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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Joyce Meyer » Joyce Meyer - Tests and Rewards - Part 2

Joyce Meyer - Tests and Rewards - Part 2

Joyce Meyer - Tests and Rewards - Part 2
TOPICS: Tests, Reward
Joyce Meyer - Tests and Rewards - Part 2

If, when you have trouble, you will do things God's way, you will always rise victorious. You will always come out triumphant. But you can't have a trouble and act like an unbeliever and expect to come out with God's reward. So, we gotta get honest with ourself. I, eventually, had to get honest with myself. Am I gonna keep acting like a baby every time I don't get my way? Or am I gonna grow up and act like a Christian? Am I just gonna go to church and go home and act the same as if I never went? Or am I gonna actually go and learn and grow and get something out of it and learn the scripture, and learn how to speak the scripture, and confess the scripture, and meditate on the scripture, and make God the center of my life? God doesn't want a little bit of you. He wants all of you. And he's not some sideline in your life, he's the mainline. I'm gonna read you Revelation 21, the first six verses.

"Then I saw a new sky (heaven) and a new earth, for the former sky and the former earth had passed away, (vanished), and there no longer existed any sea. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, all arrayed like a bride beautiful and adorned for her husband: then I heard a mighty voice from the throne and I perceived its distinct words, saying, 'see! The abode of God is with men, and he will live (encamp, tent) among them: and they shall be his people, and God shall personally be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eye: and death shall be no more, neither shall there be any anguish (sorrow or mourning) nor grief, nor pain any more, for the old conditions and the former order of things has passed away'. And he who is seated on the throne said, 'see! I make all things new'. And also he said, 'record this, for these sayings are faithful (accurate, incorruptible, trustworthy) true and (genuine)'. And he [further] Said to me, 'it is done'"!

Come on, we're just walking it out! It's already done. Stop acting like this is your home and you're gonna be here forever. All you've got is a dash. What are you gonna do with your dash? Would it really make any difference if you spent your whole life trying to get your way and at the end you got your way? No. But boy, it could make a big difference if you would die to self and spend your whole life helping God increase his kingdom. I'm telling you, you wanna be happy? I am telling you how to be happy. And I can tell you, you cannot be selfish and happy at the same time. I tried it and it just don't work. You can't wiggle that around anyway and make it work. And I have to have a lot of meetings with myself. And I have to have a lot of talks with myself. "Stop it, Joyce. Grow up, straighten up, lose the attitude. Don't be selfish".

And I still am selfish way more than I would like to think that I am. And I'm still working on it, just like all of you, but I am determined that I'm not gonna live just for me. Amen? "I am the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end". And I might add to that, and he's also everything in between. Amen? While we're doing this little dying to self thing, there's some tests that we're gonna get. And it's better to just go ahead and pass your tests, because there's one thing about God and his kingdom, you never flunk out. And just get to keep taking the same test over, and over, and over, and over until you finally pass it. Come on. Oh man, I can remember when slow clerks in stores just about drove me nuts.

You know, you go to the grocery store, and you always get the line where the girl runs out of tape: she's gotta go fix her cash register. Or you get the,, I used to, I would even pray, "Lord, lead me to the right line so I can get out of here quick". Prayed some stupid prayers. Was all about me. "I want, i, i, I wanna get out of here quick. So, let me pick the right line". And sure enough, I'd get in a line where a girl was being trained. Or I would get in line and then find out two of my items didn't have prices on 'em and they had to go find the prices. And I would just get so...Ugh! Frustrated! Because "I" wanted to get out of there and go home and do what "I" wanted to do!

Come on, is anybody home out there in your head? And I tell you what, I had slow clerks and slow clerks and finally we went to no clerks. I couldn't even find a clerk. I'm telling you the truth. And I finally thought, "Okay, this is God". How many of you know it takes us a while to get it sometimes? "Oh, this is God. This is not the devil". I rebuked the devil till I didn't have a rebuke left. "I rebuke you, devil"! I was trying to get him out of my way so I could get my way. And finally, I learned how to submit to God's way. Oh, my gosh.

