Joyce Meyer - Press Past the Pain of Feelings
So, we're talking about pressing in to new beginnings and that in order to do that, you have to always be willing to let go of what lies behind. How many of you have had something in your life that you put a lot of yourself into and it just didn't work out? Well, you gotta be very careful that you don't just get stuck at the things that didn't work and let them get you to thinking that you're just a failure and that it's all over because I'll tell you something, God is never without a plan. You may not know what the plan is, but God knows what the plan is. Now, in the book of Samuel, there's Samuel 1 and 2. We read about king Saul.
Now, first of all, God never wanted the people to have a king. He wanted to be their king. But the people insisted on having a king, so he anointed a man named Saul to become king. And the Bible says that, "When the spirit came on Saul, he was turned into another man". And that's what happens, man, when the Holy Spirit comes on you, whatever you were before, you can kiss goodbye because he's gonna turn you into a brand-new, sharp, threshing instrument. Do you realize that we have world-changers sitting in this room today? I'm telling you, when God gets hold of you, then it's all over but the shouting for the devil because if you really stick with God and do what he leads you to do, I mean, you just have no idea what you can accomplish and what you can do.
I mean, I'm from a place called, Fenton, Missouri. Now, I've got a lot of degrees, honorary degrees, and you know, things that I've been given and I appreciate all of them, but I have a 12th grade education. And so, let's just say, for all intent and purposes, I'm not especially brainy smarts. But I love God, and I've got a lot of common sense, and... So, I'm not educated to do what I'm doing. I never went to Bible college. I don't feel like I gotta have some kind of a fancy title in front of my name. I started out Joyce, I'm still Joyce. I was a mess and God got hold of me and he changed my life through his word, and he called me to share his word with people.
And today, the message you're gonna hear this weekend will be heard around the world in over 100 different languages. And I almost failed English. I didn't care if it was a noun, or a pronoun, or a verb, or what it was I just wanted to talk. And, so now, people think I speak all these languages and I'm still working on English. I'm trying to get a point across that really, to be honest, it's God that makes you special and you don't have to have a bunch of special stuff going for you for God to use you. All you have to be is available. "Here I am God, use me, send me". But, you can't be stuck somewhere mourning over every mistake that you've made.
You can't have a victim mentality, "My parents didn't treat me right," "I didn't get the right education," "I didn't get a chance to go to college," "I didn't this..." "I didn't that..." "I didn't something else". It doesn't matter what you don't have if you do have Jesus in your life. You understand that? If you have Jesus, if you have a great personal relationship with Jesus, you have got all that you need to do something great. I said, "Great," something great with your life. So, God anointed Saul to become king. And Saul was partially obedient, but he wasn't completely obedient. He did most of what God told him to but a little bit of what he wanted to. And he did this over and over until God finally said, "You're not gonna be king". He lost his opportunity because of disobedience.
Well, the prophet Samuel had put a great deal of time into Saul and he loved him, and I'm sure he had prayed for him and worked with him. And so, when Saul lost the opportunity to be king, Samuel was grieving. You know, when we have loss in our life, we grieve over those losses. And it's right to do so, but you have to be very careful that you don't let a spirit of grief get on your life and keep it the rest of your life because if you do, it will keep you from letting go of what lies behind and pressing on to the things that are ahead.
I remember a story a woman told me, a friend of mine, her teenage son got cancer and they did everything, everybody prayed. They did all the treatments and he still passed away. And so, naturally, she was grieving and hurting. And she said, one day she was in her basement doing her laundry, and she said, "I could just feel like the spirit of grief just trying to wrap itself around me". And she said, "I grabbed a piece of clothes and threw it around me and said, 'this is my garment of praise and I'm not gonna live in grief.'", and she just started dancing around her basement with that piece of clothes wrapped around her.
You know, you got to let the devil know that no matter what he's been able to do to you in the past, and no matter what he's taken or stolen, that you are gonna put your faith in God and God is gonna give it back to you not one time, but double what the enemy took. And when you've had some mourning and some grief in your life, oh, it's so sweet when the joy comes. Do you know, that we couldn't even know joy if we didn't know sadness? One time, I went with my daughter to a SPA to get a facial, and somehow, or another I got home and didn't have my wedding ring. And called the SPA, they didn't have it, nobody'd seen it.
