Joyce Meyer - You Are Never Alone
Well, thank you for joining us today on "Enjoying Everyday Life". I love to share the Word of God with people because it has changed my life and I know without a shadow of a doubt that it will also change your life. Today, I simply want to tell you that you are never alone. I want you to think about that. So many people in the world feel lonely or they feel alone. You can be in a large crowd of people and still feel alone. And a lot of people feel that no one understands them. Do you ever feel like that? Nobody really gets me. You know, first of all, we rarely understand ourselves so I don't know why we can expect anybody else to understand us.
But one of my favorite scriptures is in Hebrews 4 where it says that we have a high priest who understands our weaknesses and our infirmities. So when nobody else "gets you," Jesus gets you. He understands everything about you. And I think it's very important for us as Christians to learn that God is with us all the time. It's one of the most important messages in the Bible. And to even learn how to practice the presence of God and what that really means is to just take the time to realize that God is with you. And I think a big transition in my walk with God came when I realized that he wasn't just with me when I was doing, quote, "Spiritual things," unquote. But that he was with me when I was in the grocery store, when I was getting ready to go to work, when I was driving in traffic.
You know, to be honest, even when you get angry and do something you shouldn't do he doesn't run and hide. He stays right with you. And you know, a lot of times, I mean, we think we're gonna hide from God when we sin. And you know, this trying to hide from God when you sin has been around since the Garden of Eden. I mean, that's the first thing that Adam and Eve did when they sinned was they tried to go hide. But, first of all, you can never hide from God because he's everywhere all the time and he knows everything. He even knows the things that we're gonna do wrong before we do them. I don't know about you but I'm pretty glad right now that God does not reveal everything to me that he knows about me.
Lord Jesus, please just tell me a little bit at a time. Don't give it all to me at one time because I don't think that I could take it. And so when we do something wrong we should never shrink back in fear but we should always run to God, never run away from him. And maybe there's somebody watching right now that you feel like you've really failed God. But you know, I think it takes a lot of courage to face your failures and go back to God and be in relationship with him, asking him to use the things you did wrong to teach you how to be a better person in the future.
So if you're watching today and you feel like you failed God and so you've been hiding from him, guess what? He's trying to use this program today to say, "I know exactly where you're at so why don't you just come out of hiding and let's get this issue between us straightened out". God has never stopped loving you, not for one second, amen? And you're never alone. There are so many wonderful scriptures in the Bible that talk to us about the fact that we're never alone. So, we're gonna look at a few of them.
Joshua 1:9: "Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go". Wherever you go. You know, all over the Bible it says, "Fear not, fear not, fear not, fear not". And you know, the only real reason that I can ever find that God gives for not fearing is I am with you. And he doesn't really say too much else about it. He's, like, "Fear not for I am with you". So, if we know the character of God and we know that he's good and that he loves us and that he is a God of justice, then we don't always have to know what he's going to do about our problem. All we need to know is he's with us and since he always knows the perfect thing to do in every situation, we can trust him to do the right thing at the right time.
Matthew 28:20, again one of these things that Jesus said right before his ascension. I believe that the things that he said right at the end carry a special importance. If you only had 5 minutes left to tell your kids something, you would probably pick something that you thought was the most important for their life. So, he said, Matthew 28:20, "Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days of your life to the very end of the world I will be with you. I will never leave you nor forsake you".
A minister who had accomplished a great deal in his life for the Kingdom of God, had worked very hard and had written a lot of books and taught a lot of messages, was asked by a friend, "How have you been able to accomplish so much in your life"? And I love this answer. He said, "You have to remember that there are two of us doing the work". Isn't that awesome? So, when you learn to do life with God and not just think he's only for you in the church service on Sunday morning or maybe when you're reading your Bible or you're at prayer, remember the key message I wanna get across today is God's not just with you when you're doing something spiritual.
He doesn't live in the building we call the church. He lives in us. We're the home of God as believers. And so it's a pretty close commitment there: "I'll never leave you, I'll never forsake you. I'm with you always wherever you go, whatever you do. I'm with you. You can't hide from me. I know everything. I see your heart. I love you," amen?
