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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Joyce Meyer » Joyce Meyer - Ways to Increase Your Joy - Part 1

Joyce Meyer - Ways to Increase Your Joy - Part 1

Joyce Meyer - Ways to Increase Your Joy - Part 1
TOPICS: Joy, Happiness
Joyce Meyer - Ways to Increase Your Joy - Part 1

Well, thank you for joining me today on, "Enjoying Everyday Life". And actually, what I'm gonna be teaching on today goes right along with the name of our show. I'm gonna be talking to you about "Ways that you can increase your joy". You know, we all wanna enjoy life, we all wanna be happy. And there are things that we do that steal that joy and happiness, and there are things that we can choose to do that will increase it. So, let's not just hope we have a good day or think we might have a good day. But let's do the things that we need to do that the Bible tells us will increase our joy.

So, the first thing that I would suggest is that you start your day with God. I can't even begin to tell you how important that is, because the way you get started is often the way the whole rest of the day goes. So, I would suggest that while you're still laying in bed, maybe even still with your eyes closed, the first person you talk to is God. "Good morning, Lord, I love you". And what I do is I say, "I believe today is going to be a good day. And I'm asking you that something good will happen to me today, and something good will happen through me today". Plan on having a good day. Don't plan on having a bad day.

And then the next thing that I've been forming a habit of doing, and these are suggestions, they're not rules or laws. If they don't work for you, then you find what does work for you. But I've been just kind of rolling out of bed and getting on my knees by my bed. Or sometimes I go into my bathroom where I've got a big round footstool with a big rug under it and I get on my knees there. And I do that just in reverence to God. I take a few minutes because my knees are old, so I can't stay on 'em too long. And I just say, "Lord, I need you today in everything that I do. I can't do anything without you. Apart from you, I can do nothing".

And so, I usually know what I'm gonna do that day. So, like this morning, I was getting my hair highlighted at my house. And so, I said, "I pray that you'll make my hair work out good. And that you'll help me when I get to the TV studio to do the work that I need to do there, and I'm going to lunch with one of my daughters later, so I pray that that would be pleasant and we'd have a good time". Prayer does not have to be long, and it doesn't have to be fancy to be effective. It just needs to be sincere. Be sure, when you pray, that you're not just trying to come up with words to impress God, but that you're just very simple and sincere in what you're saying. Why does it make any difference if you start your day by saying, "Today is gonna be a good day"? Can you have a good day just because you say you're gonna have one?

Well, it can affect your life. The Bible says that, "We serve a God", in Romans 4:17, "That calls things that don't yet exist as if they already existed". So, God calls things that are not as if they already are. He called Abram "The father of many nations" before he ever had a child. And the Bible says in Isaiah 55:11, "So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth", and if your mouth is speaking the Word of God, then it becomes his mouth. "It shall not return to me void [without producing any effect or useless...]", now listen to this, "But it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper for the thing in which I sent it".

Now, you know, I don't know about you, but I had years in my life where I started my day with dread, almost expecting some kind of a problem, because I had had a lot of problems in my life. And I don't wanna start that anymore, because I believe that you do get what you expect. It's almost like you create your own problems or you can create your own favor. I like to say, "I have favor with God. Everywhere I go, he gives me favor". Why not believe for something good? Why be sour and negative and always afraid something bad is gonna happen? If you wanna increase your joy, then plan to be joyful. After you get up and get going, whatever you need to do, and all of our lives are different, my life is such, at this point, I don't have any children at home, and I can get up and just go get my coffee and go straight to my chair where my Bible and my books are.

And I can sit there for a couple hours and I can pray and read. Maybe you can do that, maybe you can't. Maybe you wake up and you've got three little kids that are already awake before you are. So, you may have to find a different time of the day when you can find some time. And God understands where you're at, even if you can just pull off ten minutes or fifteen minutes. You know, I remember when my kids were small: I had three teenagers and a baby, and God had first called me into ministry. And I worked my whole day around being able to study the word while my son was taking his afternoon nap. Because, the rest of the time I was busy with him. And it will honor God if you will set aside time for him.

And a lot of people wonder, "Well," you know, "What am I supposed to do in this time"? Well, ya know, it's not so much about what you do as it is that you honor God with the time. You can talk with him. I highly recommend reading. You know, a lot of people say they don't like to read, but let me tell you something. Even if you're one of those people that don't like to read, if you would just, I'd like to say read a half an hour a day. But if you can't handle that, start with 15 minutes. Read the Bible, read a good book. I've got about 150, so surely you can find some subject that I've written on that will help you, and my books are very practical. And there's a lot of other great books out there. If you don't wanna get mine, get another one. But read. It's very difficult to grow in spiritual maturity if you don't take the word in.

