Joyce Meyer - A Trusting Attitude
Well, thank you for joining us today on, "Enjoying Everyday Life". And I pray that the word will really bless you today, and will make a difference in your life. I wanna talk to you today about having a trusting attitude. It's so important that we trust God, but it's also important that we don't have a real suspicious attitude toward people. Now, you know, you don't wanna just Carte Blanche trust everybody, and not use any wisdom. But being suspicious of everybody all the time is also very, very uncomfortable. Because the Bible tells us that we are to believe the best of every person.
And that particular thing has really helped me a lot. Because we can imagine that people, "Oh, you did it on purpose," or "You're talking about it behind my back," or this or that or something else. And just believing the best of people has really helped me in relationships. And I usually find out that they didn't have any ill intent involved, and that believing the best was the right thing to do. But I specifically wanna talk to you today, about having a trusting attitude toward God. And no matter what happens, you trust that God will take care of it, you trust that he will work it out. You talk about something that will eliminate stress in your life, this is it.
The Bible says we can only enter the rest of God through believing, or trusting is another word for believing. And that supernatural rest of God is a wonderful place to be in. There's so much stress in our world, and maybe some of you have a lot of stress in your life right now. And we're always thinking, "Well, if my circumstance would just go away, then I could be peaceful". But you know, I finally realized, and it took me a long time, that my circumstances are probably not gonna change, maybe this one will change, but another one will come along, that I'm the one that God wants to change. He wants to bring us to a point where we react to the circumstances differently. And that comes, the only way we can react good, is if we trust God. "Let this same attitude and purpose and humble mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus:" that's Philippians 2:5, "Let him be your example in humility".
Well, really, I've pretty much concluded that every good attitude requires having some humility in order to have that good attitude. So, in order to trust God with all the things in our life that we don't understand, and there's so many things that we just don't understand in life. We just need to believe that God is good, and we trust him, and we believe that things will work out good, that he'll meet our needs, even if he's not doing it on our timetable. I want you to know that today, you know, there are people watching and you have real needs, and you're frightened, you're concerned about what's gonna happen. But God is faithful. And I've had 45 years of walking with God, and I can tell you that he is faithful. He doesn't always do things the way I would like, or when I would like, but he always does what needs to be done.
Paul and Silas waited at the midnight hour when they were in prison. They were still singing and praying, and an angel shook the prison, and the doors flew open. But it was the midnight hour. It's interesting that many times we feel like it's the very last moment, that God makes us wait to the last moment. Why does he do that? Well, it stretches our faith. And the more our faith is stretched, the easier life becomes after that. Every time we go through something hard, the next time we go through something hard, it's easier on us than it was the first time. So, we need to have humility in order to trust God. Because if we don't have humility, we're gonna be trying to do things ourselves, and we're gonna get into, like I shared earlier this week, works of the flesh and they're works that don't work.
Now, one of my favorite scriptures in the Bible, I actually have this on a plaque on my wall in my office. 1 Peter 2:22 and 23, "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate: when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he trusted [himself and everything] to him who judges fairly". Wow! He trusted himself and everything in his life, everything that happened to him, everything that people did to him, he trusted God that he would work it out for good, and turn it around to something usable in his life.
What do you think would happen in your life, if you could do that? If you could, right now, whatever you're dealing with, whatever it is you're dealing with in life, you may have five, ten different aggravating situations. But whatever you're dealing with, if you could take each one of them and just cast your care, release it, turn it over to God, enter his rest, just think how much better life would be. You know, my husband is a patient man, and he had a lot of experience with God, that I didn't have when he and I got married. And although I believed in God and I'd received Christ as my Savior, I didn't have a lot of experience with God.
And, you know, experience with God is what helps us learn to trust him, because we go through things and we see his faithfulness and over a period of time then, we know that he will work things out. And if you can do that, if you can cast your care on God, and trust him, life gets so much easier, so much better. Just think, they threatened Jesus, they hurled insults at him, I mean, they spit on him, they did all kinds of terrible things. And in everything they did, he trusted God. Judas betrayed him with a kiss. Peter denied knowing him. When he was in the Garden of Gethsemane, and he asked his disciples if they couldn't pray with him just one hour, they all fell asleep. He never got mad at 'em. He didn't turn his back on 'em. He just stayed the same no matter what.
Come on, think about how good that would be, to just be the same no matter what. That's what the apostle Paul said that he finally came to in life. He said, "I've learned how to be content. Satisfied to the point where I'm not disturbed no matter what my circumstances are, if I'm abased or abounding, I am content". Wow. But I do wanna tell you, and this is encouraging to me, that it was about 15 to 20 years after Paul's conversion, before he made that statement, that's recorded in Philippians. So, he too needed to gain experience with God. And I want you to think about that, that everything you go through is helping you gain experience that will make life easier for you the next time. No matter what happened to Jesus, he trusted himself to his father, whom he knew would judge fairly.
