Joyce Meyer - How To Study The Bible
Ginger Stache: Hi friends, this is Joyce Meyer's Talk It Out podcast. And let me warn you, I have no idea what you're in for today.
Erin Cluley: Neither do we.
Ginger Stache: This is where Joyce teaches the Word of God in her practical no-nonsense way. And my friends, and I, talk about the real stuff of living it and we hold nothing back. I'm Ginger Stache, with my friends, Erin Cluley, and Jai, three women, who love having honest, loving women around us. And when we need a little extra help, we asked our friend, Mrs. Joyce because sometimes, you just need to talk about life with your girlfriends. So, consider yourself one of us. Come on in here, and let's Talk It Out. And that's why I say, let's just be super honest today. We're always super honest.
Jai Williams: I'm like...
Erin Cluley: Is this new?
Ginger Stache: This topic is probably, the most important topic that we'll talk about it. It's how to study the Bible. We're going to get really practical. But also, with things that are going on in our lives, and there's just a lot happening. So, it may not be that the fun episode that it always is, but it will be honest, and it will be real, and now, is when we need God's word more than any other time. This was kind of funny. Jai was gonna put the microphone way down low, like this, so that she could speak from her heart.
Jai Williams: Speak from my heart, 'cuz, that's all what you want.
Erin Cluley: Sometimes there's no words.
Jai Williams: There's no words. Speak from the heart.
Ginger Stache: But you were saying you feel kinda numb.
Jai Williams: Yeah.
Ginger Stache: And sometimes, we go through those times in our life that, that really is the only way to explain it.
Jai Williams: Yeah.
Ginger Stache: "I just feel kind of numb". And so, when you talk about studying the Bible, the first question is, "I don't feel it," you know? "What am I going to get from it when I'm feeling numb"?
Jai Williams: Yeah.
Ginger Stache: And it's honesty. It's hard. And so, we're gonna talk through that and let people know why this is so important, how to push through in those hard times. But I think that's a great place to start is just like, this is not always super easy for everyone.
Jai Williams: No, and it's not your automatic go to is to say like, "I'm gonna run to scripture," when I feel numb, because I feel numb. You know, like, and so, just to catch everybody up, 'cuz that's what we do. That's what we do on Talk It Out, and you guys have been going through the whole divorce journey. And the saga continues, okay?
Erin Cluley: Hence, the numbness.
Jai Williams: And I feel like, I think I feel numb because I kind of feel like I have no control over the things that are happening. You know, like, as someone that used to love to plan, I just, once, you plan, and plan, and plan, and then it's like, everything gets thrown out the window, it's just kinda like, "Well, what now"? You know, like, "What do you do now"? So, like, over the, well, last week, my ex is actually getting married. Only been divorced two months, officially, you know, but he's getting married. So, that happened, and then, I have to move out of my place that I'm in now, as I figure out in this, holding pattern of what's next. Like, I have several things I could do. But instead, of moving forward, I feel like, I believe in my heart that God is telling me to be still. And I don't like being still.
Erin Cluley: It's so hard when he says that.
Jai Williams: And so, being still is,it makes me feel numb. And so, even with moving,like, Ginger offered to help me move, offered her truck, offered her husband to help me. And I was just like... Numb! Okay, so, just to give a little context to why I feel numb. That is why. I have bags under my eyes. I used extra concealer today 'cuz...
Ginger Stache: You look beautiful.
Jai Williams: I'm tired because I was still moving at midnight, so.
Erin Cluley: Yeah, you are beautiful.
Jai Williams: Thank you. I don't feel it, but...
Erin Cluley: I know.
Jai Williams: I don't really feel much of anything right now. But we're gonna talk, but the word is definitely, this is such a necessary thing because I think a lot of our friends, probably, have that same, like those same moments...
Ginger Stache: Absolutely.
Jai Williams: Of like, "What do i, how do I go to the word, when I don't feel like it? How do I go to Jesus, when I don't feel like talking? How do I go,you know, how do I allow God to move on my behalf, when I don't even feel like moving". I don't even know what that, what that even means. So, this is important.
Erin Cluley: Especially, when too, it's hard to even think like, that's, "How can those words do anything with where I am now, anyways" like, it's just,sometimes, it feels like it's just a bunch of words, "And how is that going to affect any change in my life? What's the point"? So, I think this is a really important conversation to have.
Ginger Stache: It is. You know, everybody, at different times in their life,if you've been a Christian for a long time, you've had those moments where you're like, "Wow, I'm seeing so much in the Bible. I'm learning so much and growing". And then, other times that, "I'm just hurting so much that I don't know if I can even turn this page, and find anything that will make a difference for me". Our family, right now, and so many people that I know and love, are going through really, really hard things, just,heartbreak, and illness, and so much hard stuff. And so, I know a lot of our friends who are part of this study here, with us, I know a lot of you are suffering, too. And so, I want us all to really talk about how this thing, that makes no sense, reading this book can totally change my outlook, and change my life. I've seen it happen. You've both seen it happen.
