Joyce Meyer - Freedom From Fear And Dread
Today, I want to teach about "The freedom from Fear and Dread". Romans 8:15 is a great scripture that teaches us that the Holy Spirit did not come to bring us into bondage to fear. "For the spirit which you have now received is not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the spirit of adoption the spirit producing sonship in the bliss of which we cry, 'Abba, (Father)'". The word "Abba" actually means daddy if you want to just translate it the way it says.
Now, this is important because he's saying you're children of God, you're sons and daughters of God. And so, why do we need to have fear? Because if a parent loves their child, they're certainly going to take care of them, right? And fear comes when we don't know what the future holds, or something has happened that we don't know that we can handle, and God wants you to know today that he is going to always take care of you if you keep your trust in him.
I said God is always going to take care of you. I mean, like always, always, always, always, always. That's a promise that I have from God for my life. And very often, I have to ask God to whisper that to me again, "I will always take care of you". And I believe that God wants you to hear that today, and let it get rooted down in your life, no matter what you're going through. You may be a single mom here today with three or four little kids, and nobody's really helping you like they should, and maybe you're working a couple of jobs.
And here you are, you've come out today to just try to get a little bit of refreshing, and there's no telling what all you have to do once you get home. And maybe one or two of your kids are not behaving the way they should, and life is just not easy for you, and you don't know where all your provision is going to come from. But God wants you to know today that he will always take care of you, amen? God will take care of you.
Now, in the world that we live in today, there's a great opportunity for fear, isn't there? And I'm so grateful that I have a foundation of the word in my life, and that I don't have to be afraid. People today are sometimes afraid to go out into big crowds because of all the bombings and the shootings. If you look at it from the standpoint of the world and you don't know anything about the word, you could even be afraid to go sit down somewhere and have a cup of coffee because you never know what's going to happen. And then there's all these viruses and diseases that, each time a new one comes, it's got a new name. And people get afraid about those things.
But Jesus came to set us free from fear. And it's such a blessing to not have to be afraid of those things. And you know why we don't have to be afraid? Because we know that we're in God's hands. And the bottom line is, is whether it's in life or in death, we don't have to be afraid because honestly, even if something would happen to end our life here, the next place we're going to be is better than this is anyway. And if you want to know the truth, I think we need to keep our mind on that a little bit more. I really do. I don't think, you know, I don't know that we need to just sit around and dream about heaven all the time, but I think sometimes we don't think enough about it and what it's going to be like to actually be in the presence of God.
And the Word actually says that in the last days, the days that we're living in, that men's hearts will fail them for fear. I want us to look at this scripture, it's in Luke 21:26. Now, this chapter is about signs of the end times, so I'll just start with verse 25. "And there will be signs in the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and upon the earth there will be distress, trouble, and anguish of nations in bewilderment and perplexity without resources, left wanting, embarrassed, in doubt, not knowing which way to turn at the roaring and (the echo) of the tossing of the sea". Verse 26, "Men swooning away or expiring with fear and dread".
We're not just talking about fear today, we're also talking about dread because I think if we don't deal with dread, we're never going to get rid of fear. "And apprehension, and the expectation of the things that are to come to the world for the very powers of the heaven will be shaken and caused to totter. And then we will see the son of man coming in the clouds". Yeah, come on. "With great (transcendence and overwhelming) power and all of his kingly glory (and majesty) with him".
So, things are tough in the world today, but it kind of seems like if we believe the Bible, the tougher they get, the closer we are to seeing the return of our Savior, amen? And these are tough times to be alive. I mean, I've been around for a few years, about three quarters of a century almost, and things have changed so dramatically. I mean, since I was a teenager, or since Dave and I first got married, it's like how can things get that bad that quick? But the good news is, is the worse things get, the closer we are to Jesus coming back to get us.
Now, you know, sometimes we think, "Boy, this is a tough time to be alive". But I want to encourage you today, if this is the time frame that God chose for you to be in, then you've got what it takes to be here. And, and listen to this, God has an assignment for you. And his assignment for you is not to just sit and watch everybody else do something, and clap and cheer for them. His assignment for you is for you to start using the talents that he's giving you to help the people out there that are petrified and who don't know the Lord.
