Joyce Meyer - Finding Joy In The Midst Of Despair
Hi, friends. Welcome to Joyce Meyer's Talk It Out podcast where my friends and I talk about God's word and the real stuff of life and we hold nothing back. I'm Ginger Stache, with Erin Cluley, Jai, and of course, Joyce Meyer. We're all in different stages of life. A young career woman and mom to two sweet kiddos. An accomplished songwriter facing an unexpected new life's journey. A leader, creative, an author with a heart for adventure. And a world-renowned Bible teacher whose personal story has impacted millions. And there's you, because sometimes you just need to talk about life with your girlfriends. So, consider yourself one of us, and let's Talk It Out.
Ginger Stache: Hi, everyone. Welcome. Please come in. We are going to talk about some really important things today. So, important that Joyce wants us to all begin with a musical number for all of you.
Joyce Meyer: Yes, I thought we would sing. Are you ready?
Jai Williams: Let's go.
Erin Cluley: We're ready.
Joyce Meyer: The joy of the Lord is my strength.
Ginger Stache: That's what I'm offering.
Joyce Meyer: The joy of the Lord is my strength. The joy of the Lord is my strength. The joy of the Lord is my strength.
Erin Cluley: Yay.
Joyce Meyer: Since Jai's the only one who that can really sing, we say it would be: Jai, and the hummers.
Erin Cluley: I hummed that whole time.
Jai Williams: She did, you did good. That's the new band name, Jai, and the hummers.
Ginger Stache: The hummers, sounds kinda cool.
Jai Williams: And the clappers.
Ginger Stache: I don't wanna be the clapper. Well, we're talking about joy today. And yes, exactly, that the joy of the Lord is our strength. And interesting thing about this. It's something we all need so desperately. And when we talk about it, it's what everybody wants. You know, we want the joy of the Lord. We want that strength that he gives us. It's one of the Fruit of the Spirit, so it's promised to us. And normal days, and I'm just gonna start out so transparent. This would be one of my very favorite topics to talk about, 'cause joy is just so important to me. It's been one of those things that God has spoken to me personally about, as long as I can remember, so important. And today, I don't wanna talk about it. I just, I just have a lot in my heart and a lot of grief that's been going on, and a lot of heartache and things that have been happening in our family, as we lost Tim's brother, who we were very close to. And I prayed about it, and I know how important it is to talk about it. I just don't wanna do it, because today, I'm still at that raw stage where I cry really easy. And I, you know, I never enjoy that. But the fact is, joy is still there. And I can talk about that. I just have to get through it. And I'm so glad to have all of you to talk about it, because that's the whole key, is that joy doesn't disappear when life isn't right. So, I'm gonna let you guys get started.
Joyce Meyer: Oh, thank you, thank you.
Ginger Stache: Yes, and we're actually gonna start with Joyce talking from a teaching about how important joy is in our life, why we get it, why it's necessary, and what it really means. And then, we'll come back, and we promise no more singing. So, stay with us.
Joyce Meyer: This epistle of Philippians is considered to be the epistle of joy. And, I've said this in every session but Paul mentions joy or rejoicing 19 times in the four chapters of Philippians. Do you know how important joy is? It's not just a matter of having joy so you can feel good, but joy is like doing warfare with the devil. Everything that the devil tries to do is to bring us down, down. Down in your mood, down in how you feel, down in your hope and expectations, down, down, down. But, everything about Jesus and is up and he wants us to have joy because the Bible says, "The joy of the Lord is our strength". The joy, not of circumstances, but of the Lord. Well, circumstances... Wow, if we just had no difficulties due to people in our life that are hard to get along with or circumstances that are difficult, it would be so easy to be filled with joy. But then, the joy we had would not be the joy of the Lord, it would be the joy of good circumstances. But, that's not real life. Nobody's going to have everybody love 'em all the time. You're always gonna run into people that are difficult to get along with. And, if you're not running into somebody that's difficult to get along with, then you're being hard to get along with and somebody's having to deal with you. I know that's hard to believe, but believe it or not, sometimes you are hard to get along with just like I am. So, it's not reality to think that all of our circumstances are gonna be great. You know, I used to just keep wishing that the world would change, if life would just get better, if the world would change. And then, finally, I got it. I don't know why it takes us so many years to get it, but God doesn't remove all the hard circumstances or the hard people but he uses them to change us. How are we gonna learn to love everybody, if everybody's lovable? There's no trick to that. I mean, that's easy. It's not hard to be good to somebody that's being good to you. But yes, we are asked to do hard things. And when we do the right thing while we don't want to, we're crucifying the flesh. When you do the right thing when you don't feel like doing the right thing, that's when you're growing spiritually.
