Fresh Start

The New You Begins Today


By Joel Osteen

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It’s never too late to start over. Change your life today and build a stronger relationship with God with Scripture and encouraging advice from #1 New York Times bestselling author Joel Osteen.

In this one-of-a-kind guide, Joel Osteen provides practical insight and encouragement to help you stay connected to God so you can receive His strength and be empowered to accomplish all that He has for you. Here are eight keys to living your life in the fullness of God’s blessings and favor:

  • Be on the Lookout for God’s Goodness
  • Keep God First Place in Your Life
  • Release Negative Experiences
  • Think Yourself to Victory
  • Protect Your Vision
  • Use the Power of “I Am”
  • Be Selective about What You Feed Yourself
  • Deal with Anything That Prevents Your Best

These insights will help you build new beginnings with God as you trust in His word and promises. In Fresh Start, you’ll learn how to experience God’s goodness and make Him a part of your everyday life.


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Table of Contents


Copyright Page

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He shall be like a tree

Planted by the rivers of water,

That brings forth its fruit in its season,

Whose leaf also shall not wither;

And whatever he does shall prosper.



The best decision of your life was to live your life with God at the center. That was the essential first step to living at your full potential. Now the key to experiencing an extraordinary life every day is to grow in your relationship with God. Scripture talks about how life with God is like a tree and its branches. When a branch is connected to the tree, it receives nourishment and life. It's able to produce fruit. In the same way, we have to stay connected to God so we can receive His strength and be empowered to accomplish all that He has for us.

In any relationship, growth happens over time. God doesn't expect you to be perfect. He doesn't expect you to know everything. He just wants you to keep moving forward with Him one step at a time. He wants to show you His goodness and be a part of your everyday life. It may feel a little strange at first, but just like any new relationship, the more time you spend with Him, the more comfortable it becomes. That's why I wrote this book—to help you connect with God and learn about His ways!

Today, know that God is bigger than your past, your disappointments, and your problems. You may have made a lot of mistakes, but God can turn those things around. People may have hurt you, but if you'll trust God, He'll restore you. Just stay focused on the new life you have with Him. Think of it like a change in seasons. When winter turns to spring, the old is gone and the new begins. The past may have been cold and dreary. Maybe your dreams have been dormant and covered. But now it's Springtime! Spring symbolizes a fresh start. It's a time for new growth and multiplication!

You may not see all the changes you want right away, but remember, you don't see the fullness of spring instantly either. It takes time for the leaves to grow back and the blossoms unfold. It doesn't happen all at once, and neither do things with God. Just trust that He is at work bringing about good in every area of your life.

As you read these pages, be open to what God will reveal to your heart. In Part One, I provide eight keys to staying connected with Him and living your life in the fullness of His blessings and favor. In Part Two, I'll help you confront what is often the greatest obstacle to staying connected with God—allowing your past to be a barrier between you and the pathway of new beginnings with Him. Then in Part Three, I am excited to provide you with a treasury of insight into the foundation and greatest source of inspiration to your relationship with God—living by the power of God's Word and His promises for your every need.

No matter what is going on in your day-to-day life, keep making time for Him so that your relationship can grow strong and you can walk in the fullness of the blessing He has prepared for you!


Maybe your dreams have been dormant and covered. But now it's Springtime! Spring symbolizes a fresh start. It's a time for new growth and multiplication!




It doesn't matter what your present circumstances look like, today is a brand-new day, and God wants to do a new thing in your life and in your relationship with Him every day. He has placed seeds of greatness within you that are about to spring forth. He wants to give you a fresh, new vision for your life, one that's filled with His blessings and favor in amazing ways. But it's up to you to respond to Him. Here are eight keys to your staying connected with Him that promise to take your life to a whole new level and make all things new in your life!



Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights.

JAMES 1:17


KEY #1

Be on the Lookout for God's Goodness

Just like the sun radiates heat, God radiates goodness. It's not just what He does; it's who He is. God's very nature is good. It's important that we recognize God's goodness. The Scripture says every good gift comes from our Father in Heaven, both large and small.

