Joyce Meyer - Mental And Emotional Overload
2 Timothy chapter 1, verse 7, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, timidity, cowardice, craven and cringing and fawning fear, but he has given us a Spirit of power and of love and a calm and a well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control". So, let's get it. God has given us a calm. The mind of Christ is a calm and a well-balanced mind. The mind of the flesh is the one that gets all upset. And we have a spirit of discipline and self-control.
So, everybody say, "I am disciplined. And I have self-control. And I have peace. And I have wisdom. And I have Jesus". Now, let me ask you. With all of that, how could your life be messed up? So, we need to start using all these wonderful things that God has given us. You know, hope to me is a real stabilizer in our life, mentally and emotionally. Matter of fact, the Bible says that, "Hope is the anchor of our souls". And your soul is your mind, your will, and your emotions, and that's the parts of us that get upset. Actually, you have peace in your spirit, you have wisdom in your spirit, but it's our soul that gets upset.
So, what we need to do is let what's deep in us rise to the surface when these stressors are coming against us from outside. Hope is the anchor of our souls and hope really is just a positive attitude that says, "Jesus is gonna take care of this. I believe something good is gonna happen. I believe God's gonna work good out of this". Satan wants us to be hopeless, and actually the Bible word for hopelessness is "Despair". And the word "Despair," if you define it, means that we are without a way. There's no way. To be utterly without a way, to be quite at a loss and without resources, to have no hope or to give up. But you can have hope on purpose if you want to. You don't have to wait to feel hopeful.
Talk yourself off the ledge and remind yourself of what you have in Christ. God is on my side. He's working on this situation. I have hope. Makes the devil really mad when you have hope. Actually, the Word of God says if you will be a prisoner of hope, a prisoner of hope, that God will give you double anything that you lost and gave up. He will restore double your former prosperity. Anything that you've lost, God'll restore it double if you will be a prisoner of hope. Well, prisoners are locked up in something they can't get out of, so that means that you need to be locked up with hope. And no matter how bad things get, you keep saying, "Something good is gonna happen to me," and if you do that, it will be a great stress reliever. God's gonna work this out.
We gotta be careful how we talk. And that's really not part of this message, but I gotta just say that because you can talk yourself into a full-blown fit and so can I. I shared with you yesterday that when Jesus was on the cross, he spent one minute talking and five hours and 58 minutes being quiet. Can you imagine some of the stuff that we might've said if we would've been on that cross? Come on. We better be glad he sent Jesus instead of one of us. Am I not right? The more you talk, the more you get yourself upset. How many of you believe that? The more you talk, the more you get yourself upset. So, just say hopeful things. "God's gonna work it out. Good's gonna come out of it. I refuse to stop hoping".
2 Corinthians 4:8, "We are hedged in and pressed on every side troubled and oppressed in every way, but not cramped or crushed: we suffer embarrassments and we're perplexed and unable to find a way out, but we are not driven to despair". So, Paul had serious stressors in his life, and yet he said we're still full of hope. When they were in jail at midnight, they were still singing, and it was such a witness to the jailer that he ended up getting saved. Do you know, when you maintain peace and joy in the midst of really difficult situations in your life, it is a witness to other people? I think it's one of the greatest witnesses that we have to other people if we can remain stable in difficult times.
The message Bible of 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, "No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. And all you need to remember is that God will never let you down: he'll never let you be pushed past your limit: he'll always be there to help you come through it". Everybody say, "Something good is gonna happen to me".
Now, I wanna talk to you for a few minutes about simplifying your life, because that will really eliminate a lot of stress. The world has gotten pretty complicated, hasn't it? Life has become very complicated, but we can change our approach to life. So, ten ways to simplify your life. That just means have some boundaries. Have some borders on how much junk you're gonna keep in your house. If you're not using it, lose it. Amen? Somebody suggested put all your hangers a certain way in the closet, and when you wear something, turn the hanger back around the other way. And after a year, all the hangers that you've never touched, you need to send those things off to somebody else that doesn't have much.
You say, "Well, what does my clutter, what does me keeping stuff have to do with stress"? It has a lot to do with stress, because if your surroundings look confused and stressful, it's gonna make you feel stressful. God is not the author of confusion. I said last night that we started looking around the little place where we're staying here, and it's amazing, even in your house, how many things have borders. Picture frames have borders. Books have margins and borders. Every piece of property has a border or a boundary. A fence is a boundary. The baseboard that goes around the bottom of the floor is a border. And all those things, even though society doesn't realize what they're doing, they're what makes everything look neat and tidy. They keep everything from running together and just being all confused all the time.