Ginger Stache: So, I am growing. I am crucifying the flesh, right now, in a big-time way. And Joyce has a new book, and it is called, "Be joyful". And it's a 50-day journey to help wake up that joy in your life. And it's so good, Joyce. So, I so agree with what you're saying. If life was easy all the time, joy wouldn't be so important to us.
Joyce Meyer: Well, I've been thinking about this for the last couple of days, knowing and we were gonna do this show and I think the first thing that's important for us to understand is you have to make your mind up to be joyful because there is something every day, they can steal it. Happiness,the world uses the term happy, and the Bible even uses the word happy, and the Amplified Bible in the beatitudes, but happiness is, in essence, based on what's happening. At least that's the way we usually describe it. Where joy is something much deeper. But further, I was thinking about it. Ok, we talk about this "The joy of the Lord," what is that?
Erin Cluley: Yeah, what is it?
Joyce Meyer: Yeah. I mean, it sounds nice. But what is it? Now, Jesus said,he did say that he wanted his joy to be perfected in us. It's in the book of John. But I was thinking about what the joy of the Lord is and the joy of the Lord is really when,if you, no matter how bad you have it, if you'll actually sit down and think about what yours in Christ, what he's done for you, that's what the joy of the Lord really is. I mean, when,no matter what kind of circumstance we've got, if you think about it, if you're a believer in Christ, you're not gonna go to hell. Your sins can always be forgiven if you're truly repentant. You're made the righteousness of God in Christ. We don't have to dread the future and regret the past. We can live each day fully. I mean, Jesus has done so much for us, and we probably need to think about that more than what we do, actually, what he has really done. So, the joy of the Lord is our strength, but it requires some purposeful thinking. I mean, it would probably even be good for people, when they're having a rough time, to sit down and write out what all Jesus has done for them. And pretty soon that joy comes flooding back in, because nobody is as blessed as we are as believers in Christ.
Erin Cluley: I was looking through your book and one thing that stood out to me, even just in the table of contents, before I even started reading it, was, I was hoping your chapters would be like, "If you do,if you have five glasses of water every day and do this walking, then you'll be joyful". But all of it is about, it's diving into the word and finding out who you are in Christ. And all these different parts of my relationship with God, that's where my joy comes from. And it's not about doing all these things right, like the world tells me to do. It's,if I imm,the word immersed just kept coming to me. If I immerse myself in all that he is and all he's done for me that's where I'm gonna get that joy. Not what the world has, the checklist.
Joyce Meyer: You'd think being a Bible teacher, I would have known that all along, but I never really gave too much thought to actually what the joy of the Lord was.
Jai Williams: Yeah.
Joyce Meyer: And I like to be practical. And so, you can say, "The joy of the Lord is your strength," and everybody claps. But how many really know what that is? And you know, if you just think about the fact that in Christ you're never without hope. How many people in the world are hopeless? They don't have any hope.
Jai Williams: Yeah.
Joyce Meyer: But hope means to expect that something good is gonna happen to you at any moment. So, even though, Ginger's been through a rough time,you've been through a rough time, you've been through a rough time, we all go through rough times. But Ginger, in particular's just been through a situation where a loved one died. And if you just focus on that and it'll leave you miserable. But if you really think about the fact that he went to heaven. And so, really when we grieve for people that we've lost, we're grieving for ourselves, not for them, because they truly are in a better place, but we're the ones that have lost somebody. And I think we all know that real joy comes from right thinking. And we have to choose that on a regular basis.