And when it says that men's hearts will fail them for fear, I suppose it could mean heart attacks, I'm sure that's part of it. But I think it means even more than that. I think what this really means that their hearts will fail them. I think it means that they'll lose their courage. God has given us not a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, and love, and a sound mind, and a spirit of discipline and self-control. The amplified Bible says, let me say it again, God has not given you a spirit of fear. If you have a spirit of fear in your life, it is not from God, it's from satan. Fear is the main demonic spirit that satan uses to keep people from their destiny, and from doing what God wants them to do.
It's amazing all the different things that people are afraid of. If you get out an encyclopedia and you just go down a list of phobias, I mean, it is amazing. The list is just like never-ending of things that people can be afraid of. Now, I want to encourage you this morning before I go any further that seed always produces after its own kind. If you plant a tomato seed, you're not going to get a pepper. And the Word of God is seed. Mark chapter 4 makes that very clear, "The sower sows". And that's the Holy Spirit sowing the word.
And there's different kinds of hearts in this building today. God wants us to have the right kind of heart so we can receive the seed of his word. And I saw it even again so clearly this morning when I was studying that when we preach on something, or let's just say like today, I'm preaching on this being free from fear and dread, and that seed planted in your heart, if you receive it with a spirit of meekness, and you stay focused on what's going on here, and you just, yeah, you're just taking that in, you're agreeing with it, I can guarantee you that, that seed will produce a harvest of less fear and less dread in your lives. I mean, I think it's just awesome to think about that.
And so, I can tell you that you are in a good place today to help yourself for the future. Because just hearing these things, when things come up that other people are frightened of, they're not going to bother you at all, and you'll be able to be a witness and example to them. When people say, "Well, why aren't you afraid"? You can tell them, "I'm not afraid because I know that God loves us, and he's going to take care of us".
Many, many fears today, the fear of harm, the fear of death, fear of diseases, economic crash, job loss. The world is a very uncertain place. But our God is faithful, amen? It would be amazing to know, just among the group of people that are here today, all the testimonies of breakthrough that God has brought into different people's lives. Healing from desperate diseases, people that had a death sentence pronounced over your life, and here you are alive and well, and still kicking the devil in the teeth and serving God, amen. And it's just wonderful.
Isaiah 35, verse 4, this is just a scripture that's a great promise for you, and I just want you to see it. "Say to those who are of a fearful and hasty heart, 'Be strong. Fear not. Behold, your God will come with vengeance: and with recompense of God he will come and save you'". Everybody say, "God's on the way". So, let's just don't get too overly concerned about what's going on in the world today. Let's look at our problems, but stare at Jesus, amen?
All right, I want us to look at John 14:27 this morning. I absolutely love John 14:27, especially in the Amplified Bible. 'Cause what I want to share with you today is for all of us, we need to cooperate with what God wants to do in our lives by not letting fear rule. "Peace I leave with you. My own peace I now give and bequeath unto you". Isn't peace a wonderful word? I just like the sound of that word. Peace be unto you. That's what Jesus said when he was leaving, "Peace be unto you".
You know, I came to a point in my life a good number of years ago where I just thought, "I am not going to live anxious and upset, and full of fear, and angry at somebody all the time, worrying about what they think of me. I don't think that life is worth living if you can't have peace". I mentioned in one of my other teachings that, last week, somebody hurt my feelings. And you know, sometimes when somebody hurts you, you kind of go back and forth between being hurt and being angry. And especially if it's somebody that's done it more than once, and somebody that you think should know better.
But I refuse to stay angry. You know why? 'Cause it steals my peace. And I'm not giving up my peace. Just 'cause somebody else has got bad behavior, I'm not going to let them have my peace, and steal my joy, and steal my day. And so, I mean, I immediately started working through that with God. And I just told him, "We need to have a conversation 'cause I'm not staying upset. I need your help, but I need it quick". And you know, when you're determined that you're not going to put up with letting the enemy steal what Jesus died to give you... I want to say it again. When you are determined, when you are determined, when you are determined, we can't always get a victory because we call our friend and what them to pray away our problems.