Erin Cluley: Yeah, absolutely.
Ginger Stache: And Joyce, certainly has. So, let's start there. We're going to, like I said, be very practical, dig into how this works. So, let's start with what Joyce says about studying God's word, and how valuable it is.
Joyce Meyer: I don't think that we can have a problem that you can't find the answer in here somewhere. Now, admittedly, you know, you need to get familiar with the Word of God, and some things are a little more challenging to find than others, but if it doesn't answer the specific question straight on, you'll find what I like to call the spirit of the answer in here. In other words, I might not find the exact answer to my specific question, but I can find out about wisdom and discernment and how to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, and then God will lead me to that answer. One of the things that Jesus said is, "My words are spirit and they are life". Now, I want you just to think about that. God's word is not just like man's word. It's a different kind of word. You can listen to people, and they can talk a long time and say nothing. But when God talks, there's power in it. Jesus said, "My words are spirit and they are life," and the Bible teaches us that when we study the Word of God, in 2 Corinthians 3:18, when we study the Word of God, we are changed into his image from glory to glory to glory. So we change in little degrees and become more and more glorious all the time. Also in Romans 12, we're taught that God has got such an amazingly good plan for our life, but we will never really live in that plan unless we have our minds renewed. The Bible says that your mind has to be renewed and your attitude needs to be renewed according to the Word of God. So this book tells me how God thinks, and really even how God talks. And when we start out in our walk with God, we don't think like God. We certainly don't talk like God would talk, and words are very important, and we don't act like God acts. And so we come into a relationship with God through Christ, and then we have this new desire. We want to change. We want to be better, but our minds have to be renewed, and the more you study the word, the more you learn truth. That truth is what sets you free, and you learn how to think differently. An example that I always like to use is being abused by my dad in my childhood, I thought that I would always have a second-rate life. I had just settled into that thinking. "Well, you know, I'll always have a second-rate life because I had bad things happen to me that ruined my childhood. It messed me up. Who's gonna want me. I'll have to live in fear. Nobody can ever know". Or people may think because they made a huge mistake in their life, that now they can never have the good life that they could have had if they wouldn't have made the mistake. But when you read the Word of God, you begin to find out that, "In Christ, you're a new creature: that old things pass away, all things become new". So, you'll change as you read the Bible. You'll learn to think differently as you read the Bible. You'll be encouraged as you read the Bible. God is the God of all comfort. You can be hurting. Maybe you've lost a loved one or you've had a great disappointment in your life, and you can just go and read one of the Psalms, "Unto you, o Lord, do I cry: o my Lord my rock: be not deaf and silent unto me," and I just popped that open, you know? So pretty much, if you learn the different places to look for the different things that you need,if I need wisdom, I go to Proverbs. If I need comfort, I go to Psalms.
Ginger Stache: Tell me about some of those times that you guys learned that what you needed was in the Word of God. Like, how has this become real in your life?
Jai Williams: One of the big things for me is, right now, because of the "Numb" place I'm in, I go back to even the Word of God, when I was growing up. Like, how in Proverbs it talks about, "Training up a child in the way that they go when they're old, they won't depart from it," you know? So, even, when I don't have the strength to open up the Bible, in this moment, like, the word is,and in Psalms how it talks about, "Thy word, have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against God". And so, like, those scriptures, because I have such a routine, even the good times. That's why it's good to read the Word of God in the good times, you know, like, as well as the bad times. But when you don't have the strength to like, literally, open up the book, per se, if it's in your heart, or if you have it written on post-it notes, like, I've hidden it in my heart, so that's what, right now, that's helping me that his word, I've hidden in my heart that I might not sin against,
Ginger Stache: It's like a storehouse, isn't it?
Jai Williams: Yeah.
Ginger Stache: I mean, we gotta fill ourselves up with it, all the time, especially, when we're not in such a hard time, so that when we are, we've got the fuel that we need to get through it.
Jai Williams: It bubbles up. Like, even, like, when I wanna say like, negative things or when I want, like, what Joyce was just talking about, like, when I want to give up, when I want to just be like "Ugh..." Like, those scriptures come to mind. Those scriptures, and even, like, she said in Psalms, that like David crying out. It's like, "Okay, I'm not by myself when I feel bad". And then, like, I love David, 'cuz he's up. That's why I love studying Psalms. He's up, like, "Father I love you," and the next one, "Why have you forsaken," you know, it's just like, it's the up-and-down of life. And so, those scriptures come to mind, you know? So, that's mine.
Erin Cluley: Jai sent me the cutest video. I don't know if you sent it to Ginger. A couple of weeks ago, of this little girl, who was given the letters of the alphabet and the scriptures that went along with it.
Ginger Stache: Oh, yeah, yeah. The one that you've talked about on the podcast.