Now, in Luke 22:42 and 43, he said, "Father, if you're willing, take this cup from me". He was talking about the cup of suffering that he was about to have to drink, in order to go to the cross for us, to pay for our sins. "Father, if you're willing, take this cup from me". Jesus didn't really want to go to the cross, but he wanted to obey God more than he wanted what he wanted. And boy, that's the place I wanna come to in my life. That even though I don't want to do something, I want what God wants, more than I want what I want. "'if you're willing, take this cup from me: yet not my will be done, but yours'. And an angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him".
I like that thought. When something hard is coming your way, if you're willing to do God's will, if he needs to, he'll send an angel to strengthen you. The Holy Spirit will strengthen you. Nothing requires more trust than submitting to suffering that you believe to be God's will, when you know you could eliminate it by taking action on your own. Wow. You know, that's what meekness is. Meekness is not weakness. Meekness is strength under control. Jesus could have done something about it, but he didn't because he preferred to have God's will rather than his own will. So, let's just say that you work somewhere and you're the only believer that works there. And it's a hard atmosphere.
People make fun of you. You know they're talking about you behind your back. It's kind of a lonely place to be, but every once in a while, you'll have an opportunity to really minister to somebody and help 'em. Because they know you're a believer, and if they get in big enough trouble, they'll come and ask you what they should do. And so deep, deep, deep down inside, you know that God wants you to stay there, but everything in your flesh wants you to leave, and get away from there. Well, those are the times where if you're willing to suffer for the sake of the gospel, God can use you in a big way. And every time that we do something that God really wants us to do, even though it's hard, there's always a reward that comes after that.
"God is the rewarder of those who diligently seek him". Not running away from places that are difficult, are challenging. Maybe staying in a marriage that's challenging right now. You know, if Dave wouldn't have been patient and willing to do the will of God, I honestly don't know how he stayed with me in the first two years of our marriage. I don't think I could have stayed with me. But he told me, he said, "You know, divorce just wasn't an option. I knew that wasn't God's will". And Dave also had an ability to enjoy his life no matter what I was doing. And that's a key for those of you that are in difficult situations right now, maybe in a marriage or another relationship, and you know you're supposed to stay in the relationship, you don't have to lose your joy, because you're in relationship with somebody who's not happy. Dave even told me one time, he said, "I've tried everything I know to make you happy, and you're determined to be unhappy.
So, I'm gonna quit trying, but I'm gonna tell you right now, that I'm gonna enjoy my life". Well, of course, that made me very angry, but it also was a key to a breakthrough for me in due time. At the crucifixion, Jesus released his spirit into the father's hand. And three days later, the world saw God's faithfulness when Jesus rose from the dead. He said, "Into your hands, father, I commit my spirit". He had no idea what was really gonna happen but, "He cried out in a loud voice, 'father, into your hands I commit my spirit'. And when he said that he took his last breath". Wow, that's trusting God.
Do you have situations in your life right now where you just don't know what's gonna happen? And you have to just take a step forward, not having any idea if you're gonna fall off the cliff or if God's gonna save you. I can tell you, "He'll save you". You know, when Peter stepped out of that boat to walk on water, he didn't know if he would drown or if he'd walk on water. And he walked on the water for a little while, but then when he started looking at the waves, he became afraid and started to sink. But faithful Jesus reached out his hand and lifted him back up, and did not let him drown. Sometimes our trust in God is not perfect, but you trust him as much as you can.
You know, Thomas said, "I will not believe unless I can put my hand in your hands, and in your side where your wounds are". And Jesus let him do it. He showed him his wounds so he would know for sure that he had risen from the dead. But then Jesus said something I love, he said, "Blessed are those who believe and have not seen". And that's the place we wanna be at, where we're not always trying to make God prove himself to us, in order to believe. That also comes along with experience. Are you ready to pass the trust test? We're promoted after we have stood the test. James 1:12 says, "Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him". God tests and proves our faith and our quality of character.
You say, "Well, why does he do that"? Well, why do children in school have to take tests before they pass on to the next grade? You know, no matter what you think you believe, or no matter how much faith you think you have, you never know for sure until it's put to the test. And I don't either. So, really going through those tests actually... And of course God already knows what we're gonna do, but they actually end up being good for us, because when we pass those tests, it gives us confidence. 1 Peter 1:7 says, "These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith, of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire, may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed".
The things that he's talking about when he said, "These have come," he's talking about trials and tribulations that come our way. In 1 Peter 4:12 and 13 says, "Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come to test you, as though something strange were happening to you". Maybe you're in a time of testing right now. You know, if after a time of testing, you will also come into a time of glory. You'll come into a time of reward. So, pass your tests so you don't have to keep taking 'em over and over and over. "But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed".
You know, we need to know ourselves, and we need to see ourselves in all kinds of situations. And really that helps you to really know people. You never really know anybody until, you see how they respond in every kind of situation. The going through, equips us to help other people. God proved them in Deuteronomy 8, when the Israelites were going through the wilderness. He proved them by testing them, so he could bless them. I call it being blessed in the mess. You may have a mess right now, but you'll be blessed when you come out of it if, if, if, if you handle it God's way. We always have to have that "If" in there, because there's always something God does, but there's always something he gives us to do too. He says, I'll do this, and this, and this, and this, and our part is to trust him.