All right, let me just tell you a few of the tests you're gonna have to pass in life. We talked about this, but it's too important not talking about it again, the forgiveness test. I had a guy in the back thank me, he said, "Thank you so much". He was a policeman, it looked like, and he came to do security here and he said, "Thank you so much. Thursday night I was able to forgive my brother and I needed to do that so bad". See, if even just 10 of the 16,000 of you forgave somebody, it was worth me coming here. 'cause your life can't even get started until you do that. That's one of the very first things you have to do. You can't be mad at somebody and have a good life with God.

You say, "Well, you don't know what they did". You know what Jesus said? "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do". They know not what they do. Do you know, if people...? You belong to God: you're marked and sealed by the Holy Spirit. In the spirit realm there's a sign on you that says, "I belong to God". Amen? And the devil knows it. And if people mistreat you, man, they're Messing with God. So, you need to pray for them. "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do". But all we do is worry about what they did to us. "You hurt my feelings". "You mistreated me". "You didn't give me what I wanted". We always think about what somebody didn't do for me instead of what they are doing to themselves. Let's read it again, Mark 11:24, "For this reason I'm telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it]".

Now, please notice it doesn't tell you when you'll get it. God's a little sneaky. He says you'll get it, but it may be five years. You might have to go through the process for five years. I don't know. "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone", well, one thing's for sure, you will wait until you obey verse 25. "If you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, and let it go), in order that your father in heaven may also forgive you your [own] Failings and shortcomings and let them drop". See, when you hold bitterness and unforgiveness, it messes up your relationship with God. There's nothing worth doing that over. "But if you don't forgive, neither will your father in heaven forgive you".

You gotta pass that forgiveness test. And that means you can figure on somebody doing something to you, you don't like. And when they do, the next time you just need to say, "Here's my test. I'm gonna pass it. Give it your best shot, but I forgive you". The faithfulness test. Sticking with something a long time after the emotions are gone. You know, I spoke to leaders recently and I almost called the message, "The first ten years in ministry are fun". Because man, those first few years, you're just full of it. You're full of your dream, and your vision, and you're just, you're on the platform, and you've got a reverend in front of your name, and everything's so exciting. And then, all of a sudden, nobody's clapping and cheering anymore and you're just left with the work.

Last year, we were doing our 40th Women's Conference and we did it in St. Louis and I remember somebody said to me, "Are you excited about the conference"? And I looked at 'em and I said, "No". And they looked at me like I'd committed the cardinal sin. "What do you mean"? I said, "No, I'm not excited, but I'm committed". What are you gonna do when the excitement's over, are you still gonna be committed? Or are you gonna quit because it's not exciting anymore? That's what people do in a marriage. Come on, the honeymoon ain't gonna last forever. You're gonna find out his feet stink and he leaves his underwear on the floor. You don't like the way he squeezes the toothpaste tube, and whatever, you know.

Do you know, I didn't even know Dave played golf when we got married? The whole time we were dating, he didn't play golf. Then as soon as we were married, he said to me one day, his whole family was coming over and I was trying to get our little apartment ready. And he said, "I'm gonna go out and hit some shag balls". I thought, "What is that"? Well, that's when you go out and you practice, you hit one ball after another, after another. Well, that was our first fight. I said, "You're gonna stay here and help me clean this house. Your family's coming over". "No, I'm goin' to hit shag balls".

Come on, the excitement ain't gonna last forever. And even in your marriage, you may come to a point where you're gonna have to make a decision, 'cause your flesh says, "I'm outta here". Come on, your flesh says, "I ain't putting up with this. I'm not living like this the rest of my life". But you better just turn that off for a minute and see what God's saying. You may think the grass is greener on the other side, but you'll have to mow that grass too. You might as well keep the one you got. At least you got a few years put in. Lord, let me tell you, if Dave goes to heaven before I do, there is nobody and nothing in this earth that could ever make me get married again. And that's not because I haven't had a good marriage. I love my husband. But I tell you what, it takes a long time to train 'em.

Just keep the one you got and work it out. I mean, unless, of course, somebody's abusing you, you know, there are reasons why you can't stay with somebody. But be a faithful person. Be a faithful friend. You know, this morning Christine was up here, and we were talking about her. She's my spiritual daughter and you know what, we maybe see each other maybe four times a year, but I don't care what continent she was on or what country she was in, if I had a problem, I could call her and she would get on the next flight out and be there for me. And I know that. So, therefore, we don't have to be hugging each other six times a week. She's a faithful friend. Amen? And my kids are all faithful.