Jai Williams: Like, I literally, learned my abc's by, like, scripture. You know, so, I've saw a little girl on Instagram,a viral video, on tik tok, or something, where a little girl was literally, going through her little, kindergarten graduation and saying the same scriptures, with so much power, and so much, like, confidence, yeah.
Erin Cluley: And what's stood out to me,i know that wasn't actually you in the video, but her tenacity of how she spoke each scripture reminded me so much of you. Because watching you walk through this time, and you are tired and numb, you still have that tenacity inside of you, and those scripture just pours out of you even when you don't feel like reading the word. Like, it's so much a part of who you are. So, I smiled. I watched it a couple times. "That's right, that's right, girl"!
Ginger Stache: That's what I said, "I can see Jai all over that, too". What about for you, Erin? What Joyce said, in that teaching, was that even if we don't find the specific answer for what we're looking for, the Bible still addresses, basically, everything that we need. How have you found that to be true?
Erin Cluley: Yeah, for sure. Even recently, sometimes, I would,i would really appreciate it if there was like a glossary of every, single, possible situation in my whole life.
Jai Williams: Right.
Erin Cluley: And so, there's not, but the index is helpful. But even last year, so, there was so much happening in our world in 2020, and I just,i needed God to give me some clarity. And I felt like I had a year where I was questioning everything I'd ever been taught. Usually, you do that like earlier, but I don't know, maybe I'm slow.
Jai Williams: Yeah, me too.
Erin Cluley: You too. I'm kinda thinking through everything I've ever learned, and I've ever been taught, and everything I've ever thought about God, and, "Show me,show me truth about who you are". So, I went to the gospels, and I read, I read Luke, and I think, I might have done Matthew. I don't know if I did all four of them, but the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. And so, reading Jesus' words and how he responded to people around him, who were different from him, and those who were like him, and how he treated people was exactly what I needed. So, I didn't get my answers for every single question on my list. But what I saw was how he interacted with people.
Ginger Stache: How to live.
Erin Cluley: Yeah, he loved people who were like him and people who were different from him, the same. And he didn't judge. And he was, he sought justice and mercy, and everything he did was with a base of love. And so, I was, I sat back, a few times, and just thought, "I don't have my answer specifically, but I know how to approach the situation in a way I didn't know before I started reading," so.
Jai Williams: Isn't that funny though? Like, in the scripture, like, I think, a lot of times what I used to want, were the specifics. I wanted to,exact, now, grant you,
Ginger Stache: "Take this job, not this job".
Jai Williams: Yeah, like, "Give me the answer. Is it yes or a no"? But Jesus never answered in yes or no, he answered in parables. Like if you read the scriptures, read the gospels, you'll see that he answered in parables. 'Cuz he wants us to stretch our thinking because everyone's situation isn't the same. Like, even figuring out what's my next move, "Just tell me". No, he wants me to trust him. He wants me to trust that he's got a great plan for me. You've all, "I've always said," Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans, I have for you saith the Lord". Like, I know he has a plan for me, but when it comes time to actually apply that, and apply the knowing, it's challenging, it's difficult. But what, one thing, I noticed too, is a lot of people ask things like, "Why do bad things happen to good people"? You know. And then, if you actually study the word, it doesn't,i mean, it talks about sin, and how filthy it is.
Ginger Stache: And how the rain pours on the just and unjust.
Jai Williams: Exactly. Like it, it rains on both. And so, but,if you read, like, Jesus,he went through the worst. So,and he didn't do anything. He had people lie on him. He had people betray him. In this situation, I'm going through, it's like, I've really been looking at Jesus, because I'm like, he went through betrayal. Grant you, it wasn't divorce, it wasn't an affair, but it was the people he loved the most that betrayed him and then, ultimately, watched him die. You know, and so, but the thing about it is how to go through those suffering moments, when Jesus was on the cross, he went with, that's what I've been studying, right now, mostly, is like, in Matthew, like, he went with God. Like, he talked with God. So, it doesn't give you the specifics on how to handle your situation, per se, but it gives you the general guide.
Ginger Stache: What I get from studying the Bible, and Joyce talks about this a lot, and I think it's really important, the difference between just reading and studying the word. I mean, reading is good: start somewhere. But meditate on it, throughout the day, you know, dig into it. Think about what it means in your life. Look at other scriptures and how they connect to each other. And this is really important. Don't just pull out one scripture to try to find the answer that you want without context, for the story, and what's happening. Because I can find something to say whatever I want it to say, but it may not be accurate. But what I find, when I really dig into the Bible, is the building blocks for my life. It's not about understanding everything. I can't possibly say, "I understand everything that the Bible says". But this book is alive. And every time, I can read the same thing, two years later, and get something very different from it, because that's what the Holy Spirit does in our life. He shows us what these words mean in a way that applies to our situation, and to our need, right now. So, those building blocks, that's the foundation that I have to base my life on, my every decision, how I handle my emotions, how I handle disappointment, all those things. And I don't always do it well, by any means, but it's something I can hold onto. It's something that I need. And without that, I don't know what I would do.
