Joyce Meyer - Faith Overcoming Fear - Part 2
Welcome to "Enjoying Everyday Life". Thank you for taking time to be with us today. Today, I wanna talk to you about doubt. Now, I don't think there's any one of us that can say that we never, ever, ever have doubt that God is gonna come through for us when we're in a difficult situation. But just like fear, we have to resist doubt. We have to resist fear. We have to resist doubt. Because truthfully, doubt is just a type of fear. We have to make our minds up what we believe and not be double-minded. The Bible teaches us that the double-minded man is unstable in all of his ways, and that he shouldn't even think that he's gonna get anything from God because God wants us to believe. You know, you have a choice. You can believe or you can not believe. And I can tell you it's much easier to believe. You stay happier when you believe God. The minute you don't believe God, you start losing your joy.
Doubt is sent to war against our faith. You're in faith, you're trusting God for something, and here comes doubt. You weren't expecting it, but here it comes. Maybe, especially, if God is taking a little longer than you thought he would to come through for you in a situation. Come on, there's probably somebody watching, right now, and you've been waiting a long time, and, boy, the enemy has been after you today, he's been attacking your mind, making you think it's never gonna happen. Well, then this is a timely message for you, because I'm encouraging you not to start doubting, that God is good, don't doubt that he loves you. Don't doubt that he's faithful. God will come through for you. He doesn't always do it on our timeline, but he does come through for us. Doubt is sent to war against your faith. But when fear or doubt comes, you can open up your mouth and say, "I trust God". Why don't you practice with me right now? "I trust God".
See, you feel better even just saying that. You know, Abraham had faith concerning a promise that God had made him, that he would have a child from his own body. But doubt came against him and tried to steal it. Now, let's read these scriptures, in Romans 4:18-21: "Against all hope, Abraham in hope", and you know what hope is? Hope is an expectation that something good is gonna happen at any moment. The enemy doesn't want you to have hope. Hope is not what the world thinks it is. "Well, I hope something will happen," but you know, it's kind of that wishy washy, "I hope, but I doubt it". No, Bible hope is different than that. Bible hope has an assurance. It believes. It says something good is going to happen. Matter of fact, I encourage people to say that every day when you get up, "Something good is going to happen to me today". "Abraham in hope believed and so he became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, 'so shall your offspring be'. Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead".
Now, this is really good. He looked at all the circumstances. He didn't hide from the circumstances. He knew he had an impossible situation. Are you at a place like that in your life right now? You have, what the enemy's telling you, is an impossible situation? Well, I wanna remind you today that all things are possible with God. "What is impossible with man is possible with God". I want you to get that. There's nothing that is impossible for God. So, when the enemy says, "It's impossible". You tell him, "If I was by myself, it would be impossible. But with God on my side, all things are possible". "Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead, because he was 100 years old". My goodness, too old to have a baby. "And that Sarah's womb was also dead". That means she'd gone through the change of life. Her childbearing years were gone.
So, you had a man that had an impossible situation. A woman that had an impossible situation. But we have a God who, with all things, are possible. Come on. Somebody's faith is being stirred up, right now. "Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, and was strengthened in faith as he gave glory to God". You know, when your faith starts to get weak, start remembering some of the other things that God has done for you in the past. That's why I like to keep journals. I like to keep a record of the things that God has done for me, the things that he's brought me through, the prayers that he's answered, what I've seen him do with my children over the years. I look back at how afraid I was about some of my children when they were young and maybe not doing good in school or seem to be irresponsible, and I would think, "I don't know what's gonna happen to them. What's going to become of them"?
And, you know, Dave and I have four grown children now, and our two sons work for the ministry, and one of 'em is the CEO of all the outreaches that we do around the world. And the other one is the CEO of all the rest of the ministry, the TV, and all the media, and just all the operations here at the ministry. And then, our two daughters don't work for us, but their husbands do. And so, the whole family is involved in ministry. And if I would have looked at them and just made decisions based on how they were when they were little, I would have not thought any of 'em would have ever been able to work for us. So, you look back and you remember other things that seemed impossible, and yet, what God has done in your life. You can look at your circumstances and still be persuaded. I love this. "Being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised".
