Joyce Meyer - The Joy Of Trusting God
Well, thank you for joining us today on "Enjoying Everyday Life". As I like to say, if you put the Word of God first place in your life, it will help you enjoy any day more than if you don't give the Word of God a place of importance in your daily life. I love to teach people to study the Bible, not just read it. So today, we're going to take the time to study one of the Proverbs with you, Proverbs chapter 3. You know, sometimes if you open your Bible up and you feel like, "I don't know what I should read or what I should study", I even do this a lot of times. If it's the 15th of January, I'll look at Proverbs 15. You know, there's 31 of them, so you've got one for every single day of the month. So, nobody has to wonder, "Well, in wonder what I should read, or look at today, or study", because there's always a good hint there for you if you can't think of anything else.
So, there are more than 15 lessons in Proverbs chapter 3, 15 different lessons. And so, if I don't get to all of them, which I may not, I want to challenge you to get a notebook and a pen, and read through Proverbs 3 yourself, and see if you can learn what all 15 of them are. Verses 1 and 2, "My son, forget not my law or teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments. For length of days and years of a life worth living", I love that, "And tranquility inward and outward and continuing through old age until death, these shall they add to you". So, guess what? Keep God's commandments and you won't just walk around the earth breathing, but you'll have a life worth living.
I wonder how many people today are living, but you don't feel like you've got a life that's worth living. You don't really even like your life. Matter of fact, you may hate your life. Well, you know what? When you begin to study the Word of God, have a relationship with Jesus, begin to implement the Word of God in your life with God's help, you'll be amazed at how fast things will change. Now, I like to tell people this, maybe you have let the enemy, satan, ruin your life for 40 years, and now you've just now decided, "Well, maybe I do need God". Well, let's just don't get upset with God if everything's not fixed in 2 or 3 weeks. Surely we can give God as much time as we gave the enemy, amen? That's just good advice. So, keep God's commands and you'll enjoy a life worth living.
Verse 3, "Let not mercy and kindness and truth forsake you: bind them about your neck, write them on the tablets of your heart". But there's something in here that if you're not looking at an amplified translation, you may not get. I love what he says here, "Let not mercy and kindness which shuts out all hatred and selfishness and let not truth which shuts out all hypocrisy and falsehood forsake you". Something that I like to teach people and I like to remember myself, is instead of fighting with what's wrong in our lives, what we should do is focus on what's right. Because if we're focusing on what's right, for example, if a lot of people have bad thoughts and they wrestle with their thoughts, "And how can I stop worrying? And how can I stop thinking about these things"?
Well, it's actually really pretty simple. If you decide to think something good, then the bad thing can't get in. And in Galatians 5, it says, "Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh". So, we tend to focus on, "I shouldn't do this, I shouldn't do that. I can't do this, I can't do that". But really, if we will focus on praising God, worshiping him, walking in the Spirit, the bad stuff has no room to get in. I think this is an important point to see because we always have a tendency to focus on the negative stuff out there, but if we focus on what's positive, then the negative stuff cannot get in. So he says, "Look, if you walk, if you focus on being merciful to people and being kind, there's going to be no room in your life for hating people and being selfish. It won't get in".
So, I don't have to go out today and say, "Oh man, I'm going to try real hard today to be merciful and not to be selfish". No, I'm going to say, "I'm going to focus on the things that God wants me to focus on, and those things just won't find any room in my life". Isn't that good? I love that. So, set your mind daily to show mercy and kindness. Verse 4, "So shall you find favor". Everybody say favor. You know, the world hopes they're lucky, but we get favor from God. It's so much better. And still people say, "Well, good luck with that". Well, I'm like, "I don't need luck". You know, 'cause luck is kind of well, you know, roll the dice and see what happens. You know, if it comes up right, you're in good shape. No, the Bible says that when we serve God and we put his word first in our life, that we have favor with God, and God gives us favor with man.
Do you know how valuable favor is? You know what that means? People are going to like you and they won't even know why. Doors are going to open for you that will just be absolutely amazing for no reason at all except that God is giving you favor. It's not, "Oh boy, you got lucky". No, I did not get lucky. God gave me favor in his life. Isn't that good?
I look back at my life now and some of the decisions that God led me to make that were really hard, and then I can see the favor that God gave me. I worked for a company one time where my boss wanted me to basically help him steal something, and I was really a young, young Christian, but I knew that it was wrong and I didn't want to do it. And I thought I was going to get fired and lose my job, and I went back to him and I said, "You know, I'm sorry, but I just can't do that". And you know, over the years that went by, I ended up being promoted, being promoted, being promoted until there was only one person in that whole company that had more authority than me, and that was that guy. And you know what? I took a chance on doing what was right, knowing that I could've lost my job for doing it, but because I put God first, God gave me favor.