And so, I just figured that I must have left it on the counter, on the sink and somebody took it. And so, it really hurt me that I had lost it, you know, it meant a lot to me. And so, there was a grieving period of time. And then, I finally, just said, "Well, Lord, it's just a thing. And I could live without the thing". And so, went on about my business, two or three months went by, my daughter called me one day, the one that had been with me at the SPA, and she said, "Guess what I found"? And, I said, "What"? She said, "I found your ring, it was in my purse". And I'm thinking, "Why would it be in your purse"? Well, then, we realized, the purse she had, belonged to me at one time and I had given it to her.
So, when I took my ring off, I just looked at the purse, thinking it was mine, put it in her purse. She went home, took the stuff out of it and never used it again, for months. And then when she got, well, I was so overjoyed that I found my ring. Well, here's the thing. I would have never had the experience of that joy, had I not had the loss. And, I want to tell you something. I want you to get this and believe it today. Some of you have had some terrible loss in your life. You've endured tragedies, injustice, things have happened to you that are not right, that are not fair, and it's been hard, but ooooh, oh, come on now, you know where I'm going. Oooh... I'll tell you what, if you won't have a bitter attitude, and you won't take on a victim mentality, and you'll go ahead and love God and be obedient to him, and continue to try to help people, oooh, your reward is gonna come, and you are gonna be so overjoyed.
So, don't look at what you've lost, look at what can happen in your future. You know, Martha said to Jesus, her brother Lazarus had died and she said, "Jesus, Lazarus has died. If you would have been here, he wouldn't have died". And Jesus said, "He will rise again". Martha was looking at what had happened, Jesus was looking at what could happen. Come on, which do you want to do today? Keep staring at everything that has happened, or do you want to get excited about what God can do in your life. But... You gotta hear all of it, or it won't work. You cannot have a bad attitude and also have the great life that God wants to give you.
Now, either people have hurt you or maybe you've done some things that have made you sad. And if people have hurt, you the number one thing that God requires is that you forgive 'em, and the really painful part, bless them. Ugh! Ugh, my goodness. Let's read it, Luke 6 beginning in verse 27. "But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you".
Now, I'm not making this up. It's like, "You gotta be kidding, God. Bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak don't withhold your tunic. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back". Oohkay. "And as you wish that others would do to you, you do also unto them". My goodness, what if the whole world lived by that? Treat other people the way you would like to be treated.
Now, I'mma take the time to read this because we just need to hear it. "If you love those who love you, what benefit is that? For even sinners can love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive something back, what credit is that? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend expecting nothing in return," heh.
Come on, you know what we do when somebody that we've been good to mistreats us? "After all I've done for you...", but, if I'm reading that right, it says, "No, no, no, no no. You don't do stuff for people expecting them to do something back for you. You do it unto God and you expect your reward to come from God". You may not get rewarded from the person that you were good to. They may be the very people that take advantage of you and hurt you. But, if you keep a good attitude and just do what God's asking you to do, there is no devil in hell that can keep you from being blessed. Amen? Do ya'll agree with me way up there? How about all the way up in the back, way up there? You agree with me? Make some noise.
"But, Joyce, that's so hard". You know what? That's an excuse we have to stop using. You know why? Because we're anointed for hard. We don't need the Holy Ghost to do easy stuff. But there is nothing that we can't do that God wants us to do, if we will learn how to depend on God and not depend on ourselves and our own strength to pull it off. I'm saying there is nothing that you can't do. God will never allow more to come on you than what you can bear. You may think right now, you're in over your head and you just, "I just can't do this. I can't make it. I'm not gonna make it". Well, yes, you will. Because there's been all kinds of things that I thought I'd never get through and I'm still here.
And, how many of you can say the same thing? You've gone through things that were so hard, you didn't think you'd make it but you're still here. "And your reward will be great". Whoo! All these things I've read, he says, "And if you do them your reward..." come on, some of you, right now, you're in the sowing stage of your life. Some of you're in harvest, but you didn't come to harvest without digging up the fallow ground, and planting the seed, and waiting, and going through hard times. Maybe you had a few crops that failed, but you just kept planting, and you kept planting, and you kept planting. Now, you're in a season of reward. And those of you that are sowing and life is hard right now, just keep doing what's right.