So, if I don't trust him, then I can't expect him to do this, and this, and this. Trusting God is one of the most important things that you can learn how to do in your life. Study scriptures about trusting God. Look at examples in the Bible like, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who went into the fiery furnace rather than, do the thing that the king wanted them to do. Look at men like David, and job, and Jonah, and all the different people that, although sometimes it was challenging for them, they did end up doing things God's way, and then they were rewarded. Job went through a really tough time. And you know, he seems to be our example of suffering in the Bible, poor old job.
Well, you know, poor old job ended up at the end when all the testing was over, God blessed him double with anything he had given up. And the Bible says in Isaiah 61:7 and 8, that "God will give us a double, a twofold recompense for our [former] trouble". I always say, "He'll give you double for your trouble". Because the Lord loves justice. He is a God who loves justice. In Deuteronomy 8, and these scriptures helped me so much when I was a younger Christian, and was believing God for things concerning the ministry, and not understanding why it was taking so long. There were simple things I was asking God to do that I knew he could do very easily, but he just wasn't doing them.
And I remember one day saying to God, "I know you could do this, and it wouldn't be any effort at all for you. Why are you making me wait"? And I heard in my spirit, "Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God". And I was not familiar with that scripture. I wasn't familiar with that saying. So, I definitely heard that from God. And then later, God led me to that scripture in Deuteronomy chapter 8. And it says in verses 2-4, "Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not".
Now, get a hold of that. He tested them to find out if they would keep his commandments or not. It's easy to keep God's commandments when everything is going the way we want it to, but what about when nothing is going the way we want it to? It's easy to keep his commandments when our prayers are being answered quickly, but what about when you have to wait, and wait, and wait, and wait? "He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God".
Now, that bread that he was talking about, for me, represented the things that I was wanting to see God do. You know, we were believing God and trusting him. And you know, we would go to our mailbox, because that was one of the ways we could tell if anybody was really listening to our radio programs then, we weren't on television yet. And that was how a lot of our support would come in. And it was hard on those days when we would go, and there would be no mail, or a couple of pieces of mail, or nothing there. And so, I wanted God to do things for me. I wanted the bread. And he said, "Man does not live by bread alone, but every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God".
He wanted me to learn to trust his word, not my circumstances. And when we come to the point where we trust God's word, no matter what our circumstances are, then we will always see our needs met, in time to meet the need. He did it to teach you that, "Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God". And then he goes on to say, "Your clothes didn't wear out and your feet didn't swell during those forty years". I think that's kind of interesting, for 40 years, their clothes didn't wear out. They didn't get anything new, but their clothes didn't wear out. "For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and the hills".
So, he says, "You're going through this tough time now. I'm testing you to see if you'll keep my commandments in hard times, or just in good times. And I'm doing all this so I can bring you into a good place". But God doesn't want us just to trust him in the good places, he wants us to trust him in the hard places, and then we come into the good places. "I'm bringing you into a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey".
Now, those might not be the things we'd like, but they're the things that were precious to them in those days. "A land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing: a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills". "He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so in the end it might go well with you".
Can I tell you that whatever you're going through, your situation is not over yet? It is not over yet. This too shall pass. And if you pass the test you're in right now, by continuing to be faithful to God and to put your trust in him, you will have a reward at the end of the test. Just because we think we're ready for promotion, does not mean that we are. Pass your test, so you don't have to keep taking the same ones over and over. When difficulty or challenging times come, say this, "Don't panic, this is only a test". I have to say that to myself sometimes, "Joyce, don't panic, this is only a test".
Now, how much should we trust other people? We talked about that just a little bit in the beginning. It is not God's will for us to be suspicious of people. God's word says that we're to ever be ready to believe the best of every person. 1 Corinthians 13:7 says that we are, "Love bears up under anything and we are to believe the best of every person". God certainly believes the best of us. Even when we're not doing our best, he believes that we will change, and do the right thing in due time. God wants us to trust people, but he doesn't want us to give them a trust that belongs only to him. And Jesus actually said that he trusted, that, "He did not trust himself to his disciples, because he knew all men".
Now, that doesn't mean he didn't trust his disciples, that's in John 2:24 and 25. It doesn't say he didn't trust his disciples. It says he didn't trust himself to them. You know, you're making a big mistake if you get in relationship with anybody and you think, "They'll never hurt me". I made that mistake one time... Well, actually more than once. But I made it one time with a group of ladies that I was involved with, and I thought, "Man, these people are my friends, they will never disappoint me, they'll never let me down".
And boy, did I have an eye-opening event. And it was good for me to see that you can't put that kind of trust in people. I trust people, but I'm also aware that they could hurt me. And that the trust that I give total trust, the person I give total trust to is God, and God alone. Psalm 5:11 says, "But let those rejoice who put their trust in him". If you wanna be happier than you've ever been in your life, learn how to trust God, no matter what is going on in your life. And every time you go through something difficult, just say, "I'm getting experience for my future, and I'm on my way to trusting God completely".