Jai Williams: Yeah, one of the things, like, I always appreciate your books because, first of all, they make me not feel alone, you know? And it also, like you said, you're very, very practical. And that's what I appreciate, too. It's like,because my thoughts of joy have always been almost like that external expression of joy, like laughing and smiling and not crying, you know, and not,you know what I mean? Like, that's what I felt and thought joy really was, you know? And then, because that,there is like, I don't know if y'all sang this in y'all church, but in that song, the joy of the Lord is our strength, is like, if you need joy, you can leap for it, ok, so yeah. So, then, we'd like, do y'all laugh to it? With it? It's like, ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha ha. It's like...
Joyce Meyer: Ha ha ha.
Jai Williams: So then, as it kept going, so, I'm like,when I ever felt down or, I did used to feel like, "I guess don't have joy. I guess I need to jump". You know, like, you know, like,and then,or laugh.
Ginger Stache: Or fake it, yeah.
Jai Williams: Or fake it. Yeah, and I'm like, even,but like, in this,the last season and probably similar like, to what you're feeling when it's just like, "Ugh, it's heavy". And so, what I've learned through this is that making that list that you're talking about, and even if I'm crying, because of the reality of what I'm dealing with. It's, I can't, I couldn't control the tears, like,
Joyce Meyer: And it's ok to be sad sometimes. We don't have to go around pretending like nothing hurts and nothing bothers us. I don't even think Jesus did that.
Jai Williams: Yeah, he didn't. But that's part of reading the word is like understanding that he wept at times, and he was sad. He felt like God had forsaken him like, you know, like, so, it's ok to have those moments. But still, when I would make those lists and like, think about those times, like, the part of gratitude that would make me like, "I am, I am gonna be ok". You know, like you've done this. Yeah...
Erin Cluley: I'm so sorry.
Jai Williams: Go ahead, girl.
Erin Cluley: Well, I was just gonna say, do you know, how many verses are in the Bible about thankfulness and how they connect to joy?
Jai Williams: It's so,it's,because when I'm sad, I don't automatically, like, naturally go to gratitude.
Erin Cluley: No, that's the last place I'd like to go.
Jai Williams: Yeah, I go to, "Why did this happen to me"? You know, "Why didn't you come through in this way"? It's more questioning rather than reflecting on what he's already done or the things that I'm super grateful for right now. It's like, simple things, like,like being here, the times that we've shared.
Ginger Stache: And that shows you that there's balance in our life.
Joyce Meyer: Right.
Ginger Stache: Honestly, the Bible says in John 10:10 that he came so that we can have and enjoy our life. He does want us to laugh and enjoy each other's company and enjoy our good days and he wants us to see the goodness of God in the land of the living. So, there's so much of that. But he also understands the sorrows that we face as people and how difficult life is sometimes. And he's been there too, and he gets that. So, like, even for me, one of the reasons joy has been so important to me, is I've,for so much of my life just felt that it's a calling. That I am to be one of those people who spread the joy of the Lord. That as a naturally happy person, it doesn't mean I'm always happy by any means, but anything that I do have is a gift from God. And so, on those days that I don't have that same happiness, I still have the joy of the Lord that he has put inside of me and doesn't leave me.
Joyce Meyer: Well, usually when people are having a problem, I think we all tend to do this, we focus on the problem.
Jai Williams: Yeah.
Erin Cluley: Oh yeah.
Joyce Meyer: It's so hard to train yourself not to do that. But that's exactly what you need to do when you have a problem, and you find yourself focusing on the problem is to change your focus and focus on what Jesus has done for you. And I think that it's just really important that we realize how much our thinking has to do with all this. And when it comes to joy, I think it's important to note that if you look up the definition of joy, it says it's anything from extreme hilarity to a calm delight. And I love that calm delight. You know, I'm more of a serious-minded person. I always have been. I'm not, you know... That kind of person. And I wish I was sometimes, but you know, you are what you are. I started out having a lot of serious things happen to me as a child when I was being sexually abused by my dad and went through a lot of not so nice things. And I just have a deeper choleric, get-the-job-done personality. But I'm still happy. I'm just probably not as loud about it as somebody else might be.
Jai Williams: Like me. When I'm happy, I'm loud.
Joyce Meyer: Yeah. So, I love that calm delight.
