Joyce Meyer - Power Thoughts - Part 2
Well, thank you for being with me today on "Enjoying Everyday Life". I really appreciate you taking this time to be in the Word of God and to open up your heart and let me teach you from God's word. Yesterday I started teaching on power thoughts, and I'm gonna continue that today and even into tomorrow. And we're challenging people to take one month and meditate on, and keep in front of them, and speak out loud, the one for that month. So, the first one we talked about was, "I can do whatever I need to do through Christ, who is my strength".
If you think you can't, you won't be able to. If you believe you can, you will be able to. I'm talking to you about instead of just thinking whatever falls in your head, to learn to think like God thinks, which means you need to know the Word of God because the Bible really is God's thoughts. It's what he thinks about things, what he thinks about us, what he thinks about sin, what he thinks about different kinds of behaviors. It's God's word to us. And over and over in the Bible, we are challenged and encouraged to meditate on the Word of God. And to meditate just means to roll something over and over in your mind. So, if you know how to worry, you know how to meditate. Because if you think about it when you worry, you just keep thinking about the same thing over and over and over and over.
Well, let's say worry comes and you start that. You have the ability, and this may be a new thought, but you can say, "No, I'm not gonna think that". And instead, you can say, "Yes, I have a problem, but God is on my side. He loves me and he is gonna take care of me. I have faith that God is gonna make this work out". And then the worry comes back and then you say, "Nope, God's gonna help me. He's on my side. God loves me. I can do whatever I need to do. This is gonna work out good". And then the devil will say, "Well, you can't stand this". And you say, "I can do whatever I need to do through Christ, who is my strength".
Now, this may sound very odd to you, if you've never done this. You could even be a Christian and have never heard this. But the Bible says in Romans 4:17 that we serve a God "Who calls things that do not exist as if they already existed". And David said in the Psalms, "I will declare the decree". And a decree is something you write down, and "To declare" something means you open your mouth and you say it. Matter of fact, you can find all kinds of scriptures that back up what I'm telling you. I can't go back and lay the same foundation every day. But today, I'm gonna continue on with the third power thought. How many people say, "I'm afraid, I'm afraid, I'm afraid"? "I'm afraid to fly". "I'm afraid of the dentist". "I'm afraid to go get a checkup".
Do you know how many people there are that will not go to the doctor because they're afraid that the doctor is gonna tell them something's wrong with them? Which is actually foolish, because if something is wrong with you the sooner you find out, the sooner you can do something about it. There are probably people who actually die early because they wouldn't go to the doctor, and they never knew anything was wrong until it was too late. We do not have to live in fear. 1 John says, "Perfect love casts out fear". So, instead of saying you're afraid, think and say, "I will not live in fear. I will not live in fear. I will not live in fear".
And you know, when you have a problem, the first thing that comes is fear. Or you're afraid that somebody's mad at you. Or you're afraid that somebody's displeased with you. Or you can be afraid that God's mad at you. Afraid you're gonna die. Afraid, afraid, afraid. But fear has torment. And it's not God's will for you or I or anyone else to live in torment. Jesus came that we might "Have and enjoy our life and have it in abundance to the full until it overflows". So, you can think and say, "Fear brings torment and I refuse to be tormented. I will not live in fear". Learn to be more conscious of God's love than you are of your fears.
Now, 1 John 4:16-19 was actually, I can say, one of the scriptures in my life and my walk with God, that was really life-changing for me. One of the reasons that we fail to really believe that God loves us is we don't really watch for it. When he does things that show he loves us, half the time, we miss 'em, because we're too busy thinking about something else. And in the Amplified Bible, 1 John 4:16 says, "We know and (understand and recognize and are conscious of by observation and experience)". Now, you gotta get that. We "Recognize". We're "Conscious of". If you're unconscious, you don't know what's going on. "By observation," that means we see it. "And by experience," we have experience with it, the love that God has for us. "God is love, and whoever dwells in love dwells in God". Verse 18, "There is no fear in love, [dread does not exist]".
