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Joyce Meyer - What to Do When You Are Hurting?


Joyce Meyer - What to Do When You Are Hurting?
TOPICS: Hurt
Joyce Meyer - What to Do When You Are Hurting?

Well, thank you for joining me on "Enjoying Everyday Life" today, where I am going to teach you a message that I believe is really important: what to do when you're hurting. You know, when we're hurting, our emotions really get involved. And if we follow them, we can get ourselves in a lot of trouble. We all have testing times in our life and we never know exactly when they're gonna come or how long they're gonna last. So, there's some things that I try to remember during times like that, both of them are scriptures, and one of 'em is "What you intended for harm, God intended for good". That was when Joseph had been treated so unjustly, accused of things he didn't do, spent 13 years in prison for something he didn't do, but everything turned out so good for him. He ended up being second to Pharaoh only and was able to save a lot of people's lives during a famine.

So, we need to remember that. That what Satan intends for harm, God will work out for good if we keep our trust in him. And then Romans 8:28, and I love this scripture, I really believe this, that God always works everything out for good. "He works everything together for good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose". Isn't it wonderful to have a God who can take some of the most awful things and work it out for good in your life? I've seen that in my life, and I'm sure that many of you have seen it in your life. One of the things to do right away when you're hurting is to ask God for comfort. "You have not because you ask not". And the Bible says that God is the God of all comfort and he comforts us in our trials and tribulations, so we can then use the same comfort he gave us to comfort other people who are hurting. Isn't that good?

So, I've learned when I'm hurting, I ask God to comfort me. I don't blame somebody else because they're not doing it. I ask God to do it. And then, of course, I love 1 Peter 4:8. Any time that we're in trouble, we always need to remember to keep walking in love. And boy, I tell you, when you've got something bad going on in your life, you want to just withdraw and feel sorry for yourself and you certainly don't feel like doing anything for anybody else, you want somebody to do something for you. But 1 Peter 4:8 says, "Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins". You know, there's all kinds of people in the Bible that had some very unfair and unjust things happen. Moses spent 40 years in the wilderness. Has your problem lasted 40 years yet?

Joseph spent 13 years in prison for not having sexual relations with Potiphar's wife, who did her very best to try to get him to. And, you know, Joseph was a young man, and I'm sure that, there may have been a temptation there. But, you know, even though you may sometimes want to do wrong things, you can love God and love doing the right thing more than you do the wrong thing. David waited almost 20 years. He was anointed 20 years to be king before he wore the crown. And during those 20 years, most of them, he spent hidden in caves trying to avoid Saul who was trying to kill him. But I want you to remember this, pay day always comes. Your reward will always come, if you will, and this of course is the hard part, but when you're hurting, if you will still do the right thing, no matter how you feel, boy, you have got a reward coming that is going to be sweet, sweet, sweet. What you do in secret God rewards in the open.

Matthew 6:3, 4, and 6: "But when you give to charity, don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your deeds of charity may be in secret: and your father who sees in secret will reward you in the open". You know, sometimes, we lose our reward because, soon as we do somethin' good we gotta go tell somebody. Or we wanna make sure that somebody sees us. We have to learn that it's more important that God sees what we do than it is anybody else. "When you pray, go into your [most] private room, close the door, pray to your father, who sees in secret: and your father, who sees in secret, will reward you in the open".

I love the rewards of God. And the Bible says in order to please God, we must believe that he is, that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. Do you believe that God wants to reward you? He has a plan to reward you. The Bible says that Jesus said, "Behold I'm coming soon, and my rewards are with me". You know we're, we don't, we don't buy our salvation, it's a gift from God. And we don't do good things to get God's favor. But if we love God, we're going to want to do good things. And the Bible says that we will be rewarded for those good things that we do. And I'm excited to see what God's got up his sleeve to give us when the time is right. You know, when you're hurting, pain can rule your behavior, if you're not very careful. Don't go wild and counterattack with intemperance, a lack of self-control. When we're hurting, we don't want boundaries: we just want to do whatever we want to do, say whatever we want to say, act however we want to act, be excessive, eat everything we can get our hands on.

You know, one of the things that seems to be really tasty when you're hurting is cake, pie, ice cream. But that's a time to dig in and use self-control and not let Satan push you over the edge into doing things that are actually going to hurt you. I have a friend who, when she is having a real hard time, she wants to eat dessert. And when she has worked real hard, it feels like she has a reward coming, she wants to eat dessert and usually at those times she will overeat dessert. And guess what? Sugar is not good for her body, and she always feels terrible the next day and sometimes, for a couple of days. Well, you see, that's just how stupid our flesh is. The devil will work through your flesh to tempt you to do something, telling you it's gonna make you feel better when it's actually going to make you feel worse.

