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Watch 2022 online sermons » Joyce Meyer » Joyce Meyer - Answering Life's Hard Questions - Part 2

Joyce Meyer - Answering Life's Hard Questions - Part 2


Joyce Meyer - Answering Life's Hard Questions - Part 2
TOPICS: Talk It Out
Joyce Meyer - Answering Life's Hard Questions - Part 2

Ginger Stache: Welcome friends to "Enjoying Everyday Life". Today, you know all those big questions in your mind that you can just never really wrap your head around? We are going to dig into those questions in God's word and help to understand what he wants us to do, to deal with all of these things, the doubts, the misunderstandings, the things that just don't make sense, in our world, they make sense to God. They're not always exactly what he wants, but he has good for us. So, that is our topic today. We began this conversation yesterday. It's coming from the talk it out podcast, and it was so rich that Joyce wanted to share it with all of you here. In fact, it's with all of us on, talk it out, my friends, Jai, and Erin, and myself, but it's also with Joyce and with our friend, Lisa harper. And I'll tell ya, it is such good stuff. If you missed yesterday's show go online to joycemeyer.org and catch up on that one too. Right now, let's dig into life's hardest questions.

Erin Cluley: One thing, I just keep thinking, when we ask questions, like the ones we're asking today, it's easy, especially, if you don't have that relationship with the Lord, to think, "He's just giving me a bunch of rules. So, now, I can't marry the man I love because he doesn't know God". But I love what you said, because it is not about rules for him. It's because this is what is best for you. "I love you so much, I'm giving you this guideline because I want to take care of you". So, I just think that's important to remember, as answering questions. It's because he loves us. Not because he's a mean God.

Lisa Harper: I was trying to explain the 10 commandments to Missy the other day. And I said, "Baby, we tend to see what God tells us, encourages us to do, as rules". And I said, "They're not rules". I said, "Remember when we went bowling"? When they put those felt bumpers up, when you bowl, and it keeps your ball from going in the gutter. I said, "That's really what the imperatives of scripture are. God loves us so much. He wants us to have a good life. He wants us to have healthy relationships with each other. So, he gives us these parameters, and we call them commandments, or rules, or imperatives, but they're for our good. He's not an angry, God trying to whack us over the head with a big Bible".

Joyce Meyer: He's not trying to take away everything we'd like to have. He's always, always, God is trying to save us from pain and agony.

Lisa Harper: Amen, and bless us.

Joyce Meyer: Always.

Ginger Stache: Let's go a little bit of a different direction. And to be honest, I don't even know if the answer to this is in the Bible, so I'm hope, I know you just said everything is. I know, I know...

Joyce Meyer: And you're not gonna give it to me.

Ginger Stache: But I wanna hear, because I think this is a question a lot of people ask, "Can loved ones, in heaven, see what's happening on earth"?

Lisa Harper: That's a great question.

Erin Cluley: Do you have an answer too?

Lisa Harper: I'll defer to Joyce. There is one biblical precedent that scholars talk about. And that is where the man who was tortured said, "If he could just give me a just a drop on my tongue from heaven," so some biblical scholars say that means they can see. I don't think you can come up with a whole Bible study that's definitive. Randy Alcorn has some great stuff in his book "Heaven". But I don't think we can definitively, I'll defer to Joyce, but I haven't seen anything that definitively says they see exactly what's going on.

Ginger Stache: It's one of the mysteries, I think, that we're not gonna know for a while.

Lisa Harper: We do have the mind of Christ more glorified, and he knows everything is omniscient. So maybe, but I think you have to use some gymnastics...

Joyce Meyer: People that have had near-death experience, they always say that they recognize their relatives, saw them. I don't really know if people can see what's going on, on earth or not. I always say, sometimes, when I'm preaching that my dad who abused me, he's probably cheering me on. But, to me, that's not a question that I care about. You know, if they can, they can. And if they can't, they can't. Or people ask, you know, "Are dogs in heaven"? Or you know.

Ginger Stache: Yes.

Joyce Meyer: I wanna think mine is, but you know, I don't know that.

Lisa Harper: And some people go to Hebrews 12, "The cloud of witnesses" and they use that for that. But I don't think we can answer that definitively.

Ginger Stache: All right. Well, let's go to another very, very hard question, but an important question. "Why am I not healed? I've prayed. I believe. I've done all I need to do, or all I know to do, and I'm not healed".

