Joyce Meyer - Five Powerful Promises To The Righteous
The first thing we wanna do is establish: who are the righteous? Well, the righteous are not just people who go to church. They're not just people who know a little bit of the Bible or who pray a little prayer once a day. The righteous are not even just really good people who just really try to follow all the rules and all the regulations and all the biblical laws. The truly righteous person can only be righteous through faith in Jesus Christ. What an amazing opportunity we have. You know what, the devil wants you to feel wrong about yourself constantly.
I remember for years and years, because of the way I grew up, I had this little recording playing in my head, "What's wrong with me? What's wrong with me? What's wrong with me"? Do you ever think that? "What is wrong with me"? You know, we look at other people and we think, "Well, why can't I behave like them"? And honestly, they're looking at you, thinking, "Why can't I be like you"? I mean, the enemy wants us to always have this vague sensing that something is wrong with us. Or how about this one? That we're not doing enough.
We did a little survey in our office and just asked people: "Tell us, when you get to heaven, what is one of the first things that you would love to ask God or if you could ask a question right now while you're still here on the earth, and get an answer from God, what would you wanna know"? And you know what a lot of 'em said? "I would love to know when I'm doing enough". You know what, people are just exhausted from trying to do what they think that God wants them to do and from trying to be some kind of a perfect example of everything all the time and that is not the way that God wants us to live. He doesn't want you to have wrongness. He wants you to have righteousness.
And so one of the first things that we should learn as a believer, sad to say we don't learn it, but if you're somewhere where you're being taught properly, you won't just go to church and hear about the rules and the regulations or even just doctrinal things. You won't just hear about taking communion and different things like that. You're gonna hear about who you are in Christ. Because if you never learn what this does to you to have Christ in your life. It doesn't just give you a ticket out of hell and into heaven, but you become something totally different.
"If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things pass away and all things become brand new". And we don't have to wait to get to heaven to have a great life. You can have a great life right here, right now, even while everything in your circumstances is not perfect. If you feel right on the inside, and you feel good about yourself on the inside, not because you do everything perfect, but because you know that God has promised that if you put your faith in Jesus that you will be viewed as being in right standing with him. This is probably even more important than what we know.
And I've taught on righteousness for years and years but even studying for this again, I mean, I'm diligent about my study. I mean, I put this message together several weeks ago but I started studying to bring this to you, going over it and over it and over it, like, as early as Monday and Tuesday of last week. And I've gone over this and over it and over it and over it 'cause when I get up here I want to share something with you that's going to be life-changing for you. And so even in going over this and over it, it still is just... It's amazing that Jesus took our sin, took all the punishment that we deserved, and has set us free from the penalty you no longer have to pay. Amen?
And righteousness, righteousness doesn't come to us because we do everything right. It comes to us because we know we cannot ever do enough right to deserve a relationship with God. And so, we receive his righteousness through faith. We believe it and then because of knowing who you are, you will want to spend... You won't feel like you have to. You will want to spend the rest of your life, every day of your life, trying every day to do as many right things as you possibly can. Not because you think you have to, to get something from God but because of what he has already done for you, you are compelled to serve him. It is so simple when we hear it.
But I was in church for years and years and years before I ever heard anything like that. I heard things like, "You're just a poor miserable sinner". Well, I mean, we do sin. There's no doubt about that. And more than likely, every day. But my identity, who I am, is in Christ. It's not, "I'm a poor, miserable, wicked, wretched". I'm that without God but if I'm gonna still be that with God, then what's the point, amen? And I'm not just... I wonder if you can even begin to imagine, some of you who don't yet have this revelation, how it changes your life to not have to be mad at yourself all the time, and to not have this little feeling that something's wrong with you and you may not make it and you need to try to do something else.
Well, maybe if you read the Bible more, maybe if you pray more, maybe if you do more good works, then maybe you'll feel better about yourself. And God's never gonna let you have it that way because that is self-righteousness. It's not the God kind of righteousness: it is self-righteousness. And so I wanna press this point for a few minutes because before I go into this promises made to the righteous, you have to know what it means to be viewed as a person that is the righteousness of God in Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:21. Does anybody need this today? You wanna feel a little bit better about... Whoo! 2 Corinthians 5:21: "For our sake he made Christ virtually", that means really, "To be sin who knew no sin, so that in and through him we might become endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of the righteousness of God what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with him, by his goodness".
