Joyce Meyer - Fear of Being Hurt
I want to talk to you about something really kind of specific. It's kind of a unique fear. We talk about the fear of man, we understand that. We don't want to let what other people think we should do control us and manipulate us and, but I want to talk to you tonight about the fear of being hurt. Somebody say, "Here it comes, here it comes". This fear, this fear of being hurt, this fear of being taken advantage of, this fear of being mistreated causes us to get into another sin that is actually something you probably wouldn't think was sin, but it's the sin of self-protection.
You say, "Well, why would that be a sin"? Well, because it's not faith and anything that's not faith is sin. Anything we do because of fear is something that God doesn't want us to do. Now, you know, it's hard when you've been hurt and especially as a woman, an emotional creature, when you've been hurt by somebody, then it gets hard to trust people. And if you've been hurt by a man or by several men, then it gets very hard to trust men. Is anybody feeling me tonight?
Okay, so then we can kind of go through our life using that as an excuse. "Well, you know, it's just hard for me to trust because I was hurt. Well, it's just hard for me to trust because I was hurt". But you know what? God wants us to get rid of that excuse. Yeah, you ain't liking this yet, are you? We're afraid if we really submit to anybody else's authority that they're gonna take advantage over us, that they're gonna hurt us and not treat us right. And you know what? Sometimes they will. But the key is I don't even have to try to get them back. I don't have to try to take revenge. I don't have to live in fear because I want to go from trusting myself to take care of myself, which is exhausting by the way.
Somebody tonight needs to retire from self-care, is it you? You need to quit trying to take care of yourself all the time and make sure everybody thinks the right thing about you, and says the right thing about you, and treats you the right way, and gives you what you deserve. "Well, if I don't take care of me, who will"? God. He would love to have the opportunity to completely take care of you and do for you what you can never do for yourself. God would love to take care of your reputation if you'll let him. No wonder Jesus made himself of no reputation. He just right away said, "I'm gonna follow God wholeheartedly. I don't care what you think". Well, he's a pretty famous guy now. God took care of his reputation. God's taking care of my reputation.
Merciful day I had to go through to stuff to get from where I was to where I am now. And so I married the first guy that came along and he mistreated me and ran around with other women all the time. And so then finally Dave came along. God rescued me, sent me a born-again, spirit-filled man who had a deep enough relationship with God that he was gonna outlast me. And that's what some of you need. You need a man strong enough that he's gonna love you through it and not throw you away because of it. And then on the other hand, there might be a man out there that God wants you to do the same thing for. Ouch, ouch.
And so when I married Dave and, you know Dave's not perfect, but he's a pretty easy guy to get along with. And I mean there's a couple things that are really important to him that he'll get kind of upset if I don't do them. But most by and large, he pretty much lets me do what I want to. So the point is is it'd be hard to really find too much fault with that but I still was mad about something all the time. And I couldn't stand it if he told me anything.
I remember one time where he hadn't put a towel rack in the new bathroom yet, and so I would step out of the shower and I was dripping water in the floor to reach over here and get a towel. And he told me not to do that. Lay the towel down in front of the shower. I mean I had to have a 3-day fit over that. "You can't even take a bath without somebody trying to tell you what to do". Come on, is anybody home out there?
There is such a problem with authority today. Nobody wants anybody telling them anything and it is a problem and it hurts us. It hurts our walk with God. It hurts what God wants to do in our life. And let me tell ya something, we are not fit to be in authority anywhere until we know how to come under authority. And God will usually put you somewhere under somebody else's authority that probably won't treat you the way that you should be treated, and God will not deliver you when you think you should be delivered because you are a diamond in the rough and God is using them to chip, chip, chip, chip, chip away at all that junk on the outside so he can get to the good stuff inside the alabaster box.
And really and truly no wonder the Bible says that we can thank God in all things. In all things give thanks to God. You know why? Because everything, if we trust God, everything is working out for our good. It's all working together with other things. Even the things that are unpleasant right now, they are gonna work out for your good later on if you keep believing that and don't just say, "Well, bless God. I'm out of here. I'll just leave this church and go to another one. I'll just leave this job and go to another one. I'll just leave this husband and get me another one".
Come on. We want to run away from anything that's uncomfortable or anything that's hard, but we need to be brave, and bold, and courageous, and realize that the kingdom of God is suffering violence and it's only the brave, the confident, the bold, the violent people that are gonna take what belongs to them, what Jesus died for them to have. You know it is freedom now for Dave to tell me to do or not to do something and me not to get mad. You talk about freedom, that's freedom. It's freedom to have a problem and not have to worry about it. It's freedom to not fall apart because somebody hurts my feelings.
You know what? I got my feelings hurt today. Yes I did right in the middle of the day at this wonderful conference, I got my feelings hurt. And you know what? I survived. I'm not mad. I'm not upset. I didn't even have to go tell them they hurt my feelings. I didn't even have to say, "You hurt me but I've forgiven you". Let's quit being so touchy, so whiny, so pitiful. "You hurt my feelings. You didn't build me up. You didn't encourage me. You didn't appreciate me". Come on, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.
We need to get a little bit tougher. I don't know what's coming, but I want to make sure we're prepared for it and if it's all good things, well and good, but I just want to be prepared for whatever comes because not all storms are in the forecast. Amen? Sometimes we get some news that we weren't expecting to get and that's not the time to go get ready. We need to be ready ahead of time. We don't go get strong, we need to live strong. Amen?
Let's look at 1 Peter chapter 2, verse 23. I'm gonna tell you something, it is amazing when we can come to the point when we can really turn ourselves over to God and just say, "God, I abandoned myself to you and I trust you to take care of me. And if somebody doesn't treat me right, God, then I'm not gonna spend the rest of my life hating them and being angry and trying to get them back. You're gonna have to take care of it". Come on, is anybody out there tonight? "You're gonna have to take care of it". It's not my job to make you treat me right. It's not my job to make you love me, that's God's job.