So, if you want to live free from fear, you're gonna have to believe, power thought number two: God loves me. And it's gonna help you a lot with fear. And be careful about saying, "I'm afraid of this. I'm afraid, I'm afraid, I'm afraid, I'm afraid". And if you can discipline yourself to meditate on this for 30 days, I can tell you at the end of that 30 days, it won't be, you won't have to try to think it. It's just gonna be, it's gonna be there. It's just gonna be part of you. They say it takes 30 days to make or break a habit. And I don't know exactly how many days it took, like I had such a problem with thinking bad things about myself and so much fear that it took me about a year of meditating on God's love before I got it. But now, I've had 40 years of enjoying the fact that God loves me.
And so, who cares how long it takes? As long as you get the freedom. Every day you stay in bondage is another day that you're miserable. But every time you say, "I will not fear," it covers up in your brain one of those times when you said, "I am afraid". Every time you do something right, it undoes something that you did wrong. So, just when you're goin' around your house, when you're doin' things, when you're drivin' to work, the Holy Spirit will bring it to your mind. You can write the scripture out: put it on your mirror, put it on your dashboard, put it on your refrigerator, places where you'll see it. That'll help you remember. And every time you see it, you say, "I will not live in fear. Fear is not from God. Fear brings torment. And Jesus didn't die so I'd be tormented".
See, you can take this power thought and you can add to it. You don't have to just say, "I will not live in fear". I mean, you can go ahead and just make a whole story out of it if you want to. "There is no fear in love, [dread does not exist], but full-grown, (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of door and expels with it every trace of terror". So, then it goes on to say, "If you are afraid, then you have [not grown into love's complete perfection]". That means if I'm afraid then that means I've still got some growing to do. Because God doesn't want us to live in fear. We love him because he first loved us. Do you think and talk more about what you're afraid of, than how much God loves you and how good and powerful he is, and how he has set you free from fear? How many times in your life have you said, "I will not fear," compared to how many times you've said, "I am afraid"?
Oh, I think I'm getting somebody's attention now. Come on, let me ask again. How many times in your life have you said, "I will not fear" compared to how many times you've said, "I am afraid"? I can sense it. Somebody's going, "Oh, my gosh, no wonder I have a problem". But see, you can change it. You can turn it around. God never leaves us without answers. As soon as you start doing things God's way, you'll begin to get God's results. Faith is a gift from God, and we all have it. "To every man is given the measure of faith". We all have however much faith we need, to do what God is asking us to do. And faith is the only thing that overcomes fear. We say things like, "When fear knocks on your door, send faith to answer, and when you open the door, nobody will be there". Because fear can't stand where there's faith.
Fear can only be conquered by faith. The mental health experts, it's really kind of funny, they act as if they have all this brand-new, "We have just found out something amazing called exposure therapy". They tell people that they can gain freedom from fear by exposing themselves to what they are afraid of a little bit at a time. Well, guess what? That's been in the Bible for thousands of years. I've been teaching a message called "Do it afraid" for probably 20 years and it's exact same thing. I tell people all the time, "The only way you can overcome fear is to do what you're afraid of".
Now, that doesn't mean if you're afraid of deep water that you have to go jump off a cliff. But let's just say that you've been afraid of flying, but you really need to be able to fly because you're just wasting hours and hours driving places when you could fly there. Or you're missing out on taking vacations you'd like to take. If it's something you want to do or something you believe God wants you to do, then even if you have to do it, shaking, sweating, trembling, you do it. And the more you do it, the more you'll realize that that fear was a lie, and it was holding you in bondage. And I know a woman just like this in the area of airplane travel. Her husband travels a lot and she was never able to go with him because she was afraid of flying. And now, they go all over the place together because she applied this principle.
And, you know, the first time it was hard. The second time it was hard. But each time you do it, it gets a little bit easier. Experts also say, talk about what they call CBT, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. But God has been teaching me behavioral therapy for 45 years. And the way they teach it is backwards. They say that if you have OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, that's controlling you by your relentless thoughts, they teach people that if they can control their behavior, they will control their thoughts. But God's word says just the opposite: if you control your thoughts, then you control your behavior. I just love all the experts. I don't know what qualifies you to be an expert, but I'll tell you, a lot of times they sure don't have it right.