When my legs weren't working, for two and a half months, my kids took shifts, and somebody stayed with me 24 hours around the clock, seven days a week. They would not leave me alone: they were there for me. They stayed all night with me. They took four hour shifts and stayed all day with me. Come on, we've gotta learn how to be there for each other. Amen? The faithfulness test. The Judas kiss test. Betrayed. Betrayed by somebody you loved that you thought loved you. I had that happen to me. I had a group of lady friends that I thought were my friends that would never hurt me. As soon as you start thinking that about somebody, you're just setting yourself up for trouble.

Anyway, Matthew 26:47-50, "And as he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, came up, and with him there was a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, 'the one that I kiss'", betrayed with a kiss. 49, "And he came up to Jesus at once and said, 'hail (greetings, good health to you, long life to you) master'", you phony, "And he embraced him and kissed him", and look at Jesus' response. "And Jesus said to him, 'friend...'" he still callin' him a friend, even after that. The rejection test. Satan uses rejection more than anything to keep people from going forward.

You know, when you're in ministry or really doing anything else you get promoted in ministry just like you get promoted on a job only God's the one doing the promoting. And I taught Bible studies, just like, home Bible studies for five years and then God was ready to promote me to a job at a church. And I got a big rejection thing on this level. And people are kind of giving you the silent message, "If you do that, then we're no longer gonna be your friend". Well, you know what? You gotta be bold enough to say, "Bye. Goodbye. I've got a friend that sticks closer than a brother, one that will never leave me, nor forsake me. Goodbye", 'cause God can replace those friends, but nothing can replace him.

Anyway, that happened to me three different times. When I was ordained, several people, said, "That's not right. You're a woman: women shouldn't be ordained. You haven't had the right schooling. You haven't had this", whoever said that God can't school you and promote you? I went to school. I went to the school of the Holy Ghost. And I love this one, Psalm 27:10, "Even though my father and my mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up and [adopt me as his own child]". I got three minutes left, what test do you want? How 'bout loving the unlovely test? We tell God when we're in this ecstasy, "Oh, God, I just wanna love everybody". And God says, "Okay. Here we go".

"Well, everybody but that one, Lord". And boy, in Luke chapter 6, he just tears it up. He says, "If you merely love those who love you, what quality of credit and thanks is that? Even the sinners can do that". And he goes on through that. No, we're anointed to love people that aren't easy to love. We're anointed to love people that don't love us back. I can't tell if you believe me or not. I said, "We're anointed to love people that are hard to love". And remember, love is not a feeling, it's a decision you make about how you're gonna treat people. Lord, if we'd ever just get over our feelings. The not complaining test. Oh, can you have a trial and not complain? My gosh, what if you go to this great conference, and I'm not prophesying this on you, but you go to get your car and you got a flat tire.

"Well, I just don't believe this! Here, I take my time and my money, and I go to that conference and now I come out here and my tire's flat"! No, that's when you say, "Oh well, I think I'll just call somebody to fix this". Oh yeah, ew, it's hard, it's so hard. You gotta... 'cause it wants to just come out of your mouth. The being peaceful in the storm test. The waiting on God and not taking matters into your own hands test. I'll just read you the rest of 'em. The pure motives test. It's not what you're doing, it's why you're doing it that matters to God. Why am I here? Certainly not to impress you. People are funny. Like, people in the back, they don't really get this and they're saying, you know, "You had a good show". I said, "Honey, this wasn't a show".

The continuing to serve God test, with no feelings at all. I'll tell you, I've got a friend, a very spiritual friend, and every time I talk to him, he's had an angel visitation, or he's gone up to heaven, or God has visited him, and I'm like, "Am I a spiritual dunce"? You know, I'm like, I just haven't ever seen an angel, haven't had maybe two or three real great experiences in my whole life. "Where are you God? Well, I believe by faith you're there". Come on, you're not the only one that feels like that. But you gotta live by what you know, not what you feel. See, I know that God is with me. I don't have to feel like he's with me. I know that he loves me. I don't have to feel like he loves me. I know that he's coming back again. I don't have to feel like it. I know that I know, that I know, that I know.
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