If you can do the right thing while you're hurting, you will grow spiritually. Let me say that again. If you do the right thing while you're still hurting, you will get a reward and you will grow spiritually. Galatians 6:9 says, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we don't give up". Now, there has to be many of you watching today and listening that you are going through something really tough right now. And I want you to ask yourself right now, "How have I been acting? Am I keeping my faith? Am I trusting God? Am I still treating people good? Am I having a bad attitude or a good attitude"? And, you know, even if you're doing some things wrong, you can straighten it out and God can still reward you. Don't withdraw and isolate yourself: hide, pout, sulk, feel sorry for yourself and get depressed.

Don't believe the devil's lie that God is punishing you for something that you did wrong. Don't blame God and get mad at him. Very often when things are not going right in somebody's life, especially if there's somebody who maybe is a good person, you know, bad things happen to good people. And we don't always have the answers to all that, nor do we always need to have the answers. Our job is not to try to get the answers. Our job is to be steadfast and patient and continue doing the right thing even while it doesn't feel right to us. Don't give up and think, "Well, there's no way out of this".

Here's a story that I wanna share with you. It's a little bit long, but it's really worth it. It's about a boy who had autism, "Before February the 15th, 2006, very few people outside of the small town of Greece, New York had ever heard of Jason McElwain. Today, his story inspires millions around the world. And it all started on a cold winter night in an overcrowded high school gymnasium. He had a moment no one in attendance would ever forget. Jason was born to David and Debbie McElwain in this small western New York town on October the 1st, 1987. At a very early age, he was diagnosed with autism, a developmental disorder that affects the brain's normal development of social and communication skills. As you might imagine, Jason's parents were worried that he might never lead a normal life. Throughout his childhood, Jason worked to overcome his disability. And in time, he learned how to interact with other children developing social skills, so he could play with classmates and have friends just like every other boy and girl. As hard as autism tried, it could not keep Jason down".

I love that, when things try real hard to keep us down, but they just cannot. If we will do our part to try the best that we can, God will give us strength that we can't imagine we would have ever had. "In high school, Jason failed to make the varsity basketball team, but he wouldn't let that keep him down either". Boy, having a good attitude is so important. "If he couldn't be a player, he would be the team manager, a responsibility he didn't take lightly. He showed up for every game, handing out towels and water bottles while wearing a shirt and tie of a team manager. Though he enjoyed helping the team, his real dream was to one day wear a uniform and maybe even get into a game". You know, it's so good to have dreams. Especially, when your life seems to be going bad. It's so good to have dreams.

"On February the 15th, the student body of Greece Athena high school crowded into the gymnasium, excited for the evening basketball game. But no one was more excited than Jason. Earlier in the day, his coach, Jim Johnson, asked Jason if he would like to trade his shirt and tie for a team uniform. Tonight, was the last home game of the season, and coach Johnson wanted Jason to wear a jersey like every other boy. Though he had no promise that he would actually get in the game, he excitedly dressed out and pointed his teammates, and joined his teammates on the bench. He felt like one of the guys. In the fourth quarter, with just 4 minutes left in the game, coach Johnson did the unexpected. He looked down the bench and motioned for Jason to check in. Jason couldn't believe it. He thought, 'is this actually happening'? Time seemed to move in slow motion as Jason got up from the bench and entered the game. Neither he nor anyone in attendance that night could have foreseen what would happen next. They were about to experience the power of a moment".

I love that. "The students and parents in attendance cheered wildly for Jason as he stepped onto the court. Everyone was happy that he was getting a chance to play. And they all hoped that he might even make a shot. Coach Johnson prayed, 'God, let him make a basket'. With the game winding down and the crowd on the edge of their seats, Jason received a pass from a teammate. He turned around and did what he had dreamed of doing his whole life, shot a three-pointer. Pandemonium ripped through the gym as the unthinkable happened. Swish. Every student, parent, and player jumped up and down for joy, screaming cheers for their friend who had overcome so much in his life. Jason made a basket in the last game of the season. What an incredible story. But he was not finished. With each trip down the court, Jason turned and shot again. Swish, swish, swish, swish. Shot after shot poured through the basket. And with every new three-pointer made, the crowd jumped higher and screamed louder than before. As time expired, Jason released one last shot from an impossibly far distance. And yes, once again, the ball swished through the net. The entire student body of Greece Athena high school rushed the court to hug Jason. He scored six 3-point baskets in the last 4 minutes of the game becoming the team's high scorer. Jason McElwain, the boy with autism, was carried around the gym on the shoulders of his friends. Together, they celebrated the greatest moment they had ever been part of. Someone in the crowd captured Jason's performance on video that night, and the story went viral. Every major news organization ran with the video. Hollywood quickly bought the rights to make a movie out of it. Athletes, celebrities, and even president George w. Bush, came to meet Jason. But better than all of that, Jason's story became an inspiration for people around the world who are afflicted with autism. Jason's life changed on one special night. Jason's life changed forever in one powerful moment".