And I'll tell you what, instead of getting mad at people and trying to make them give us what we think they should give us, we need to go to God and say, "God, I don't feel like that was right but I'm not gonna worry about it. I'm your daughter, I'm your child and if you don't like what they did, then you take care of it and you correct it and make it right. I'm gonna tell you what, you'll get a lot more results doing that than we will the way that we usually go about it. Amen?
How many of you have wasted enough of your time being mad and trying to take care of yourself and make... look at that, the whole room. I cannot believe that I used to sit in the bathroom floor and cry my head out on Sundays after church with my head on the toilet because Dave was watching football. Hey, I told him already like last Thursday, why don't you go play golf Sunday when the conference is over? You say, "Why, don't you like him"? I love him, but I want it quiet. I want to, I don't know go get my feet rubbed or something, and eat a piece of cake, and play with my dog.
And you know? And I spent so many years angry because I wasn't controlling everything, everybody wasn't making me feel the way that I... and it's all fear. It is all fear that if we don't take care of ourselves, we're not gonna get what we want. But let me tell ya something, if God can't give it to you, then you don't have any business with it. Hello. I said if God can't give it to us, then we don't have any business with it. We need to pray more and gossip less. We need to run to the throne instead of running to the phone every time something happens that we don't like. "Well, you won't believe what he did now, susie". Oh, my gosh, I don't even know what doing up here.
1 Peter 2:23. Okay, I hope somebody's ready for this scripture. Now before I read this, I want to tell you what, I had this thing put on a sign and it's on the wall in my office, that's how much I like this scripture. "When he was reviled and insulted, he did not revile and offer insult in return...". Hold on, hold on to your chair. "When He was abused and suffered, He made no threats". "If you think you're gonna treat me that way, you've got another thing coming". Come on, are you with me? "I'll fix you. I'll shut you out of my life," and up goes our walls. "I'm not talking to you. I'm not looking at you. Don't touch me in the bed". I mean I have laid on the seam of the mattress many a night.
Come on, you're feeling me. I mean I have laid on the seam of the mattress many a night freezing because Dave had all the cover and I was not gonna ask him for anything. "You think I'm gonna ask you for anything? Who needs you"? And he was warm and got a good night sleep so let me ask ya, who was smart and who was dumb? I mean it's ridiculous when I look back now at my age at some of the things I did, I mean like now I'm like, "Give me the cover. Go get your own or do something but I ain't gonna lay here and freeze to death".
Matter of fact, we took care of the mattress thing a long time ago. We now have two of those twin things with a crack in the middle. It happens as you get older. Oh man, now I'm getting in trouble. Hey listen, it's not that much space, I mean you know. Here's the thing, Dave weighs over 200 pounds, when he turns over at night if we got a whole mattress, the whole bed shakes and I don't want to be bothered. Okay, I'm gonna leave the mattress subject and go to something else. But now it's not a problem, see, I got my cover, he's got his cover. He's got his mattress, I got my mattress, but the good news we're still in the same room. And that's after almost 50 years.
All right, let's go back to 1 Peter 2:23. Let's go back there. "When He was reviled and insulted, He did not revile or offer insult in return: when He was abused and suffered, He made no threats of vengeance". But here it is on my wall. "He trusted Himself and everything to Him who judges fairly".
Now am I saying that you should just let people treat you any way they want to treat you? No, that's not what I'm saying at all. But what I am saying is we need to turn the care of us over to God and we need to stop exhausting ourselves trying to make sure that everybody treats us right all the time. And I'm talking a lot of the hurt feelings and "Well, you should have done this and you didn't. And should have said this and you didn't. And you should have remembered me and you didn't". And, you know, all that silly stuff that just keeps us upset all the time. "You should have invited me and you didn't".
We need to turn all of that stuff over to God and we need to realize that he has got us on his mind all the time. God never goes to sleep. He keeps one eye on us all the time. He knows every single thing that's going on in your life, God's not surprised by anything. He knows how everybody's treating you. He knows if you're being treated right, if you're being treated wrong, and sometimes God will stand back and he will let people not treat us right for a period of time because he's using them to polish us.
Can I tell you something? One of the things that taught me the most about how important it was to be good to people was being mistreated by other people. When you learn firsthand what it's like to be hurt, and to not be appreciated, and to be ignored, to be forgotten, to be left out, then it does something to you. It either makes you harder or it makes you softer, and I thank God that it made me softer because there comes a brokenness on the inside of us that says, "Man, I don't ever want to treat anybody like that. I don't ever want to make anybody feel that they're not valuable".
And I'll tell ya what, still to this day, and I pray God, that we will always do this, I mean we make it our business to be friendly with all of the people that work in these venues. And, you know, I'm not just here to come out and be the yay, yay, big TV star and clap and cheer. I'm here to represent God and that means as his representative, I am to treat everybody the same because he loves all of us. Amen?
The Bible says that he has a picture of you tattooed on the palm of his hands and that our walls are continually before him. You know what walls are? Walls are the things that protect us and God wants to be our wall of protection. He doesn't want us to put up these walls. How many of you know what I mean when I say you put up walls and you won't let anybody in? Okay, well, the essence of what I'm trying to say tonight is that God is asking us if we will let go of the fear of being hurt and let those walls down, begin to be real with people, be vulnerable.
Can I promise you you won't get hurt? No, I can probably tell you that you probably will, but here's the thing I can promise you, you will recover. It won't kill you. It will actually make you better and you'll end up treating other people better than you ever did before. And one thing you can be assured of, nothing can happen to you that God won't work out for your good if you keep your eyes on God.