Joyce Meyer - Dealing with Stress - Part 1
Well, this weekend I'm going to do a little three-part series on dealing with stress. And so tonight, first service, tomorrow, second service, it'll all be different messages. So, if you just wanna make it a little weekend seminar on stress, I'm sure none of you probably really need that. Just like you don't need any teaching on anxiety, but you're welcome to come. And I always get to get tested on what I'm teaching on. So, we got here and they had given my hotel room away. Wasn't that sweet? And the church, here, paid for it in advance. They even paid for it last night and I wasn't even in it, just to make sure they didn't give it away.
And so, I don't know who was mixed up about what, but they told us they were cleaning it, and then they told us that all that was left to do was for the manager to inspect it. And then they told us the people that were in it hadn't checked out yet. So, we got here, and we ended up with four single rooms. I was in mike and Pennie's room. Dave was in somebody else's room. Somebody else was in somebody else's room. And Lord only knows where we'll be when we get back tonight, but we're believing we'll get to sleep. And so, for a while Dave was in the room I was in, where I was gonna study and pray and be somewhat spiritual, and he gets the ball game on his phone. So, I'm like, "Thank you, Jesus". "Strike one"! I said, "This is not gonna work, you gotta go somewhere else". So, anyway, I am qualified to teach on this subject.
All right, let me start with a question, do you ever complain about all you have to do? "Always". Well, she's very definite. Okay, well, you know, I was complaining to God one time about everything I had to do, "Nobody can be expected to do all this. I don't know how you think anybody can do..." And the Lord spoke to me, he said, "You made your schedule. If you don't like it, change it". So, we'll just kinda start with that. You're the one that has said "Yes" to all the things you do.
Now, some things we have to do, but if we're gonna be honest, we all have to admit that there are a lot of things that we don't have to do. We do them and we don't even do them for the right reasons. We do them because we don't want somebody to get mad at us. We do them because we're nosy and we don't want everybody else to go and us not know what's going on. Amen. We just do them 'cause we've always done 'em. We don't even know why we're doing it anymore. It's just, "Well, I don't know, it's just what we do". And if any one of you were to go home and make a list of everything you're doing, and then ask yourself, each one, if it's bearing good fruit in your life. And if you cut out the ones that aren't bearing any fruit, you'd have plenty of time left. Hmm, you're looking at me like, "Nah, it couldn't be that easy".
So, stress is the disease of the century. It's a multi-billion dollar business between counseling, drugs, books, stress management, seminars, and more. Stress is making more money than anything else. And I just wanna say this up front, and you kinda tuck this in your pocket: God will never give you more to do than what you can do peacefully. So, remember that. If you, what all you're doing is stealing your peace, then it's not God giving it to you. And I know what I'm talking about because I almost killed myself trying to do what I thought God wanted me to do and found out that there was a lot of reasons why I was doing it that really weren't all reasons why I should have been doing it. Stress is all around us.
And I kept praying for the stressful things to go away, for the problems to go away. And I finally realized, you know what, the world is gonna change, but it's probably not gonna get better, it may get worse. And I'm not saying that as a negative statement. All we have to do is look and see what's going on, and we're gonna have more to deal with in a year or two years than we do now. So, if anything's gonna change, it's gotta be us. We have to learn how to handle things in a different way. Okay? John 14:27, Jesus said, and I'm gonna quote the Amplified, "My peace I leave with you. Not as the world gives do I give unto you. But my own special peace I now give and bequeath unto you. So, stop allowing yourselves to be upset and disturbed and don't permit yourself to be fearful and intimidated".
So, this is a two-part thing. Really, to be honest, we don't even need to pray for peace. What we need to do is access the peace that God's already given us. Actually, Jesus has already done every single thing that he needs to do for us to have peaceful, fruitful, wonderful lives. He has. All we need to do is read the book and do what the book says. You say, "Well, I can't help it. I can't help it if I get upset"! Well, actually that's not true, you can. How many of you can feel upset when it's coming? It kinda starts down here somewhere. Can you feel it, when it's coming? Okay. The thing to do is stop it before it gets to your mouth. Because as soon as you start talking, you're gonna get even more upset than you were before. And then you're probably gonna upset somebody else, and then they're gonna upset you more.