Saul would have remained king if he would have just kept doing what God asked him to do. But no, he had to have a little bit of his own will in there. "Well, I almost did everything you told me to". "Your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High". Why should we do all this? "For he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. So be merciful, even as your father is merciful".
I'mma tell this story just as quick as I can possibly tell it, but I don't see how I cannot tell it. All though, you've probably heard it. My father sexually abused, me my mother knew it, but she was too afraid of my dad to deal with it. Reached out to other relatives, nobody wanted to get involved. You know, back when this was happening to me, nobody heard of such a thing. A girl's own father doing that to her? I mean, you never heard it, you know, you just didn't hear it. And that was one of the reasons why my mother never took any action to do anything about it. She said, "I just couldn't face the scandal".
Well, I'll be honest with you, in many ways, it was harder for me to get over my mother not protecting me than it was what my father did to me. And I still can't wrap my head around that one, how you can do that. But, God gave me the grace to be able to forgive both of them. And one of the things that helped me so much was when he told me, "Hurting people, hurt people". So, you know, my dad wasn't raised right either, and there was incest way back in his family, and on, and on, and on. You know, once I got away from them, I preferred to just stay as far away as I could and see them only when I absolutely had to.
Now, I officially, forgave them. You understand? As a, "Christian," I forgave them. You know, we pray our official, "I forgive you, prayer". But, I didn't want anything to do with 'em. I didn't want to be around 'em. And so, as they started getting older and older and needed more and more help, one morning I was praying, asking God, "What's your will for my life"? You better be careful when you pray that. And God started putting it on my heart that he wanted me to move my parents from where they lived in southeast, Missouri to St. Louis where I live, buy them a house because they didn't have any money, and take care of them until they died.
Oh, "I rebuke you, satan, in Jesus' name". Yeah, and some of you are tryin' to rebuke the devil, and it's not the devil. Just because it's hard that doesn't mean it's the devil. Anyway, long, long, long story short, I tell it often, but it's just such a great example. I don't know how but God gave me the grace to do what he asked me to do. And the thing is, I can tell ya, I think as far as power against the devil and power with God, I think that's probably the greatest thing that God has ever given me the ability to do.
When you can find the grace of God to love somebody who's done that to you and to spend your money on them and to take care of them and to do it for a long period of time, now, that takes a lot of God. But if you do what God tells you to do, your reward will be exceedingly great. Come on, I'm tryin' to push a few people over the edge today. Come on, let's stop with the part-time obedience. How many of you think there's power in the name of Jesus? Well, guess what? I didn't get Dave's name while we were dating. It wasn't until I said the, "I do, till death do us part", then, I got his name.
You know, a lot of good stuff happened. I didn't have any money when I married Dave, and he had a little money, and once I said, "I do," I had money. I didn't have a car. Dave had a car. Soon as I said, "I do," I had a car. But I didn't get that while we were dating. Come on, if you're just dating Jesus, come on, you gotta sign on the dotted line. "I do. And I don't even know what I'm saying yes to, but God, the answer is yes". Why? "Because I trust you enough to know that whatever you want me to do whether, I like it or not, no matter how hard it is, it will be the best thing for me".
Everyday, you can have a brand-new start. I want to read you lamentations 3:17-25. This is actually so good. "My soul is bereft of peace: I have forgotten what happiness is: so I say, 'my endurance has perished: and so has my hope from the Lord'". Well, everything I've been saying you can see it right in here. "My endurance has perished. I feel weak. I'm gonna give up, I just don't think I can do it anymore and it's because my hope is gone". And hope is a positive expectation that something good is going to happen to you at any minute.
When you think like that it keeps you strong. Every morning when you get up, or even before you get up, whisper to yourself, "Something good is gonna happen to me today. Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me". So, he's saying, "I keep remembering all the bad things that have happened and my soul is just heavy, it's bowed down within me". But now, watch this transition, "But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope," you can call things into your mind and you can tell things to get out of your mind. "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases: his mercies never come to an end: they are new every morning: great is your faithfulness. 'the Lord is my portion,' says my soul, 'therefore I will hope and him.' the Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him".