Erin Cluley: I think something that I learned, kinda what you were saying too, Jai, in the past year, is just how, like, the Bible is alive and active. And it, and we aren't getting this specific, exact answer for how to handle a situation, but how cool is that? When I read something a couple years ago, and I, God showed me something in that verse 'cuz that's what I needed, in that moment. Two years later, I've come back to it, in a totally different season of my life, needing something completely different, and he used that same scripture to speak to me in a different way. Only, like, God's sovereignty, could he write something that is gonna apply to all of us, in a different way, when we need it. So, he can't give you a formula for your life because our situations are constantly changing, evolving. But, in all his wisdom, he knows exactly how much to give us, and in the context of how to give it to us, so we can apply it.
Ginger Stache: And he doesn't make us little robots. I love that. Like, he gives us freedom of choice, which I've asked him to take so many times.
Jai Williams: Right, "Just choose it for me"!
Ginger Stache: "God, just take it from me". You know, "I'll do what you want me to do". You know, "I'll,just take it". But he doesn't, he doesn't do that. He always gives us respect. And that's how much he loves us. So, I think, that's really important in all of this, too. 'Cuz, yes, we do want the obvious. We do want things to be very, very clear. But God says, "I want to help you think differently. I want to help you learn". What were you going to say?
Jai Williams: I don't, I don't exactly, remember.
Ginger Stache: Oh, I'm sorry.
Jai Williams: No, I do remember. I do remember, now. It was when you talked, I think, it's important for, as we're talking through this, like, just jot down notes. And I know a lot of people don't understand, even we have our casual conversations, you know, like, "Well, talk more about the word". I'm like, "But if you listen to what we're saying," like, "We're digging into the scripture, we're digging into the word every time we talk". And when, Joyce,her clips, or when she's here, just take those notes, and go back and read for yourself. Because something you said,was two things you just said, about there's a difference between just reading a scripture versus actually, studying the word. Sit with it and meditate with it, because the Word of God is alive in that book. But God, who is love and is the word, right now, is alive. So, when you read that scripture, and what I've done, a whole lot more than what I used to, 'cuz I used to plow through, and had all my markers, all my highlighters, and, you know, all my doodles, like, that was what, and that made me feel like a Christian: because I had all my highlights and my doodles, you know, and like, in my Bible with the duct tape.
Ginger Stache: "You don't use yellow and pink"?
Jai Williams: "You're not a real Christian". Like, every,alternating. And then, I have highlight words, "Oh, green"! Pow! You know, like, that's what made me feel like a Christian. But now, it's like, "No". I'll read what I need to read, and then, I'll sit still, and let the word,God, meditate. Like, I meditate on his word. I sit in quiet. And it's like, "God, what did that mean? Like, what are you trying to show me, now"? Because God is alive, right now. Like, God,his, the book is alive, the words in there are real and true. But God: he's here. He's here, now. He's wherever you are right now, and he wants to visit you, no matter what you're reading, you know?
Ginger Stache: And when you do open the Bible, ask God to show you something. 'Cuz I'll tell you: I've been studying the Bible as long as I can remember. And there have been a whole lot of times that I didn't bother to ask God anything. "I'm supposed to read now," so I'd open up the Bible, and I'd read, and then, I'd go my way. And that does not do a whole lot. So, we really need to ask God to fill us with his spirit, to show us what he wants us to see, to give us divine understanding. And he promises that he will do that. So, let's figure out a little bit more about the "How-to" of all of this. Joyce is going to talk a little bit more about some specific suggestions that I think you'll love.
Joyce Meyer: Psalm 56, "Be merciful and gracious to me, o God". Well, it's life-changing to study what mercy is. And so I could spend my whole day, I could start there and I could spend my whole day studying mercy. So how would I go about that? Well, the first thing I would probably do, if I knew nothing at all about mercy, I've got an American dictionary of the English language from Noah Webster, 1828.
Ginger Stache: This is the one that you really like.
Joyce Meyer: Yeah, this is the original. I mean, Noah Webster had to learn I don't know how many languages to do the dictionary. I mean, it was like a mammoth project, and he was a tremendous man of God. So if I knew nothing about mercy at all, I would look it up in here, see what it meant. And then I would probably get my vine's dictionary of Hebrew and Greek words, and I might look it up, see what it meant in the Old Testament. Then I might look it up, see what it meant in the New Testament. And then I would get this strong's concordance, and I would look up the word "Mercy". Well, let's say there's, I don't know, a hundred references on mercy. Well, I might start scanning down there and see which one kind of, "Oh, I want to know more about that". If there are only 20, I might look 'em all up. If I really wanted to do, like, a month-long study on mercy, I might get around to looking 'em all up. And then you look those scriptures up yourself. And if you're not accustomed to finding things in the Bible, that in itself is a good exercise. I don't know. It's just, like, I mean, I love my Bible. You know, I hug it sometimes. It's like it gets to be your friend, and the more familiar you are with it,i mean, I wear one out about every 2 years.