Now, you know what? That's a pretty amazing story. And it all happened because he just absolutely would not give up. And I can't tell you that something like that's gonna happen to every child with autism. But I can tell you, if you will refuse to give up, you will certainly accomplish more than if you have a pathetic, pitiful, feel-sorry-for-me attitude. You'd be amazed what you can do if you won't give up. I tell people all the time, I think my greatest gift is I am bullheaded, and I will not give up. I have little signs in different places in my house that say, "Never give up". What I'm doing today in the natural is impossible. I don't have the right education for it. I didn't have any money. I didn't have anybody to help me. But I had a call of God on my life and he anointed me to do something that everybody said I couldn't do. But I refused to give up. And I'm encouraging you today, don't give up on your dreams. Don't give up on making progress.

Now, what should you do when you're hurting, or what not to do when you're hurting? Pain can rule our behavior if we're not careful. Don't go wild and respond back with all kinds of bad behavior. I love Romans 12:21. It's one of my very favorite scriptures in the Bible. And it says, "We overcome evil with good". Every time something bad happens to you, go do something good for somebody else. Now, I know that may sound crazy to some of you, but I'll tell you that it's one of the most powerful things that you can do. When something bad happens to you, have a good attitude. When something bad happens to you, compliment other people. When something bad happens to you, pray for other people to be blessed. Don't just let your emotions rule and get you in a bad mood and cause you to treat other people bad. You have an opportunity to overcome a problem. You don't have to get stuck in it. You don't have to have it forever. You can overcome it and you can use it to be a blessing to other people.

Keep your commitments. Keep your word. Be totally honest in everything that you do. Don't stop giving. I like this scripture in Deuteronomy 26:14, it's talking about the tithe. "Don't eat your tithe in your time of mourning". I love that. What's he saying? When you're hurting, don't stop giving. Did you hear that? When you're hurting, don't stop giving. Deuteronomy 26:14 says, "I have not eaten of the tithe in my mourning [making the tithe unclean], nor have I handled any of it when I was unclean, nor giving any of it to the dead". You know, wherever you do your giving, it should be some place that's full of life, that's actually bearing a lot of good fruit. "I have hearkened to the voice of the Lord, my God: I have done according to all that you have commanded me".

Now, you know, tithing was a law under the old covenant. Under the new covenant, God gives us grace to want to do it. I hear people say that, you know, "We don't have to tithe anymore because the law is done away with". Well no, you don't have to do anything. But I want to give, and I wanna give even more than the tithe because of what Jesus has done for you. He gives us new desires, a new want-to. When you're hurting, don't trust your thoughts and your feelings. "I feel like nobody cares. I feel like giving up. I feel so inferior. I feel like a failure". Know God's word and hang on to it. Tighten the belt of truth. Believe the Word of God in a stronger manner than what you ever have before. Trust God and say so.

Psalm 91:2 says, "I will say of the Lord, 'he is my refuge and my fortress: my God, in whom I trust'". There's thousands of scriptures in the Bible about trusting God. And I would even encourage you, when you're hurting and going through a hard time to verbalize several times a day, "God, I put my trust in you. This hurts, but I put my trust in you. And I know that you'll bring me out of this, and you'll bring my reward at the right time". I have this scripture on a plaque on my wall at home, and I love it. 1 Peter 2:23, "When they hurled insults at Jesus, he did not retaliate. When he suffered, he made no threats [of vengeance], instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges fairly". When you're hurting, be thankful and don't complain.

Now, I don't know that I could be as positive as this woman, I'm gettin' ready to read you this little story about. But boy, if we could be this positive in every negative situation, how amazing it would be? "There was once a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror and noticed she had only three hairs. Only three hairs left on her head. 'well,' she said, 'I think I'll braid my hair today'. So, she did, and she had a wonderful day. The next day, she woke up, looked in the mirror, and saw that she had only two hairs on her head. 'hmm,' she said, 'I think I'll part my hair down the middle today'. So, she did, and she had a grand day. The next day, she woke up, looked in the mirror, and noticed that she had only one hair on her head. And she said, 'today, I'm gonna wear my hair in a ponytail'. And she did, and she had a very fun day. The next day, she woke up, looked in the mirror, and noticed that there wasn't a single hair on her head. 'yay,' she exclaimed, 'I don't have to fix my hair today'".

Well, I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't be able to respond the way she did. But I'm growing all the time, and I hope someday I can be as positive as the woman in this story was. Now, I don't know that, that's a true story or if it's one that's just made up to give us a great example. But let me tell you something. When you're hurting, the more positive you can be, the better you're gonna be. I want you to think about how you behave when you're hurting. We usually change how we behave, and it's not always for the good.
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