Don't confuse yourself by bringing so much stuff in your house that you can't find anything when you want it. Come on, some of you are still paying for stuff, you're still making payments on stuff that you don't even know where it's at now. Amen? You don't even know what you did with it. You bought it 'cause it was on sale. Good sale. This is a good deal. Yep, I put it on the credit card. Good deal. Can't pass this up. You'll probably even forget you own it, and then two years from now when you need one, you'll go out and buy another one.
1 Corinthians 14:33, "God is not a God of confusion and disorder but of peace and order". And if you can't manage to part with your stuff, hire somebody to come in and get rid of some of it for you.
Number two, when you want or need something, ask God to provide it and forget about it. Ask God to provide it, and believe that if it's right for you that he'll give it to you at the right time in the right way. Don't stress yourself out trying to make things happen in your life that only God can make happen. Let's just say you really wanna be the worship leader at your church. Well, ask God. "God, if that's the right position for me, then I pray that you'll help me get it". If you need to apply for it, apply for it, but then don't get mad 'cause somebody else gets it and don't be worrying all the time about who's gonna get it. Trust God. It is amazing how much more peace we can have if we just trust God.
And I don't have time to go to these scriptures 'cause I've still got a lot of stuff that I wanna share with you before we're done today, but James 4:1-2 have been very and James chapter 4, verse 1 starts out and says, "What leads to strife and feuds and conflicts and quarrels"? They arise from all the stuff that you want. And then verse 2 says, "You're jealous and you covet what other people have and your desires go unfulfilled". And you even begin to hate people who have what you want. "You burn with envy and anger". You're not able to get the stuff you want, "So you fight and you war". Big answer here, "You do not have, because you do not ask".
Boy, I love that. You don't have to try to make things happen in your life. You can pray and ask God, and if it's right for you, God will open the right door at the right time. And we can even go so far as to thank God if he doesn't give us what we want by just believing that he knows better than we do what's gonna be right for us. I believe there's people here today that you're just all stressed out over something that you want, and you've been trying to make it happen, and it's not happening. Just ask God, and then trust him that if it's right, he'll give it to you. One thing's for sure, if God can't do it, you can't do it. Amen? I tell God that sometimes. "I'm not messing with that, God, 'cause if you can't do it, I sure can't do it". I'm gonna stay in peace and watch God work.
Number three, be yourself and stop trying to impress people. Boy, that's a stress reliever. My gosh, I'd be dead from stress if I was up here as much as I am feeling like I had to impress everybody. You can pretty well tell with me, what you see is what you get. I mean, this is just me. I'm the same way pretty much everywhere I'm at, except I don't talk quite as loud when I'm out in public. But that's one of the best compliments that people give me who know me personally. "Joyce is just Joyce". We don't have to try to impress each other. We don't have to pretend for other people. We don't have to compare ourselves with other people. We don't have to compete with other people. Just be yourself.
Number four, don't be easily offended and be quick to forgive. Offense, anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness are some of the most stressful things that you can have in your heart.
Number five, when you sin, admit it, receive forgiveness, remember there's no condemnation, and get on with life. Don't let the mistakes of yesterday ruin today.
Number six, give people mercy instead of trying to get revenge. It kinda goes like this. "Well, you don't deserve it, but I'm just gonna let that go". That's your thought process. "I really shouldn't talk to you at all after what you did, but you know what? I'm just gonna let that go and give you mercy, because I need mercy myself".
Number seven, when you need help, ask for it. "Can you help me"?
Number eight, make decisions. Stop being so indecisive about everything. If you're really indecisive, you can get stressed out trying to figure out what you wanna choose of the menu in a restaurant.
Number nine, don't be overcommitted. Be committed, but not overcommitted. And here's a thing to do. Before you make any commitment, think all the way through what it's gonna take for you to do what you said you would do. I've had to learn to do that with speaking opportunities that come along or different opportunities to do different things. And I do say yes to things, but I've learned if I don't think through the process, it's too easy to say, "Oh yeah. Yeah, sure. Yep, amen. Count me in". And then we're like, "My life is driving me crazy". You know, when you hear yourself complaining all the time about your life, that is an indicator that you need to make a change. Amen?
I said that you need to make a change. That's an indicator that you need to make a change. That means you need to make a change. Oh yeah, I've gotta say it several times. You, you, you, you, you, not somebody else. That means you, I, we need "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy-laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me".
Seven ways to simplify relationships.
Number one, don't try to be everybody's best friend. Whoever they are, the experts, that one person can only manage properly three really good, close friends. So, when you try to be everybody's best friend, you usually end up not being a very good friend to anybody. Now, we can have a lot of people we love, and a lot of people we appreciate, a lot of people that are acquaintances, but close relationships take time and they take effort.
Number two, don't expect people to never hurt or disappoint you, 'cause they will.
