The 100-Million-Dollar Reason Joel Osteen Was In Tears Last Sunday

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James Lasher

In a shocking announcement to the congregation, Pastor Joel Osteen, the leader of Lakewood Church, shared the joyous news that the church has successfully paid off a $100 million loan that had been a part of their financial journey for two decades.

The financial revelation took place during a Sunday service, with Osteen in tears several times as he expressed his gratitude to the faithful members whose giving made this significant achievement possible. Standing beside his wife, Victoria, Osteen reflected on the journey of the church, particularly how they acquired the former sports arena, the Compaq Center, and transformed it into a thriving hub accommodating over 45,000 people.

“I look back over these 19 years, and there have been great years. I mean, Lakewood has been a lighthouse to the whole world,” Osteen shared. He reminisced about the challenges faced when they acquired the facility, initially a basketball arena, and the subsequent need for extensive renovations to cater to the diverse requirements of a church.

Among the challenges was a $100 million price tag for the renovation, a daunting figure for a church that initially paid $11.5 million to lease the arena for 60 years. Osteen candidly recalled his initial hesitation, saying, “I thought, kind of, God, I didn’t sign up for this. But you know what, God gives you grace for every season of your life.”


When traditional avenues for funding proved unyielding, including rejection from a bank the Osteen family had long been associated with, the church turned to Bank of America. Osteen shared a powerful testament to God’s providence, stating, “They showed up at the office, the first day we were there without even knowing us, they’d never seen our financials, they had a check for $25 million dollars.” This initial blessing paved the way for the bank to lend the full $100 million needed for the renovation.

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Throughout the 20 years of servicing the loan, Lakewood Church remained steadfast in its commitment to outreach, spending hundreds of millions of dollars on media, humanitarian aid and global assistance. Joel Osteen credited the church’s ability to maintain its outreach efforts to the faithfulness of God and the generosity of its congregants.

Addressing the congregation, Osteen emphasized that God’s faithfulness to Lakewood Church is a testament to what He can do in the lives of individuals. He encouraged members to trust that in the year 2024, they will experience release from various challenges, including debt, addiction, relationships and wrong mindsets.


“What God’s done for Lakewood He’s gonna do in your life,” Osteen shared. “I believe in 2024 you’ll see God release you from some things that have held you back. Release you from debt, release you from addiction, relationship, from wrong mindsets. I just believe [this will be] a year of release.”

The Biblical Perspective on Prosperity and Trusting God with Finances

This remarkable journey of Lakewood Church’s financial victory aligns with biblical teachings on prosperity and trusting God with resources. The Bible provides guidance on managing wealth, using the funds we are entrusted with in a godly manner.

Proverbs 3:9-10: “Honor the Lord with your substance, and with the first fruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your presses will burst out with new wine.”


This verse highlights the principle of honoring God with one’s resources, acknowledging Him as the ultimate source of provision.

Philippians 4:19: “But my God shall supply your every need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Joel Osteen’s testimony of God’s provision, even in the face of financial challenges, mirrors the assurance given in Philippians. The belief in God’s ability to supply every need is a cornerstone of biblical prosperity.

As Lakewood Church celebrates its financial freedom, the biblical message of honoring God, trusting in His provision, and expecting release from various burdens becomes an inspirational testimony for believers seeking a deeper understanding of financial stewardship in alignment with Christian principles.


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James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.

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