Now, to be honest, you could take that one verse and study it for the next two weeks and maybe, if that's all you looked at for two weeks and thought about it and meditated on it, it might begin to start to sink in. Jesus took your sin because he's good, not because you're good. He took the penalty, he took the punishment, and he gave you his righteousness that he earned by never doing anything wrong and we can't figure it out mathematically in our head but the Bible says that if we believe that then God views us or he sees us as his very own righteousness because he sees us through Christ. He doesn't see us in our old sinful state, he sees us as these new creatures that we are, where? Inside, in our spirit.
You are a spirit, you have a soul, you live in a body. So you have all this amazingly wonderful, good stuff on the inside of you. Now, you still have a flesh too that has the sin principle in it. This is why after you become a really committed Christian you sometimes feel that you're in a war all the time. Do you ever feel like you're two people? "The thing I wanna do I can't do. The thing I don't wanna do, I'm always doing". I mean, I can make such plans for holiness laying in bed. I mean, I'm not gonna say anything wrong that day. I'm gonna be so submissive and such a good wife, and I'm not gonna talk back and I'm gonna be kind. I'm not gonna gossip about anybody.
I mean, I am so good until I put my feet on the floor. But I tell you what, if you want to make the devil mad... How many of you wanna make the devil mad? Make a decision and study until you get it, how to live your life in such a way that when you make mistakes you tell God right away, soon as he convicts you, "I'm sorry, that's not the way I wanna live", and then you refuse to carry a burden of guilt and condemnation all day. That is one of the hardest things in the world to do.
I wanna put up a little ledger that God gave me this little creative idea many years ago and we use it sometimes when we're doing altar calls to get people to understand what happens to them when they're born again so can we put my little ledger up, guys? Okay, just take a look. This is your life. Whoo! That says it all right there, doesn't it? Now, I'm not gonna tell you that it's not hard to grasp. That's why we have to keep hearing it and keep hearing it and keep hearing it and keep hearing it. I have probably said possibly a million times in my life, in my own private life, "I am the righteousness of God in Christ. Through his goodness and mercy I am the righteousness of God in Christ".
You better always say, "In Christ", because you certainly don't have it in yourself. Okay, now, Paul prayed and he was a man who, I mean, man, he followed the law. He was a pharisee, he was highly educated. According to the law's standards, he would have been a right-on guy. And yet Paul prayed in Philippians 3 that he would be found and known as in Christ, not having any righteousness of his own, but only that righteousness that comes to us through faith in Christ.
See, one of our biggest problems is as soon as we do a few things right, then we start to think that we're right and then we start to judge everybody else that's not as right as we are. Isn't it amazing when you're good at something how easy it is to get aggravated with people that aren't good at what you're good at? Anybody? One person over here who understands this. But, see, God wants us to realize that we all have faults and weaknesses and, if we're strong in an area, it's because of God's grace.
Let's look at just a couple of scriptures. Romans 3:20: "For no person will be justified freed of guilt and declared righteous in his sight by trying to do the works of the law. For through the law we become conscious of sin and the recognition of sin directs us toward repentance, but it provides no remedy for sin". You see, the law never provides a remedy for sin. "But the righteousness of God has been clearly revealed apart from the law, even though it is confirmed by the law and the writings of the prophets". It goes on to say: "And this righteousness comes only through faith in Christ".
Don't just believe that, "Well, I believe Jesus. I believe that I'll go to heaven when I die". No, you need to believe all the stuff that the Bible says about you. And you need to actively and aggressively believe your sins are forgiven, God loves you, he's got a good plan for your life, amen, that you've been made right with him, that you don't have to live under guilt and condemnation. That's the only way, even though you're gonna go to heaven when you die, if you want to enjoy the journey, you've got to believe all this other stuff too, right?
