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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Joyce Meyer » Joyce Meyer - Dealing with Stress - Part 3

Joyce Meyer - Dealing with Stress - Part 3

Joyce Meyer - Dealing with Stress - Part 3
TOPICS: Stress
Joyce Meyer - Dealing with Stress - Part 3

Father, I pray this morning that the word that I bring will be exactly what people need to hear, and that it won't just be information, but it'll be Revelation, in Jesus' name, amen.

I started last night a three-part series on dealing with stress. And I'll be teaching a different message in the next service, so if you wanna hang around and get it all, you're welcome to do that. I just wanna say a couple of things that I said last night. I can't go over all of it, but a few things were too important to pass up. First of all, how often do you hear yourself complaining about everything you have to do? None of you do that, huh? I guess I might as well go home then: I got the wrong group. One time I was complaining to God about everything I had to do, "Nobody can be expected to do this much". And the thing I heard him speak in my heart is, "You made your schedule, if you don't like it, change it". You know, we're the ones that say, "Yes," to all the things we complain about later.

And so, I challenged everybody last night, if you feel like you're stressed out, just go home and write a list of everything you're doing. And then just one by one go over it and ask yourself two questions. Number one: "Is this bearing good fruit"? And number two: "Why am I doing it"? So often we find that our motive for what we're doing is not right at all. We're doing it to keep somebody else from getting upset with us. Or this is a really silly one, we don't know why we're doing it, we're just doing it because we've always done it. And God may have gotten done with it 10 years ago, and we're still doing it. And then another thing I said that I thought was really important is that, "God will never give you more to do than what you can do peacefully". Amen?

So, if you're praying for peace all the time, first thing I want you to know is you already have peace. Jesus said in John 14:27, "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 bequeathed unto you. So, stop allowing yourselves to be upset and disturbed, and stop letting yourselves be fearful and intimidated". So, he's done his part. You know, really, there's nothing else that God needs to do for us. We're always asking him to do something. But really what we need is to receive everything he has done, and begin to act like we really believe it, and live our lives accordingly.

And so, I was a person who grew up with a lot of stress. I came from one of those dysfunctional households. No peace in the house, full of stress all the time. My father was sexually abusive toward me. My mother had a lot of nerve problems because she knew what he was doing but didn't have the courage to do anything about it. And that's all I ever remember is fear and stress. I had stress for so long, that I didn't even know it was stress, I thought it was normal. And that's really sad when you think that being upset is a normal state. Actually, when God finally taught me to be peaceful, and I know this is gonna sound strange, but it's true. At first, I was bored. I was so used to being in turmoil all the time that I was like, "What is this"? Kind of boring not to have something to worry about, or complain about, or murmur about. But stress really is probably one of our biggest problems today.

And there may be a few people who don't have any. My husband probably doesn't have any. I don't know if Dave even knows what the word means, but I've had enough for both of us, so it's probably a good thing. And God has changed me so much, so much. I used to get upset about everything, and now I really have learned how to hold my peace, because I've learned that it's really pretty useless to keep trying to do something about something you can't do anything about. Let me say that again. It's pretty much useless to keep trying to do something about something you can't do anything about.

For example, you can't change people. And even if you do threaten them enough to get them to modify their behavior, you still haven't changed them, because true change has to come from the inside out. You can't make somebody love God. You may have children that just aren't there yet. You'll make much more progress praying for them, than you ever would trying to talk them into something. Amen? The best thing you can do is pray for them and be a good example in front of them, and they'll remember that more than they will remember anything else. So, we create a lot of stress for ourselves by not liking things that people are doing and trying to make them not do them. And a lot of times we want people to change so we can be happier, but we have to understand that we can be happy, even if they don't wanna be.

If your joy is dependent on how somebody acts, then that makes you a codependent. And you don't wanna be that way. You don't wanna wait to find out what mood your spouse is gonna be in, before you decide what mood you can be in. You can make your mind up that you're gonna be happy, and be in a good mood, and be a positive person, and enjoy your life, no matter what anybody else does. And you can do that, amen? So, there are very devastating effects of stress. And I know it firsthand because I had a semi-falling apart three different times, but the last time was a major event. It was about five years ago. Started in November of 2014, I guess, or no, 17, December of 17. And I actually, something happened to my voice and my throat. And I got what's called burning mouth disease.

A lot of doctors had never even heard of it. But my tongue and the roof of my mouth felt like it was absolutely on fire. And it was, made my mouth and my throat really dry, so dry that I could hardly speak. So, for the first time ever, I had to cancel a speaking engagement, which made me sad. But it took me five years to get back to where I felt normal. And when friend of mine put me in the hospital in Houston. And after Dr. Paul Osteen had some really top-notch doctors do every kind of test you could do, they said, "You are really healthy". I thought, "Well, why do I feel so bad"? You ever been there? It's like you just felt so bad, you go to the doctor, and they said, "There's nothing wrong, it's stress". Well, I thought, "You're giving me stress, telling me it's stress". Because I didn't want it to be stress.