Ginger Stache: I really like that suggestion of finding something that you really need. "I need this". So, I had that, this week or last week, I don't know when I was. But, I just, I had a lot of things happening. And I had a lot of opportunity for offense. Things did not go, on a broad scale, the way that I thought that they should, from several different people. And so, it wasn't even, like I was angry at any one person. But I knew me, and I know that if I don't pull out those roots of offense, before they get deep down in there, that I would have a problem. And so, I started studying. I started looking up offense, and bitterness, and forgiveness, and love, so that I could respond, in the right way, to what seemed like, just a barrage. So, that's how I know when Satan's involved in something, when it doesn't even just come from one place. It's coming at you from every direction, it makes no sense, that's one of the times that you really know, "Okay, this is not about that person. This is an entirely different kind of attack". So, as I studied those things, it was like, I could just feel those weeds coming out. And I had to do the work, I had to keep doing it. So, you read, and you learn what you need to do. And there is power in God's word, that brings that love that you didn't feel, that you didn't have, brings that forgiveness, and then, you make the choice, "Are you gonna do what God's word says or no"? So, as you're studying, we always have choices to make. But that was just a great example for me. That I needed it, and it really made a difference.
Erin Cluley: Good for you, for being on the offense. Like, what were the steps you took to get to the point where you're like going, "I need to," like, what flagged it for you.
Ginger Stache: I was mad. I was mad. And I was mad at a lot of people, like,
Erin Cluley: Were we on the list?
Jai Williams: I'm pretty sure, I was, 'cuz Ginger offered, like I said, earlier, she offer,
Ginger Stache: You were not on the list.
Jai Williams: I don't even think I responded.
Erin Cluley: Oh, she was mad, then.
Jai Williams: She was. Tell the truth, shame the dev...
Ginger Stache: I'll tell you what it was. And my friends, who are watching, I love you. So, we're all good. But no. My birthday is on a holiday, okay? So, that makes it easy for people to remember but hard for people to respond to, 'cuz everybody's super busy. So, all my life, you know, I've always been okay with that, and it's not been a problem. But this year, in particular, I had one of those birthdays that I didn't hear from hardly anybody. I mean, like, that sounds so lame.
Erin Cluley: I get it though. Sometimes, it gets ya.
Ginger Stache: You know, sometimes, it just kinda hurts. And you're like, and I'm talking like, my mom and dad.
Erin Cluley: Like the ones who born you.
Jai Williams: You said friends! You're talkin' about the woman that birthed you.
Ginger Stache: And that's what I'm saying. It's not about them, I know how much they love me, all that. But that's just an example. It was a lot of people. It was people that I know love me, that I always hear from, and it was just crickets. And I'm thinking, you know, what is going on? And that's just a little part of it, you know, there were a lot of different things happening. That's why I'm saying, when it comes from every area. But that's just one little example. And that's so minor. But I could decide, "Nobody loves me". You know, "Everyone's forgotten me and I'm so pathetic". And I didn't want to get there.
Jai Williams: And I know, you know this, but I just wanna, like, it's okay to be hurt by the fact that you feel forgotten. Like,
Ginger Stache: Oh, yeah.
Jai Williams: And but I love the fact, like, just, like Erin was saying, like, that you took, you took the measures, you humbled yourself enough to be like, "Okay, I'm feeling some type of way, and I'm gonna let it be. But I'm not gonna let it fester, 'cuz I don't want it to stay here". I think, that's important to know. It's like, yeah, when you have those moments that are truly valid, and truly like, okay, that your feelings are hurt. That you,but you say like, "Okay, I don't want to like, let this stay. I don't want to let this linger". And you went straight to, like, looking it up.
Ginger Stache: I just went to Google, and I said, "What does the Bible say about offense"? And it pulled up all these scriptures, list of scriptures, and studies, and all sorts of different things. So, it's just very practical and it really helps.
Erin Cluley: I've had to do that a few times in my life. Like, if I've been reading, like, if I'm reading Romans or something. But then, something happens in my life, and I need to pick a topic to start studying because of something like, what you're explaining, it's hard for the planner in me to like, switch gears. But I have learned that when something comes up, sometimes, it's okay to stray from your reading plan, or whatever, that you're supposed to be doing, and take some time to dig into the word, and study the topic that you need to. Like, if today, I'm really struggling with patience, it's okay, if I let Romans go for a day. Let God show me what he wants to in his word. I need to be flexible in how I study, so you can do, things like what you just said. And learning to recognize, like those words in you: like, "Offense is something I'm struggling with " or, "Patience," or whatever.