And actually, I will tell you the absolute truth, I had a position that I was in no way qualified for in the natural. But God can qualify us to do things when we don't even understand how we can do it. God can qualify us, amen? "So you shall find favor, good understanding, and high esteem in the sight of God and man". Verse 5 through 8. Wow, wow, we could just stay right here the rest of the day. "Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind". So, it's silly to say, "Well, I'm trusting God with my whole heart", while your mind is full of worry. He says, "Trust God with your heart and mind". So, we want to believe in our heart that God's going to help us, but then we also want to keep our thoughts going in the right direction with God's help, of course, and trust him with all of our thoughts. "Don't rely on your insight, your own insight or understanding".
Well, we sure like to try to figure things out, don't we? I think that's probably the worst part of having a problem is not knowing when it's going to get solved or how it's going to get solved. Most of us would do pretty well if God said, "Now, you're going to have this problem. It's only going to last seven and a half days. And on day seven around noon, this is what I'm going to do. And so, until then, I want you to keep a good attitude and be positive". Well, that'd be like, "Got it, no problem". But see, we don't know, and so the enemy comes in with the never lies. "This is never going to change. It's always going to be this way. What if you have this pain forever? What if you feel like this forever? What if you never get your breakthrough"? I call them the ever and the never lies. "It's never going to change, and you're always and forever going to be the way that you are".
Reasoning causes confusion. And this was very helpful to me many years ago because, to be honest, although I was a Christian and teaching the word already by then, I just was confused a lot. And God had to teach me, "The reason why you're confused is because you're trying to figure things out that only I have the answer to, and I'm not ready to tell you yet, so I need you to trust me". So, I remember one time when I was in a conference, I was actually in Kansas City, I remember where I was at. And I said, "How many of you here tonight are confused"? And I think my husband and one other person was the only ones in the room who did not put their hands up. And as I began to ask God, "Why are so many people so confused"? He said, "Because they live in their mind. They're always trying to figure things out that they don't have the answers to".
And so, I've written a really good book called "Unshakeable Trust" that I'm going to talk to you about a little bit more at the end of the program, and I think it's really time for us to come up higher in trusting God. And you know what? Somebody said to me yesterday, I was doing an interview and she said, "Well, how do you trust God when you've got a problem and you don't know what the answer is, or you've had it a long time"? And I said, "You know what? I finally figured out in my lengthy life that I have two options. I can go crazy or I can trust God". And I don't know that there's too many other choices. So, to be honest, I don't want to be worried all the time, and frantic, and upset, and trying to figure out what's going to happen because that's not how we get answers. God wants us to come to the point where even though we don't know, we're satisfied to know the one who does know, which is him.
So, I literally, and maybe somebody watching today will relate to this, I was pretty much addicted to reasoning. You know, you can be addicted to things besides sugar and alcohol and drugs. We can get addicted to behaviors. And what that means is you can't feel satisfied, you can't feel peace until you have that thing. So, if I had a problem, I couldn't feel any kind of peace until I thought I had it figured out. But the thing that God had to show me is, "You think you got all this stuff figured out, and you don't. And you're going to find out in the end that you were wrong all along". And so, he really challenged me to give up reasoning, just like you would challenge somebody that was addicted to a drug to give it up. And it was hard for me because when problems would come up and I'd start to get into that reasoning... God would say, "Just trust me".
So, I'm challenging you today to trade in your reasoning for trusting God, and you'll be amazed at the amount of peace that you'll have in your life. "In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct and make straight and plain your path". Now, to acknowledge God doesn't mean that you have to have a 10-minute prayer meeting over every little decision that you're going to make. But it does mean that you start your day saying, "God, I don't want to do anything today that you don't want me to do. These are the things that I know of that I'm going to be doing today, and I'm acknowledging you in them. If any part of my plan is not in your plan, then help me get out of your way and you do what needs to be done".
So, I did not walk out here today without saying, "God, help me". I had a plan of things I was going to say. Half the time when I get up to teach, a lot of what I planned I don't say, and I say a lot of things I didn't even know that I was going to say. And so, we need to always let God have the right of way. "Be not wise in your own eyes". That just simply means don't think you're smart enough to run your own life because you're not. Now, I don't mean that to be insulting, but we really just are not smart enough to run our own lives. Any one of us who had enough brain power to run our own lives would not have ended up in the messes that we ended up in when we got to the point where we said, "Oh God, I'm in a mess, please help me". I love this. "It will be health to your nerves and moistening to your bones".