Sometimes, you got to fight Goliath yourself. You got to stand against your giants. And I say, and it's funny but it gets a point across. When we have a problem, we need to run to the throne, not the phone. So, when you're determined and I'm determined that I'm not going to let the devil steal what Jesus died to give me, we'll start getting a lot more victory in our lives. "Peace I leave with you. My own peace I now give and bequeath unto you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled. Don't let them be troubled, neither let them be afraid". Well, see, we think, "Well, I can't help it. I can't help it, I'm just a worrier. I can't help it, I'm just afraid".
Well, let me tell you something, there's something we can do about fear, and that's confront it. Because greater is he that's in us than he that's in the world. And the devil may come with fear, but you know what God gives us? Courage and boldness, and that's greater than anything that the enemy uses to come against us. How many of you have fear in your life you need to get rid of? How about worry? Worry is fear. How many of you find yourself dreading stuff that you got to do anyway?
You know, some of you are already dreading the drive home. Really. You come here to enjoy the conference and you were so excited to come. Well, you should've known when you came you had to go home. And so, I wouldn't dread the drive home, I would just stay in the afterglow, and meditate and think about what you learned. And you know, some of you are thinking about all the stuff now you need to go home and do that you didn't do because you were here. And if you're not careful, the devil will steal from you the whole joy and privilege of being here because you're dreading the next thing that you have to do.
I am not going to live in dread. Amen? We need to start standing up against some things in our spirit, and just say, "No, I'm not going to live like that". 'Cause can I tell you something? Your real life is not the life around you, it's the life in you. You can have the lousiest circumstances in the world, but if you've got peace inside, it doesn't bother you. And you can have great circumstances and no peace, and be a miserable person. So, it's not about our circumstances, it's really about what we believe. And we can trust God that he is going to take care of us. We don't have to know how, we don't have to know when, all we need to know is God is good, and we're his children, and he's going to take care of us and meet our needs.
"Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid". And I love this, "Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed". Wow, I'm getting a responsibility here. I just thought I could pray it away. "Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed, and don't permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated, and cowardly and unsettled". Wow, hmm, what about that? You know, the whole Israeli army was running from Goliath. And David basically said, "This is pathetic. Who is he against our God"? And he was very ill-equipped in the natural to deal with Goliath. And yet, because he had the courage to go forward, God used him in a mighty way. And you don't always have to have the natural skills to do what needs to be done. All you need is the courage to go to the battle line. Did you hear me? All you need is the courage to go to the battle line.
1 John 4:18 says, "There is no fear in love. But perfect love casts out fear. Because fear hath torment. And he that feareth is not made perfect in love". Now, this is talking about knowing how much God loves you, how much he loves you. Let me tell you something, I love my kids. And you don't want to mess with a mama where it comes to her kids, amen? That is just not a smart thing to do. And if my kids, have a need, are in trouble, and there is any way that I can relieve their suffering and help them, I'm all over it.
Well, if we feel like that, how do you think God feels about us? And the good thing is I can't always do everything that needs to be done because I have limitations, but he has no limitations, and all things are possible with God. You know what our problem is? Our problem is not that God can't do it, our problem is that we don't believe that he can. We need to increase our believing and our expectation. Whatever your situation is here today, God has your answer, amen? God loves you, and he will meet your need.
Now, I want you to really listen to what I'm getting ready to say. Freedom from something does not always mean the disappearance of it. You got to get that. Freedom from something does not always mean that you'll never have to deal with it again. It doesn't necessarily mean that it's not going to come against you and confront you. And I think we get a little mixed up about this point. We think because we're free from something, we should never ever feel it, or see it, or experience it again in our lives.
And I want to just tell you, as long as you're on the planet, there's going to be different times when satan is going to come against you with fear because that's his weapon to keep you out of the will of God.
I learned a great lesson many years ago about fear, and it came through a story that I heard about a woman who had spent her whole life in fear. She wouldn't drive, she wouldn't go out at night. She was lonely, she had no friends. And she was complaining to another Christian friend, this woman was a Christian. And I hate to see anybody live in fear, but for a Christian, it's really bad because we've got the help that we need. And so, she was telling her friend, "I've just lived my whole life in fear, and I don't know what to do, and I have no life, and blah blah blah blah blah". And her friend looked at her and said, "Well, whatever it is you want to do, why don't you just do it afraid"?