Joyce Meyer: Well, if I wanted to be really super spiritual, I would tell you that, in Christ, you are healed. You may not experience the manifestation of it until you get to heaven. But I believe that God's healing power is in us. And I don't know why it's always not manifested here, but we know there's no sickness in heaven. There's no pain in heaven. And like I said, maybe that's a little bit too overly spiritual. But it's obvious, even in the Bible, not every single person was healed. Paul had something wrong with him. Timothy had a stomach problem. And yet, there was all kinds of miracles. But not everybody, I mean, the one man got sick from working so hard in ministry that he almost died. I've had that experience. And, so, you know, we kind of only look at the healings. We don't look at the ones that weren't healed.

Lisa Harper: And we only look at the here and now. We are bound in our human minds by time and space. It used to always drive me nuts that Moses didn't make it into heaven because, into Nebo, he made it into heaven, not into... Sorry, the Promised Land. And I think it's so sad he was buried on Nebo, 'cause he was such a good guy. You know, apart from the murder rap, he was such a good guy. But he's faithful for 40 years, and then, he loses temper, hits the rock and then, God says...

Joyce Meyer: And that seems so unfair.

Lisa Harper: It seems so unfair. And then, one day, I was studying the transfiguration, and I was just studying that as a parallel passage. And you know, it takes place on a high mountain. New Testament scholars think it's Mount Hermon, but somewhere in the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. And there's Jesus transfigured, he's shining white, and there appears next to him, Moses, and Elijah, centuries after they experienced a physical death. And I remember reading that, and you know, that's when you said the Bible, isn't a flat text. You read it and Hebrews reads different to you, this week, than it did a year ago.

Joyce Meyer: He got to go into a different Promise Land.

Lisa Harper: Right. And I went, he did make it into the Promised Land because he's at one of the highest points in Israel. He can see the whole Sea of Galilee. He's standing next to a glorified Jesus. If we could interview Moses right now, on talk it out, and say, "Would you rather have gone into that physical land"?

Ginger Stache: Can you get him in as a guest for us?

Lisa Harper: Maybe, I'll text him and see. You know, "Would you rather have gone in, in your physical jar of clay body with two to three million ingrates, or door number two, would you rather trust that our God is all ways redeeming"? You're already healed, in the context of the divine. He'd say, "Door number two, 'cause I got to stand next to a glorified Jesus". So, if you're not healed physically, that can be the thorn in your flesh, that always reminds you we're not glorified yet. This isn't our home. We're aliens and strangers here. "One day, I won't have this physical ailment anymore". And then, you can trust that God will use it to give you a testimony, to encourage other people who are wounded and hurting. We've got more people in pain than we do have people that are hunky-dory. And so that gives her legitimacy.

Joyce Meyer: Yeah, I walked in here, this morning, with a backache, and I've had it for a month. And I preached over the weekend with it. And I've prayed and many people have prayed for me. I don't know why, you know, I don't know why God hasn't healed me. But I'm not focusing on it. I'm gonna keep focusing on what I'm called to do. And I believe God will either heal me or he'll enable me to do what I need to do.

Lisa Harper: And then, in the meantime, he reminds you that it's in your weakness, that he's your strength when you preach.

Joyce Meyer: That's right. And it will end well. I don't know how long it'll take, but it will end well. And you know, it's very, very hard to answer the question for somebody, "Why am I not healed"? Because you do not know anything about what's going on with God and that person. And that doesn't mean that she won't be healed maybe tomorrow or the next day. I think we just have to believe.

Jai: And what I'm learning though, as I mature and grow even more, you know, I'm 40, but I've got a long way to go, but I'm learning even through this last hard, hard trial, is that I used to be so goal oriented, as far as like the finish, the outcome. I want the outcome. What I'm learning, as I'm embracing the struggle of life, or health issues, or things like that, and even, watching my mom struggle with cancer, you know, several times it's like, it's less about the remission, like part. It was less about that for my mom. It was more about the journey, like, how she went through. And the testimony of what I saw, even my mom has blown me away without, you know, with the cancer episodes she's had. Honestly, cuz my dad's bald now, by choice. But like, he would take her to chemo. And they'd be like, "Which one of you are here for the treatment"? You know, cuz my mom looks so good. Like, my mom made sure she's like, "As I go through this, I wanna be an example, you know, to show what God is doing through me, no matter how I feel". My mom was weak, but she... That's why I like wigs, I think, cuz my mom. You know, like, she had a wig on, she just looked good, and she went through it with so much joy. So, I'm just learning that through the process. It's the journey less than the outcome. We believe for the outcome. We believe the best for the outcome. But the process is...

