Joyce Meyer - Dare To Believe
I'm gonna talk to you this weekend about transformation, not being translated 'cause translated means I'm here and then suddenly I'm there. It's just like blowing you know, Enoch was translated into heaven, and the Bible says, "And he was not, for God took him". So make sure when you see the word "Transformation" in the Bible that you don't think it's talkin' about, like, this miraculous, just, like, whoosh, you're one thing, and then, whoosh, you're something else. Transformed means changed entirely from the inside out. God comes, and he does a wonderful thing in us by his grace, and then the Bible says, "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling".
Now that doesn't mean work for your salvation. That's already been taken care of. You cannot earn salvation. I don't care how many good works you do, how good you try to be, how long you pray, how much you know, you can never earn salvation, so we are all equal on that footing. Nobody's too bad. Nobody's good enough. We all have to come through the same way, the door, which is Christ Jesus and him alone. But so many people stop there, and they don't work with the Holy Spirit who is given to us after the new birth. The Holy Spirit comes to live in us when we receive Christ, and it's his work then to work with us to work what's in us as a free gift out through us, cleansing and purifying our soul, which is our mind, will, and emotions, so the good thing in us can eventually be seen through us so what God has done in us can be a witness and a testimony and a blessing to somebody else to draw them into the Kingdom of God, amen?
A lot of people have no idea that they can be completely changed, and a lot of times even if we think we can be changed, we don't think other people can be changed. "Well, you are never gonna change. Well, this is never gonna change". Let me tell you something. The only thing that never changes is God, and he's the same all the time. Don't have anybody in your life that you give up on. Even if it's such a bad relationship you gotta get away from them, don't give up on them. Continue to pray for them and believe that God can change them, amen? My father who abused me did not receive Christ as his Savior until he was 83 years old, 83 years old, and finally God gave me the privilege of leading him into a personal relationship with Christ.
Many times I thought, "You are never gonna change", and I just would not give up. I didn't pray for him every day all day long or anything like that, but when he came to my heart, I would pray, and I tried to show him the love of Christ. You know, we don't just pray for people, but we also try in areas where we can to show people the love of Jesus, amen? So don't give up on your kids. Don't give up on your marriage. Well, now that was really encouraging. Lord, help me. Okay, rewind. Don't give up on your kids. Don't give up on your marriage. Don't give up on yourself. Oh, my goodness.
A woman was at the book signing that I did here a couple nights ago, and she came to me, and you could tell by lookin' at her that she was goin' through some difficult things. And she got teary eyed right away, and she bought that book on hope and had it in her hand. And she said, "Now I wanna ask you something". And I said, "What"? She said, "Will Jesus heal anybody no matter what has happened in their life"? And I said, "Yes". And she said, "Now I mean, like, anybody". She said, "Like, from some of the same kind of stuff that you went through, will God do that for me? Will he do that for anybody"? And I could tell it was like she was almost afraid to believe. She didn't even know that that was a possibility that she could believe that, and she was kinda, like, on the brink here of tryin' to think, "Okay, do I jump in and believe that God can do this for me"?
But, see, let me ask you a question. Why not believe? It doesn't cost anything. It's free. You have faith. You can put it wherever you want to. Why not put it in God? "Well, what if I believe that things will change and they never do"? Well, don't live with your glass half empty all the time. What if you believe that things will change and they do? And, okay, I'll just go with you a minute if you wanna be negative. What if you believe that things will change and they never do? You're still better off because believing makes you happy. So it's a win-win all the way around. So actually the title of this message tonight is "Dare to believe". If you've had financial problems as long as you can remember, I want you to dare to believe that someday you can be completely out of debt, have a car that's paid for, have a house that's paid for, have a job that pays you enough money.
Now you're not gonna get translated into it. You know, you might have to do something like work. I don't know, you know? You might even have to put in a little overtime. I don't know, you know? Might have to cut back on a few things. Hey, I got started early tonight. I'll do this as long as it takes to get a breakthrough. I got me a happy lady up here on the front row. We're gonna have a good time tonight. She gonna make the TV audience happy. Think about where you're at. What are you expecting God to do for you? "Well, I don't know. I don't know. I hope he does something". That's not hope. That's not really hope. It's really not, and it's certainly not faith.
One of the reasons why I encourage people to be full of hope is because I don't think you can have faith if you don't have hope because hope is a positive expectation, and so a lot of times we say we're believing God while at the same time we've got a negative attitude and a negative confession. "Well, I'm trusting God". Well, smile. And listen, let me tell you something. I know that life is hard and that problems are real. Don't you dare sit there and think that I never go through anything because I do. A lot of times while I'm preaching I'm goin' through things that nobody knows anything about. You think the devil's after you? And let me tell you something. I have to apply these same messages that I'm preaching to you, and it's not always easy for me. But even if it's not easy this is still the answer, and it's still what works in the long run. And unless you've got something that's workin' better, then it would be a really good idea to just pay attention.
