Joyce Meyer - Pressing Past Negative Feelings - Part 2
And you know we've all been hurt. There's nobody in here that hasn't been hurt. You know my story. I was sexually abused by my father. I was trying to think the other day, what my first memory was as a child and I was even kind of surprised myself. The first thing I ever remember is being afraid of my dad. He was just mean, and just mean. And he had a spirit of lust that didn't just affect me, but anybody that he got around. And I'm not here to tell that story tonight, but by the time he got finished with me, I was a mess. And he controlled me with fear. Just fear. I was so afraid of him. And I went to a couple of different people, an aunt and uncle and somebody else in the family, and they didn't want to get involved.
And so, I just remember saying, "Okay, nobody's gonna help me. I'm gonna survive this". Now, listen. And I said to myself, "As soon as I'm 18 and I graduate from high school, I'm leaving home, I'm getting out of here and I'm gonna get a job and I'm gonna take care of myself. And I am never gonna ask anybody for anything". Well, I made a few promises to myself that I had to undo later on in life. But I decided that I was gonna make it through it. Come on. You can't make it through anything if you don't decide you're going to. You have to make a decision. Stop using that: "I can't stand this. I can't do this. This is too much. I can't stand this. I can't take this. I can't take this one more day".
God will never put more on us than what we can bear. But with every temptation, he will always provide the way out. A safe escape to a landing place. And I don't know what some of you are going through, but I know enough about people to know that probably some, in this room tonight there's probably some pretty awful things going on behind the scenes. It may be your kids that are in trouble. It may be a marriage, marriages that are in trouble. It may be things from your past that you've never dealt with. And yes, when you think about everything, you're gonna have to go through to face all those issues and deal with them, it can be pretty daunting and it's kinda like, "Um-hmm". But do you want to live with the pain forever or do you want to start getting well? Okay now, I've got a few things to say that I think are very important.
So, listen to this, here comes one of them. We have to start making right choices while we're still hurting. Gonna pause and let you think about that for a minute. Whoever said that you have to feel like doing what's right to do it? How many people do you think there are in here or watching by television that are mad at somebody and they won't forgive them because they don't feel like it? "Well Joyce, you don't know what they did to me". Doesn't matter. And I don't say, "It doesn't matter" because I don't care. God said, "You forgive". And Satan gains more ground in the lives of believers through unforgiveness than any other single thing. That's his favorite thing is to get you mad at somebody to cause division between us: division between nations, division between races, division in marriages, division between siblings. He wants to divide us, so we have no power.
And each one of us has to make a decision that we are not going to stay mad at somebody. And I say this probably in every message that I preach and probably always will, because I'm not joking when I say it's the single biggest problem we have in the church. Angry people who won't forgive. And you don't have to feel, you know, love is not a feeling. It's the decision you make about how you're gonna treat somebody. And forgiveness, I mean, you can pray to forgive somebody and, you know, you probably won't feel any different about them. And so, then you assume you didn't forgive them. But really, God's just asking you to do your part.
You say, "God, I want to forgive. I want to be obedient to you and I forgive them". And then, you start praying for them, which is what the Bible says to do. God says, "Bless and do not curse them". And "To bless" means: "To speak well of" and "To curse" means: "To speak evil of". So, you gotta quit telling everybody what they did to you. Come on, this is just a little short lesson. And if they need help, you help them. And! Oh, I just got a hold of this one, two weeks ago. Gosh, I thought, "God, how deep are we gonna go"? And if they have something bad happen in their life and you're kind of happy about it. Listen to this. The Bible says that your sin is worse than what they did to you. I got one lady out here that claps when I say good stuff, but you know. And, you know, I mean, I've done it, "Well, they got what they deserve. I knew you'd get yours sooner or later".