Erin Cluley: Yeah, a few years ago when we were living in Tulsa, and it was a,it was a wilderness season, and it was,it was hard. And Mike was unhappy at his job. So, therefore, we were all unhappy. And my dad was really sick. It's a miracle he's still alive, and just all these things were happening. And I remember watching myself one day, like, "Why are you,why do you have calm delight? Like, how are you,how are you having joy right now"? And it was,it was the same kind of realization like, "This is not about me. This is,that is the Lord working even in the midst of something really awful. I know he's here. I know he's got me". So, seeing that, seeing yourself kind of have that strange, calm delight when it doesn't make sense, was really interesting.
Joyce Meyer: And I think that's important for people to really realize that, you know, joy doesn't have to be loud. It doesn't have to be hilarity. You don't have to be laughing all the time or, you know, rolling around on the floor holding your belly. I mean, you can, it just, I actually prefer a calm delight. It's like,it's so peaceful and so beautiful, I'm just content, you know, with whatever.
Jai Williams: Yeah, but,and I've realized the older I get, the more I appreciate that, you know? But I'm still loud, though, like,
Joyce Meyer: And that's ok.
Jai Williams: I mean, when I laugh, I laugh from my soul. And then, like...
Erin Cluley: I love it.
Jai Williams: And when I smile, I smile like this, you know, like,but you know, and even,like, some of my toughest times, these past few years, I just know, like, a lot of people were, like, thought I was happy about the situation until they would hear it on the podcast, because, you know, because I just,there were times that I didn't even realize I was smiling. Like that had to be God. That had to be God. Like,because I was just like... On the inside. But like, God will, like, I wouldn't, if I didn't know you, I wouldn't know what you were going through because you literally have blue nails with a smiley face on 'em.
Ginger Stache: I did. I did that to help. Something.
Jai Williams: Happy... You know, so I'm just saying, like, even those little things that,that, you know, like, seems so minimal, that was a choice that you made in a tough time. And that's what you're saying, like, it's a choice to say, "Ok, regardless of how I feel, I'm gonna still get to that core of joy and make a choice.
Joyce Meyer: No matter, what kind of problem you have.
Jai Williams: Yeah. No matter what.
Joyce Meyer: We are all more blessed than we have problems.
Ginger Stache: I've also learned that if you open your eyes really wide and, you don't cry as easily. Because the tears...
Jai Williams: You might look a little crazy.
Ginger Stache: The tears don't come out, they just kinda slide right back down in.
Jai Williams: Your face,your face swallowed your tears.
Ginger Stache: So, I'm not suggesting this for everyone. But I'll tell ya.
Erin Cluley: I just thought you were extra alert today.
Jai Williams: I'm looking back at you like, "Yeah".
Ginger Stache: But the thing that like, just letting me, letting me have my moment, and especially, for all of our friends who are maybe grieving or maybe are dealing with something, right now, that God has not left us in, we don't grieve as those without hope. We grieve with the joy. But it hurts, and it's really hard. And so, you know, we went through a long time, our family member, his name was Mark, and he had leukemia. So, it was a long path. And of course, we're praying for the best. And you have that hope and things are looking good and then they don't. And everybody understands that up and down.
Jai Williams: Rollercoaster, yeah.
Ginger Stache: Yeah, and then, a very long, hard road watching him decline and watching his wife and his children suffer and all those people that we love, you know? And it was just,it was a long, hard haul. And that's when, yes, everything that we all know, that I know to do, in my heart, is so true. I know how blessed I am. And I know how much I have to be grateful for. But I also have to give my heart a little bit of time to,not live in that, 'cause we don't have to live in that, but to feel it. How about that? To feel it. And,but one of the things that I'm so grateful for is how much I've learned, 'cause I've shared many times that anger would be my go-to when I was younger. And I'll tell ya, if this had happened to me 25 years ago, I would have been furious that God didn't, not do what I wanted but do what I knew he could do. And,and, you know, I'm not there. I'm glad that God has taught me so much through the years of who he is and how his heart is broken when ours is, too. And, you know, I don't have to walk in that anger anymore. But what I have learned is that even in the midst of that great pain, and that just really deep hurt, and grief is the joy that I'm finding. Is the joy in thinking about, like you said, "Where Mark is, now". And I mean, my mind just wonders at what he must be seeing, you know, what he must be experiencing and that we will be together again, all of us. But also, just the joy, in other people who would reach out and check on me every day and people who would just call and cry with me. You know, I mean, it means a lot that God gives us people who mourn with us. That's what we're called to do together. And the fact that I would see joy in the most unusual places, even through this incredibly difficult time. The way that our loved one left an impact on so many lives and the stories that they would share, you know, was just,like God is doing so many amazing things in our lives that we don't realize. He never realized the impact that he was having on other people. There is so much joy. Joy is so much bigger than we realize. It's not the ha ha stuff. It's what God gives us that we cannot get anywhere else by any circumstances, by any fun thing that we do, by any accomplishment that we get. It just comes from who God is in our lives.