Joyce Meyer: When I was a kid and my dad was sexually abusing me, I would lay in bed at night and pray that God would deliver me from that situation. I prayed my mother would leave him. I prayed stuff. I shouldn't have prayed. I prayed he'd die. You know, I wanted out of that situation so bad. And as I say, God did not get me out of it, but he did get me through it. And I gained equipment and experience. And I came out of it, not bitter at God, eventually, able to forgive and even take care of my mom and dad, and eventually, get to lead my dad to the Lord. And we always want to get out of the pain. That's human nature. We're gonna continue to want that. But if God doesn't get you out of it, he will take you through it. And I think we have to be able to trust him, that whichever way he chooses to do it. I mean, Jesus didn't get out of it. He didn't get out of it. I heard a story about one man who got so mad at God because his son had cancer and he died. And he'd prayed for him to live, and he kinda shook his fist at God and said, "Where were you when my son died"? And God answered him back, and said, "The same place I was when mine died".

Erin Cluley: Oh wow. That's good.

Jai: That's heavy.

Ginger Stache: All right. Let's just move on to another question because...

Joyce Meyer: How 'bout something a little simpler?

Ginger Stache: Okay.

Lisa Harper: Do you know, what I think is great though about this? Is none of us are giving pat answers. Because when you said it really is about unbelief, you've got to believe, even when there isn't a simple answer. And I think our culture is too quick to go, "Oh, here it is". And sometimes, it's just in the process.

Ginger Stache: Or even, to say, you don't have the faith or there's this going on in your life. And there are all kinds of situations, like you said, we don't know what's really happening. But those are not the answers that are helpful to a suffering person.

Joyce Meyer: There's no such thing as faith without some unanswered questions.

Ginger Stache: Right.

Lisa Harper: That's right.

Joyce Meyer: If you have all the answers, then you don't need God.

Erin Cluley: I was just reading my Bible this morning, and you said that exact same thing. It was your note on there, it was for Hebrews. And you need faith until it's already happened. Once you get what you're praying for, or that situation's over, you don't need faith anymore. So, faith is the process of waiting for something. I thought that was really good.

Ginger Stache: This is the Bible with Joyce notes in it, is that what?

Erin Cluley: Yes, I'm sorry. It's Joyce's "Enjoying Everyday Life" Bible.

Ginger Stache: Cuz, Joyce did not write the Bible.

Erin Cluley: No, Joyce didn't. But she knows it.

Lisa Harper: It's Joyce's commentary.

Joyce Meyer: We could lighten this up, just for a minute. And I can tell you a funny story.

Erin Cluley: Please do.

Joyce Meyer: A girl was dating a guy. This is true. And she kept telling him, "You need to read Joyce's book. You need to read Joyce's book". Well, she was talking about "Battlefield of the mind". So, he gets a Bible, and he looks all over the place for Joyce's book. And he takes it to her, and he says, "I can't find the book of Joyce in here".

Jai: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Joyce...

Lisa Harper: That's awesome.

Ginger Stache: That is great.

Joyce Meyer: I needed that laugh. What's the next hard question?

Ginger Stache: Okay. This is a good question. "Can I get into heaven without going to church"?

Erin Cluley: Yes.

Joyce Meyer: Yes.

Jai: Yes.

Ginger Stache: No, I wasn't... Any more answers? Anyone want to disagree? No, I think that's so important is: "What gets us into heaven"? It's not that I go to church. It's not that I do everything perfectly. So, we do have to understand church is a good thing. Church is important for us. It teaches us, it gives us fellowship. It's where we grow, but it is not the doorway.

Joyce Meyer: We don't buy our salvation, with it. It was bought with the blood of Christ.