Wow. Jesus was on his way to heal Jairus' daughter, who was dying. This was a very serious situation, and maybe, you have a very serious situation, right now. But on the way, he stopped to heal a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years. Now, you know, if you're needing a miracle, like this man, he had a daughter that was dying, and Jesus was on his way, and yet, he stopped in the middle of being on his way to heal this man's daughter, to heal somebody else. Well, I think that would have probably made me a little bit nervous. I can see how doubt and fear could crowd its way into a situation like that. And while he was there healing this woman, who'd been bleeding for 12 years, somebody came from Jairus' house and said, "You don't need to bother anymore. Your daughter has died".
Now, listen to what the Amplified Bible says. Mark 5:36 and 37, this is so good, "Overhearing but ignoring what they said", Jesus heard what they said, but he ignored it. He didn't pay any attention to it. And we have to learn when Satan is lying to us, not to pay any attention to him. Just tell him, "Go ahead and wear yourself out with all your lies. But I believe God's word more than I believe your lies". I said, recently, and I wanna say it again. We give God access to our life through faith and believing him. We give the enemy access to our life through doubt and unbelief and through fear. "Overhearing but ignoring what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, 'don't be seized with alarm and struck with fear: just keep on believing'". Can I say that to somebody today? Satan's been coming against your faith, maybe for days, and I believe that God led you to turn this program on today, just so you could hear me say, "Don't stop believing God".
You know, sometimes, when the enemy presses the hardest that's when our breakthrough is right around the corner. And he wants us to give up. But I'm telling you today, don't give up. Stand fast that God is gonna help you. Don't be seized with alarm and struck with fear. Only keep believing. You know, I just love the Word of God. And it says that if we just will believe, we will see the glory of God. And the glory of God is a manifestation of all of his excellencies. God has some excellent things in mind for you, but you can't give up your faith. You gotta keep believing. And he permitted no one to accompany him when he went in to heal this girl, who they said was dead, except Peter, James, and John. And you know why that's important? There were a lot of other people with him, but he didn't let anybody go into the house with him, except Peter, James, and John. You know why? He wanted to be surrounded by faith. He wanted to be surrounded by people who had faith.
People who believed that he could do whatever needed to be done. And, you know, if you're in a battle, right now, don't surround yourself with negative people that are full of doubt and unbelief that are gonna discourage you and tell you, "It's never gonna happen". Surround yourself with people that have faith in God. Surround yourself with people who have had breakthroughs in their own life. You know, when you're having trouble, that's not the time to quit going to church. When you're having trouble, that's not the time to stop studying your Bible and spending time with God. That's the time to press in even harder. More prayer, more word, fight the good fight of faith. Don't let the enemy steal your faith. Doubt means to be without a way. And you know what? With Jesus, we're never without a way. Because he said, "I am the way".
In John 14:6: "'I am the way the truth and the life. No man comes to the father, but by me'". It means to be without resources. It means to be perplexed, at a loss, and it means to stand in two ways. You know, we can't stand in two places. We're either going to believe God or we're not. But we can't just have a little bit of faith and mix it up with a little bit of doubt, because we come right back to zero. Now, there was a man in the Bible that Jesus said, "Do you believe"? And he said, "I believe, Lord, help my unbelief". And he still got his miracle. But I think it was because he was honest with God. And you can be honest with God. You can tell him, "I believe, Lord, but my faith needs to be strengthened. My faith is not perfect. Help me with the unbelief that's trying to come against me".
In James 1:2-8: "Consider it pure joy, my brethren, whenever you face trials of many kinds". Well, boy, that's a little bit hard to do, isn't it? That's a scripture that's even hard to understand. Why should we count it joy when we have all kinds of problems? "Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work, that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything". Another word for perseverance is patience. Whenever you're in a time of trial, you have to be patient while you're waiting for God to bring deliverance to you. And the more you do that, the stronger your faith gets. The more patient you are, the stronger your faith gets. So, we don't need to be happy just because we have problems. The reason why he's telling us to count it all joy, you may not feel joyful, but you count it joy, you think about it in this way: "I don't like these problems. They're hard for me. But with God's help, I'm gonna get through this. Because on the other side of this, I'm gonna be stronger than I've ever been before".