Joyce Meyer: One of the amazing beatitudes is "Blessed are those that mourn for they shall be comforted". That's really unique when you think about it. He says you're blessed when you mourn for you shall be comforted. So, the comfort of,huh?
Ginger Stache: It's a promise.
Joyce Meyer: It's a promise. So, the comfort of God, I mean, it's almost like he's saying it's worth mourning just to experience God's comfort. And then, the comfort that he comforts you with, you can then, use that same experience to go and comfort other people that are hurting. So, God really does work something good out of everything if we'll believe that, and let it happen. And, you know, Jesus, when he was in the Garden of Gethsemane, he had a rough time. I mean, he,three times, he went away and prayed that God would remove the cup from him. So, I think it's safe to say he really, really did not want to go to the cross. But he always followed it up with, "If possible, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, your will be done and not mine". And we don't understand when people die, we don't understand when a young person gets sick and dies. But this is where that unquestioning trust comes in, that we just know in part, we don't understand everything and that, I just wanna encourage anybody that's watching today, that is grieving, to ask God to comfort you, because he wants to do that. And I don't know how he goes about it, but God's the one that can get on the inside of you and make things happen that nobody else can happen.
Ginger Stache: Can I share one funny story?
Joyce Meyer: Sure.
Ginger Stache: Through this whole terrible process, we were sitting around the hospital bed, at this time, when we were, Mark was on a ventilator, and they were going to take him off and they didn't know what would happen. But they said quite often, and as bad as he was, he would,he would go to be with the Lord right away. And when they took the ventilator, took him off the ventilator, he didn't. And we had some wonderful time with him through those last hours, that I'm so grateful for, that we had. But,and he would kind of get bad again, and there would be goodbyes, and then he'd rally again, and then we'd have more time that we'd laugh together. And but we were all sitting around, at one point, and my nephew, who's so wonderful, but he just said to his dad, he said, "You know, I feel like I've been a little bit deceived because I thought you were gonna, you know, go somewhere and you're still here". And we all just laughed so hard because there is even joy in mourning, you know, that terrible process of saying goodbye and then having more moments together. But being able to laugh about something like that, it's just,I'm grateful for the way God gives us glimpses of laughter when we don't expect it. So, Joyce, one of the things that I wanna get so practical about is in the book, you talk about doing three things that,you're talking about choosing joy. And I think about that, too, that I can only choose it because it was such a gift that God gave me. And so, not to continue to choose it, is such a waste of what God did for us. But you talk about three of the things that we can do today, to increase our joy, no matter how hard of a time we're going through. And I think they're so great. The one is spending time with God, just knowing who he is. One is spending time in his word, understanding what his word says. And one is spending time with people who help you grow. Doing those three things today, why are those so important and how do they benefit us?
Joyce Meyer: Well, you know, we can,we can waste our time. We can spend it foolishly or we can invest it. And we all get the same amount of time, 24 hours a day, some live longer than others. But we always say, well, you know, "I spend so much time doing this, and I spend so much time doing that". And that's the truth, you're spending your time. But are you spending it on something that's gonna bring a benefit to you or to somebody else? Or are you just wasting it? Investing it or wasting it? So, anytime that we spend time with God, it's an investment, it's always gonna come back to you multiplied many times over. And that's one of the big facets of joy is,just in his presence is fullness of joy. So, just being with him brings joy. And then, being in the word, I mean, the word is powerful. You know, just, I mean, I love just sitting and just talking about the word like this. I was thinking when you were talking about your brother- in-law's last few hours, I thought how blessed he was to have so many people around him that loved him. Do you know how many people die and have nobody with them at all, they're totally alone? And so, just to have people who care about you is a blessing. Or you,like you said, you had people that checked on you every day or people that cried with you. And there's so many things we take for granted, but not everybody has that. And then, spending time with the right kind of people. Boy, when you're hurting, you can shoot yourself in the foot or you can help yourself, because we can choose who we're around. You know, and you may have to be around somebody that annoys you, for a certain period of time, but you can get away from 'em and go get around somebody else that's gonna make you happy. And I wanna be around people that are going to add a smile on my face. I love to be with funny people. And I'll tell you, since Dave and I have gotten a little bit older, you noticed, I said, "A little bit".