Now, of course, you can also listen, and that's good. There's podcasts, and things on social media. There's all kinds of ways that you can listen. You can listen to the Bible on tape. But for me, at least, there's something special about reading. And I personally like to highlight things that really pop out to me and mean something to me. And like this morning, I just opened up into the Psalms, and I just read what I had highlighted in about four or five of the Psalms. And so, I got the meat of what meant the most to me out of those, and that's a very practical way for you to get the word. The word is the food that you need to keep your spirit strong, just like you eat food for breakfast to get your body moving and going. It's like your natural food is fuel for your body, it gives you energy. The Word of God is the food that we need to be strong spiritually, and we need to be strong spiritually.

Psalm 5:3 says, "In the morning, you hear my voice, o Lord: in the morning I prepare [a prayer, a sacrifice] For you and I watch and wait [for you to speak to my heart]". I love that scripture. He says, "I prepare a prayer". So, it kind of indicates to me that he's thinking about what he's going to pray about, because prayer is a serious business. It's such a blessing to be able to go to God and pray for other people, and pray over our day before it starts, and ask for and receive forgiveness for our sins, and ask God for the things that we need. And so we should not just, "Well, I'm going to blab, blab, blab, blab, blab, blab here just to put in some time and say, 'I prayed'". But he prepared a prayer, and then he took time to listen, to watch and see what God would speak to him.

I wonder how often we actually take any time to listen to God. Maybe you wonder why God never speaks to you, but maybe you never take the time to listen. And I think even if you just take a couple of minutes and listen, and you don't hear a thing because you honored God with listening, he may speak to you in the middle of the day while you're driving down the road when you least expect it. Prayer is a conversation with God, so, don't make it complicated. Pray for people that you know that are sick. Pray for people that you know that have had a loss in their life.

I heard of a couple recently, and I don't know them personally but my daughter and my son-in-law do, and their 30-year-old son was killed in an accident. Well, I know that has to be just heart-crushing, and so I've tried to remember, every day, for the last couple of weeks, to just simply pray that God would continue comforting them and that they won't be confused or blame God, but that it will bring them closer to God. There's so many people that are hurting, and you can help them by praying for them. You know, prayer is actually a way of giving and being a blessing to people. I pray for people that are sick.

I've had times of being sick in my life and have had pain, and, boy, I don't wanna see people go through that. Pray for people that you know that have needs. Pray for people that you know that are battling with different depression or some kind of addiction. And praise and worship God. Thank him for all you can think of that he's done for you. And then pray for your own needs. Whatever you need, you can pray for those needs. And so, prayer is absolutely wonderful.

The second thing I suggest, if you wanna increase your joy, is to dream big, pray big prayers, and have a goal for each day. You know, we always want to submit our plans to God, but if you have no plan, you're likely to do nothing. And so, I have a plan for every day. Now, sometimes, I plan to just take a day off and read and put my feet up and rest and do what I want to, but that's good. We need to plan days like that, too. But I knew before I even went to bed last night what I was going to do today.

God has created us to need direction. We need direction. We need to be moving forward. People that are never moving forward, that are just staying in the same place all the time, get very bored with their life. And if you get bored, you are going to decrease your joy. You're not going to increase your joy. I always say that, "I would rather pray for a lot and get a little of it than to pray for a little bit and get all of it".

Don't be afraid to pray big prayers. "God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above and beyond all that we could ever dare to hope, ask, or think according to his power that works in us". Can you be more daring and bold in your prayers? Dare to ask God for things that you know you don't deserve. He doesn't answer our prayers because we deserve it. He answers our prayers because we pray in Jesus' name. And when we do that, we're presenting to God all that Jesus is, not what we are. And hold fast to your dreams. Langston Hughes said, "If a dream dies, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly". I like that. Set daily goals. What do you wanna do? Maybe you've got, I don't know, maybe your closet is an absolute disaster, or your garage, or your basement, or whatever the case might be.

And so, maybe you go and you look at the mess, and you're just overwhelmed, and so you just don't ever try to do anything about it because you think, "Well, there's no way that I can get this done". But you know what? If you set aside 30 minutes every day and you do something, it won't be long and you'll have the whole thing done. I always believed that you're better to do something than to do nothing. You know, my husband has been working out with weights since I married him, and that's been 57 years. But he started working out when he was about 16, so he's been working out for over 60 years, 65 years, something like that. Maybe 70 years, I don't know. But I never would do it. He'd try to get me to work out, and I never would do it because I thought, "I don't have time, I don't have time, I don't have time, I don't have time". How many things do you think that you should do but then you think, "I don't have time"?

And it's because we think of things, "Well, I need a long time to do that". But after a long time went by and I began to notice as I got older that my body was not looking the way that it used to look, for sure. It seemed like everything that used to be up here was now down here. And, I really felt that God put on my heart that, if I wanted to be strong for the last third of my journey in ministry, I had to start getting some exercise. And of course, my first thought was, "I don't have time. When am I gonna do that"? But I made a decision that I was gonna do what I could do, even if it was only five minutes. And so I started, and now I work out three days a week with a trainer and have for the last 16 years. And it has helped me so much. Maybe you can't take a one-hour walk, but you could go walk for 10 minutes.