I have actually learned how to be sensitive to when a conversation between me and Dave is about to go in the wrong direction. And I've actually become so hungry for peace that I am now willing, when it gets to that point, to just shut up. That wasn't something I was willing to do before. "No, I was going to have the last word and I was gonna prove to him that he was wrong, and I was right". But you know what, being right is highly overrated. I mean, it's a pride thing. Actually, "You can't even have conflict without pride," the Bible says. You can't even have it unless pride is there.
So, if you wanna have peace, you have to really want it bad, and you have to want it bad enough to be willing to make changes yourself. Not to want everybody around you to change or to want all your circumstances to change, but to ask God to show you how to change. Now, I don't know if you're not willing to do that, but if you're not, you can be miserable another year and I'll come back next year and tell you the same thing. There's not a lot of answers to some of the things that we deal with. In this issue, you have two choices: we can continue to be stressed out until we fall apart, or we can learn to not be affected through it by not allowing it to get in us. The things around us aren't gonna change, but we can learn to not allow it to get in us.
I remember when my kids were little, and I had so many, I call 'em "Fits". Just, you know, and you know, we had four kids and you sit down at the dinner table to eat and it seemed like every night somebody spilled their drink. And all tables aren't like this now, but back in those days, every table had a split down the middle so you could pull it apart and put a leaf in it. Well, it seemed like the real trick was to get to the liquid before it got to the crack. Because you hadn't had the table apart in a long time and there was stuff in there. And if the liquid got to it, especially if it was milk or something that would sour, you had no choice when the meal was over, but to pull the table apart and get in there and scrape and clean until you got it all out.
So, I really got upset when the kids would spill it. It would go under all the bowls and under the table, get to the crack, run down the table legs. And I'm under the table screaming and yelling, "You can't! We cannot have one meal in this house and have it in peace! I do not understand, I cook..." You know, well, really, I was the one stealing the peace. And one time I was under there having my little fit and the Lord spoke to my heart. He said, "You know, Joyce, no matter how much you rant and rave, this is not gonna run back up the table legs across the table and back into their glasses". So, he simply said, "You need to learn how to go with the flow".
So, sometimes, if something is happening... I couldn't do anything about that situation at the hotel. We tried. Trust me, we tried. They said, "Well, we have one of our ambassador guests..." I mean, I guess that's somebody with a lot of points, they go to that hotel a lot. "And we can't just tell 'em they have to leave". And I was thinking, "Well, you could have another ambassador guest... If you would treat me right". But I passed the test, not with flying colors, but I did pass. And I even acted like a Christian. Imagine that. And you know, we don't always act like Christians in situations like that. It's like, better get the cross off your neck and the bumper sticker off your car before anybody finds out. Fast forward 40 years, it's amazing what time does for you.
Fast forward 40 years and a couple of weeks ago, I get up really early so it's probably like 5 o'clock in the morning, and I've gotta have my Jesus' time before any noise starts. The day goes much better if I have that. And I make my coffee, every morning make my coffee, have my certain cup I put my coffee in. Well, that morning I made the coffee, it was in the cup, the foam was on the top, everything was good. I don't know what I did, but somehow or another, I dropped the cup and it hit the marble counter, shattered the cup, coffee went all over the place, glass went all over the place and I just, honestly, I can tell you I did not feel a thing. I just looked at it and I said, "Well, I guess, I'll clean that up". I've come a long way from being under the table throwing fits.
So, if you stick with God and you stick with the word, what does the Bible say in 2 Corinthians 3:18? If we look into his word, we will be changed or "Transformed into his image from glory to glory to glory". So, if you haven't made it all the way there yet, don't be upset with yourself. Just keep growing. That's all. God's not mad if you haven't arrived. He just wants you to keep going and keep growing. Amen? Alright. You know, Jesus was surrounded by stressful situations: rejected by family and friends, accused of being evil, his disciples needed a lot of correction, you know, they really weren't very mature. They argued about who was the greatest and just all kinds of things that, you know, you think, "You picked them"? Prayed all night. He didn't get them accidentally. He prayed all night and then picked them.
Maybe it was to give us hope, I don't know. He was mentoring them for the job of carrying the gospel to the whole world. Surely, sometimes he was a little disappointed in the way they behaved. Huge crowds followed him everywhere that he went, and they all wanted something. Do you ever get a little stressed out because you feel like everybody that comes near you wants something? Nobody? I'm the only one that ever feels that way. One time, I was not wanting to be recognized. I was in the mall. And people kept coming up, "Can I have a picture"? And I started complaining. And God said, "Well, if you'd rather, I can fix it so nobody knows who you are". I said, "Oh, never mind, never mind, never mind. I'm sorry, I'm sorry".