Okay, now, one last scripture and then I'm gonna get into these promises. Philippians 2:12. This is such a good scripture in the amplified translation: "So then, my dear ones", this is Paul writing to the Philippian church. "So then, my dear ones, just as you have always obeyed my instructions with enthusiasm, not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence", now watch this, "Continue to work out your salvation". Now, he didn't say, "Continue to work for your salvation". He said, "Continue to work out your salvation that is, cultivate it, bring it to the full effect, actively pursue spiritual maturity with awe-inspired fear and trembling using serious caution and critical self-evaluation to avoid anything that might offend God or discredit the name of Christ".
So if I were to tell you in my own words what I believe a righteous man is under the new covenant this is what I would say: "It's those who know that their self-righteousness is not acceptable to God. They have received the righteousness of God by faith in Christ and now they daily live their life in fellowship with God, desiring to please him in all things and working with the Holy Spirit constantly toward spiritual maturity". So here's the thing. I no longer get up every day and try to do what's right so God will love me more or so he'll be pleased with me. I know that I've been made right with God through faith and now every day of my life I make an effort, I strive in the spirit, I work with the Holy Spirit to try to be the best version of me that I can possibly be.
And I don't do it to get anything from God. I do it because I just can't help it. That's who I am. I love him, I want to please him. Not because I want to get his love but because I've already got it. And so I have real serious concern for people who call themselves Christians and don't care anything about changing. I have a problem with that. So there's only two things that can happen. Either they're not really true Christians or they've never been taught properly to understand the way that we're to go about this. When you're born again, everything that you need to live a godly life is downloaded into your spirit. I mean, you got it. You have got it. Love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, the righteousness of God, wisdom.
I mean, I could go on and on and on and on and on. I mean, you've got it. You are pregnant, so to speak, in the spirit with everything that God is. Now, all you gotta do is give birth. And sometimes that's a bit painful. Let me tell you something. Being a victorious Christian is not for a bunch of wimps. It's not for somebody that thinks all they need is a little 20-minute sermonette once a week. I mean, you need the word and you need it downloaded on a regular basis and you need somebody that will tell you the truth, amen?
Ginger: Joyce, we have a question today from Shay, and she's asking something that I'm sure many people at home are asking as well: "How do I learn to love who I am"?
Joyce: Well, I think that the first thing we need to do is stop comparing ourselves with other people.
Ginger: It's a big one.
Joyce: That's just such a no-no. You know, God has created us all individually and uniquely. All you have to do is read Psalm 139 and you see that he has created each one of us with his own hand, uniquely, in our mother's womb. We all have different gifts. We have different abilities. We look different. We're tall, we're short, we're this and that and somethin' else. And God is never going to help you be somebody else. I always tell everybody, "Be yourself 'cause everybody else is already taken".
And also, I think, just to realize, to really be against yourself, and I know that people don't, they're not meaning to do this, but it's almost kinda like an affront to the Lord who created us. Because if he created us with his own hand, and he's given us the gifts we have, and he's arranged us in the way that we're arranged. And I'm not talkin' about our faults. I'm not talkin' about the things that we need to let him change, but just the basic who you are. And I get that. I mean, for a long time, I just did not like my personality. You know, I wanted to be sweet and meek, and, you know, like other sweet women. And I mean, I tried to do that, and it was just ridiculous.
You know, you have to be who you are because God has created you for a special purpose, and you can fill a spot that somebody else can't fill the way you can fill that. And so, I just really wanna encourage the person who asked the question. And to be honest, this is an international, worldwide problem. I really believe that probably one of the biggest problems that people have, and I'm gonna stretch it and say even people who are Christians who have received Christ, I think the biggest problem that people have is learning how to love and accept themselves. And we almost see that as a selfish thing, but it's not. Because that's really what it means to receive God's love. If I receive his love for me, then how can I continue to be against myself? Satan is the only one that's against us, and God is for us, and we need to get on God's side.
Ginger: So, are there any particular things that you would do on a regular basis when you were going through that process yourself, to gain that love that God would have for you?
Joyce: Yeah, I learned to spend a lot of time confessing the Word of God. And when I say, "A lot of time", I don't mean, like, hours every day. But even this morning when I was on my treadmill, I was confessing scriptures, I confess scriptures out loud. And one of the things that I said on a regular basis every day, still say it every day, "I am the righteousness of God in Christ". And to be the righteousness of God in Christ means that God sees you and views you as right, not wrong. And we focus way too much on, "What's wrong with me? What's wrong with me"? Instead of focusing on the strengths and the gifts and the good things about you. And then another thing that I said all the time is, "God loves me. God loves me".
