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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Joyce Meyer » Joyce Meyer - Determination - Part 1

Joyce Meyer - Determination - Part 1

Joyce Meyer - Determination - Part 1
TOPICS: Determination
Joyce Meyer - Determination - Part 1

Well, thank you for joining me today on "Enjoying Everyday Life". And you know, the truth is the more of the word that you know and the more of it you apply to your life, the more you will enjoy every single day of your life. Today and for the next two days, I'm gonna talk about something that, I think, is really important. I'm gonna talk about determination. Now, let me just say, first of all, that we can't do anything just by self-will apart from God helping us. So, we're not talking about just, "Hey, just toughen up and do it without God". But we do have to apply our determination to do the things that God wants us to do, whether that's something that is in his word or whether it's something that he puts on our heart.

And so, in this first message today, I wanna talk a lot about being determined to keep a good attitude. I saw the eyes go up. That's good. That means you need it. Keeping a good attitude no matter what is going on in your life. And that is a challenge. But the more spiritually mature we are, the more we're able to do that. I don't think Jesus ever had a bad attitude, and he certainly had a lot more tests and trials than we do. And so, we're gonna start by talking about Joseph, because Joseph was a guy who started out being thrown in a pit by his brothers, sold into slavery, ended up going to prison for something that he didn't do, for 13 years, and yet he ended up in the palace, second in charge, of all of Egypt. But what happened from the pit to the palace? We all have a pit of some kind. We have something happen in our life that hurts us. Somebody hurts us. We have a disappointment. We have a loss. Something that's intended to pull us down.

You see, Satan knows that he is destined for the bottomless pit, and he wants to make sure that he can take as many of us with him as he possibly can. And he doesn't want you to enjoy your life. He wants you to live a pit existence. Matter of fact, he'd like us just to get in our pit, decorate it and stay there, and just like it. But when we study the life of Joseph, the one thing that I find is with all the unjust and unfair things that happen to him, there's no record that he complained about anything.

You say, "Well, Joyce, maybe he complained, there's just no record of it". Well, job complained and there's a record. You know, Jonah complained and there's a record. So, even David complained and there's a record. He said, "I pour out my complaint to God". But there's no record at all that Joseph ever had anything other than a good attitude. He had a dream for his life, and his brothers were jealous of him. He was the baby. Lots of times in families, older siblings are jealous of the baby because the baby has a tendency to get treated like a baby. And usually, like, the older kids, the parents didn't have as much when they were born and growing up, and so, by the time the baby comes along, the parents are more established financially. They're able to do more for that baby.

So, there's always this, "Well, I had to do this. And he doesn't have to do anything. I had to work and earn money for my clothes, but you just buy him everything". And it's not a matter of loving the baby more, but you're just able to do more for them than you could. Well, Joseph's father had waited a long, long time to have him. And he showed him favor, but that didn't mean that he didn't love his other children. And he gave him what the Bible calls a "Many-colored coat". It was a beautiful coat that was made for him, and the brothers were jealous of the coat.

Can I tell you that being jealous of somebody never causes them not to have what you're jealous of? All it does is make you miserable. If we would ever just learn to think, "What good is this doing me"? "What good is it doing me to worry"? "What good is it doing me to be mad at that person and refuse to forgive them"? All those things that we do that we think are hurting the other person, they're really hurting us. And so, they got to the point where they were so jealous of Joseph and they hated him so much, that they decided they were gonna kill him. So, they took him with 'em on a trip, got him out in the wilderness, and they were gonna kill him, but one brother talked to 'em, and instead of killing him, to just throwing him in this pit. So, they put him in this pit, and they were gonna just go off and leave him. And they were gonna go home and tell the father that he'd been killed by a wild animal.