I don't know about you but for me, when I learned this many, many, many years ago, it was like a complete turnaround for me in my walk with God to realize that he was with me when I was frustrated 'cause I couldn't get my hair to turn out right or when I went to the grocery store or when I was doing the laundry or when I was taking out the trash. Not just when I went to church or when I prayed. Because what was happening to me and I think it happens to so many people is I started feeling like that God was more pleased with me when I was doing, quote, "Spiritual things," unquote. But when I had a whole day where I had to just give myself to ordinary, everyday, boring stuff, then I didn't feel nearly as close to God or I didn't feel like that what I was doing was nearly as important.
But see, we have all aspects to our life. And I'm gonna be honest with you and some people may not like this statement but we're not even created to just sit around in a corner and do something spiritual 24 hours a day. You have emotions and you need to do things to minister to them, you need to have fun, you need to laugh, you need to have entertainment. You need to work, you need to have relationship with other people. And it's all part of a whole. God wants to do life with us and he's concerned about everything that concerns you. Everything that concerns you. There's nothing in your life that is so tiny and unimportant that God is not concerned about it.
See, Jesus didn't die, please understand this, so we could all have a religion. "Well, what religion are you?" I really don't like that question. Please ask me what kind of a relationship I have with God through Christ. Don't ask me about my religion because religion, if you look at it in the true sense of the way Jesus approached it, it was people who followed all the rules and regulations and the law and then felt they were better than everybody else because they did. But the message that Jesus came with is, "I wanna have a close intimate personal relationship with you," and you're gonna see in a few minutes that when he went away he said, "I'm gonna send you another friend. I'm gonna send you a comforter. I'm gonna send the Holy Spirit to represent me to act in my behalf. He has been with you but now he will be in you".
C'mon, how much closer can you get than that? But you know what? Because of the pressures of the world and the way any one day in life can be, it's pretty easy to lose sight of what I'm saying here today. It's pretty easy to start thinking you're alone and you gotta do it by yourself and nobody cares and nobody knows and, I have to remind myself. And sometimes, and I don't do this as often as I should, but sometimes I like to just stop and say, just stop for a minute and say, "God is with me right now. God is with me right now. He cares about everything that I'm doing". "Do all that's in your heart for I'm with you in all that you do". He's not just with you when you go to church. He's not just with you when you're watching "Joyce Meyer" on TV. He's not just with you when you're in prayer or in Bible study. But he's with you all the time. And you don't have to keep separating what you think is your sacred spiritual life from what you see as your secular life.
Now, obviously, some things are more beneficial to us. I mean, it might be more beneficial to me spiritually to pray than to sweep the floor but I still have to sweep the floor. I still have to go to the grocery store. I still have to drive in traffic. And I've found in my life that I was just trying to get all those things over with so I could get back to doing something spiritual because I felt better about myself when I was doing that and that's the place I had to come to. It wasn't really that God felt any better about me. C'mon, we need to get this. He didn't love me any more when I was in church than he did when I was sweeping the floor. He's with you all the time.
Now, my life just took a 180-degree turn, my spiritual life, when I started to get a hold of this. Because now, we can do life with God. He said, "I wanna be your friend. I wanna be involved in everything you do". Can I tell you something today? There is nothing that you cannot talk to God about. You can talk to him about anything. How many of you have a friend, and this is hard to find in today's world, but how many of you have a friend and I'm talking about a human friend that you feel like that you can talk to absolutely anything to them. You can talk to them about anything and they won't judge you, they won't criticize you, they won't stop being your friend?
How many of you feel like you have a friend like that? Well, that's a lot of you. But I can tell you what, the world is full of people watching right now that you don't have a friend like that. Maybe you've been betrayed by somebody you trusted. Maybe you've been abandoned by somebody you trusted. You've been hurt by somebody you trusted. But let me tell you something, Jesus is not a friend like that. He's a friend that will never leave you nor forsake you. And even when you're at your worst, he still stays with you and wants to help you get through it and be all that God wants you to be.
Genesis 28:15: "And behold, I am with you and I will keep (watch over you with care, I will take notice of) you wherever you may go," wherever you may go, "And I will bring you back to this land: for I will not leave you until I have done all of which I have told you". Isn't that good? All right, you know, when you're having trials and tribulations and trouble and you're hurting, you're sick, you've had a tragedy, your kids are in trouble, you're not alone.