I remember even goin' to the mirror and lookin' at myself and pointing at what I saw in the mirror, "God loves you". And so, I think meditating on the scripture. And then, even for me, I've learned to really watch for God's love in my life. It's amazing all the little things that God does for us that's just kinda like a little wink from him, him doin' somethin' for you that only God could do. But it's just, it's good for all of us to just know that he's there and he knows the desires of our heart. And I think that the more you realize how much God loves you, the more you're able to love and accept yourself. And it is a journey sometimes. To be honest, it wasn't just somethin' I read two scriptures and got over. I mean, I had to stick with this and stay in the word for a long period of time. Let's put like this. You can know something is true a long time before you start to feel the benefits of that truth.
Ginger: That is so true.
Joyce: And so, I knew it was true because I really believed the word, but it took me a long time to stop feeling bad about myself. But it will come, if you stick with God.
Ginger: I love what you say about comparison too. Because in this world of social media, everyone puts out their best side, only. So, if you start looking at everybody else's life: their beautiful photos, the wonderful things that are happening, then you know, it's easy to start thinking about why can't I be more like that? And what you said about God put something in each one of us that is very special. If you hadn't gone with that boldness that God put in you, think of what you'd be missing, what the world would be missing.
Joyce: I've learned to just really, you know, like there's certain things in my personality, that I would consider to be weaknesses, like I'm a tad impatient. And it's interesting. I don't really have too much problem waiting on God if I know that he's the only one that can do something. But I might have a lot harder time waiting on a person. If I'm focused and got a goal and I want to go do this and they're padiddle-dadling around and not really, you know...
Joyce: Yeah. Dave says, "Where do you get these words"? I don't know. But, Dave knows that I'm a little bit impatient, and especially, when I've got a goal. So, if I get up in the morning, "Okay, I'm gonna take this shower. I'm gonna go walk. I'mma do this. I'm gonna get to the office at such-and-such a time". He'll say, "Come give me a hug". And then, he'll hold me and not let me go because he knows it frustrates me. So, you know, you can be mad at yourself for your weaknesses or you can actually, kind of embrace them and say, "God knew all about me before he called me into relationship with him. And you know, Lord, I don't wanna stay this way, but I'm not gonna fight with myself about it all the time either".
Next promise: God promises deliverance to the righteous from all their troubles. Ooh, you're gonna like this. Psalm 34:17, "When the righteous cry for help", do you ever pray that prayer? "Help me, Jesus", 200 times a day, "Help me, oh God, help me, help me". Sometimes we don't even know what we need help about. We're just aware that we're just pretty desperate without God. "When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and rescues them from all their distress and trouble".
Now, two things you want to make sure of. It doesn't say you'll never have any trouble. You can't get rescued from something you never have, and it doesn't say when God will rescue you. That's where the trusting part comes in. "Well God, I believe your timing's perfect so if I'm not getting it yet, then there's a reason that you know that I don't know and in the meantime, I'm gonna continue to love you with my whole heart".
Listen, you gotta love God just as much when you're not getting what you want, as you do when you get what you want. Matter of fact, I think sometimes it's more important to love God then. It's pretty easy to be happy and love God when you're getting everything you want, but what about when nothing makes sense in your life at all? Is anybody in the building today at that place where nothing makes sense in your life at all right now? I've had kind of a rough year.
Thank God I'm out of it now, but I spent from last October, so it's actually been almost a year, until about two weeks ago pretty much in constant pain and I mean, bad pain from a back issue that they thought was my hip. And I'd already had one hip replaced, so I got the other one replaced, but it didn't solve my problem. And you know how it is, it just takes time to find out what the real... Any of you in that place right now? It's like, something is not right in your body and they're just still searching for it. And you go to the doctor, you go to the doctor, you get a test, you get a test, then you gotta wait to go to the doctor, and go to the doctor, and you're praying and you're believing God for a miracle.