How many of you, it would just help you a whole lot if you just had a more positive attitude? Now you don't wanna lie in church. That's not cool. How many of you it would help you a whole lot if you just didn't complain quite as much? Yeah, I'm workin' on that, too. God wants to do so much in our life. Everything is subject to change except God himself. He never changes, but he's always changing things and people, amen? And usually when you think God is doing nothing, that's when he's working, and then suddenly you'll have a breakthrough, and you'll say, "Oh! That was God"! Well, you know what? He was working all along.
You know, when you put the fresh-baked pie on the table, the kids might just get happy then when they see the pie, but you've been workin' on it for a long time. You had to go get the ingredients. You had to go make the pie. You had to bake the pie, you know? So God is working in your life even when you feel like that he's not doing anything at all, and one of the things that I encourage people to do, try to in every conference, is always say even when doubt comes against you, when you feel your worst, open your mouth and say out loud, "God is working in my life right now". Ephesians 3:20, you're probably familiar with it. "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 worketh in us".
Are you willing to be daring in your believing? This half of the room over here seems to be a little more bold than that half over there. I said are you willing to be daring in your believing? And it all kinda went to that side of the room. What about you guys? Are you willing to be daring in your believing? You know what that means to me? That means to believe things in your heart and to pray for things that your mind goes tilt, tilt, tilt, tilt, "No way, no way, no way, no way". There's a lot of things that I stepped out into that my head was screaming, "You are stupid". The Bible is filled with rare individuals who got out of the boat and dared to believe.
Let's think about Peter for a minute who denied Christ not once, not twice, three times. On the most difficult night of Jesus' life up until that point when he needed his friends the most, and Peter denied him three times. But you know what Peter dared to do? He dared to believe that he could recover from that sin and that he could go on and be used by God. You're not hearin' me. See, he dared to believe that God was the God of a second chance and a third chance and on and on and on and on. You know, I admire people who have really made, I mean, like, really bad mistakes and maybe even more than once, and yet they just won't give up. Amen! They just won't say, "Well, it's too late for me. God can't do anything with me. God can't do anything through me. God can't do anything for me".
So if you're in that position I wanna encourage you tonight. And even people watchin' from home or on your computers, come on, if you're one of those people that you've just really messed up, I mean, like, big-time messed up. You knew better, and I don't even know how to put words to it, but you did it... God's arms are still open to you. He still loves you. And, yes, even you can be restored, and you can let your mess become your message. There's nothin' better than a really good, living testimony by somebody who's actually been through it and come back, amen?
So, you know, if John the beloved told me that I could come back from my sin I might have a hard time with it because he was just such a good guy. He was the disciple whom Jesus loved. He said that himself in his own book several times. Okay, that's another message. Never mind. But Peter I could believe. If Peter said to me, "Now, Joyce, no matter what you've done you can come back from it, and God can still use you", I could believe Peter because Peter experienced it and went through it, amen? Dare to believe. Everybody say, "It's not too late for me". He believed that he could let go of his past and go on.
Let me tell you tonight there's nothing, nothing that God can't forgive you for. Now what about the woman in Mark 5 who had what the Bible calls an issue of blood. That means that she was bleeding. She had spent all that she had on doctors and was no better at all. Now I think that would be pretty discouraging, but she heard about Jesus. And maybe somebody brought you tonight, and you're just now hearing about Jesus, or maybe you've accidentally run into this program on your TV, and you're just now hearing about Jesus. She heard that Jesus was in the neighborhood, and the Bible says that she pressed through the great throng of people that surrounded him. Jesus was almost being suffocated with people. How is this woman gonna get through? She wouldn't give up. And I love what the Amplified Bible says, "She kept saying to herself, 'if I can just touch the hem of his garment I know that I shall be healed. If I can just touch the hem of his garment I know that I shall be healed'".
Now her healing was a physical healing, but there's also emotional healings and spiritual healings and mental healings, healing of relationships. I mean, there's nowhere that we hurt that God can't heal us. And while we're talkin' about healing, I wanna take a moment and do this right now. I felt earlier during the worship that God wanted to heal people tonight that had migraine headaches. And so, I kinda thought I forgot, but now I know I didn't forget. I think God wanted me to wait so the TV audience could be included. And so, if you've suffered with migraine headaches, I want you to stand up, and I'm gonna pray for ya tonight. Come on, if you have a problem with migraine headaches, okay. And all of you in the TV audience, dare to believe.