Lisa Harper: Yeah, that's right. But I'm telling you, you will have such a harder road to hoe than if you aren't surrounded by community, because almost all of the imperatives in scripture are given in the context of community. Erin and I were talking about this over lunch, almost all of the verbs Paul uses the New Testament are doing, being, walking verbs that you need to be doing this together. And together, I mean, there are so many seasons of my life that I'm like, "I can't carry myself to the roof. I need some people to take up the corner of my mat. Pray for me, carry me to the roof and lower me to Jesus". So, no, church won't get you into heaven, but other people who know Jesus, man, they make the walk here on earth, so much sweeter, so much better. And I think you get up faster, off the floor, when you have believers around you. So, I think sometimes, we do church as a country club, which is gross. But if you recognize church at some level as a spiritual hospital, we're all in different stages of healing. Then you go, "Oh, we're in this together"..

Joyce Meyer: Don't you love it when you ask somebody if they're saved, and they tell you what church they go to?

Lisa Harper: Oh, it breaks my heart.

Joyce Meyer: You know that they don't know. They think that going to church is what's gonna get 'em into heaven.

Lisa Harper: I go to Starbucks a lot and I'm not coffee. You know, it don't make you a Christian just to sit there.

Jai: I wanna be completely honest. During my hard time, I was on staff at a church, and I was really let down. Like, I was really hurt and disappointed by what I felt like, I thought the church would do when something like what I went through, with finding out my husband had an affair, then going through divorce. I just wanted the four walls to do more for me.

Lisa Harper: To be safer.

Jai: I wanted to feel safe. And I felt so uncovered, when I was already, like, the covering of my life, my marriage, was ripped off of me, and then I felt uncovered by the church. And so, I went through a little phase of like, I was like, almost, not grateful for the pandemic, but I was like, I needed a break. I needed a break from feeling like I had to do, do, do, do, do at church. Because, I was like, I'm doing for these people that are abusing me and aren't helping me. And it was very, so I went through that phase.

Joyce Meyer: I hope, by then, you'd left my church.

Jai: Oh, it wasn't. It was not your church. It was not your church, let me make that very clear. And it wasn't even just the particular church. It was the big "C" at large. It was the people I've done ministry with so long, you know. But I am grateful. And this is something I wanted to say, even with some of the other questions, is that all of this is about a choice to believe. It's a choice to understand that suffering comes from sin, but it's also a choice to build that community. Had I not had you, you, you, I'm sure you, in the spirit realm, but I'm saying the church became people to me. Especially when, with the pandemic not being able to go into a church. I resigned from the actual church I was working, you know, being the worship pastor at. But if I didn't have humans to hold me up, I realized in more depth, in that season of wanting to be mad at the church, that I was the church, that you were the church.

Joyce Meyer: And church is not a building, it's people.

Jai: Exactly.

Joyce Meyer: We're actually, having church right here.

Jai: Exactly. So, I've allowed God to redefine what church is to me. So, going to a church, of course, I still love, you know, the structure of westernized church, but I love community even more, real deep, real community, more than I love that.

Ginger Stache: You said something else. You said that you got tired of doing, doing, doing, doing. And there, you know, of course, the church is full of people with all sorts of hurts and problems of their own, so it's never gonna be perfect. But we do feel like, and I know I felt it many times it's more about what I'm doing. "Am I accomplishing the right things? Am I doing everything God wants me to do? Am I doing what the church needs me to do? My doing what my family needs me to do"? And there's so much pressure in all of that, that God does not put on us. That's not what he's asking.

Lisa Harper: Right. I think we've got a lot of people who are angry at the church and some for good reason. There's an old book that says that "The church is the only one who shoots its wounded". And so, we've got a lot of ground to cover. But I'd say, for people listening, who are like, "Oh, well, my church bugs me too". Instead of leaving the church, press in and begin to model what church should be, which is a broken, but safe community who cares for its wounded, who prays for each other, who does what y'all do in community. Take that to your local church, because Hebrews does say "Don't give up the habit of meeting together". You need to be in fellowship and that's the bride of Christ. So, I think, it's good for us to go, "Boy, there's a lot of places where we've missed it," but instead I see women under 40, just the church is hemorrhaging people going, "I'm just gonna go online. And then, I'm gonna cherry pick my favorite pastors". And I'm like, "No, that's not healthy". You need to be in a community of believers. But make it more God-honoring and others-honoring. Press in and go, "Let's not do this like this anymore". Because I was, sorry, "Because I was wounded, ya'll didn't care for me the way we're supposed to care for each other". I think, man, it would be so great. If we had young believers go, "I'm recommitting to the local church to make it the way God describes it to where it's a God and others honoring place".