And I can tell you, whatever you're going through, right now, if you don't quit and give up, when you come out on the other side, and you will come out on the other side, you will be stronger in faith and stronger in your relationship with God, than you ever have been before. Let me ask you a question. When do you grow in faith the most? When do you get closer to God than you ever have been before? Not when everything's good and wonderful. But when you're going through difficult times, and you feel like God is all you've got. You know, that's not a bad place to be in. Because when God is all you've got, then you cling to him, and you trust him for the answers. Because God can do for you what nobody else can do for you. "If any of you lack wisdom, you should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you".
Now, I love that too. Because he's saying, "Now, you're in this situation", and maybe, just maybe, it's your own fault. Maybe you opened the door through the enemy, through a lack of wisdom, or you did something that opened the door for this problem that you've got. Maybe you have financial problems. And truth of the matter is you just spent money you didn't have, put a bunch of stuff on credit cards that you couldn't pay. You know, any time you're spending more than you make, you're gonna ultimately end up with a problem. But he says, let's just even say that, that's the case, that you got your own self in trouble through a lack of wisdom. He said, "Now, ask for wisdom". Ask God to show you how to get out of the situation and he will help you. And I love this, "Without finding fault with you, and it will be given to you". "But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave at sea, blown and tossed by the wind".
Now, you know, I know the first thing somebody's gonna say is, "Well, I can't help it. I just doubt". Well, then, you're not fighting the good fight of faith. Because you don't, yes, doubt will come against you. Doubt comes against me. We can't stop the enemy from attacking us. But we don't have to just lay down and let him walk all over us. We can take the authority that Christ has given us and open our mouth and say, "I will not doubt. I will trust God. I remember all the other things that he's done for me. Devil, you're a liar. And I'm gonna come out victorious. Because God loves me, and he is going to help me". But if you are double minded, he said, don't expect to receive anything you ask for from the Lord because you're unstable in all your ways. Make your mind up what you believe and stick with it.
Do you believe that God is gonna come through for you? Well, you know what? I don't think our main problem is not trusting God, not believing God. I don't think we doubt that God can do it. I think we doubt that he'll do it for us. I think sometimes our real problem is not that we don't believe God can do it, but we're just not sure he'll do it for us. That's why it's so important to really believe, I mean, wholeheartedly believe that God loves you, that he's good, that he's gotta good plan for your life, and that your sins can be completely forgiven. And you know what, when you've sinned and you ask God to forgive you, if you're truly repentant, the Bible says that he not only forgives us, but "He forgets our sins and he moves them as far as the east is from the west and remembers them no more".
Wow. That's something worth thinking about for a long time, isn't it? I wish I had time for about a half an hour just to talk about that. What an amazing thing that we can do wrong and ask God to forgive us, and he not only forgives us, he even forgets what we did. Doubt is the enemy of your faith. Don't put yourself on trial and judge yourself, "I'm guilty, therefore, I don't deserve God's help". Let me tell you something. None of us deserve God's help. I don't deserve God's help. You don't deserve God's help. But that's what makes it so good. He helps us even when we don't deserve it. Can you believe that today, that God would help you even though you don't deserve it?
In Hebrews 4:15 and 16, it says, "We do not have a high priest who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and our infirmities and the liability of the assaults of temptation, but we have a high priest, Jesus, who has been tempted in every respect, just like we are, yet he never sinned". Now, listen to this. "Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly", let me repeat it, "Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God's unmerited favor to us sinners), that we might receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in plenty of time to meet our need".