Ginger Stache: Just a touch.
Joyce Meyer: We both, have a little hearing issue now, and we have more fun with that. I mean, we laugh, and laugh, and laugh, and laugh, and laugh. Because we have so many things that happen. Like, the other day, my daughter, her son's a police officer, and so she went to a program for something called back stoppers, and it's people who give to help the widows of fallen officers. And Dave said, "You went to a conference on backstabbers"?
Ginger Stache: The backstabber's conference.
Joyce Meyer: And Laura about fell on the floor, she was laughing so hard. And so, I think we do need to take every opportunity we can to laugh and to be around people that will make us laugh. And the more negative things that seem to happen to you, the more you need to spend in the positive things that the Word of God has to say. And God has just done so much for us. I mean, it's just like all the stuff I went through as a kid. It's like, that was somebody I knew a long time ago. But I don't,it doesn't relate to me anymore. You know, how can God heal you to the point where you don't even remember it, or even thank God for it because of how it made you mature and helped you grow? So, when we're going through really horrible times, it's so good to remember, "Now I can use this, to help somebody else". "I can, I can make somebody else's life, like,better like that," when you're,you're blessed when you're mourning, because you'll be comforted, and then you can take that same comfort with which God comforts you and comfort somebody else. So, I mean, I've had a lot of things happen to me in my life, but I've never lost anybody to death that I was really, really, really close to. So, naturally, Ginger could relate to somebody better in a situation like that. She wasn't abused as a child. I was. So, I could really relate to that person. We can all relate to anybody that's hurting because God is in us. But God will use the hard things that you go through, and he'll use them to help somebody else, if you'll let him.
Jai Williams: Yeah, and so, it's clear that you've had times when you weren't happy because then, that aren't joyful and, because you put so much in here, and it's just so full of scriptures that do the work for, you know, I'm not lazy. A little bit, I am. But like...
Erin Cluley: You get such a good outline.
Jai Williams: But here's the thing. It's this helpful. It's helpful to have like so, that's why I was looking over here, like, "Which scripture would I say"? But you know, it's just so many scriptures in your books, and in this one about joy and about Christ's suffering and about, you know, like...
Joyce Meyer: What he went through.
Jai Williams: What he went through, yeah.
Joyce Meyer: There's nothing compared to what he went through.
Jai Williams: Exactly, so it's just, it's,it's helpful.
Joyce Meyer: And you know, the truth is sometimes when people get in, what we'll call a pit, for right now,just a pit of misery and...
Ginger Stache: We just talked about that pit.
Jai Williams: Yeah, we did.
Joyce Meyer: Sadness. You don't even really wanna read something like this.
Jai Williams: No, you don't.
Ginger Stache: Be joyful?
Joyce Meyer: You see that, "Be joyful," it's like, I don't even wanna be joyful. I mean, we can actually get in to enjoying our misery and feeling sorry for ourself because we're so miserable. But there are answers for every problem that we have. And I think that one of the greatest things that we can do is every single day look for, and I have to stress, look for, things that you can be thankful for.
Erin Cluley: As a mom of small children, it is easy to let, even just like, little things during the day, steal my joy. And things happen that are just annoying, and kids cry and want things and stuff. And so, it's easy as a mom, and I'm sure other moms relate to me, to let those little things steal your joy. But I have tried to be so aware of the fun moments, like you're saying. Like, the other day, we played charades. And Peyton is ridiculous. And she wanted to be a rainbow. And it was just, it was a,they're just funny. So, I found myself laughing hysterically, like you were saying. And I thought, "This is what I should do with my children. I need to be so aware of the really fun moments we're having". And some of it's hard and some of it is discouraging. But in the midst of all of that are some really sweet moments that I don't need to worry about all the other stuff.