And in the meantime, like for me, I'm up still ministering to everybody else and, you know, and they don't know what I'm going through. I'm trying to help them get through what they're getting through and I'm trying to get through what I'm getting through. And but that's the best thing you can do. When you're hurting and you're trusting God, the best thing you can do is go help somebody else.
Come on, I said it's the best thing that you can do is go help somebody else. So anyway, then like three months ago, I had a little minor back surgery, I mean surgery's still surgery, but I had a bulging disk and it was touching the nerves and giving me sciatic, and, you know, all that stuff. So then, some of it I got relief from right away but because the nerves had been damaged for a long time, it took several weeks for them to heal. Well, last week, I had the best week that I've had since it all started, so... Okay, when the righteous cry for help, "God, I kind of wish it said eventually". Because if you don't understand this, it almost sounds to people like, "Well, what's wrong with me? I asked God to help me and I still got a problem". No, through faith and patience...
I can tell you one thing, and I believe everything you go through, God does work it for good, and I believe you get something out of it that makes you a deeper and a richer person. You have more depth and I'll tell you one thing, if anybody tells me their back hurts or I hear anybody that says their back hurts, I'm on it in prayer. I mean, just like a bee on honey, I'm there. It's like, see when you go through things and you don't get delivered real quickly, it gives you a compassion that I don't know that you can get any other way, amen? You all out there, still?
Okay, so, your breakthrough is coming. You know, the Bible says that God knows how to rescue the godly and how to bring the right punishment to the ungodly. So, God knows how to rescue you and he knows how to deal with your enemies. Some of you got a suddenly coming in your life. You know what a suddenly is? It means like you have had your stinkin' problem for so long that it's hard for you to even have a thimble full of hope and suddenly, I mean, suddenly, Moses prayed, it's recorded in Exodus 33 and he said, "God, show me your glory. I want to see you". And God said, "No man can see me and live", but he put his hand over his eyes so he couldn't see and the Bible says that all of God's goodness passed by him and God kind of gave me this out of that a long time ago.
You know, it's like, you can be in a such a mess and you can't see God coming, but all of a sudden, he passes by. And let me tell you something, you sure know when God's been there. And I'm telling you, you hang on to these promises. You are the righteousness of God in Christ, and God is not a man that he should lie, and he will deliver you from all of your troubles. It may not be as quick as you'd like him to, it may not be the way you'd like him to, but don't you give up your faith and your trust in God and don't give up your hope. Hope keeps expecting today's the day. Today is the day. Just a couple of scriptures real quick.
In Acts 12, Herod had put James to death and the people seemed to like it so he thought he'd throw Peter in prison. So, they arrested Peter and in verse 4 of acts 12 it says that Peter was in prison. Get a picture of this. And he had four squads of four soldiers each guarding him. So, 16 soldiers are guarding him. Let's just say he had 16 problems. There were 16 reasons why he wasn't about to get away. Have any of you got 16 problems today? There they are, okay.
"And they guarded him in rotation throughout the night, planning to bring him for execution". Verse 5, "So Peter was kept in prison, but fervent and persistent prayer for him was being made to God by the church. That very night before Herod was to bring him forward, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries were in front of the door guarding the prison". In the natural, there's no way he's getting out. "Suddenly", come on, suddenly, whoo! You know the rest of story, if you don't, you can go read it.
Acts 16. Wow, acts 16:23, "After striking them many times with rods, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely. And, having received such a strict command, they threw them into the inner prison, the (dungeon) and fastened their feet in stocks and chains and they were in an agonizing position. But about midnight when Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, the other prisoners were listening: and suddenly, suddenly, there was a great earthquake, so powerful that the foundations of the prison were shaken", all the chains came off. But here's the thing that you're gonna get out of this, verse 27, "When the jailer, shaken out of sleep, saw the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, thinking that the prisoners had escaped".
And he knew that would mean death for him. "But Paul shouted, 'don't hurt yourself, we're still here'"! The prison doors opened, but they didn't leave. They stayed in the prison. "Then the jailer called for torches and rushed in, and trembling with fear they fell down before Paul and Silas, and after he brought them out of the inner prison, he said, 'sirs, what must I do to be saved? What must I do to be saved'"?