Proverbs 23:7, "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he". If you think you can do something, you'll be able to do it. I mean, unless it's something that God doesn't want you to do. I mean, we can't just do anything we want to. But if it's something God wants you to do and you think you can, you'll be able to do it. You and him are in agreement and the power will be there. But if God wants you to do something and you think you can't, then you're not going to be able to do it. Always believe that God is with you no matter what. Every place in the Bible where says "Fear not" the only reason it gives for us not to fear, "Fear not for I am with you".
Let me give you a few common areas of fear that we need to resist. Fear of man: what they think, say, and do, their rejection or approval. And really, when you think about it, what does it matter? I mean, if somebody thinks bad of me, does it have to make any difference in my life? Not really. I just believe that everybody loves me. Well, you say, "Well, that's impossible". Well, it may be, but it sure makes me happy just to believe they do. Fear of the past mistakes we've made. When the Bible says plainly that all of our past sins can be forgiven. Fear of the unknown. You know, really, I think it's kind of exciting. If you knew everything, life wouldn't have any edge of excitement to it at all.
Man, there's a whole lot of stuff I don't know, but I'm looking forward to seeing what God's gonna do. Fear that God is not pleased with us. Fear that we're not good enough. Fear that what we do is never enough. Always need to do more, "I need to do more". It creates pressure and we end up doing a lot of things in the flesh that actually hinders God from giving us a breakthrough. The fear of being lonely. Phobias of all kinds. The fear of lack: that you're never gonna have enough. Fear that something bad will happen to the people that we love. Fear of death. But the only thing the Bible says that we need to have is a reverential fear and awe of God. And that doesn't mean that we need to be afraid God's going to hurt us. It means that we need to believe that God is God and what he says is true, and it will come to pass if we believe it. Set your mind daily and say, "I will not fear". Now. "I am difficult to offend".
Boy, there's so many people today that are angry, their feelings are hurt, they're offended. And do you know the Bible says in Matthew 24 that that's one of the signs of the end times? "That many will be offended, and they'll fall away". And that "The love of the great body of people will grow cold because of all the problems in the world". And boy, we see that today. People are so touchy. Let me ask you a question and try to be honest with yourself. Are you touchy? Do you get your feelings hurt real easy? Don't just use an excuse, "Why, you know, I just get my feelings hurt easy". Well, just don't get them hurt easy. And stop saying that you do. Start saying, "I am difficult to offend. It is almost impossible to offend me. And the minute somebody hurts me, I forgive them. I don't wait. I forgive them right away".
And, you know, forgiveness, the nature of forgiveness, if you hang on to it, the longer you hang on to it, the deeper the roots get. But boy, if you forgive right away, with God's help, I remember one time somebody hurt my feelings really bad, and I was angry. And I went in my office when I got home from work, I got my Bible and I laid on the floor and I said, "God, I'm not coming out of this room until you give me the grace to get over this". And we just need to be that determined. "I'm not going to live the way the devil wants me to live. I am going to have the life that Jesus died to give me". The apostle Paul said, "One thing I do: it's my one aspiration, forgetting what lies behind, and taking hold of the things that are ahead". He said, "I'm going to take hold of those things for which Christ Jesus died to take hold of me". In other words, he was saying, "I fully intend to have everything that Jesus wants me to have".
And it's not always easy. Many times, you have to fight the good fight of faith. Many times, it takes a lot longer than you would like. But every day that you're working with God instead of against him is a day that you're gonna make progress. It may not even be progress that you notice, but it is progress. The world is filled today with angry, bitter, offended, touchy, unforgiving people. But we can resist letting these emotions control our life. Think and say, "I am difficult to offend, and I am quick to forgive".
One of the things that helps is in 1 Corinthians 13:7, that "Love is ever ready to believe the best of every person". Why do we need to not be angry, have our feelings hurt and be unforgiving? It gives the devil an advantage over us, 2 Corinthians 2:10 and 11 tell us that. And in Ephesians 4, it says, "When you're angry, don't let the sun go down on your anger. Don't give the devil any such foothold in your life". Don't be angry. If you're angry right now, let it go, leave it, let it go, drop it, turn it over to God. "Well, Joyce, you don't know what they did to me". Well, you know what? They may not deserve your forgiveness, but you deserve peace. And the only way you're gonna have it is to let it go.