Too many times, God is working in our lives, showing us favor, protecting us, sending us healing, but we don't recognize His goodness. Don't take things for granted. It wasn't a coincidence that you met your spouse and fell in love. God was directing your steps. It wasn't a lucky break that you got that job. It was God's hand of favor. The fact that your children are strong and healthy is not just good fortune. That's God being good to you. All through the day we should be saying, "Thank You, Lord, for Your goodness. Thank You for my health. Thank You for my spouse. Thank You for the opportunities and good breaks You've given me."

You need to be on the lookout for God's goodness. Our attitude should be, I can't wait to see what God is going to do today. Anything good that happens, be quick to give God the credit. It may be something small. Maybe you suddenly have a good idea. "Lord, thank You for that idea. I know it came from You." You finish a project at work sooner and easier than you expected. "Lord, thank You for Your grace with that project." God is constantly working, showing us His goodness, but too many times we don't recognize it. We're waiting for the big, spectacular things.

Whenever something good happens, I'm going to give God thanks. When I see favor, "Thank You, Lord." When I'm reminded of something I need to do, "Thank You, Lord." When somebody lets me in on the freeway, "Thank You, Lord." When the temperature drops below 100 in Houston, "Thank You, Lord." When I'm protected, "Thank You, Lord." When I see the breakthrough, "Thank You, Lord." I'm talking about living with an attitude of thankfulness and gratefulness. God blesses a thankful attitude.

When something good happens, you're seeing God. Make sure you thank Him for it. Make sure you give Him the credit. You may not think God is doing anything in your life, but God is constantly showing us His goodness. My question is: Are you recognizing it? Look around this week. Be more aware. Psalm 34:8 says, "Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good." If you're going to taste God's goodness, you have to realize that every good break, every time you were protected, every door that opened, and every advantage you've gotten has been God working in your life. Don't take it for granted.

I heard about this man who was driving around a crowded parking lot trying to get a space, going around and around. He got so frustrated that he finally said, "God, if You'll give me a parking spot, I'll go to church every Sunday." Right then, immediately, a car backed out of a space, and as he pulled in, he said, "Never mind, God. I just found one." That's the way we are a lot of times. We forget that every good thing comes from God.

Every one of us can look back and remember times God protected us, spared us from an accident, gave us a promotion, caused us to be at the right place at the right time, or made a way when there seemed to be no way. Don't ever get tired of thanking God for His goodness. Remember your victories. Tell the people around you. Keep bragging on the goodness of God. The more you brag on God's goodness, the more of God's goodness you'll see.

Too many times today instead of remembering our victories we're remembering our defeats, our failures, our disappointments. When we remember what God has done for us, it causes faith to rise in our hearts. We know if God did it for us before, He can certainly do it for us again.

I encourage you to do three things:

1. Expect God's goodness. Get up every day looking for God's favor.

2. Recognize God's goodness. There are no coincidences, no lucky breaks. It's the goodness of God.

3. Always thank God for His goodness. Whenever something good happens, large or small, be quick to thank God for it. Live with an attitude of gratitude and praise.

If you do these things, you'll experience more of God's goodness and favor, and your life will go to a whole new level.


Action Plan

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only…

JAMES 1:22

1. Get into the habit of thanking God throughout the day for every blessing, big and small.

2. Start a "Blessing Journal" and write down every significant blessing, breakthrough, or promotion God brings your way. When you're tempted to get discouraged, look through the journal and remind yourself of everything God has done in your life.

3. Psalm 9:11 tells us to declare God's good works among the people. Tell others about the good things God does in your life and give Him credit. It will encourage them and strengthen their faith and give glory to God.



[God] is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.



KEY #2

Keep God First Place in Your Life

The greatest key to living a life filled with God's blessings and favor is to keep God first place in your life. When you put God first place and make it your highest priority to please Him, you can expect to live a blessed, fulfilled life. Scripture states, "God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." Notice who God rewards. Not people who half-heartedly seek Him, only seek Him when they have a problem, or come to church only on special occasions. God rewards people who diligently seek Him. Psalm 34:10 adds: "Those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing." When you seek God daily with your whole heart, you won't be able to outrun the good things of God.