So, you see, here's what happens. When you have a problem, just like other people in the world, and they see you navigating that with peace, and joy, and trusting God, and no matter how long it lasts, you still got a good attitude, you're still being good to people, then suddenly, when your deliverance and your breakthrough comes, they're not gonna be able to deny the power of God in your life, and it will give you an open door to minister to them. The next promise is that the righteous cannot be defeated by setbacks. In other words, no matter how many times you knock them down, they get up again. You're gonna like this afternoon's message.
Psalm 34:19, "Many hardships and perplexing circumstances confront the righteous". Now, just because you're right with God and just because you get up every day and try to do the right thing, that doesn't mean that the devil doesn't hate you and it doesn't mean you're not gonna have problems, amen? I've had so many different things going on in my life lately, just annoying stuff, and aggravating stuff, and stuff that's put more work on me than, you know, what I would want it to, and on and on and on and. And, you know, we go through seasons like that. It's almost like aggravation comes in a series. Has anybody here been having a series of aggravations in your life?
Well, that's when you gotta holdfast, tighten the belt of truth. And what does it say in Ephesians 6? "Put on the breastplate of righteousness". Continue to know who you are in Christ. Don't let the devil steal that from you. And suddenly, suddenly, you're gonna have a breakthrough. Proverbs 24:16, "The righteous man falls seven times, and rises again, but the wicked stumble and they collapse". So, no matter how times you get knocked down, you'll get up again, but the wicked person falls down one time and it's over for them. I love this, I said this. For the righteous, it's not three strikes and you're out. God's promise is you can't strike out.
Come on, you cannot strike out because no matter how many times you fall, if you will just get up again, someday your suddenly will come and the devil will lose. Let's just look at a few of these scriptures. It's so good just to look at the word. 2 Corinthians 4:8 and 9, "We are pressured in every way hedged in, but not crushed: perplexed unsure of finding a way out, but not driven to despair: hunted down and persecuted, but not deserted to stand alone: struck down, but never destroyed".
So, this is the privilege of the believer. We have some of the same things come against us, but they don't defeat us. Come on, you're not gonna be defeated. It may not be easy, but you're gonna have a breakthrough. Now, Genesis 50:20, "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good". Proverbs 28:1, "The wicked flee when no one pursues them, but the righteous are as bold as a lion". Oh, you're gonna like this one. Deuteronomy 28:7, "The Lord will cause the enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you: they will come out against you one way, and flee before you seven ways".
Okay, this is one of my favorite things right here. God surrounds the righteous with favor. Oh boy, well, I never in my life knew anything about favor. Even as a Christian, I didn't know anything about favor. You know, there's a lot of things that God wants us to have that we'll never experience if we don't know how to release our faith for them. And you need to trust God every day that you're gonna see his favor in your life. Psalm 5:11 and 12, "But let those who take refuge and put their trust in you rejoice, let them ever sing for joy: because you cover and shelter them, let those who love your name be joyful and exult in you. For you, o Lord, bless the righteous man the one who's in right standing with you: you surround him with favor", favor. Surrounded, you are surrounded by favor.
You know what happens when you have favor if you're gonna get it on a practical level? It opens doors for you that you could never open. You couldn't kick 'em down. You couldn't push 'em open. You couldn't put a bomb in them and blow them open, but God will open doors for you that no man can open. That's why I think it's funny when you hear a story like we heard about Kim who's singing here this weekend and has such an amazing voice that her teacher in school told her, "Forget pursuing a career in singing, you have no talent at all in that area". Or like I came very close to failing English. I think the only reason why I passed was because my teacher kind of liked me. I didn't care if something was a noun, or a pronoun, or a... I just wanted to talk, you know?
And, you know, I'm not glorifying ignorance but I mean, it's just kind of funny that what the world says you cannot do and you're not qualified for... If God anoints you, if God gives you favor, I am shocked by the favor that God gives his people. You can get a job you're not qualified for. You can end up saying brilliant things to people that you don't even know. You know why? Because there's more to you than what you see when you look in the mirror. There's a deeper part of you. You've got a well of wisdom on the inside of you and goodness. Favor, trust God every day for favor. Don't ever go out without saying, "God, I trust you for favor today everywhere that I go".