Do what you can do and stop using the excuse that you don't have time. If you don't have time to clean out the whole closet, give it 10 minutes. Do what you can do. You're gonna feel so much better about your life and your joy will increase if you're doing something productive. I want you to hear that. "Do something productive". Ecclesiastes 5:3 says, "A dream comes to pass with much business and painful effort, and a fool's voice with many words". You know, a lot of people talk, talk, talk, talk, talk about what they're gonna do someday, but what about doing something today? What if you did today what you could put off until tomorrow?

You know, procrastination is such a thief. I mean, it makes us think, "Well, I'm going to do it", but I think the big question is when are you going to do it? How long have you been going to clean out that closet? Or you've been going to get out of debt? Or you've been going to call that friend and apologize? We need to start doing now what God puts on our heart because you know what? Good intentions are not obedience. We have not obeyed God because we have a good intention.

Matthew 19:26 says, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible". Don't be afraid to dream big because we have a big God who can do all things. Start your day believing, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". I like to say it a different way, "I can do whatever I need to do today through Christ who is my strength". You know, we don't know what any day holds. I don't know for sure what's gonna happen the rest of my day, but I am convinced that whatever happens I can do whatever I need to do not because I'm so great, but because the God who lives in me is great. "Greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world".

The third thing that you can do that will really greatly increase your joy, and I want to emphasize this, is "Decide to help somebody else". Decide that you're going to be a blessing. You know, we're always praying to be blessed, but the way to be blessed is to be a blessing to somebody else. The Bible says, "You reap what you sow". You cannot reap a harvest if you have not sown a seed. It's impossible to be selfish and to be happy at the same time. It took me a lot of years to learn that, and I can save you a lot of heartache if you'll listen. "You can't be selfish and happy at the same time".

You know, years ago, I mean, I had a good life, good ministry, good husband, no money problems, no big problems with my kids, had a nice house, two cars in the garage. There was no reason for me not to be happy, but I wasn't happy. And as I was praying one day and asking the Lord, "Why am I just always like, have this low level discontent? Why am I not happy"? And I heard the Lord speak in my spirit and say, "Because you're selfish". Wow, well, he wasn't real easy on me, but what he said was true, and I was selfish. I was always thinking, "Well, what about me? Who's gonna do something for me"?

I was waiting for Dave to make me happy and waiting for somebody else to do something for me. But God didn't call us to reach in. He called us to reach out. And, what I've discovered is, if I have a big problem, I may not be able to fix my problem, but at the same time, I can't fix mine, I probably could fix yours. God would anoint me to help you. And so as I reach out to other people, then I'm sowing a seed that will bring a harvest back in my own life, and God will help me. "God created us to be a channel, not a reservoir". Remember that. If he can get it through you, he'll get it to you. But if you're just gonna be a collector of stuff, then there's no point in God giving you anything. When we help others, God helps us. Here's some great scriptures, my favorite scriptures, about this area.

Galatians 6:10, "So, as occasion and opportunity open up to us, let us do good to all people". Don't miss an opportunity. You know, there's so many opportunities that come in front of us where we can help people and we always think, "Well, somebody else will do it". Well, you might be the somebody that God wants to do it. Toward the end of this scripture, this is Galatians 6:10, it says, "Be mindful to be a blessing, especially to those of God's household". Especially to your Christian brothers and sisters. Be mindful. What does that mean? To me, that means think on purpose about what you could do for somebody else. Almost every day, I'm sure I miss days, but almost every day, in my time with God in the morning, I will ask him, "Show me what I can do for somebody else today".

It might be as simple as sending a text message to tell somebody that I appreciate them. It might be praying for somebody that I know is hurting. It might be buying somebody something that I know they need. It might be taking somebody to lunch or getting a gift card for somebody. But we need to get ourselves off of our mind and think about other people and what we can do for them. The more you do that, the happier you're going to be, and the more God will do for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:15, "See that none of you repays another with evil for evil, but always, always aim to show kindness", and I love this, "Seek to do good". He doesn't say just wait until this big Revelation falls on you. He says, "Seek to do good". Seek means to pursue and go after with all your strength and all your heart. "God, what can I do for somebody else"? Look around you at the people around you and listen to what they say. You know, if you're around somebody very long, they'll tell you what they want or what they need.

Acts 10:38, "See how God anointed and consecrated Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with strength and ability and power: and how he went about doing good". I love that. What did Jesus do with the anointing that God gave him? He just got up and went about doing good. You know, I believe we can all do that. What's God's will for your life? Well, you can start out with simply deciding to go about your day being good. And probably one of my very favorite scriptures in the Bible, Romans 12:21, "Do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome and (master) evil with good".

Most of you know that I was sexually abused by my father for many years when I was growing up, and I started out with a very bad, bitter, resentful, unforgiving attitude. And boy, I wanted to get the devil back for what he had done to me, and I found out through this scripture the only way to do it is to be good to other people. Now, you know, most people today are largely dissatisfied with their life. Many are depressed about their finances, about their mental and physical health. They don't like their jobs. But peace and happiness are yours in Jesus Christ.
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