Joyce Meyer: Well, I want to give you some really, really, really good news.
Erin Cluley: What?
Joyce Meyer: They will grow up.
Erin Cluley: Will they? Good, good, it's good news.
Joyce Meyer: And they'll go live somewhere else.
Erin Cluley: Even better news, even better news. Just this morning, we had, had caden, who's seven, take a test to see if he could get into a gifted program. It was recommended by his teacher. Well, I got the results today, that he didn't make it. And he's been asking for weeks, like, "Did I get it? Do I get to go? Do I get to go"? And so, I had to tell him this morning, "No, you don't". And this is our first rejection. This is,he's seven. He's never been rejected from anything. And so, to tell him, this'll make me cry, "Daddy and I are proud of you, not because of what you do, but because of who you are". And to see his face process that and then go back to, "Ok, well, let's go to school and let's see my friends," I wanna be like that. Where I, he sat his pain for a second and then he remembered all the other great things he gets to do today.
Jai Williams: And it's hard, the parenting pieces. Like sometimes, it's hard. It's harder for me to remain joyful when I see my kid hurting...
Ginger Stache: Oh, that's the worst.
Jai Williams: Than for me. You know, like, I just get,ugh, cuz I feel helpless. I feel like I don't, I don't know what to do to help her, you know? And especially, now, with mine, she'll be 19 soon. And so, at that age where she's technically an adult, but she's still a kid and...
Ginger Stache: Yeah, who made up that age anyway?
Jai Williams: I don't like it.
Ginger Stache: How'd that happen?
Jai Williams: That's so,that's,18,19, that's hard because it's like, still a kid but you wanna respect them as an adult, to an extent, and in the house, but not really in the house. And now, she's in two different spaces, in two different states. When she goes to us,it's like, it's hard. And so, the hardest thing has been to remain joyful about my kid. Like, because it's not, I don't get to see her do rainbows. I don't get, you know and giving her the space, she needs to be an adult and make her own decisions on where she wants to live. And if she wants to go to college or not, or what she wants to do with her life. It's like, "Oh," when you're used to making those decisions, it's like,and not being able to see that resolve of that happy cuz she's processing, that's hard. And so, I need that. Cuz it's hard,like, I find myself being at times more sad about my kid, like it makes me emotional. Like I feel,I'm more sad about my kid being sad than even myself. Like it's hard. So, yeah, I need that more for her.
Joyce Meyer: Any parents, you'd rather be sick yourself than to see your kid be sick or...
Erin Cluley: Oh, my gosh.
Joyce Meyer: You know, when I used to have to punish my kids, I woulda much rather punished myself. I didn't wanna take something away from them.
Ginger Stache: And our joy, as a parent, does not come from being a perfect parent or having perfect children, you know. Our joy comes in the potential that God has put in them and what he can do in their life and what he's doing in our life through them. I learned so much through my kids and even through some of the really hard times that I wouldn't have wanted to happen the way that they did. I learned so much and God was always in the midst of those times. And like you're saying, they can be really hard trying times, as a mom. But now, looking back, and even, you know, with the joy of having grandchildren now, you do see the way God was working that you didn't always see in the midst of it. I see, like, "Oh, God was putting that in her then, and now this is how he's using it". I mean, things like that, that amaze me. And I'm so grateful for, that God brings joy up in those things. Like, I love the book of James, but I do not like the scripture that says, "Count it all joy," you know, like "Ugh". "Count it all joy. My brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness". And boy, is that hard to count it joy when you're in the middle of growing that steadfastness.
Joyce Meyer: The Amplified Bible, says, "Count it joy because your trials bring out patience". And I said, "They brought a lot of things out of me before we ever got around to patience".
Ginger Stache: Oh, yeah, yeah.
Jai Williams: Like what?
Joyce Meyer: It took us a while to get there.
Ginger Stache: So, you know, when you hear, "Count it all joy," you're just like, "Uh, oh, I don't think so". I don't always think so.
Joyce Meyer: But here again, I really feel it's good to say that joy is not some kind of he-he-he...
Ginger Stache: Right.