When you have favor, you receive blessings that you don't deserve. People like you and they don't even know why. I love that part. I just pray that God will make you like me. It delivers me from having to stand up here and play games trying to hope if I say the right thing, and do the right thing, and just behave a certain way that everybody will like me. No, I'm gonna follow God, say what I believe he wants me to say and God makes things work out for you. There's just no way it could work out but God works it out. Have any of you experienced the favor of God in your life? Alright, Psalm 90:17, "May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us, establish the work of our hands, yes, establish the work of our hands".
Now, sometimes you can get a little too much favor with the wrong thing. I have received favor with an armadillo that is tearing up my backyard. I mean, tearing it up. I didn't even know that they could do this but it's like, they just rip off the top layer of grass and fold it back so they can stick their little snout down in the ground to get, I guess, grubworms. So, one friend of mine said, "Well, the good news is, is they only come to people's yards that have really good soil". I'm like great, because, you know what? They're not doing that to either one of my neighbors on either side.
So, I have favor with the armadillos and I have favor with a pack of raccoons. We have bungee cords on our trash cans so they can't get the lids open, and my son took a video on his phone one night of five on and in my trash can. And honestly, one was pulling it up and the other one was getting down in the trash can. I not only got raccoons, I got smart raccoons. I could do without some of that kind of favor. But I am praying them away and have a nifty plan to catch 'em. There's so many people in the Bible that God gave favor to, and I want to really encourage you, no matter what kind of a difficult situation you're in, don't just try to make it work out yourself. Always say, "God, give me favor. I'm depending on you. I'm leaning on you. I'm relying on you".
Don't go through your life trying to play all these silly little social games hoping to get in with the right group of people. Just pray that God will give you favor with the people he wants you to be with, amen? Don't even look at somebody and decide, "Yeah, I think I want to marry you. I like the way you look". No, you better pray for favor with the right person that you can, not only like the way they like, but be happy with 20 years from now, amen?
Daniel was a man that found favor with God. So Joseph found favor with God. I mean, the story of Joseph is so amazing. I mean, he got thrown into a pit by his brothers, sold as a slave, purchased by a man named Potiphar, and the Bible says that he found favor with Potiphar and was put in charge of the entire household. Then Potiphar's wife lied about him and said that he tried to do something sexually to her and it was a lie. She actually had tried to get him to get involved with her, and he was a righteous man so he would not, amen?
See, people that are righteous who love God, who appreciate what he's done, you resist temptation, even if it costs you, amen? So, he got put in prison. He was in prison for 13 years for something that he didn't do, but the whole time he kept a good attitude. Wow, I bet that must have been challenging. But you know what? He found favor with the jailer. I mean, when he got out, he got out because he interpreted a dream for Pharaoh, then he found favor with Pharaoh. And I just want you to get this today, that if you serve God and you stick to your moral principles, even if you would get fired from a job because you refuse to compromise.
I had a boss one time that wanted me to lie for him about something and I just knew I'd probably lose my job, but I finally went back and I said, "I'm sorry but I just can't do it. I mean, I'm a Christian and I just, I can't do it". And you know what? I kept getting promoted and promoted and promoted in that company till nobody had anymore authority than the guy who owned the place that tried to get me to lie. God can give you favor, but you gotta keep doing what you know is right. And if God doesn't give you favor in the place where you're at, then don't be afraid of losing something.
To be honest, sometimes if you want to do the right thing, you're gonna have to lose something. We have to be willing to lose something to gain the greater thing. You might need to lose some of your reputation. When God called me into ministry, I lost my friends. Family members, thought we'd lost our mind. I got asked to leave my church. I mean, it was tough, but you gotta pay attention to what's in here, not keeping your reputation right with people. And then trust God to give you favor everywhere that you go.
I certainly the people that I thought were my friends, they weren't my friends because people that are really your friends, they're not gonna try to control you to get you to do what they want you to do. Ruth found favor with God. Esther found favor with God. Trust God for favor. I pray for you right now, in Jesus' name, that you will always have favor with God everywhere that you go, favor on the job, favor when you're looking for a job, favor when you're out shopping, favor with the right kind of people. I pray favor over you in Jesus' name.