And the Bible says that my sin is greater than what they did to me. And I'm like, "Well, you're just not gonna let us wiggle out of this any way, shape, or form, are you"? We gotta pray for them, love them, not talk bad about them, help them if they're in trouble and we can't even be happy. Well, I'll tell you, David had a different deal than we did. He said, "God break their teeth in their mouth". You oughta go look at some of the stuff David said about his enemies. I don't know what happened between Psalms and Matthew, but it sure, I know what happened, Jesus happened. Amen? And see, he came with a whole different message, "You love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. And you love your neighbor as you love yourself".
Two things God's asking for us: faith and love. Trust him, love people. If we do that, we don't have to be concerned about anything else. So, we have only three choices. You can decide, tonight, which one you want. You can press past your pain now and start doing what you know you should do whether you feel like it or not. You can press past the pain later and be miserable until then. Or you can keep the pain forever. Well, you know, this is one of those "Ouch, hallelujah" messages. You know what that is? A woman told me one time after I preached something probably similar to this. She said, "Man, that message tonight about every other word you said, I was going, 'ouch, ouch. Eew, augh'". But she said, "I know a year from now I'll be going, 'hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah'". Amen?
How many of you think that you can do what's right, whether you feel like it or not? Oh, this is funny. Maybe ten people put their hand up big. A few more did this. And then they were kinda like, not sure. I'm not gonna let you go home 'til you get this. You can do what is right whether you feel like it or not. Now, one of my things used to be, when Dave made me mad, my wall went up and I was not gonna talk to him. "Shuttin' you out. You won't hurt me again". Anybody else ever done that? Well, now, soon as the wall gets about halfway built, God makes me take it down. And then, he makes me talk to him!
You say, "Well, how does he make you"? Well, he doesn't really make me, but I love God and I want to do what he wants me to do. Amen? And Jesus said, "If you love me, you will obey me". Did you hear me? Jesus said, "If you love me, you will obey me". He didn't say, "If you feel like it". He said, "If you love me, you will obey me". He did not say, "If you obey me, I will love you". He has already decided to love us while we were still yet in sin. And we are to respond to that great gift that he's given us by walking in obedience to him whether it feels good or it doesn't. Amen? You have to have the right mindset. You've gotta set your mind. How about doing that? How about setting your mind tonight? "I'm not gonna to live by how I feel anymore. I'm gonna live on the other side of my feelings". I've gotta good book on "Living Beyond Your Feelings".
Matter of fact, I got a good book on everything. Because I had every problem that you could possibly have. I think Dave's been married to 20 different women. Because I'll change a little and then he's got a different wife, then I'll change some more, and he's got a different wife. Now, he's got a really good wife. See, he's down there, and he turned to Pennie and said, "What'd she say, huh"? And I've got a microphone on. He tells me that he hears fine, that I mumble. Set your mind, and keep it set on things above. On right things. You know, don't think about everything that's wrong with your kids. How about thinking about a few things that's right with 'em. Remember, you wanted 'em. Don't think about everything that's wrong with that person you're married to. You begged God to give you somebody. Now, you got 'em. And you know, if you really don't want 'em, there's probably some lonely man or woman that would take them off your hands.
Think about the good things. Set your mind and keep them set on things that are above. Okay, here we're gonna have another one of these "Icky" scriptures. This is "Icky" scripture night. 1 Peter 4:1 and 2, Amplified, "So, since Christ suffered in the flesh", I wanna wait till they get it up there because I want you to see it. 1 Peter 4:1 and 2, 1 Peter 4:1 and 2, 1 Peter 4:1 and 2. There you go. "So, since Christ suffered in the flesh for us, and for you, arm yourselves with the same thought and purpose [patiently to suffer rather than fail to please God]". Mhm! "For whoever has suffered in the flesh", and I'm talking about dying to self. I'm not talking about, like I said, I'm not talking about disasters. I'm talking about just being willing to die to self. He said, "I've set my mind".
