Joyce Meyer - Why Do I Continue To Suffer?
In Isaiah 61, verses 1 through 3, there are scriptures that carried me through many of the first years of, I might say, my very confusing walk with God. Because very often we think, "Well, you know, I've got Christ now. I'm going to church. Everything should start turning around in our lives." But it doesn't always happen just that way.
I was in a large denomination and I took instructions in the church. And I joined the church and interestingly enough, not much got better in my life.
Now, I did have some knowledge inside of me of Christ as my Savior and I heard a good foundational message about grace. I understood grace. I understood the doctrinal things that we need to understand. I heard good teaching about Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Blood of Christ, the death and resurrection of Christ, but what to do with my everyday life, I did not know at all.
And God touched my life in a real powerful way and he gave me a real hunger for His Word, and I began to study the word. And I began to realize that I had many, many, many problems in my soul that were left over from the abuse in my childhood.
You see, very often if we're in a circumstance that's hurting us or maybe as a child you grew up in a situation where you were being hurt. Maybe you weren't given love and attention. Maybe you had a lot of verbal abuse, some angry person telling you you're no good all the time, or always finding fault with you and saying critical things to you. "You'll never amount to anything. Why can't you be like your brother? Why can't you be like your sister?"
Whatever it is that angry people say. Or maybe you were sexually abused like I was, by your dad, your mom, somebody else in the family, a neighbor. Maybe it was one or two times or maybe it was many years like what I went through. Maybe you were physically abused. I know people that were locked in closets, denied food, beaten unmercifully because they had mentally ill parents or angry parents.
It's amazing the horrible things that people do to other people, but one thing that has really helped me is to remember that hurting people hurt people. Hurting people hurt people.
I don't think there's very many people who just get up every day and think, "Well, I'm just gonna see how many people I can make miserable today." I really think that people, many times, are acting out of their own pain.
And what satan wants, of course, is for someone to hurt us and then for us to be angry, and bitter, and resentful, have a chip on our shoulder, spend our life feeling sorry for ourself, get into all kinds of addictive behaviors, and then spend our lives hating somebody else and hurting somebody else so they can then turn around and do the same thing.
And then there it goes from generation to generation to generation. But I'm here to announce good news to you tonight that if you've been hurt in the past, it does not have to go beyond you to anyone else.
You have the privilege of speaking the name of Jesus and believing in the power of God to not only completely heal you and make you just as if it never happened to you, but to never let it go on to anybody else in your generation, and that is wonderful, good news, amen? Give God a big praise.
In those early years, I needed so desperately to believe the promises of god as I was trying to study this and walk it out in my life. I'm not gonna tell you that if you've been hurt really bad and you've got a big mess in your soul, your mind is messed up, your emotions are messed up, you don't know how to make right decisions, maybe you want to be in control of everything or maybe you've become real passive and you don't want to make any real choices.
You just kind of float through life and wait to see what's gonna happen day after day. It's gonna take some time, and some diligence, and some study, and some prayer to walk out this healing that is yours by virtue of the blood of Christ.
What we have legally as a gift from God, we have to learn how to apply experientially in our everyday life. And sometimes people get confused because they say, "But you said Jesus set me free, well, then why am I not free? You said I'm healed by the stripes of Jesus, so why am I still in a mess? You said that He would give me beauty for ashes, but why is my life still falling apart?" Because all of those things do belong to every one of us.
Every person watching by TV, you've ever been hurt, anybody's ever abused you, misused you, you've been abandoned, you've been betrayed, you've had peers in our life make fun of you, you've been rejected, whatever it is, and you're emotionally wounded right now. You're what I would term the good news is is Jesus has already set you free. He has already set you free.
Now, part of my job as a teacher in the Body of Christ is to teach you how to walk out of those prisons that already have open doors, to teach you to see what's yours and to believe it enough to reach out and begin to put it into action in your life. It's a wonderful journey, absolutely amazing, wonderful journey.
How many of you think you understood what I just said, at least to some degree? Okay, and it helps to understand that because then you're not wondering, "Well, if I'm saved, what's wrong with me?"
Well, you know, you can be saved, but maybe you haven't renewed your mind yet. I was saved, but I mean my mind was a garbage pit. I didn't know how to think right. I was critical, and judgmental, and suspicious, and angry, and many of my thoughts were dark, and lonely.
And I didn't know that every time I read this, I was learning how to think different. If we know how valuable this is, we'll spend a lot more time in it than just a few seconds a day, maybe on a good day, amen?
My emotions were a mess. I didn't know how to get along with people. I was a nightmare in relationships and my will was messed up. I went from one extreme to the other. I either had to be in control or if I got around somebody stronger than me, then they would control me.
So, I would bounce back and forth from being controlled to being in control and being controlled to being in control, and that's not the way that God wants us to live.
And I'm kind of giving you a little picture of some of the problems that I had because I want you to know that even though I was saved and going to heaven, I was miserable because I needed healing in my soul.