Joyce Meyer: It can be that, just contentment, that quiet contentment. And we talk about kids, it's so important for parents to know that, I mean, Ginger's had this experience, I have. But I have four grown children. And I'll tell you, when they were not grown and I was raising them, sometimes, I didn't even hardly have a thimble full of hope for each one of them. I mean, I had kids, it was just like, I was so happy when they got out of school, I could hardly stand it. And now, our one boy that just hated school so bad, and had such a hard time in school, he now, is the CEO of all the operations side of the ministry, and over all the media. And my other son that, oh, my gosh, we could not get along. I mean, we just had such a hard time getting along and he's the CEO of all of our missions outworks. And we've got hundreds and hundreds of things going on around the world, and he's been involved in starting every single one of them. And my one daughter who couldn't find her socks, if she took 'em off, I mean, she was so sloppy and now she takes care of me. And so, they will come around. And that's what you need to remember when you're going through those tough times. It's not over till it's over, and it's not over yet.
Ginger Stache: One more thing, just to bring up as we're closing, cuz I thought this was such a great suggestion in the book. You talked about one of the great ways to bring up that joy in our lives and to help maintain it. Because I believe, and I know you do, too, we have to fight for our joy. I mean, God gives it to us as a gift, but we have to cultivate it.
Joyce Meyer: And the devil does not want you to have it.
Ginger Stache: No, he does not. So, one of the things that you suggest is to simplify, to keep things from getting over complicated, and overwhelming. Any ways that you guys do that or why you see that is so important?
Joyce Meyer: I think, sometimes, for me, just the way I think about things can either be complicated or it can be simple. How simple is it to say, "I believe God will take care of this" than to get all negative, and try to figure it out yourself, and go tell 25 people how horrible things are for you? It's just so simple to say, "I believe that God will take care of this. I don't know what he's gonna do or when he's gonna do it, but I, " trust just makes everything so simple. Just trust in God. And whether it's a situation you've come through, or what I went through as a child, or what any of us have gone through, it all comes back to: are you gonna trust God or are you not gonna trust God? And I wanna add to all of this, before we close, I believe that one of the greatest ways that you can increase joy in your own life is to bring joy to someone else's life. The more,if you can make somebody else happy every day, you will find yourself very seldom being unhappy yourself.
Jai Williams: One of my simple ways is now understanding that, what you said earlier, Joyce, you said, like, you can either waste,basically waste whatever you're going through or you can use it to help others. And this has actually helped me push out of that too. I've always been a person that was like, this isn't just for me. Whatever is going, whatever I've gone through, in all of my life, I'm like, "It's not just for me". But this was probably the hardest thing, like going through that divorce was like one of the hardest things that I've ever gone through in my adult life. And sharing it with other people, and help,you know, asking God, "I don't get this," being so honest and transparent, even when I didn't really believe that I could be joyful, or didn't know that God was working it out. Just being honest with the people that I love and that love me, and would push me towards God, like, just being honest, and then, also, saying, "God, you're not gonna waste this". Like, even in my moments of like, unbelief, you know, like, "You're not gonna waste it, and I know you're gonna bring me back full circle". And just that authentic place, not trying to over think it, or fake it, or over Christianize it, you know, like, and just be authentic because I was a robot before.
Joyce Meyer: God really does care about everything we go through. And he will, especially, if you ask him, he will use everything...
Jai Williams: Yeah.
Joyce Meyer: That you go through. Things that you couldn't even imagine, how he could use it for anybody's good. He'll take it and use it. And I actually, really believe that God does, "Work all things out for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose".
Ginger Stache: Absolutely.
Joyce Meyer: And I don't always understand how he does it, but I do believe that he does it.
Ginger Stache: It is a decision. And the reason I didn't want to talk about this topic today is not because I don't feel that joy in a way that doesn't make sense sometimes, it's because I didn't want to be emotional through it. I just,you know, I want to be vulnerable and I wanna be myself, but I wanna have words that make sense. And sometimes, that is difficult. But sometimes this is the face of joy, you know? Sometimes those tears are in the midst.
Joyce Meyer: And it's good for other people.
Ginger Stache: Yeah, exactly.
Joyce Meyer: People don't have to be giggling and laughing out loud all the time. I think even in the midst of those tears, you can have that calm delight, where, you know, "This hurts, but I know that you'll comfort me and that you'll take it and work good out of it".