Number three, don't get overly involved in other people's business. Boy, some of you are all stressed out right now over somebody else's problem. Don't you have enough of your own? I love the Bible word "Entangled" in the affairs of this life.
Number four, don't give advice that people don't want.
Number five, compliment people 100 times more than you criticize 'em.
Number six, say, "I'm sorry". Go ahead, practice. Now, let's say it with a look on our face like we mean it. "I'm sorry".
Number seven, always believe the best of every person in every situation. Amen?
All right, now, just a few more things. Hold your peace. Hold onto it. We've kinda talked about that, like talking yourself off the ledge. And you know, peace is ours and we need to hold onto it. We need to keep it. But let me just quickly go through some scriptures. Exodus 14:14, "The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest". Wow. Job 13:5, "Oh, that you would altogether hold your peace! Then you would evidence your wisdom and you might pass for wise men". Isaiah 26:3, "You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind both its inclination and its character is stayed on you".
Worry is revolving your mind around, and around, and around the problem. But when you consider what God can do in your situation, and Philippians 4, verses 4 through 7, basically tell us to be joyful and peaceful. "Rejoice in the Lord: and again I say, rejoice! Be anxious for nothing, but in all things by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace that passes understanding shall keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus". So, joy and enjoyment reduce stress. Laugh. Laugh away the stress. Laugh yourself into some good health.
You say, "Well, there's nothing funny going on in my life". Yeah, well, you're really pretty funny yourself if you'd just figure it out. Jesus said, John 16:33, "I've told you these things, that in me you may have perfect peace and confidence. In the world you will have trials and distress and frustration: but cheer up! I have overcome the world". Guess what? Scientists have discovered that happiness reduces stress. Science has figured that out. They have a name for it. It's called positive psychology. Well, guess what? God knew that before they did. Honestly, I get so tickled with all the experts and all the things they know. Yes, scientists now tell us that one of the top five ways to relieve stress is to do something you enjoy. Hello? I'm not a scientist and I told you that yesterday morning. A happy heart is good medicine. You know, joy can come from just doing something that you enjoy. Amen?
I made a plan for me when I get home for the next couple days. You wanna know what I'm gonna do let me see if I can figure out where I put it. Okay. Today, I'm gonna leave here. I'm gonna take some coffee with me that somebody's making me in a few minutes. I'm gonna enjoy some of my coworkers on the plane going home. Yes, I'm going to enjoy them. I've already decided I'm going to enjoy them. It's not going to be a time of correction or talking about what was wrong with the conference. You can make your mind up the next time you go around your relatives, even ones you don't like, that you are going to enjoy them. The Bible says that a woman is to enjoy her husband. Amen.
And I've already decided that I'm gonna laugh every chance I get going home, so everybody that's gonna be on the plane with me, get ready to be funny. I'm gonna get to St. Louis and eat at my favorite restaurant. They've got a little outside area. I'm gonna sit outside and I'm gonna enjoy it. Thinking about this is making me preach better today. It does, honestly. You don't wanna muzzle the ox when it's treading out the corn. You know, when you're working, you need to think about something that you're gonna do to enjoy yourself.
"Well, I just don't have time to enjoy myself. All I do is work, work, work, and I don't have any money to enjoy myself". Oh, stop being a martyr. You know, some of us just don't do anything to make ourselves happy, because if we did we wouldn't have anything to complain about. Whoa, this is good. I'm gonna say my peace and leave town. Take a break! Do somethin' you like. Not only that, I've already got my plan for tomorrow. You wanna hear that one too? I'm gonna get up in the morning, and like I do every morning, I'm gonna spend my time with God. Then, I'm gonna walk and pray. Then, I'm gonna do some packing I need to do, and then I may do a little editing that I still need to finish on a book. Then, I'm gonna go out to eat with Dave and I'm gonna eat pasta. It's my once a week pasta. That's my boundary. And it's my dessert day, whoa! What a day I'm gonna have!
And you know what? By the middle of next week, I will have traveled back somewhere else, and I'm gonna be doing a television show, and interview for 45 minutes, and teaching for 45 minutes. And that's okay, because if I take time to do some things that I enjoy between these things, then I don't fall apart and I'm not overloaded. Amen? And whatever it is that you're dealing with in life, do yourself a favor and work in some things for you that you enjoy. Whether it's a 5 minute little, mini vacation or whether it's getting away from everything for two whole days, you cannot survive if you do nothing but work, work, worry, worry, work, work, get no sleep, eat junk all the time, worry, worry, fret, fret, try to impress people. We don't have to live all stressed out and overloaded. Jesus said, "Come unto me, all ye that are weary and overburdened, and overloaded, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me". Come on, give God a praise. Amen!