Joyce Meyer: You know, I feel real inclined to say something. I just feel like somebody needs to hear this. I think a lot of people go to church so they can get something. So, if you're not getting something out of your church, maybe God's got you there to give something. Somebody needed to hear that.

Ginger Stache: Yeah. Yeah. Alright, another hard question: "After abuse, how do I trust again? I'm struggling with intimacy, and I need help".

Joyce Meyer: Well, I could just get real plain here and tell you what God told me. Not to be too plain, but the Lord just told me that when you have sex with your marriage partner, the Holy Spirit doesn't leave the room. And I was having a really hard time. And he told me to just make a commitment to do whatever he told me to do. And he walked me through it, step by step, by step. Even, as far as, like, a little something, like, leaving the lights on. And it was like, each step was hard. But see, the Holy Spirit knows what you can take, when. That's why when you turn your case over to the Holy Spirit, he knows exactly what to put on you to do at what time. You go to, and I'm not against counseling. But you go to any other counselor, and sometimes, they tell you to do things that you're not...

Lisa Harper: Quite ready.

Joyce Meyer: Ready for. I had a woman in my office, that I was counseling her, one time. And she was living with her boyfriend. She'd just gotten saved. She was living with her boyfriend. And I mean, I just couldn't wait for this woman to quit talking so I could tell her she had to quit living with her boyfriend. And I'm telling you, the Lord spoke to me. And he said, "Do not say that to her. She is not ready for that. When the time is right, I will tell her". So, there's no better counselor than the Holy Spirit. And we have to be careful when we're giving people advice that we don't just tell them all the big grownup answers.

Lisa Harper: Right.

Joyce Meyer: Sometimes, you have to just let the Holy Spirit walk a person through it, one step at a time. And that's not an easy thing to do, but it does take steps of faith.

Ginger Stache: I think that's such a beautiful reminder that there is nothing outside of the realm of what God cares about in our life.

Lisa Harper: That's right.

Ginger Stache: The things that sometimes we think are taboo or, you know, we shouldn't talk about in the church, no, there's nothing like that. And the fact that God told you that he would help you through that process is such a relief for so many people right now.

Joyce Meyer: I think, for so many people, they think that God leaves when that act, you know, it's like, God created it. You know, the world has turned it into something dirty. But God intended it to be one of the most beautiful things that people do.

Erin Cluley: That is gonna change somebody's life. Because what that says is, especially, women, like that's a very vulnerable experience. And so, why would I think that God wouldn't be with me in that, when there's fear, or pain, or whatever. He's not gonna leave at the door when I am walking through something that feels scary or whatever, whatever a person is experiencing. But to remember, he's right there with me, this so beautiful and that...

Joyce Meyer: And when you've been abused, sex is always dirty to you. So, you have to really let God teach you that, that's what the world has done to it. That's not really what it is.

Lisa Harper: And, Joyce, to back the bus up a little bit. We have relatively similar stories. And because of the abuse in my background, and my own sin, and the ways I learned to be self-protective, I never married because I was so afraid of intimacy. I could call it a hundred different things. And I was drawn to more abusive men. So, God protected me from some of the decisions I would've made. But it took me until I was in my fifties, to go, "No, I still have unbelief". And what I've had to learn, I'm so far behind you, is I've had to learn what it is to be held by God. Because it's much easier for me to get the holiness of God, than the intimacy he affords us in Jesus. And song of Solomon changed my life. I don't get jiggy with anybody with skin on. I've never been married. But to see in song of Solomon 4, where he says, "Through the bridegroom with one glance of your eyes, you captured my heart". I'm real comfortable doing for God. To learn to lean into the arms of Jesus, and just be held, I think for some of us that's the first step of intimacy, is to actually learn intimacy with Jesus.

Ginger Stache: And there are so many different forms of abuse. You know, what Joyce went through, what you went through. I had a great relationship with my husband when I found out, quite a few years ago, that he had a pornography addiction. And then you talk about trust. Trust was instantly gone. And so, I had a long way to go to build that trust back up and to feel right in intimate situations again. And it was so hard. And the thing that God really helped me with and helped us to build a relationship that is now better than it ever was, and still hard sometimes because you know, things always creep back, was that God was not asking me to build a new trust in my husband, at first, he was asking me to trust him.

Joyce Meyer: That's exactly right.

Ginger Stache: I had to trust God first.

Joyce Meyer: That's exactly what God told me, "I'm not asking you to trust him. I'm asking you to trust me".
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