See, everything that you get is a privilege, also comes with a responsibility side. You get a car: you get a car payment. You get a bigger house: you get a bigger house payment. You got more house to clean and so maybe you go the extra mile, then you get a house cleaning service. Then you don't like the house cleaning service and you don't like the way they're cleaning the house. So, there's always something that you gotta deal with. I had a dog for 12 years and I loved that dog. Her name was duchess and she was just wonderful. When she was a puppy, we had a couple of people working for us at the house and they really trained her, I didn't. I was gone so much. And so, you know, a dog is so much better when they're trained. When they don't eat your furniture and go to the bathroom on the floor and all that stuff.
And so, we had her 12 years, and then she had to go to doggy heaven. And so, I wanted another dog. Well, I got another dog. And I think this dog was part devil. I don't, I mean, the cutest dog you have ever seen and not a cheap dog. And I mean, even the trainers said, "This dog is untrainable. Can't be trained". So, I gave her to the trainer, the trainer gave her to her son, and he couldn't keep her, and he gave her to somebody else. She went through a lot of people. I don't know where she's at now. So, I'm a determined person and I have now bought and given away four dogs, since duchess. And my daughter told me, and she is absolutely right, she said, "You want a dog, but you don't want the work".
So, yesterday, I said, "You know, I think I'm about ready for another dog". And I've already got somebody that wants the next one. She's already told me, "Next dog you get, I'll take it". And so, I said, "I've got a better idea. I'm gonna borrow a dog for a day or two. And I'll get over it and then I'll save myself all that money and embarrassment of getting another dog and giving it away". So just remember that, everything that you get as a privilege there's always another side to it. You all are kind of looking at me like, "But i... I want".
Now, remember, there's gonna be another side to it. Amen? Causes for stress, I have 16. And I could've kept going, so you know. I'll try not to get hung up too much on these points, so we'll just go through them pretty fast. Worry and hurry. Man, hurry. And you know, it's not just hurrying on the outside, it's hurrying on the inside. Just having one thought after another, after another, after another, after another, rush through your brain. Trying to figure all these things out. Too much work, not enough rest, not enough enjoyment, and not enough laughter. We need to laugh. God gave us a laugh, and the Bible says, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine". It's actually true.
One time I had a headache and something funny happened and I laughed really hard, and my headache was gone when I got finished laughing. I mean, it really is like medicine. It's a stress reliever. Laughter is one of the best stress relievers. People-pleasing causes stress. Anger and unforgiveness, probably should be number one on the list. There are more people in the church that are angry at somebody than those that are not. And unforgiveness is one of the things that God has told us in multiple places in the word that we must not have. And yet there's so many people that won't forgive somebody else, and they say, "Well, you just don't understand what they did".
To be honest, it doesn't matter. God tells you to forgive people for you, not for them. They may not deserve your forgiveness, but you deserve peace. Amen? And not only that, God never tells you to do something that you can't do. You can get that idea out of your head. God never tells you to do something you can't do. If the word says to do it, you can do it if you're willing. Guilt. That's a bad one. Hidden sin. Poor diet. I decided yesterday, I was tired, I've been working a little more than I like too lately. I was real tired. You know, sometimes when you're real tired you wanna do something you shouldn't do. Anybody ever noticed that?
And so, I decided that I wanted dessert and I wanted a lot of it. And to maintain my size, I have to be, you know, pretty strict. And so I decided I was gonna eat dessert and not eat food. I didn't tell you, I didn't tell you 'cause I knew you wouldn't like it. So, I got a cookie and I put all this icing on it. Then I had a little ice cream. It was a little bowl of ice cream but put chocolate sauce on that. And I ate that dessert and didn't eat any food, and I got so nervous. It just, the sugar just made me nervous, and I felt terrible after that.
Well, how many people are stressed out all the time, just because they have a lousy diet? They don't do something like that occasionally, they eat junk every day. Boy, you got a good church. They don't have a problem with anything. I have never seen so many people that can look innocent as this group. I mean, they're all just... How many of you don't get enough sleep? You know what? I've got an answer for you. Go to bed at night. This really isn't rocket science. How many of you don't drink enough water? Drink some water. You know, we look for all these complicated answers to what we think are all these complicated problems and to be honest, it's really not that hard.