Ginger Stache: Yeah, I really appreciate what you said аbout: be flexible. Find what you need, right now, and find what works best for you, all the time. Because, for instance- Joyce and I've had this conversation a lot. She spends a lot of time in the morning, studying the word. Well, I'm not a morning person. And I've tried to give that time, in the morning, before, and it was not my best time. And I feel like we need to give God our best. And so, for me, at night, is when I really study. Now, this other time, was just like, all the time. You know, it's digging into it whenever you need it. But my regular time with God, that we all need to dedicate, it's at different times for different people. I wish mine was in the morning. I really think that's best. But for me that's not what works best. So, finding what works for you.
Jai Williams: Whether it's in the morning, in the afternoon, whatever it is, but just schedule it. Just,put an alert in your phone.
Ginger Stache: Make it a priority.
Jai Williams: Make it a priority. Because like I said, like, I can spend that time with God, intentionally. I think, the intentionality of it, strengthens the relationship.
Ginger Stache: Here's a verse that I think says so much about studying the Bible. It's Proverbs 4:20-22: "My son, pay attention to what I say. Turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight. Keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and health to one's whole body". And it's just so strong because God's saying, "Listen to what I say". Well, what he's saying, quite often, is through the Bible. It's through the Word of God. Don't let them out of your sight. Keep them in front of you all the time. You know, the Jewish culture, it's so literal that they would, you know, tack them on their doorways, and have them sewn into their clothing. I love that. It's just part of them, all the time. And you know, we can do that on a more physical and a more literal way, you know, so that it's in our heart. That we don't forget it, we can put it on a sticker on our mirrors. We can put it in front of us, however, we need to, but that helps us to study the word and for it to come to life. And to remember that when we don't feel life, when we need healing in our spirit, in our soul, and in our body, that God's word is that. It doesn't only tell us how to find that, but it brings that into us. So, I love that. That's one of the best examples. So, let's jump back into what Joyce has to say now, and give us some more practical tips on what topics to study.
Joyce Meyer: Let's just say that you need to know what the word says about healing. Well, studying what the Bible says about finances is not gonna help you with healing. So, just like if you had a headache, you might take an aspirin. You wouldn't put a band-aid on your head. The Word of God is medicine for our flesh, one translation says. I love that. So if I'm mad at somebody, and I'm having a really hard time getting over it, then I need to go to my concordance and I need to look up the word "Anger" and "Forgive," and then I need to start what I call running references. I need to start looking those scriptures up. Or, you want to do it on the computer, which I do a lot of times now when I'm studying. I'll put in the word "Forgive" in my Bible study package, and just that fast, pulls up every scripture that's in there on forgiving. And you read those, and I'm telling you the absolute truth, "The Word of God has the power to save your soul," James 1 says. If you approach the word with meekness, which means an attitude of humility, this is God's word. It's powerful, and it is going to help me. It's gonna change me. I don't want to be mad. I want to forgive. You know, whatever the case may be. Read those scriptures. Read 'em out loud. Sometimes I'll even write scriptures down in longhand, because it just helps to get it in you. Anything that helps renew your mind, you get it in you. Another thing that the Bible itself teaches us to do is to meditate on the Word of God. And the word "Meditate" just simply means to roll something over and over in your mind, or to mutter it under your breath. So, like, for me, when I was seeking a real revelation on how much God loved me,which was like, now, some 34 years ago. First of all, I studied it for almost a year. I read everything I could get my hands on, on love. I knew pretty much every scripture in the Bible on love because I read them over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over. But another thing that I would do, is I would drive down the road saying, "God loves me". And I might say that, 50 times a day. Or I would go look at myself in the mirror, and say, "God loves me". It needed to become a revelation to me. And information can become revelation through meditating on the Word of God, or going through something over, and over, and over, again. Until it's no longer just in your head, but it drops down into your heart.
Ginger Stache: So, when you talk about that, the Word of God dropping down into your heart, I think that is a really important point for all of us to get, and it's what you were saying when you feel numb, when you feel so hurt that, sometimes, you almost feel like you just don't even have the strength to open the Bible, but it's dropped into your heart. So, it doesn't leave you. And then, it comes up when you need it. And before you know it, you can open that book again.
Jai Williams: It reminds me of, I remember, in high school, I used to study Spanish. Like, I used to speak Spanish. I was pretty fluent. And I translated. Like with my Spanish teacher, we would go, and we'd do Bible studies of people and I would trans, I would,i would help translate. But everything about my Spanish-speaking experience was about translation. But then, after I went to college, I kinda, I took a couple of Spanish courses, but then, I just, it just fizzled away. And I kind of forgot, I pretty much, I know some of the language, but not as much as I did when I was really in it, right? But then, my brother, who's like three years younger than me, he studied Spanish, as well. And he became fluent, but then, after high school, he then, went to these different Spanish speaking countries, and inundated himself in the culture, and then, kept it going. And so, now, even now, in his thirties, he's still fluently speaking it. I asked him, "What's the difference? Like, how did I forget? And how did you remember"? He said, "Because I put myself in it. I stayed in it". He's like, "You still," he said, "You still, you were still translating in your brain". He's like, "Rojo means red, to you". He said, "Rojo means rojo to me". Like, it doesn't mean, it doesn't, so, hola means hello to me. Hola means hola to him. He said, "I stayed in it, until it clicked". So, when you say that, that's what I think of. When you read the scripture and your reading it for routine sake, and you're reading it to translate it, and you're reading it to say that you did it, or you're reading it just because you think that's the right, Christian thing, to do, it's there, and it's good, and it's good for season. But it's not until you put yourself in the culture, and into the Word of God, and into the relationship, into the meditating, that it actually sinks and goes into the heart where it translates, where the Word of God, simply just means what it is, in here. It's not a transl, it's not like a,
Ginger Stache: That's a great way to describe it.