See, it's easy to feel God's presence when everything's good in life. But what about those times when you don't feel God? When you don't feel like he's listening to you? When you've prayed about the same thing for 20 years and you don't understand why God's not answering your prayers but then maybe somebody you know that just got saved, praying the same thing you are, and God answered their prayer and did what you want him to do for you right away. It's, like, "really"? But what about those times?
See, that's when we need to realize that no matter what kind of trouble we're having in our life, no matter how we feel emotionally, no matter what we think, God is still with us. And he does care. And if God's not doing what you ask him to do, there's a reason. There's a reason. And I'll tell you one thing and this is a hard lesson for people to learn. I can tell you right now, some of you watching, there are things that you are begging God to do for you but you may learn someday to thank him that he didn't do it because it may be the last thing in the world you really need. And only God knows that. And so we need to learn that when we ask God to do something, he doesn't do it, he's never holding out on us. There's just something better that he wants us to ask for and we're not smart enough yet to know how to do that. So, we trust his timing in our life.
Isaiah 43:2: "When you pass through the waters, I'll be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you". You're hurting, you feel like your heart's broken, your emotions have gone completely haywire.
Psalm 34:18: "The Lord is close to those who are of a broken heart and he saves such as are crushed with sorrow for sin and are humbly and thoroughly penitent".
Let's look at an example in the Bible of three young men called Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Now, these were three young men who were friends of Daniel's and they were working for a king who had made a command. He'd signed a command that nobody could bow down to any God now except him. He had decided he was God and if you bowed down to anybody other than me, then there's gonna be big trouble. And the trouble was gonna be that they would be put in this huge burning, fiery furnace and we all know that nobody survives in a fiery furnace. So these three young men refused to bow down. So I like to look at the fact that they made the right choice and yet it still didn't seem that their right choice paid off because, sure enough, they got put in the fiery furnace. And not only did they get put in the fiery furnace, the king was so mad at their display of faith that he turned the fire up seven times hotter than it would normally be.
So, how do you like that? When you do the right thing, you've made the right choice, you have sacrificed to do the right thing, but it seems like your troubles just multiply and get more and more and more. Well, that's a test of faith, isn't it, to say the least? Verse 23: "And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the burning fiery furnace". Now, everybody say, "Bound". All right, in this instance, I guess their hands and feet were tied but I think a lot of times we have a lot of bondages in our life that we're never gonna get loose from except in the fiery furnace of life, amen? See, we want God to just magically make everything go away and, you know, just like, we'll take the Israelites for example. They spent 40 years making an 11-day journey. And the Bible says that there was a shorter route that God could have taken them but he purposefully took them the long hard way because they were not yet ready for war.
There's a great lesson in that that's a whole 'nother message so I'd best not get into it too deep but the point was, was they wanted to go in and possess the land but to possess, if you study the word, means that you first have to dispossess the current occupants. So God knew for them to possess the Promised Land they were gonna have to do war with the people that already were living there and they were not ready for that. So, God could not take them the short route. He had to take them the long hard route because it was in those difficulties of life that they learned how to trust God. Can I tell you something? We don't trust God just because we're invited to. We trust God because we have to.
Now, eventually, you get to the point where you know that trusting God is the best way and you're delighted to do that, but in the beginning, we try everything. We ask everybody we know what we should do. We try everything we know to do. "Well, God, I've done everything I know to do. I guess I'll just have to trust you". Gee, what a revelation. How many of you understand that? So, you see, they went into the burning fiery furnace, bound. "Then Nebuchadnezzar the king saw and was astounded, and he jumped up and said to his counselors, did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? And they said, 'that's true, o king'. And he said, 'well, I see four men loose,'" not bound anymore, c'mon.
