your good.”


It’s All Good

Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

Proverbs 19:11 ESV

When you understand the principle that God is going to use difficulties for your good, life gets much more freeing. You don’t get upset when a coworker plays politics and leaves you out. You know it’s all good. God allowed it, and He’s going to use it. You tried, and the business didn’t make it. You don’t give up on your dreams. You know it’s all good. It’s a part of the process. You don’t let simple things, such as getting stuck in traffic, get you frustrated and ruin your day. You know that God is directing your steps. By slowing you down, He may be keeping you from an accident. He may be developing patience in you. Whatever it is, He has a purpose for it. Keep the right perspective: it’s all good.



You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.

Psalm 139:5

We’re not going to understand everything that happens and doesn’t happen in our lives. If you try to figure it all out, you’ll get frustrated. God can see the big picture for our lives. He knows where the dead ends are, the shortcuts, the bumpy roads that are going to cause you heartache and pain. He’ll keep doors closed that you prayed would open, because He knows going through them would be a waste of your time. God is asking, “Do you trust Me with your closed doors? Do you trust Me with your unanswered prayers?”

When you’re mature, instead of getting bitter when things don’t work out, you’ll say, “God, I trust You. I may not like it, but I believe You know what’s best for me.”


Be Faithful

In everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing…

Philippians 2:14 TLB

Some of the things that God has in your future you wouldn’t be able to handle if He gave them to you right now. He loves you too much to let that happen. He’s developing your character, growing you up. That boss who gets on your nerves, who doesn’t treat you right—you keep trying to pray him away. The reason he’s not going away is that God is using him like sandpaper to rub the rough edges off you. As you keep doing the right thing, keeping your mouth closed, being respectful, being faithful to your responsibilities, that’s doing a work in you. You couldn’t develop your character without him.

You may not like it, but it’s good. It’s getting you ready for the next level of your destiny.


To Your Advantage

All things work together for good to those who love God.

Romans 8:28 NKJV

If you’re fighting everything you don’t like, you need to have this new perspective: it’s all good. Whether it’s a grouchy boss, an illness you’re dealing with, or a dream that’s taking forever to be fulfilled, you can say, “I don’t like how this has gone, but God is on the throne. He promised that He would use what has come against me to my advantage.” All things work together for good. They may not be good at the time we go through them. It’s painful to go through a loss. It hurts when people do us wrong. It’s discouraging when a dream doesn’t work out. By themselves, they may not be good, but God promises He’s going to bring it all together. One day you’ll look back and say that it was all good.


Have a Victor’s Mentality

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Romans 8:37

You may feel discouraged because you lost a loved one or because a business partner cheated you, and you’re saying those things weren’t good. The problem is that you’re isolating single incidents. God hasn’t brought them together yet. That setback was a setup for God to show out in your life. You have to get rid of the victim mentality and start having a victor mentality. When you have this attitude that it’s all good, you don’t go around with a chip on your shoulder. You know God has you in the palms of His hands. You have a spring in your step because you know it’s just a matter of time before God brings it all together. Scripture says that weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.


From Worst to Best

“… but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.”

Luke 24:21

We celebrate Good Friday each year. We call it “good” now, but on the day when Jesus was crucified, the disciples thought it was the worst day of their lives. Their dreams were shattered. The Man Whom they had devoted their lives to had been crucified, was dead, and had been buried in a tomb. Doubts filled their minds.

But a few days later, when Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to them in the upper room, they realized that He was Who He’d said He was. He had done what He’d said He was going to do. He’d defeated the enemy and brought salvation to mankind. When they looked back on that Friday, what they’d thought was the worst day of their lives they now called “good.”

January 8

Good Friday

… with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among [the disciples] and said, “Peace be with you!”

John 20:19

Good is the last word the disciples would have used to describe the Friday when Jesus was crucified. Tragic Friday would have seemed like a more accurate description. However, after Jesus rose from the dead, they looked back on that Friday and said, “It wasn’t what we thought. It wasn’t tragic Friday. It was all a part of His plan. It was Good Friday.”

We all face times when a dream dies, a relationship ends, we come down with an illness—nothing about the situation seems good. It may not be good right now, but God knows how to bring it all together. You may think it is going to stop you, set you back, and cause you heartache. If you’ll stay in faith, one day you’ll look back and say it was good.

January 9

There Is a Purpose

The LORD has made everything for his own purposes…

Proverbs 16:4 NLT

When someone walks out of your life and you don’t understand, it’s easy to get discouraged. But when God brings it all together, when you meet the divine connection He has for you, somebody better than you ever dreamed, you’ll look back and say that was a good day. Or what about the supervisor who tried to keep you down all those years? You didn’t realize it at the time, but staying in that workplace with a good attitude, giving your best, and doing the right thing when the wrong thing was happening was developing your character, strengthening your spiritual muscles, getting you prepared for the next level. You wouldn’t be who you are without that difficulty. You didn’t like it at the time, but you look back now and say that was good.


Something Much Better

This plan of mine is not what you would work out, neither are my thoughts the same as yours!

Isaiah 55:8 TLB

Twice we tried to buy property for a new sanctuary, and both times the property was sold out from under us. We prayed about those properties and worked on the deals for months. I was so disappointed. I didn’t see anything good about somebody’s not keeping their word to sell us that property. It didn’t make sense to me.

But I’ve learned that God’s ways are better than our ways. When the former Compaq Center became available, I realized that the reason God closed those other doors is that He had something much better in store for us. God can see things that we can’t see. Now I thank Him for closing those doors. I look back and know that was God keeping us from receiving less than He had in store for us.