I thought stress meant you couldn't handle life, and I wanted them to just give me a pill so I could go home and feel better. And after all the tests and everything, they said, "For a woman your age, your blood work is phenomenal". They said, "Really, you just have severe adrenal fatigue". And my diagnosis was adrenal fatigue, and my prescription was, go home and rest for 18 months. And the first thing I said is, "What does one do when they rest for 18 months"? So, we can see what my problem was, I really didn't know how to rest.

And so, at that point, we had to make some really, healthy changes in our ministry. And it's sad that sometimes we won't make changes until we're forced to, isn't it? But we will either make them ourselves, or we will be forced to. Our body will only put up with so much, and then it will fall apart. You'll start by not feeling good, or having different times when you don't feel good. Only a fool thinks they can only do what they've always done. As you get older, which we all do, by the way, you will have to make changes. If you make gradual changes, your body will be able to keep up just fine. But if you think when you're 60, you can do the same thing you did when you're 20, you're wrong.

Everybody has limits, I want you to hear that today. Everybody has limits. And if you think you're one of those people that has none, you're in for a big surprise. I think even some of our preaching has given people an idea that they have no limits. Take the limits off. That's a message I've heard. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Well, you can only do what God's told you to do. If God's told you to do it, he'll give you the strength and the ability to do it. But if it's... Sometimes we're doing things that God's telling us not to do, and we're doing it anyway. And those are the things that really stress us out.

How many of you say, "Yes," to things while your heart's screaming, "No"? Okay, well then why do we expect God to do something about that? You know, we need to have the courage to say, "No," to the things that we should say, "No," to. And everybody wants you to do 'em a favor. And that sounds nice. And obviously, we should do people favors. We do things for people, that's part of what we do to show love. But if the Holy Spirit's telling you, "No," then you need to have the courage to tell people, "No". And if that means they get mad at you, then to be honest, they're really not a good friend. They're not showing you love or respect. Because people who really love you shouldn't even want you to do something that God is telling you not to do. They should respect you for following the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

So, stress causes anxiety, headaches, muscle tension, pain and fatigue, change in sex drive, upset stomach, restlessness, lack of motivation, lack of focus. I just recently heard that a human being can focus for 9 seconds, a goldfish can focus for 10. So, we have now dropped below the goldfish. There is no telling us how many places you'll go in your mind today, while I'm preaching for these 40 minutes. You'll go to lunch: you'll go home and do some laundry. We do have a hard time keeping our mind on any one thing for any length of time. And part of that is just because of all the noise that's going on around us all the time. The beeps and the beeps and you know. How many of you think you can't even go to the bathroom without taking your phone? You too tired to put your hand up? Then you need this message.

One friend of mine said, "My phone no longer has bathroom privileges since I've...Since I dropped it in the toilet, it don't get to go anymore". It causes irritability and anger. It causes sadness or depression. Can cause substance abuse, overeating, social withdrawal, angry outbursts, and shallow breathing, which may not sound like any big deal. But deep breathing is one of the best things for you. If you watch a baby breathe, their stomach is always going up and down. They breathe properly. We breathe very shallow, and if you get tense, you'll really breathe shallow, and it doesn't help you. Well, as I said, I went to all... I had all those, and they told me I had stress, and I didn't wanna hear that, so I just kept doing what I was doing.

Finally, I began to read books on stress, and I found out what stress really was. It's not that you can't handle life, stress is living out of balance. We're supposed to live a balanced life, where we do enough of everything, but not too much of anything. All the way from a balanced diet to a balanced budget. Actually, the Bible says in 1 Peter 5:8, in the Amplified Bible, "Be well balanced: for your adversary, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone whom he may seize upon and devour. Whom resists steadfast in the faith".

So, just a lack of balance opens a door for the enemy to come in and attack us. I'm sure some of you right now could think of some areas in your life where you're out of balance: you don't get enough sleep, you work too much, don't have enough fun, don't get enough laughter, spend too much money on yourself, won't spend any money on yourself. And I think one of the hardest areas to stay balanced is to keep that fine line between living a holy life and being legalistic.

See, I really want to live a holy life, but I've been legalistic, and I don't ever wanna go back there. So, that takes prayer, and time with God, and listening to God so you really can tell when you're getting out of balance. And in order to stay in balance, we're always having to make adjustments. Nobody just stays in balance. We're always having to readjust. So many people ask me in interviews, "How do you manage to stay balanced with all you have to do"? And I heard myself say one time, "I'm always balancing things out". And that's what we have to do to stay balanced. Spend a little bit of time with God, at least once a month, and just ask him to show you if there's any areas of your life where you're out of balance.