So in the fiery furnace, their bondages fell off, "And he said, 'they're not hurt! And I see the form of a fourth man in the fiery furnace who is like a son of the Gods'"! So, guess what? They were not alone even in the burning fiery furnace. Jesus was right in there with them in the midst of their trouble. And he was using that trouble to break the bondages off of their life. So, the very thing the enemy thought was gonna defeat them ended up being the thing that set them free. What Satan means for harm God intends for our good. I don't know how you guys can be so quiet today. I think somebody has to shout. And so then, verse 27 says: "And all the leaders saw these men, that the fire had no power upon their bodies, nor was the hair of their head singed: neither were their garments scorched or changed in color or condition," and I love this part, "And not even the smell of smoke had clung to them".
So, in other words, you can go through very difficult things and you can come out on the other side and a few years later you can tell your story, you can tell your testimony and people are gonna say, "That's really hard to believe that you ever had those kind of problems in your life. It's really hard to believe that you ever went through that. Oh, c'mon, it's really hard to believe that you used to be that hard to get along with and now you are so sweet". That's what I'm waiting to hear. "You are so sweet. And it's just hard to believe that you used to be so hard to get along with". Jesus said, "I'm gonna send you another comforter".
I wanna take these last couple of minutes and just tell you what a wonderful friend you have in the Holy Spirit. He's the Comforter, the Counselor, the Helper. The Holy Spirit has the ministry of helps. The intercessor. He not only prays for us, but he prays through us and shows us how to pray when we don't know how to pray. The advocate, the strengthener, and the standby. I love what the Amplified translation says, that he's the standby. You know, if you've got a flight that you don't like or you haven't been able to get a flight, there's something called "Standby" at the airport and that just means you can just kind of hang out there and see if something opens up and you can get that flight. Well, Jesus is our standby. He's just kind of hanging out. All day, the Holy Spirit's just kind of hanging out waiting to see if we're gonna let him into our life. I'm here if you need help.
But here's the thing you gotta realize: "You have not because you ask not". So, I wanna encourage you to start asking God to help you more than you ever have before. And especially in little ordinary everyday things that you normally wouldn't think God would wanna mess with. "Help me drive in this traffic today". "Grant me favor when I go out shopping". "Let me see you do things for me that I know only you could do". C'mon, your relationship with God can get so exciting if you let him into every area of your life. I mean, I'm gonna tell you the truth. It won't be nearly as exciting as it could be if you only just relegate your relationship with God to the church and prayer and Bible study. I mean, it just won't.
You know why? Because most of your life is not done there. Most of life is Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, oop, Sunday we go to church but now it's Monday again. Are you with me? Drive in the traffic, change the diapers, take out the trash, cook the food, clean the house, watch your kids get it dirty, clean the house again. I mean, you know, even in cooking a meal, my gosh, how hard does a woman work to cook a meal and people gobble it up in 10 or 15 minutes and they run off and you got the mess. So, most of life is just everyday ordinary life. And, boy, if we can't come to the point where we know that he's with us all the time, man, it's just gonna be miserable.
So, Jesus said, "I'm telling you nothing but the truth when I say it's gonna be very good for you if I go away". How could anything be better than having Jesus right there in person? He said, "No, you're gonna be better off if I go away because I'm gonna send you a new friend. I'm gonna send you the Holy Spirit". You know why that was so much better? Because Jesus could only be in one place at one time. But the Holy Spirit can be everywhere all the time with everybody, everywhere in the world, and he's with you right now. No matter where you're at or what you're doing, no matter how far you think you are away from God, no matter how bad you think you've been, or how deep of a pit you feel like you're in, you can ask God right now to help you and he wants to do that. He loves you and you're never alone.
Now, I want you to know more about the wonderful Holy Spirit and I personally don't think he gets the attention that he should. And so, today, we're offering you four teachings on the Holy Spirit, the ministry of the Holy Spirit, the wonderful things that he wants to do in your life. And we're offering this series of teachings to you today for your gift of any amount to the ministry. We like to do that once in a while, just to make the resources we have available to everybody. That way, whether you can only give a little or you can give a lot, you can still get these and I always just encourage people if you're a little better off financially why don't you send in something a little extra just to kind of help make up for the people who maybe can't send in as much? So, I wanna encourage you to do everything that you can to get to know the Holy Spirit and don't miss out on this close fellowship that he longs to have with you. God bless you. Have a wonderful day.