You say, "Well, I've taken every kinda medicine. I've done everything imaginable. I mean, I've done everything. Nobody can help me". Well, I'll tell ya what, when everything else fails, Jesus can work. And maybe you've been prayed for a thousand times, but I'mma pray for you again, amen? And we're gonna dare to believe together that you can be healed. And there's probably even people in here right now tonight with migraine headache. You know, when you have migraines... I know, 'cause I had 'em for 10 years. When you have migraine headaches, you learn to just keep functioning with them, and you're just used to that pain on the one side of your head if that's where you get it. So, we're gonna believe God, okay?
Father, I thank you tonight that you're still our healer. Jesus, you not only took our sin, but you took our sicknesses. And maybe some people are not even used to this kind of thing. They're not even accustomed to somebody praying for them to be healed. But in your name, Jesus, we take authority over headaches, migraine headaches, cluster headaches, and I pray that pain will leave people's bodies right now, and that they will no longer suffer with these migraine headaches, in Jesus' name, amen, be healed, amen.
All right. Now, it's just that simple, and what we want you to do is write us a little letter or email us and say, "I received my healing. I'm so excited, I can hardly stand it". And then, be sure you tell somebody else, amen? And the next time, if you ever start to get a headache symptom again, you just say, "I believe that God is working in my body right now", amen? Remember, sometimes it takes a little time. Miracles come like that, healings take some time. So don't give up your faith. Eighteen years, spent all that she had, but she dared to believe that she could still be healed. Nothing's impossible with God. Nothing is impossible with God.
John 11:40 is one of my favorite scriptures. It's when Jesus was about to raise Lazarus from the dead. And in John 11:40, he said: "'only believe, and you will see the glory of God'". How simple is that? "Only believe, and you will see the glory of God". You're gonna believe somethin'. It might as well be for God to help you, amen? All right, raise your level of expectancy. Start expecting more from God than what you ever have before. Right away, somebody says, "Well, what if I get disappointed"? Well, the Bible says, God says, "In me, you'll never be disappointed or put to shame".
Now, let me explain that. Doesn't mean that you're always gonna get everything you want. So, there may be some temporary setbacks, but in the end, you're gonna look back and say, "You know what? God knew what he was doin' all along". I mean, I've had many, many, many hard times in my life, but I certainly cannot stand here tonight and say that I feel 1 ounce of disappointment over serving God these last 40 years of my life, amen? No matter how challenging it is, it's still the best offer that we have, amen? Jeremiah 29:11 says: "'i know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, for good and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome'".
Isn't that good? Everybody say, "God's got a good plan for me". So, I'm askin' you tonight to dare to believe that there's nothing in your life that God can't change. He's not gonna do it overnight. I mean, he may, but, you know? That'd be great if he does, but I'm here to preach the Gospel, not to tell you fairy tales. And I believe the truth is, is that when you hook up with Jesus, your worst day with him will be better than your best day ever was without him. Because no matter what you don't have, you will have him. And no matter what you go through, you won't have to go through it alone. So, it's still the best thing that we've got.
Now, here's why it's so important to be aggressive in expecting something good. And see, the thing I like about hope is you don't have to wait to feel hopeful, you can decide to be hopeful. Every day now, I say, "I am expecting something good to happen to me today". Why? Because God is good. Not because you're good, because God is good. But don't stop there. Also say, "And I'm expecting something good to happen through me today". Because I don't wanna just be blessed. I wanna be a blessing to other people because I have found out, "It is more blessed to give than it is to receive".
Isaiah 30:18 is just, mmm, one of the most yummy scriptures in the Bible. Okay, now, are you ready for this? You wanna pay attention to this. "And therefore the Lord earnestly waits expecting, looking, and longing to be gracious to you", which means to be good to you. God is waiting to be good to you. Okay, now listen. "Therefore he lifts himself up, that he might have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) are all those who earnestly wait for him, who expect and look and long for him for his victory, his favor, his love, his peace, his joy, and his matchless, unbroken companionship"!
So, here, if I can just make this really simple for you, God is waiting, looking, longing to find somebody to be good to, and he can only be good to somebody who's looking, and longing, and expecting him to be good to them. So, if I were you, I'd get up every morning and say, "Here I am. I don't deserve it, God, but I am expecting something good to happen to me today". Another thing I like to say is, "I'm expecting good news". I don't know about you, but I just am fed up with bad news. Yuck. I love it if I get a text message and somebody says, "I've got good news", or if somebody calls me and says, "I've got good news".
We need to share good things with people and we need to ask God for good news every day. "Hey, guess what, mom? Your kid's getting an a in that class she failed in last year. Hey, guess what? Henry didn't go out and get drunk Friday night. He came home". No offense if your name is Henry. "Good news, my gas bill went down. Good news, I got a 20% off discount coupon for that and didn't even know it was available". We need to make a big deal out of the good stuff. Psalm 27:13 and 14, David said, "What! What"! "What", exclamation Mark, "What", exclamation Mark, "Would have become of me had I not believed that I would see the Lord's goodness in the land of the living"!