Pushed Out, Pushed Up

If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

1 Peter 4:14

My father pastored a church for many years and gave his heart and soul to help the people. The church was growing, and his future was very bright. But when he started sharing how we’re supposed to live a victorious, abundant life, it didn’t fit into their denominational teaching, and he ended up having to leave the church. My mother had lifelong friends who never spoke to her again. My father and mother felt betrayed and discouraged.

But just as God opens doors, He closes doors. My parents went out and started Lakewood Church, and it grew into a church of thousands. Getting pushed out was one of the best things that could have happened to him. God knew that if my father stayed in that limited environment, he would never become who he was created to be.


Believe Big

Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

John 11:40

When you’re hurting and disappointed, every thought tells you, “It’s not fair, God. Why did You let this happen to me?” I’m asking you to trust Him. It may not seem good, but one day when God brings it all together, you’ll look back and say, “It was a good Friday.” I couldn’t see it at the time when those two potential properties for a new sanctuary were sold out from under us, but it was good because it opened the door for us to get the Compaq Center.

Sometimes God closes doors because we’re believing too small. You may have dreams that haven’t worked out yet; you’ve had some disappointed Fridays. Don’t get discouraged. God knows what He’s doing. If you’ll keep honoring Him, being your best, your Sunday is coming.



“He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.”

Matthew 28:6

You may be in a Friday right now—nothing seems good about your situation. You’re dealing with an illness, or struggling in a relationship, or have people coming against you. It feels dark, lonely, discouraging. You don’t see how it could ever work out. Stay in faith. God wouldn’t have allowed it if it weren’t going to move you forward. You’re in Friday; the good news is that Sunday is coming, when you’ll see your resurrection, so to speak. Sunday is when God vindicates you, heals you, promotes you, restores you. It’s when He prepares a table for you in the presence of your enemies, when He pays you back double for that difficulty. That’s what turns defeated Friday into good Friday. No more betrayed Friday, disappointed Friday. Now it’s blessed Friday, joyful Friday, victorious Friday.


Things That Seem Bad

Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this.

Psalm 37:5

A couple went to the hospital every week to encourage the patients. One day the man was walking across the street to the hospital’s main entrance when a speeding car came around the corner and hit him. They rushed him to the emergency room and discovered that he had bleeding in his brain. They took a full-body scan to see if anything else was injured and noticed a tumor on his kidney. When they did a biopsy, they found it was cancer. He had surgery to remove the kidney, and today he is cancer-free. The doctor told him that if they had not found that tumor, there was a good chance the cancer would have spread to other parts of his body and become life-threatening. It’s all good—even things that at the time seem bad!


Behind the Scenes

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:19

Friend, it’s all good—even getting hit by a car when you’re doing a good deed as we saw in yesterday’s reading. Most people would say, “Boy, that guy was unlucky.” But God doesn’t allow anything out of which He can’t bring good. We don’t always see it. “Joel, I’ve had a bunch of things happen to me that did nothing but pull me down.” You don’t know what God is doing behind the scenes. It may not have all come together yet. This is what faith is all about. When things happen that we don’t like—disappointments, betrayals, bad breaks—we can get negative and live bitter. Or we can say, “God, I trust You. You know what’s best for me. I believe that when it comes together, it’s going to work for me and not against me.”



“Isn’t it clear that… GOD is sovereign, that he holds all things in his hand—every living soul, yes, every breathing creature?”

Job 12:10 MSG

Two young college students were traveling to Kenya to work on a mission project but missed their connecting flight in London due to heavy fog. They were disappointed and had to spend the night trying to sleep in the airport. About midway through the flight the next day, without warning the plane took a nosedive and started heading straight toward the ground. These young men heard noise in the cockpit that sounded like a struggle and found a deranged man had gotten into the cabin and overpowered the pilots. They grabbed that man, ripped him off the controls, and tied him up. Another minute or two, and everyone on that flight would have been killed. God held them back on purpose so they could save the plane and its passengers.


Ordered Steps

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD.

Psalm 37:23 NKJV

Sometimes God will inconvenience you in order to help somebody else. Instead of getting frustrated when our plans don’t work out, we need to remember it’s not all about us. “I don’t like my job. The people are negative, they gossip, they compromise. When is God going to move me out?” Maybe God has you there on purpose to let your light shine and be a good influence on them. Quit fighting everything you don’t like. If God has you there, He’s ordered your steps. It may be uncomfortable, but instead of resisting it, trying to pray it away, why don’t you embrace it? Say, “God, this is where You have me right now, so I’m going to be my best. I may not like it, it may feel bad, but I know a secret: it’s all good.”

January 18

Intended for Good

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good… the saving of many lives.”

Genesis 50:20

After Joseph endured thirteen years of betrayals, disappointments, and lonely nights with a good attitude in an Egyptian prison, he was made the second-most powerful person in Egypt. Despite what he went through, he would have told you exactly what he later told his brothers who had sold him into slavery: it was all good. It was all a part of the plan.

Quit fighting everything you don’t like. Quit being upset because you had a bad break, went through a disappointment, got a medical report that wasn’t what you’d hoped for. God wouldn’t allow it if it weren’t going to work for your good. It looks like a setback, but really it’s a setup to move you into your destiny. Just ask Joseph.

January 19


On Sale
Nov 20, 2018
Page Count
384 pages

Joel Osteen

About the Author

Joel Osteen is a New York Times bestselling author and the senior pastor of America’s largest church, Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. Millions watch his weekly inspirational messages on television and connect with Joel through his digital platforms worldwide. Joel can be heard 24/7 on SiriusXM 128—Joel Osteen Radio. Connect with Joel on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or visit his website at JoelOsteen.com.

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