Erin Cluley: That's so good!
Jai Williams: That's how I feel about it. It's rojo means rojo. It doesn't mean red. Like, the Word of God, doesn't just mean, "Oh, this is a book? It's what my mom read, it's what my grandma read, it's what Christians read". No, it is my lifeline. He is my lifeline, it's his words. And if I connect with him, if I connect with this, it's gonna get me through all of my tough times, even when I feel numb. And so, that's what I'm standing on. I'm literally, standing on that.
Erin Cluley: Yeah, this is not a set of rules. We don't read the Bible because it's something that God wants us to do and not do. This is only because he loves us so much, and he wants to give us the tools to get everything he has for us. But it's not a bunch of rules. It's like, so full of love, and grace, and mercy, and justice, and right, and wrong.
Ginger Stache: Yeah, and hard stuff. I mean, when you really read through the Bible, there's a lot of hard stuff. I mean, it's like, when,
Jai Williams: That's why it's hard for me to read it, right now. I was like, "This is har, this is, everything's hard"!
Ginger Stache: Yeah, I mean, it's like a friend who loves you enough to say the really, really hard stuff. And when you just feel kind of smacked sometimes by the love of God. Sometimes, I'm grateful. And other times, I'm like, "Ouch," you know? "I don't,i don't really want that, right now. I'm hurting in this way". But it's like,it's like, when you need a few stitches for your wound to heal, those stitches hurt at first, but they facilitate the healing. And God's word is all about facilitating the healing. And so, there's so much about that, that I've really learned over the years. One thing that I love doing, on top of studying, what we need to study is, every few years, I love reading the Bible through. You know, like, they have those Bible-in-a-year programs. And let's be honest, I never make it in a year, okay? It takes me a little bit longer than a year. Every,every few years I start that and, and I get through it, but like I said, it takes a little longer. But the reason I do that, is because I hear so much in God's word in places that I don't expect it. Like you were saying, there's so much in there that teaches us things, that we don't know, we need to know, until we learn it.
Jai Williams: You would have never thought that "The begats" and all of the people that came through the lineage of Jesus, would help me, with my forgiveness journey. Like, what does that have to do with forgiveness. No, it's the realization that no matter who's wronged you, no matter what people have done, like, they are still a part of the big picture story. Like, Rahab like, she's a harlot. How is she in the lineage of Jesus? But God can use anyone. And it's not up to me to choose. "Oh, you've done this to me," or, "You done this to this person," or, "You've done this in business," or, "You've done this in church," or, "You've done," and try to disqualify. God will use anyone to bring something beautiful out of it, and that helped me in my forgiveness journey, being like, "Hey, whoever did whatever to you, that's on their journey and you have to forgive them because it's very possible that their name could be in some type of written situation". You know, like, who knows. And I have to seriously, let go and forgive, so.
Ginger Stache: And God can use that, maybe, terrible thing that they did, for good, in your life.
Jai Williams: It just doesn't make, it doesn't seem to make sense. But when you think of even like, the three Hebrew boys, going through, why would you go,who'd,? I'm pretty sure, when they were about to go through the fiery furnace, they never imagined, like, "We're about to make history, guys. They're gonna talk about us for..."
Ginger Stache: "This is cool".
Jai Williams: "They're gonna talk about us for thousands and thousands of years". But like, you just never know how history's gonna play out. And those stories, in the Bible, really help you understand, in your good times, and your bad times, God is going to work it out for your good. He's going to turn it around.
Ginger Stache: And there's a lot of hard stuff too. I mean, there's a lot of stuff that I don't get. That, I'm like, "God, what were you doing there"? You know, "What, why did this happen"? "Why,you know, why did all these people have to die"? "Why is it so difficult, and violent, and bloody"? And just a lot of questions. But what I love about studying the word, is God is big enough for all those questions. and I, he says, his ways are not our ways. I'm not going to understand all of it. But he will guide me, and teach me. You did the 30/30 challenge. A lot of people did.
Erin Cluley: I did.
Ginger Stache: So, that was, that the was the challenge at Joyce Meyer Ministries, to read the Bible, 30 minutes a day, for 30 days in a row, and see what it did. What'd it do for you?