My husband has a wonderful theory about finances. If you follow this, you'll never get in financial trouble. First of all, you've gotta stay within your borders. Anybody who spends more than they have, is gonna be in trouble. So, keeping in mind what you have, you save some, you spend some, and you give some. It's not good for you if you work all the time and won't ever do anything for yourself. You need to spend some money to do a few things that you like, that might seem frivolous to somebody else, but to you they're important. You deserve after working all week, to do a little something that you like, and you enjoy. And I don't like it when I hear people say, "Oh, I can do without that".

Well, if you do, you're gonna eventually get bitter. You're gonna feel used. Well, some of you the best thing you could do for yourself would be, just go out and do something for yourself. Go buy a new outfit if you're a lady, or if you're a guy, play a game of golf, whatever it is you like to do, just do it. Save some money, so when you get older, you're not broke, and having to have somebody take care of you all the time. And always give some. But you can do too much of any of that. You can spend too much on yourself. You can save so much money for your future, that you don't have any kind of life now. And then all of a sudden, you're old and you got all this money, but you feel too bad to go spend any of it. And actually, you can give too much. You can give so much that you're not even being wise.

Do you know that giving something to people is not always the best way to help them? Sometimes the best thing you can do is not help somebody. Is less ever more? What about Martha? Luke 10:38-42, "Now while they were on their way, it occurred that Jesus entered a certain village, and a woman named Martha received and welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord's feet and began to listen to him teach".

Now, we've got two totally opposite women here, one a workaholic, and one who is sensitive enough to know that, you know, Jesus doesn't stop by every day. The dirt will still be here when he leaves, I'm gonna hear what he has to say while I can. "But Martha [overly occupied and too busy]," I love that, "Was distracted with much serving: and she came up to Jesus and said, 'is it nothing to you that my sister has left me to do all this work alone'"? Well, aren't we like that? "That's right, you just go have fun, and I'll do all the work. That's the way it is, just sit there and enjoy yourself, and I'll do all the work". Come on, don't be a martyr, "I do all the work around here and everybody else has all the fun". Well, who's making you do the work? You could go have a little fun yourself.

"'Is it nothing to you that my sister's left me to serve alone? Tell her to get up and help me [to lend a hand and do her part along with me]!' but the Lord said to her, 'Martha, Martha,'" boy, there's a whole sermon in that, isn't there? "Joyce, Joyce, Joyce, how many times am I gonna have to tell you this"? "'Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things'". See, anxiety is not a new thing, it's always been around. It's just that there's more of it today because there's just so much of everything. I mean, we have a place in Florida that we go to, I do a lot of my writing there. And in this particular area, they don't allow billboards. And it's amazing how much more peaceful it is just to take a ride where there's not an advertisement every 10 feet. You drive down the street and there's store, after store, after store, after store, after store.

There's no way that there's enough money in this world to keep all those stores making money. And I'm gonna talk to you a little bit, hopefully before we're done this morning, about choice overload. We have so many choices that it confuses us. You know, it's funny, when I had eight outfits, when I was a teenager, I didn't get confused about what to put on. My closet was maybe about that long. Now it's a whole room, and it's full of clothes, and I go in there and don't know what to wear. How dumb is it to have a closet full of clothes and say, "I just don't have anything to wear"? Come on, some of you are right with me, you know what I'm saying. And so, we all have more today than we've ever had. And you give us a year or two, and we'll have more than we have now. And I think sometimes the more we have, the unhappier we get.

"'Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things: there's need of only one or but a few things. And Mary has chosen the good portion [that which is to her advantage], which shall not be taken away from her'". So, "Everything is beautiful in it's time". There's a time to work and there's a time not to work. And if you are too busy to spend time with God, then you are too busy doing stuff that's not doing you any good. Amen? Everybody needs to have quiet time with God every day. If you tell me, "Joyce, I can come and hear you preach on Sunday, or I can stay home and spend time with God. Which do you want me to do"?

As much as I'd like you to come and hear me, I would tell you to choose God first. Because I can preach to you and tell you things, but the Holy Spirit is the one that has to put it all together, and make it make sense in your life. And we even have too much preaching. You'll hear me preach this weekend on stress, and tomorrow morning on TV, I'll be preaching on something else, and you can get on YouTube and get something else, and you can get out your downloads and listen to something else. We don't ever stick with anything long enough for it to become Revelation in our life. So, we've got a head full of information, but no Revelation.

See, and I had to meditate on the fact that God loved me for a whole year, before I really got it. I mean, I read everything I get my hands on. I looked up every scripture. I knew those scriptures. I meditated on those scriptures. And finally, I got it, God loves me and he loves me unconditionally. And there's never anything I can do that will make him not love me. And there's nothing I can do that will make him love me any more than he does right now. And the Bible says in Romans 8, "That nothing should be able to separate us from the love of God which is found in Christ Jesus". No kind of trouble, no kind of tragedy. Nothing should ever be able to separate us from the love of God that's found in Christ Jesus. When you have trouble, if you ever hear yourself saying, "Well, God, don't you love me"? Then you're lacking Revelation.
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