And in the meantime, a caravan of Ishmaelites were coming along. And so, one of them said, "Well, let's just make some money. Let's sell him to them". So, they sold him to them. They took him to Egypt and sold him to a man named Potiphar. And he became a slave in Potiphar's household. The thing that is so interesting about Joseph's life, and you'll see this, everywhere that he went God gave him favor. So, he ended up in charge of Potiphar's house. Now, he had a little too much favor with Potiphar's wife. And she wanted to have sex with him. And he was a godly man and he kept saying, "No. No. No. No". You know, that's what godly people do. They say, "No," to temptation no matter what it's going to cost them. So, she finally, basically attacked him, and he still said, "No". So, she told Potiphar that he had attacked her. And although Potiphar didn't want to because he really loved Joseph, he had him put in prison.

So, in prison, he got so much favor with the warden that he ended up in charge of the prison, all the other prisoners. I think it's so amazing that, let me just say this, if you can keep a good attitude, no matter what's going on in your life, God will give you a favor. I love the statement that, "They hated Joseph, but God..." see, don't you love that little two words, "But God"? It doesn't really matter what anybody else wants to do to you that's painful, if God interferes, you can be blessed in the middle of your mess. That's so true. You know, it's not our problems that really are our problem, it's our attitude toward our problems that are our problem.

So, he was put in charge of the jail and there was a butler and a baker in there that had been in Pharaoh's house, and they got put in jail for something they did. And they had a dream. They both had a dream, but they didn't understand the dream. Well, God gave Joseph a lot of wisdom, so he was able to interpret both of their dreams. And the dreams meant that within three days they were gonna get called back to Pharaoh's house. And he'd been good to them, right? And he said, "When you get back to Pharaoh's house, don't forget me". Well, they did. It's painful, isn't it, when you've been good to somebody and then they just forget all about you? Anybody ever have that little nice experience, you know? Or you've been really good to people, and then you need them, and they're like, they don't have time for you. They forget all about you.

And so, he stayed in prison. He was there a total of like 13 years. Then Pharaoh had a dream, and nobody could interpret it. And so, he was told about Joseph, "There is a man who's known to be able to interpret dreams". And so, Joseph was called, and he gave the interpretation of Pharaoh's dream. And he said, "There's gonna be seven years of plenty, and then there's gonna to be seven years of famine". And so, he told him what should be done was, during those seven years of plenty, they should save and save and save and save, so when the seven years of famine came, they would have what they needed to feed the people. Well, Pharaoh bore witness that that was a great idea. And he said, you know, "There's nobody that has the wisdom that this man's God gives him".

The thing that I find, as I study this is, you know, if you keep a good attitude, and you'll see in some of the other messages, it actually causes other people to believe in God. You know, we have some of the same kind of problems that other people out in the world do, but they'll have a bad attitude and if you can have a good attitude, they may say to you, "Well, how can you have such a good attitude when you know you're losing your job"? Or "How can you have such a good attitude with what's going on in your life"? And that opens the door for you to be able to witness for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. You know, if somebody, if they have their heart closed, it doesn't really do you much good to try to witness to them.

That's why I believe whole-heartedly that if we get out in the world and our first mission is just to let our light shine, just to be a Christian in front of people. You don't even have to try to preach to them first. You just be a Christian, because if they don't want to hear it, you can share and share and share and they're not gonna listen. But when they ask you, like when my husband still worked in the engineering field before he came into ministry with me, everybody knew he was a Christian and they didn't have a lot to do with him a lot of times. But when they would get in trouble, then he would be the one they'd come to, like, "Well Dave, my wife left me. You think I could talk to you for a few minutes"?

So, he stood his ground as far as what he believed in. And sometimes when you do that, initially, you feel like you're losing. You know, it's hard when you do the right thing, and you get a wrong result. But God saw that you did the right thing and then your reward will come from God. Well, he got so much favor with Pharaoh, don't you love that? Favor, favor, favor. He got so much favor with Pharaoh, that Pharaoh gave him so much authority and power that only Pharaoh had more power than Joseph did. So, from the pit to the palace. And I can't find any reason other than he just had a really good attitude. And he kept saying, "No," to the temptation to compromise.