Erin Cluley: They changed my whole life. Because not until that point, had I figured out, like, I would read my Bible for a week or two, and then, I don't know, I'd move on. And then, I'd come back to it, and we just had this relationship where it was like, touch and go. So, committing 30 days, I saw God move in ways I had never experienced. And it's not that like, my circumstances miraculously changed. We were trying to get pregnant and it was taking a long time, and I was really upset, and I wasn't pregnant at the end of the 30 days. But I saw God show me his promises in his word. He didn't show me, "I promise, you'll have a baby on October 7th," that's my birthday. But what he did show me is, "I am faithful. And regardless of your circumstance, I'm still victorious, and keep you're trust in me". So, learning to study his word, like Joyce teaches, that chokes me up a little bit. To study his word and not just read it, to dig in, and I would write the verses out like she said. And then, I would summarize them. And then, I would put my name in them. And it just became my own, like, "That verse is for me," totally transformed my Bible reading.
Ginger Stache: Yeah, like, I have this list that I just keep on my phone, all the time of my verses, that I wouldn't even call my favorite verses. They're just things that have really jumped out at me, at the time, when I've been reading. And so, I'd pick up my phone and I put it in there, 'cuz I know, I don't want to forget it, and I'll need it later. So, that list is so long, now. I can scroll, and scroll, and scroll. But I find so many wonderful things that mean something different, and surprise me, and teach me new things. And this is another thing that Joyce talks about, and my dad, when I went to college, gave me a journal. He gave me a blank notebook. And he said, "Okay, you know, you're starting off on your own. The most important thing for you to do is to continue spending time in the word, and start writing down what God's doing in your life, and what he's teaching you. You'll always be glad you did that". And that was pretty much it, and I started journaling then. And it really has meant so much to me, and it just cemented, there's something about writing things down, or even typing them online, and you know, into some sort of a journal that makes it a permanent part of your life.
Jai Williams: Yeah, I wish, in the season of numb, it's been so difficult to write.
Erin Cluley: Has it?
Jai Williams: It's been difficult to write. And I love,
Ginger Stache: That the hardest.
Jai Williams: It's the hardest, because, honestly, and I feel like there are phases to it. 'Cuz, as I write it, sometimes, it's painful to see it, you know? It's like, "Okay, I already know what I'm going through, I don't wanna talk about it," you know? And so, I haven't been journaling as much. I used to love it, you know? And I think it's so helpful. And I think, I would love to get back to that. But allowing yourself the grace,
Ginger Stache: There are seasons.
Jai Williams: Yeah, allowing yourself to have the grace to like, not go, to have the seasons of not writing and writing. But I see, it's so helpful. And if you don't have the energy to write, then find your group of friends, where you can at least talk. And that's where this has helped a bunch. Because I haven't, like, when I get to write, I'm like, "Ugh..." You know, but do something to get it out, and to talk about it, and to express yourself. 'Cuz, that's one of the biggest things. Like, I love journaling. But when you're numb, it's hard to like...
Ginger Stache: And I think this is really important too, as we close, for all of our friends, who are listening, is this is about a relationship. It's not about guilt. So, if you've never done this before, and you start today, good for you. You know, God is up there saying, "I'm here, come on in". He's not saying, "No, you haven't done it right, you haven't done it often enough. I'm disappointed". He's wooing you. He's pursuing you, like someone who loves you so much. Not as someone in anger, and in guilt, or shame. So, I want you to know that today. This is a place where you can start. If you've been doing it for years, good for you. If you haven't, it is not too late. So, we have something that will be very helpful for you. It's our, "How to study the Bible," download. It's a booklet that digs into a lot of these things that Joyce was talking about, how to study the word, it's very practical. You can go to joycemeyer.Org/talkitout and get that absolutely, free download. You can also, subscribe to our friend's list. We encourage you to do that because that does put you in a place where you're reminded about Bible study, where you're reminded about the Word of God. And you'll know when new podcasts are coming up, get some fun behind-the-scenes stuff, but this will help you in that journey in the word, as well. And we also, invite you to something very exciting, very important. Our wc21 is coming up.
Erin Cluley: Whohoo!
Ginger Stache: We love our women's conference. The love life women's conference is so much fun. This one is going to be a little bit different, and I'm excited about it, 'cuz Joyce is talking about how to be authentically, uniquely you. And this women's conference, of course, coming out of this time of pandemic is going to be a very unique one, too. So, we invite everyone to join us. We're going to be having a lot of great music, special guests, and it's all on your own time. It's all online, you can take it in at your own pace. It is as unique as you are. So, we just want to draw you into God's word, and help you see how much he loves you, and how unique you are. So, join us, October 8th and 9th for this fun virtual event. It'll be available after that, online. Thank you, guys. Love you both.
Jai Williams: Oh, this is great. Love you.
Ginger Stache: Thanks to everyone for being with us. Dig into God's word, and we'll see you next time.
Erin Cluley: Bye friends.