What's interesting about a reward is that it is put in place before anyone claims it. Right now, there are rewards for certain fugitives who are on the loose. The money is already in a fund waiting for someone to step up and claim it. All they have to do is find the fugitive and the money will be released in that fund. In the same way, God has a reward that has already been put in place. It's just waiting to be released. The only catch is we have to meet the demands of the reward. God makes it so easy: "You don't even have to find Me. If you will just seek Me—if you will get up in the morning and thank Me, read My Word, and make an effort to please Me—I will give you the reward."

Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Notice the key: seek first the Kingdom. In other words, don't seek the blessing; seek the Blessor. Don't be consumed by things. Don't chase after money, fame, fortune, bigger this, bigger that. Chase after God. If you will seek the Blessor, He promises all these other things will be added unto you. Not a few things; all these things. God is a God of abundance. When you keep Him first place, you won't be able to contain all the good things He will bring across your path. Instead of chasing blessings, blessings will chase you.

Sometimes we get up in the morning and think, I don't want to read my Bible today. I don't feel like going to church. I'm tired. But once you develop the habit and see the benefit of how you feel refreshed and restored, make better decisions, and have God's favor, you'll think, I can't afford not to do this. You'll realize that spending time with God is vital to living a victorious life.

The last few months of my father's life he was on dialysis. Three times a week for four hours a day he would go to the clinic to have his blood cleansed. There were times he didn't feel like going. He was tired or busy or wanted to do something else. It didn't matter; he went anyway. Why? His life depended on it. It wasn't an option. It was vital. My father loved to travel all over the world, but when he started dialysis, he had to change his plans and rearrange his priorities. He knew how important dialysis was to him.

That's the way we need to value seeking God. Require it as a vital necessity. When things get busy, the children need you, it's hectic at the office, you've got a thousand things to do, you've got to put your foot down and say, "No, this is not an option. If I'm going to be strong, if I'm going to be my best today, if I'm going to have God's favor, I've got to rearrange my priorities so I can spend time with God."

You may have to get up earlier—before the children need you, before checking your emails, before the phone starts ringing. Take time to invest in your spiritual well-being. We feed our physical body at least three meals a day, but often we feed our spirit just once a week at church. We wonder why we feel burned out, unenthusiastic, and lack favor, wisdom, and creativity. It's because we're not taking time to get filled back up. Just like we feed our physical man, we need to feed our spiritual man. When you invest in your spiritual well-being, it will pay huge dividends in your life.

The Scripture says that in God's presence there is fullness of joy, fullness of peace, fullness of victory. That's where you're refreshed and restored. Take time at the beginning of each day to sit quietly in His presence, pray, and read your Bible. These days, life can be so busy, hectic, and noisy. But when you get alone with God and put Him first, the rest of your day will go much better. All through the day, meditate on God's promises. Put on some good praise music. If you diligently seek Him, you will reap rich rewards and live the abundant life He has for you.


Action Plan

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only…

JAMES 1:22

1. Try to spend at least the first 30 minutes with God every morning, reading His Word, praying, putting Him first before work or other priorities.

2. Acknowledge God throughout the day, thanking Him for your blessings and seeking His guidance and wisdom.

3. Develop a habit of stopping to pray and seek God's will before making any important decision.



Forgetting those things which are behind… I press toward…



KEY #3

Release Negative Experiences

We all go through disappointments, setbacks, and trials we don't understand. Maybe you prayed for a loved one, but they didn't get well. You stood in faith for a relationship, but it didn't work out. You did your best in your job or business, but things didn't go as you planned. One of the best things you can do is release it. Let it go.

We can't walk in victory and receive all that God has in our future if we don't learn to release negative experiences. When we hold on to those experiences, dwelling on negative thoughts and emotions, wondering why it didn't work out, it opens the door to bitterness, resentment, and self-pity. We start blaming others, ourselves, or even God. We may not understand it. It may not have been fair. But when we give it to God as an act of faith, we allow Him to move in our life and work negative circumstances for our good. Our position should be: "God, I trust You. I know You're in control. Even though it didn't work out my way, You said all things work together for my good. So I believe You still have something good in my future." There is power in letting go.


On Sale
Jan 3, 2017
Page Count
224 pages

Joel Osteen

About the Author

JOEL OSTEEN is a New York Times bestselling author and the senior pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. Millions connect daily with his inspirational messages through television, podcasts, Joel Osteen Radio on Sirius XM, and global digital platforms. To learn more, visit his website at

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