So, that's a big take away from this message today: keep a good attitude, and in order to do that, you're gonna have to pray. That's just, you know, when somebody hurts me, the first thing that I do is I ask God to comfort me because the Holy Spirit is our comforter. It doesn't do you any good to call your friends and start talking about what they did, "Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah". All that does is make the situation worse. You ask God to comfort you. The second thing you do is ask God to help you forgive 'em. Because the quicker you forgive somebody, the easier it is to do. I'mma say that again. The quicker you forgive somebody, the easier it is to do. The longer you wait, the more deeply rooted it gets on the inside of you and the harder it is to let go of.

I had a man yesterday, I was at an appointment, and he came over to me and he said, "Can I talk to you for a minute"? And I said, "Sure". He said, "I just watched a program where you talked about forgiving". And he said, "I was able to forgive somebody that I really hated". And he said, "It has helped me so much". And I wanna make sure that I say not only just to our lovely audience here today, but to those of you watching by TV, don't harbor offenses and bitterness and resentment in your heart toward anybody because it's not hurting them. Matter of fact, they may be out enjoying their life, having a good time, and couldn't care less that you're upset.

And a lot of times people don't even know they hurt you. Sometimes, you know, you just run into somebody when they're having a bad day and they say or do something, and don't even know they did it, and you can end up being hurt and miserable for weeks on end. And we have to choose to believe the best. Somebody said something to me the other day and I thought, "What a foolish thing to say". He said to me, he said, "I don't care what so-and-so says", and he named a person that I know, "I think you're great". Well, what is that supposed to mean to me? I mean, he made it sound like this person had said something bad about me. And it was somebody that I don't think would do that. I mean, I'm pretty sure they like me. And so, I'm like... And somebody said, "Well, maybe he was just goofing around".

Well, anyway, that kind of bugged me. You know how things are, though. The devil'll keep trying to use it to bug you. You know, you'll make a decision to let it go, and then all of a sudden, it'll kind of come back nagging at you. But I just made a decision to believe the best. The Bible says, "Love always believes the best". And I wanna leave you with that little tidbit of wisdom. No matter what happens, believe the best. And you say, "Well, what if I believe the best and they really didn't have good intentions"? Well, at least you're happy. See, I mean, this is all about doing something for yourself. And so, Joseph ended up in a great place from the pit to the palace. And I think that a big majority of it was about his attitude. Attitude, they say, determines your altitude. Attitude determines how far you can go in life.

And I'll tell you something, I would rather work with somebody that's not quite as talented but has a good attitude than somebody who is extremely talented and has a bad attitude. Attitude really, really is important. Let me just give you a few examples. Don't feel sorry for yourself when you're having problems. Everybody has problems. Everybody. You can talk to your friends about it, but don't talk about it. Talk about it. Talk about it. Talk about it. Talk about it. Talk about it. Talk about it. Talk about it. Talk about it. Talk about it. Because you know what? People get tired of hearing it and it won't be long and they're gonna go in the other direction when they see you coming because they're tired of listening to you feel sorry for yourself all the time.

One of the best things you can do when you're having problems, and I know this by personal experience and the Word of God, is go be a blessing to somebody else. You talk about something that makes the devil mad, that makes the devil mad. I remember a woman who lost her child to cancer. And this was back when I used to have weekly meetings here in st. Louis and she came to one of those weekly meetings every week. And the very next week, now it'd only been a few days since her child died, she was back at that meeting. Which is also important that we don't turn away from God, but toward him. And she brought a bunch of clothes out of her closet to give away to other people. She not only just heard the message: she applied the message to her life. Giving is a powerful thing, and especially when you don't feel like doing it. When you'd rather just go sit in a corner somewhere and feel sorry for yourself and be mad at everybody.

Now, who really was Joseph's enemy, it wasn't really his brothers. Ephesians 6:12 says, "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places". So, even though people are responsible if they mistreat you, it's still the devil working through them. Somehow, they're not smart enough or wise enough to not take his temptations and so, it's the enemy working through them. So, trying to get them back really doesn't do any good. The thing to do is to get the devil back. And there's only one way to get the devil back. And that's to be good to other people.