See, it's so important to set your mind. Have a talk with yourself. Like, mike and Pennie fly in a little bit before we do, and they get us checked into the hotel and get some things ready so we can pay attention to this stuff when we get here. And so, I always ask Pennie what the hotel's like. And she was kind of quiet for a minute. She said, "It's spacious". I said, "Uh-oh. What else is it like"? She said, "Umm... It's rustic". Well, see, I already knew I was in trouble. So, I prayed before I got there, "God, please help me not to complain about anything in that room because I am just thrilled to be here and that you let me do this". Amen?
I set my mind before I got to the hotel room, that I wasn't gonna let it make me unhappy. Amen? You can set your mind in the morning, "I am not gonna let anybody, or anything make me unhappy today because the joy of the Lord is my strength". Is this helping anybody? Alright, "[patiently to suffer rather than fail to please God]. For whoever has suffered in the flesh, [having the mind of Christ] is done with [intentional] sin [has stopped pleasing himself and the world, and now pleases God], so then you can no longer spend the rest of your natural life living by [his] human appetites and desires, but now [he lives] for God's will".
The Bible says that "Jesus endured the cross for the joy of the prize that was on the other side". And that's what I'm proposing that we all do. We endure these things for the reward that's laid up for those who are willing to pay the price to mature spiritually so they can be usable material for God. "Vessels fit for the master's use". Amen? Are you understanding me? It's time to get rid of our pacifiers, our baby bottles. Dave and I have a three-and-a-half-year-old grandson: he's the youngest one out of the 12. And he says to his parents, "I don't like it when you tell me, 'no'". I thought, "Well, at least he's telling how he feels early". "I don't like it when you tell me, 'no'". And then, he will repeat back to them things that they've said to him. He will say, "You need to be more patient with me". Or how about this one? "You're being rude". Because you know, they've told him, you know, "You're being rude".
Well, you know, that's cute at three-and-a-half, but it's not cute at 50. It's not cute when you been in the church 15 years. Boy, I tell you, I need to come here more often. Trying to figure out where I wanna go from here. You know, just a small list of the types of feelings that we need to live on the other side of. What about this feeling that "I gotta please people all the time, keep everybody happy"? Anybody tired of being a people-pleaser? Don't give up your life to keep somebody else happy that won't keep a relationship with you if you don't let them control you.
What is the absolute worst thing that can happen if you stand up to them? They're not gonna to want anything to do with you anymore. Well, they don't care very much about you anyway, if the only way they're gonna have a relationship with you is if they can control you. Love is not controlling people. God doesn't control people. Everybody needs to have freedom. And not only that, you'll miss your destiny if you spend your time trying to please people. Amen? Galatians 1:10 Paul said, "Now am I seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not now be an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ". He said, "I would have missed my destiny. I would have missed my calling if I would have been trying to please people".
How 'bout living on the other side of the pain of being misunderstood? You know that, to me, that's a hard thing. You know, when you're just doing the best you know how to do, and people just don't get you. Or they think things about you that just aren't true or say things about you that aren't true. And you know, we can judge sin, we should judge sin, but we're not supposed to judge people because we don't know their heart. And Moses, there's a scripture that says that "He expected that his brethren would understand that he had been called to deliver the people, but they did not understand".
Well, you know, I started thinking and, you know, really, when God called me to preach, I was just so tickled and so happy. And I thought everybody would be happy for me. And you know what? They weren't. They had plenty to say about why I couldn't do it. First one I heard was, "Well, you're a woman". Well, you know, I had mentioned that to God, too. I said, "You know, I'm a woman". You think he didn't know that? I don't know, maybe God would have given the job to a man if he could have found one to take it. But I don't know.
You know, all I've done for 45 years is work, but I've enjoyed it. I can't stand to waste my life. And, you know, if Jesus would take me home tomorrow, I've had a good ride and I've helped a lot of people. I'll tell you, one thing I will not die with, is regret. Amen? But people didn't understand me. They didn't, I mean, we lost friends. We got asked to leave our church. I mean, it was painful. It was a very hard time. But now, I'm on the other side of that. And I've got a few friends, now. At least a handful anyway. I'll take that. Thank you. See, the Bible tells us over and over that God is a rewarder.