Well, when you get a little bit older, your bones start to creak, so you appreciate that moistening that you get in those bones. Well, let's make sure we understand this. Trust God, stay away from reasoning, in all your ways acknowledge God. Don't think that you're smart enough to run your own life, and you won't have all these anxiety issues and be a nervous wreck all the time. It will give health to your nerves. Verse 9 and 10, "Honor the Lord with your capital and sufficiency from righteous labors and with the first fruits of all of your income". What that literally means is give the first portion, the first fruits or the first 10%, of everything that God gives you as an increase in your life. We are to give that back to the Lord and honor him.
Sad to say, but very few people actually do that. There may be people who give a few dollars here and there, but to actually give that first portion of your income to God is very difficult for people to do. And you know, I've heard things like, "Well, you know, why should I give my money to that preacher? I don't know what they're doing with it". Well, first of all, you should never look at it like you're giving your money to a preacher or, "I'm giving this to you, God. I'm giving this to you", and when you give to God, you may be giving it through a person that you're trusting to manage the money properly, which is your responsibility, by the way.
You can't give to everybody who asks you for money, so you should know something about the places where you're doing your giving and be able to trust so you can give with faith. But you always give believing that you're giving to God. "If you honor the Lord with your capital and the first fruits of all your income, so shall your storage places be filled with plenty". You know what that means? Your cupboard, your bank account, your savings account, your retirement account, everywhere where you're storing stuff up for when you may need it later, he says those places are all going to be full. "And your vats shall be overflowing with new wine".
And that's not talking about cases and cases of wine that you bring in from the store somewhere. This new wine is talking about a vitality, and a freshness, and a flow of the Spirit that's in your life. And I'll tell you what, there's nothing better, nothing better than being full of the Spirit. You know, because when you have a good flow of the Spirit in your life, you recognize God's presence, you believe he's working in you. Let me tell you something, it gives you energy, it gives you strength, it gives you joy in very difficult circumstances. It gives you the peace that passes understanding.
So, I want to read you one more scripture about giving because I know these are areas that get kind of difficult for people, but here's the thing, God doesn't need your money. And everywhere you go, people talk to you about money. The only place where you get bothered about it is in church. Which makes no sense at all, you know? I mean, it costs just as much money to run the church or to run a ministry as it does to run anything else, and that should be a place that we should be glad to want to not just give, but invest. Because what we give to the Lord comes back to us multiplied many, many, many, many, many times over.
So, just one more scripture, Malachi 3:10 and 11, "Bring all the tithe (the whole tenth of your income) into the storehouse that there might be food in my house and prove me now by", it says, "the Lord of hosts. If I will not open the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing so great that you cannot contain it". I don't know about you, but I don't want to miss out on that. He didn't say, "I'll open the windows of heaven and dribble out a little blessing if you're lucky". No, God promises us favor if we obey him. "And I will open the windows of heaven and pour you out blessings".
What does it mean that you can't contain it? It doesn't mean that it's more than you can handle, but it means that you're going to be going... You just can't figure out how you can be so blessed in your life. So, this is an amazing promise, and then it goes on to say, "And I will rebuke the devourer for your sake". My goodness. Verse 11 and 12, "My son, don't despise or shrink from the chastening or the chastisement of the Lord his correction by punishment or by subjection to suffering or trial". Now, we don't like that scripture. It's like, "wait a minute", you know? Mmm.
Well, you know what I tell people all the time? First, I told my kids what to do. If they didn't listen, then I'd touch their circumstances. How many of you get that? So, God tells us, it's here in his word. But if we don't listen, he does love us enough that he may have to touch our circumstances, and we need to thank God for it. You know, one of the things people never learn if no matter what they do wrong, everything keeps coming up roses for them in their life. Sometimes, we have to experience the result of making bad choices.
So, you take a parent who constantly does nothing but rescue, rescue, rescue, rescue their children, you know what? You're going to still have a brat on your hands when they're 40 years old. But if you will love them enough to say, "Well, I tried to tell you and you just would not listen, so now I love you and I'll be here for you, I'll be your friend, but I'm not going to get you out of this mess". Because maybe that's the only way that they're going to learn. How many of you understand that? "For whom the Lord loves he corrects".
Now, I don't know about you, but every once in a while I've thought, "Well, God maybe you can go love somebody else today. Maybe you're just loving me a little bit too much today". Revelation 3:19 and 20, you can't get away from this, "For those whom I dearly and tenderly love, I tell them their faults. And I convict, and convince, and reprove, and chasten, I discipline and instruct them". This is so hard to swallow. "So, be enthusiastic and in earnest and burning with zeal and repent, changing your mind and your attitude". I like verse 20, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock".