Wow. If you've been a rascal, you've gotten yourself in trouble, you haven't used wisdom, or you've sinned, and now you need God's help, don't think that he won't help you, just because you have not been perfect. We have a high priest who understands our weaknesses. He knows you, and he's ready to help you, if you'll be bold enough to ask. "Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace". You know what? Jesus didn't die for perfect people. He died for imperfect people. If I could be perfect, if you could be perfect, then we don't even need a Savior. The whole reason why we need Jesus is because we make mistakes.
Let me ask you a question about how you feel about yourself. Do you judge every move you make? Do you doubt all your decisions? You make a decision, and then you doubt that you made the right one, so you make another decision, and then you doubt you made a right one. And then, you start calling up all your friends and asking them what they think. I always say, don't waste your time trying to get advice from people about your life who don't even know how to run their own lives. At least if you're gonna get advice from somebody, make sure it's somebody that's full of faith, that you can see the fruit of their faith in their lives. How do you think? "I shouldn't have done that". "I shouldn't have said that". "I shouldn't have bought that". "I shouldn't have gone there". "I shouldn't have eaten that".
Well, how many times have we eaten something and thought, "I shouldn't have eaten that"? "I didn't pray long enough". "I didn't read the Bible long enough". "I didn't confess the word today". "I spent too much money at the grocery store". "I talk too much". "I'm not a good parent". Don't think bad things about yourself. Be bold and think good things about yourself, in Christ. Apart from him, we're nothing. But in him, we've got some good things going on for us. You can say, "I am the righteousness of God in Christ. I have wisdom from God. Jesus is made unto me, wisdom from God. I make right decisions. I hear from God. I am led by the Holy Spirit". You gotta get your thinking renewed and believe what the Word of God says about you. Believing is much easier on us than doubting. God hears us and he helps us even when we make mistakes.
Here's a great scripture, 1 Corinthians 2:9, "But as it is written: eye has not seen, nor has ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man the things which God had prepared for those that love him". We can't even imagine all the good things that God's got prepared for us. It doesn't say he's got 'em prepared for the people who don't make any mistakes. He's got them prepared for people who love him. You know what? I've got a lot of things wrong with me, but I've got one thing going for me: I love God. I love Jesus. I don't always do everything right, but I love Jesus.
Romans 8:28, it says, "All things work together for good to those who love God, and who want his will". It doesn't say that all things work together for good to those who don't make mistakes, but to those who love God and want his will. Let me ask you a question today. Do you love God? Do you want his will in your life? If you can answer yes, to both of those, then no matter what comes against you, God will take it, it may not be good, but God will take it and work it out for good in your life. Jeremiah 1:4 and 5 says, "'Before I formed you in the womb I knew and approved of you as my chosen instrument'". What?! "Jesus, how could you know the things that I'm gonna do and still choose me as an instrument that you could work through"? "'And before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you: and I appointed you as a prophet to the nations'".
You know, doubt causes procrastination. It causes us to shrink back in fear. In Hebrews 11:8 he says, "By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went forth to a place that he was destined to receive as an inheritance: and he went, although he did not trouble his mind about where he was to go". You know, Abraham didn't have all the answers. He just took one step of faith at a time. That's all God's asking you to do. Just live one day at a time. Maybe you don't know what's gonna happen next week, or a month from now, or a year from now, but take your life one day at a time.
You say, "Well, Joyce, what if I do what you're telling me to do? And I really believe I'm hearing from God, and I make a decision based on that. Joyce, what if I miss God? What if I miss God"? Well, you know what? If you miss God, he'll find you. He'll get you back on the right track. He'll get you back on that narrow path, and God will help you.
Many, many, many years ago, I was driving down the highway, and I was trying to make a decision, and I was kinda new at all this God stuff and didn't know much of the word yet. And I felt like God was trying to get me to do this certain thing. And I kept saying, "But God, what if I miss you? What if I miss you"? And he spoke in my heart and said, "If you miss me, I'll find you". And, you know, God wants you to know today, that you don't have to live in fear and doubt and unbelief. You can trust him. I'm so glad that you joined me today, and I hope you enjoyed the teaching. And I pray that you'll join us again tomorrow, for more of God's word.