Osteen: Don’t beat up yourself … ‘you’re criticizing God’s own creation’

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MIAMI, Florida – Joel Osteen preached a message of hope and encouragement to the sold-out crowd of 37,000 who packed Miami’s Marlins Park Saturday night to experience the fifth annual “America’s Night of Hope” event that the megachurch pastor hosts to cast a wide net and introduce the Gospel of Jesus Christ to new believers.

Joel Osteen delivers a message of forgiveness and faithfulness at Marlins Park baseball stadium for America's Night of Hope on April 20, 2013, in Miami, Fla.  /Joel Osteen Ministries

Joel Osteen delivers a message of forgiveness and faithfulness at Marlins Park baseball stadium for America’s Night of Hope on April 20, 2013, in Miami, Fla. /Joel Osteen Ministries

The Night of Hope event incorporates contemporary Christian music and inspirational messages to reach the unreached and restore hope and faith in believers who feel discouraged. Osteen cited Isaiah 30:18 and said, “God is longing to be good to people who are looking to His goodness. … When you honor God, God always honors you.”

Osteen emphasized that God needs Christians to rise to the level of their highest expectations – to be refreshed and restored – so that he can use them to help others. “Instead of looking at what you don’t have, give thanks for what you do have.”

Encouraging the audience to reach their full potential, Osteen said he wants believers to stop criticizing themselves, because the enemy is already aiming for them. “You’ll never reach your full potential with negative dialogue in your life; you already have enough people against you. If you criticize yourself, you’re criticizing God’s own creation.”

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