Number five: "I love people and I enjoy helping them". Wow. That's one of my favorite ones. You know, I used to want everybody to help me, but I've learned that I'm happier if I help them. You can't be selfish and happy at the same time. I love people. I didn't always love people because I would always look at what was wrong with different people. "You got this wrong, that wrong and something else wrong". Well, you know what, I've got a lot of stuff wrong too. And I want people to love me. We have a lot of stuff wrong with us and God loves us, and we can love imperfect people. Instead of looking at what's wrong with them, we can look at all the many things that are right with them. And whatever kind of fault you find with people, there's gonna be many more things that are right than those things that are wrong.
Set your mind and say, "I will not be offended. Touchy, angry, bitter, and unforgiving. I love people and I enjoy helping them". It's the only answer to living an unselfish life. I love Galatians 6:10. I'm just gonna tell you this. This is not a brag, it's just a reality. I love doing things for people. I love to surprise people and make them happy, and it makes me happy to do it. I like doing things for them, but when I do it, I'm doing something for myself too, because I just, I like it.
Now, giving is one of the spiritual gifts that God gives to certain people, and I think it's one of the gifts I have because I just really, really like it. And in Galatians 6:10, it says that we are to "Be mindful to be a blessing, especially to those of the household of faith". Well, to be "Mindful" means to have your mind full of. So, we can have our mind full of ways that we can be a blessing. Do you ever think about that? What if you spent 5 minutes every morning and just thought, "Now, who am I gonna be around today and what can I do to be a blessing to them"? "What do I have that I could give them"? Or "What can I say to them that's gonna make them feel better"?
Set your mind ahead of time before you go out, that you're not gonna be a grouch, you're not gonna spend the day finding fault, but you're going to actually love people and be a blessing to them. Build them up spiritually, edify them, encourage them along their way in life. Think and say, "I am not selfish. I love people and I love helping people". Try that for 30 days and see how much difference it makes in your life. Being love makes us happy, but loving others makes us even happier. I like that. You know, the flesh is stingy and greedy, and the only two things that it knows how to say is "More now". No patience, "I want it now. No matter what I have. I want more". But we can walk in the spirit, we don't have to walk in the flesh.
1 Corinthians... I mean, 1 John 3:14 says, "We know we've passed over out of death into life by the fact that we love the brethren". Isn't that cool? We're held in death as long as we don't love people. Not like falling over dead, not breathing. But you're not happy about anything. But when you love people, come on, be honest with yourself. How much are you focused on yourself and how much are you focused on what you can do for other people? How often do you get angry because somebody didn't do something for you? But instead of doing that, you can think of something that you can do for them. Boy, I tell you, the world we live in would be a totally different place if people would do more for other people.
Number six: trust God completely. "I trust God completely and there's no need to worry". Well, we sure spend a lot of our time worrying, don't we? And I'll tell you, in the world today, there's something you can worry about, about every 5 minutes if you want to. But you can get to the point where you just say, "I am not going to worry about that. Been there, done that. It's useless". Does worry ever change anything in your life? Does it ever do anything good? No, of course not. But trust in God brings peace into our life. If your mind is stayed on God, he will keep you in perfect peace. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and mind, and lean not to your own understanding: in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path".
The Bible teaches us, in the Old Testament and the new, not to worry. Oh yes, the devil is gonna dump all kinds of worried thoughts into your mind. But here again, you can cast 'em down. "I cast that down. That's not what I'm gonna think on. I am going to think about something good". "I don't know how long it'll take for God to solve my problem, but I'm glad he's got it and not me". And I'm so glad, it took me a long time to learn this. I mean, a long time because I was a worrywart number one. And I wanted all the answers and I wanted to know. It wasn't even good enough for me to know that God was gonna help me, I want to know how he was gonna help me, and when he was gonna help me and exactly what he was gonna do.
And you know, God operates with us "On a need to know basis" and there's a lot of things we think we need to know, that God knows that we don't need to know. And a lot of times he doesn't show us things because if we knew everything, we wouldn't trust him. And he wants us to trust him. Trusting God brings peace into your life. Worry drains power, but trust adds power to your life. So, every time you start to worry, open your mouth, and say, "I trust you, God, I will not worry. I will not fear. I know that you're gonna work this out for my good. I don't know what you're gonna do, but I know that you're gonna do something". You can worry or you can worship. And I'll tell you, worship always wins the battle. Thank you for being with me today.