Romans 12:21 was a saving scripture for me, "We overcome evil with good". After being abused in my childhood, even, you know, for a long time I hated my mom and dad and then when I realized that it was the devil working through them, ooh, I wanted to get him! But when I found out that the way to overcome evil was with good, now that's something every single one of us can do. And it's especially powerful when you're good to your enemies. Hmm, some of you are making faces, I'm not sure about here. You're like, "Hmm..." but it works. And not only does it work, but it makes you happy. You lose all that junky bitterness and weirdness that's in your life.

There's a story that I've heard that I think is really cute about a donkey that fell in a pit and his master was debating on whether or not to get him out of the pit or to just leave him in there because, you know, the donkey weighed quite a bit and it was gonna to be quite a job to get him out of the pit. And so, he just decided, "This donkey's old. And I've gotten most of the use out of him, I'm gonna get so I'm gonna call some of my friends and neighbors and we're just gonna cover him up with dirt and kill him". Well, that's what the devil likes to do to you. He likes to throw you in a pit and then throw dirt on you all the time. And so, they're shoveling dirt on top of him, shoveling dirt on top of him. And then they noticed something odd. Every time they would throw a shovel of dirt on top of him, he'd shake it off and then get up on top of it.

And after enough dirt got thrown down there, he just walked out of the pit. See? Yeah, go ahead, you can clap if you want to. Keep a good attitude, no matter what's going on in your life. You know, Satan has dug a pit for all of us, but that doesn't mean we have to live in it. A trap, a hurt so deep that he hopes you never get over it, a disappointment, a shattered dream, a broken relationship, the loss of something precious, a pit of depression, a pit of financial lack, a pit of pain. But you know what? It's time to come up out of the pit. And one of the best ways to do that is by having a good attitude and realizing, and I mean this, you know, with a loving attitude, everybody has got stuff going on in their life. And everybody is probably hurting in some way. And no matter how bad you're hurting, there's probably somebody in this room that's hurting worse than you are.

You see, the more immature Christians, they tell you about all their pain. You can point them out. But the really mature Christians, they'll still be the same and still be helping you and being good to you, and you don't even know what's going on in their life. I've been in ministry for 45 years and I have never missed one of my conferences because I was having a personal problem in my life. I've had times where I've gotten up and preached and then went to the back room and cried. And then went back and preached and went back to the back room and cried. But it's so important when we're hurting that we keep our commitments, and we continue. "Well, what should I do when I'm hurting? What should I do when I'm hurting"? You know what you should do? The same thing you would do if you weren't hurting. That's the best advice.

The Bible says, "By the blood he brought us up out of the pit and gave us hope". That's in Zechariah 9:11. But listen to Zechariah 9:12, "Return to the stronghold [of security and prosperity], you prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will restore double your former prosperity to you". There's these promises in the Bible, there's about four different scriptures that promise that if we keep a good attitude, if we continue to obey God, he will give us double what the enemy tried to take away from us. The Bible talks about Job, and he had some friends that weren't too friendly. He had friends that should've been comforting him, but they were accusing him. Well, how does it feel when you have a problem and somebody says to you, "Well, you probably opened the door this way"? "If you just had enough faith, then, you know, this wouldn't be happening".

You know, those are not friends that are comforting you, they're friends that are accusing you. And everybody has got people like that in their life. Well, Job had people like that, too. And God told him to pray for them. And the Bible says right at the end of The Book of Job that "After Job prayed for his friends". Come on, "After Job prayed for his friends". Come on, are you praying for the people that have hurt? You should be. "Mmm..." after Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored double everything that he had lost. I love that whole principle of "Double for your trouble". Amen?

Matthew 12 says, "That when there is among you one sheep that falls into a pit on the sabbath, the Lord will stop and get him out". So, if it's just one, Jesus is in the business of lifting people up out of the pit. Satan is in the business of putting 'em in, but Jesus is in the business of lifting them out. And, you know, if you're watching the program today and you've never received Christ as your Savior, there's a phone number on your screen right now, and you can call that number and tell somebody, "I'd like to have somebody pray with me to receive Christ as my Savior". And they'll be very happy to do that.
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