Now, you know why I like this? It doesn't say, "When I die and go to heaven". I'm expecting lots of good things there, and frankly I can't wait to get there. I think it's gonna be really an awesome place. I will be so glad to be rid of my body. Calories don't count in heaven. Yeah, amen. And now that I've mentioned calories, I have a story to tell you. I did a dumb thing. I didn't weigh for three months, and that's just not good for me 'cause I've got, like, this high weight and low weight, and I love being down here 'cause I can eat anything I want to, but when I get up here, then I usually gotta be hungry for a while to get back down.
So, I got on the scale one day last week. Matter of fact, I think it was last, I don't know, Tuesday maybe, and I had gained four pounds. Well, I know to some of you that sounds like, "Oh, don't even tell me that". But that put me at the very top, and so I was a little bit, you know, "Oh man". So, at first I thought, "I'm not gonna tell Dave", and so then I finally thought, "Well, I'll tell Dave". And so, I said, "Man, I'm gonna have to cut my eating back for a while. I've gained a little weight". And he said, "How much"? And I said, "About four pounds". And he went... Just that little look, you know? And then I said, "I hadn't weighed for about three months". He said, "That's exactly why I weigh every day", and I got upset.
Now, how many of you women know what I wanted when I went to Dave? And how many of you guys don't have a clue? You're like, "Well, what's wrong with that? He didn't do nothing wrong". See, what I wanted was I wanted Dave to say, "Well, honey, you don't look like it. You look great. And listen, you'll lose it quick. I know how disciplined you are". So, then I got upset and he said, "Well, I'm just trying to help you", and I said, "I don't want you to help me. I want you to encourage me". He said, "I'm trying to encourage you". I said, "I don't feel encouraged". So, we went to Walmart the other night to start the book signing. The first lady that gets in line says, "You are so thin". I thought, "Mwah"! You noticed I said it was a lady. Somebody needed to hear from God.
So anyway, enough of that, I guess. I was hoping I could find a way to work that in and just look how God did that. It just, like... Worked out so good. Thank God that we can expect good things while we're still on the earth. "What would've become of me had I not believed that I would see the Lord's goodness in the land of the living"! Whatever good we have here, it's sure gonna be a lot better when we get to heaven, but I don't wanna just have that attitude, "Well, I guess we'll just try to muddle through 'til we get to heaven. Well, someday when we get to heaven"... No, I think Jesus died so we could have a good life now. Amen?
Now, we're talking about having a transformed life, and having a transformed life must be preceded by having a transformed mind. If you wanna have what God wants you to have, you have to learn to think like God thinks. Amen? And, you know, I've got much teaching on the mind because there's no area that we have more problems with than our mind, amen? So, first you have to learn that you can do your own thinking, and then you need to learn how to recognize when you're not thinking right and how to cast those down and choose something better. But those are all lessons that I really don't have the time to get into tonight. If you don't know anything about these kind of things, I suggest my book, "Battlefield of The Mind". It lays a really good foundation about these things. Matter of fact, we had a doctor tell us tonight, she didn't tell us, she told Mike. She said, "In my medical practice", she's an M.D. She said, "One of the things I prescribe is 'Battlefield of The Mind'". I thought that was pretty good.
How many even physical problems do we have because we don't think right, amen? Let me tell you something, I can give myself a really bad headache and it don't take very long if I just let my mind get full of worry, and junk, and fear, amen? Surely, you're familiar with Romans 12:2, "Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed (changed) by the entire renewal of your mind". So, transformation doesn't happen without having transformation in our mind. So, if this is all new to you and you're kinda like, "Man, I've never heard this before", or "I don't know what I think of this", just start paying attention to what you're thinking. Think about what you're thinking about. And the next time you get all down and discouraged, think about what you're thinking about. The next time you wanna go rip somebody's head off, think about what you're thinking about, amen?
Proverbs 23:7 says, "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he". I like to say, "Where the mind goes, the man follows". If you think about a hot fudge sundae long enough, you'll go get one. Your mind went to the ice cream store a long time ago and your body will get there. I mean, am I right? It's amazing to me how somebody can say, "Chocolate", or "Ice cream", and then you just, "I just can't stand it". Romans 8:6 is a really great scripture. It says, "The mind of the flesh is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit and it ministers death". So, I might look at myself. Maybe I looked at myself 40 years ago and the problems I had, the mess my mind was in, how I felt physically, our finances, my family, my background, and I'm sure that it was very difficult in the beginning for me to look at all that, and think about all that, and think, "Someday this is all gonna be totally, completely changed".