Can I just simply say to you today, what door of your life is Jesus knocking on? Is it the door of entertainment? Maybe something there that you're doing is hurting you. And God's not trying to take something away from you, but he's saying, "Hey, there's a better choice". Maybe it's the door of relationships, maybe you've got a lot of people you hang out with that are just poisoning your life. And maybe you'd be better off to just kind of be by yourself for a while rather than to keep hanging out with people that are no good for you. Is it the door of attitude? Maybe God's knocking at the door of attitude in your life. Maybe you've just got a chip on your shoulder because your life didn't get started out great.
Well, you know what? Your life doesn't have to start great for you to have a good finish. So, what door is God knocking at in your life? And then verses 13 through 24, is a long proverb. I can't read all this, but there are multiple lessons in here, and here's what they are. It starts out talking about the benefits of wisdom. And first of all, let me tell you what I believe wisdom is. This is my own definition, but I think it's biblically accurate. I think that wisdom is choosing to do now what you'll be satisfied with later on in your life. Right? In other words, this is what God says, "Well, I don't feel like doing that. I don't want to do that. I don't want to forgive that person who hurt me. I don't want to smile at them. And I know they've got a trouble in their life now, but I don't want to help them. Even though the Bible says to bless my enemies, I don't want to do that. I don't feel like doing that".
Well, if I honor God and I do it anyway, then guess what? It may be hard now, but boy, later on, later on I'm going to love the decision that I made. But if I go now with my flesh and I do what I feel like, then you know what? Later on, I'm still going to have the same problems that I had over here, only maybe now I'll have more of them than I had before. It's wise to do what God says to do the way he says to do it. Here's a few of the promises of wisdom. It's better than silver and gold. Nothing can be compared to the benefits of it. It gives you a long life, riches, and honor. You're blessed and happy when you walk in wisdom. Wisdom gives life to your inner man. And in case that's not enough, here's another one, it gives you sweet sleep.
Well, I wonder how many people could be healed right now from insomnia. You know, I'm not throwing stones, but maybe it's your conscience that's keeping you up at night. That's what it says. And then there's ten more verses, verse 25 through 35. It starts out, it says, "Be not afraid of sudden terror and panic, nor of the ruin of the wicked when it comes your way, for the Lord shall be your confidence, firm and strong, and he shall keep your foot from being caught in a trap". And it's got a whole bunch of other things and here's what they say.
I'm going to tell you the end of what this says. In those ten verses, here's the lessons. Don't let fear rule your decisions. Always make decisions that are in line with the Word of God. Follow your heart, don't let fear rule your decisions. Let God be your confidence, and it will keep you and your foot being caught in a trap somewhere. Verse 27 says, "Do as much good as you possibly can as often as you can". I'm particularly fond of Acts 10 that says, "For God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and power who went about doing good".
Isn't that amazing? He just went about doing good. And every day, we all went about. You know, we get up and we go about our business, we go to work, we drive in traffic, we do this, we do that, we do something else. And I just challenge you to just focus each day on, "God, I just want to walk out my door and I want to see how many people I can be a blessing to". Bless as many people as you can, as often as you can, as much as you can, and you're going to have a life worth living. Next one says, "If your neighbor needs help, don't put off helping him". You know something that I've had to learn, and it's a little bit of a difficult lesson, but you ever find yourself praying for God to help somebody, and you're really kind of hoping he helps them through somebody else? Come on.
You know, God's kind of tried to teach me and still teaching me, "You know, don't ask me to do something that you could easily do and just don't want to". So, when our neighbor needs help and we can help them, don't put off doing it. Don't pray about God sending in somebody else to help them. "I'm going to pray for you about that". Well, maybe you should just do something about that. We would be a lot happier as Christians if we would do more of what's there to be done. "Don't be envious and jealous. Live at peace with everybody. God gives his undeserved favor to the humble and those who are afflicted and low in influence". Wow, so many lessons in Proverbs 3.
Now, today, we're offering you the book "Unshakeable Trust". And you know what? I'll just tell you, this is just a pretty book. And to be honest, I mean, I hope you read it, but even if not, this will make a good decoration in your house. This would just be a good coffee table book. People would say, "Wow, that's a nice looking book". But I believe that you'll get it in your house, and someday when you're having trouble, you're going to go, "Well, okay, let's see what's in here". "Unshakeable Trust: finding the joy of trusting God at all times in all things". And we're offering this to you today for your gift to the ministry of any amount.
You get to pray and make a decision, and you know what? I know that you're going to be very generous. And today, everything that you give is going to go toward our TV ministry. That means what you give today is going to help keep the TV program you're watching on the air, plus it's going to help us reach out in new areas where people don't know Jesus Christ. And through your offering, you get a great book that's going to help you in many different ways in your life. Thank you so much for joining us today. I hope that you received something amazing from the Word of God.