So, as long as Jeremiah kept thinking about his losses, he just kept getting in a worse, and a worse, and a worse condition. But as soon as he decided to call to mind the good things in his life, all of a sudden, everything started changing. God's mercies are new every day. And you know what else God promises us? Nothing in our life, not even the dumbest thing we've ever done, will be wasted if we give it to him. I mean, I can honestly tell you, when God started with me, I didn't have anything, but everywhere you looked it was a mess. My mind was a mess, the way I talked, the way I felt about myself, how I treated other people, I mean, everything was just a mess. I was selfish, self-centered, rebellious. I mean, it was awful. I don't know how in the world, or why God would have chosen to use me.
About the only thing I had going for me, was I really did love God. I didn't know much about him, but what I did know, I loved. And I wanted to have a relationship with God, from the time I was a little girl. Even when I was married to my first husband, who was very abusive too, not physically, but he ran around with other women all the time, wouldn't work and was always stealing what little bit I did have. And I woke up one night and caught him trying to get my wedding ring off my finger. He'd go sell it, and it probably wasn't worth ten cents anyway. I mean, I had a lot of pain going on in my life. I had a lot of things, a lot of messes in my life, a lot of hurt, bad attitude. I mean, I want you to understand that when I look at what God's done in my life, I am passionate about what God can do in yours. I mean, I really do believe that with God all things are possible, amen?
I just dare you to turn yourself over to God. Stop trying to get God to give you what you want, and tell God you want what he wants. I'm gonna have to say that again. Stop trying to get God to give you what you want, and tell him to give you what he wants. "God, your will be done in my life. I'm just saying, 'yes,' to whatever you want, and I don't even know what it is".
Now, you're making a commitment. See, a lot of people today, don't want to get married, they just want to live together. You know why? They don't want to make a commitment. They want to have an easy-out if things don't go right. Well, we need to get committed. We need to be faithful, we need to be loyal, we need to endure difficulties and come out on the other side joyful. None of the junk that I went through in my life has been wasted. You've heard me today, use lots of it to encourage you. Nothing in your life will be wasted if you'll give it to God.
Now, let's talk about emotions for a few minutes. Anybody up for that? I got 25 minutes left to tell you about your feelings. First of all, let's talk about the nature of feelings and emotions. By the way, we'll just take a praise break, 823 people gave their life to the Lord last night. Praise break, whoo! 823 new babies to train up. First of all, feelings are fickle. They're ever-changing. You cannot depend on them. They're there when you don't want 'em and gone when you do want 'em. Amen? Don't let your emotions vote when you're making decisions. Especially, important decisions. Don't go get married on a goosebump, 'cause they will go away. Oh, I can say some stuff, but I won't. Emotions can't be trusted. You can't make your decisions based on how you feel, you gotta look beyond that to, what does the Word of God say?
Learn to talk back to the devil. When he tells you, "Nobody loves you," open your mouth and say, "God loves me". When the devil says, "You're never gonna get over this, your life is ruined now," say, "Liar! God's gonna take this, and he's gonna do something great with it". Why? Because he works all things together. He can take anything and make good out of it. We have to learn to do what's right when it still feels wrong. As far as I'm concerned, that's one of the best statements Gods ever given me. If we keep waiting for everything to feel right, before we do right, the enemy's always gonna be in control. Bad feelings come when we don't want 'em, and good ones leave when we do want 'em. You know, you gotta learn to press past the pain of feelings.
"You hurt my feelings". "I feel offended". "I feel... I feel..." we've all been hurt. There's not a person in here that hasn't been hurt by somebody. And more than likely, will be again. I'm not trying to just prophesy doom and gloom, but if you're gonna deal with people, you know, we don't know what to do with 'em and we can't seem to do without 'em. There are absolutely, everywhere you go. Someone or something has hurt all of us: abuse, rejection, abandonment, betrayal, disappointment, judgement, criticism. We all have to start making right choices while we are still hurting.
And so, you may be here today, and you may be wounded, and you're hurting, and you just wanted me to preach some nice message about, I don't know, something that would comfort you and just make you feel warm and fuzzy all over. And here I am telling you, "No matter how you feel, do what's right. While you're hurting, do what's right". I'm telling you that because I know by the Word of God and by experience, that if you ever want to get over... Right. Come on, somebody agreed. I got you. How many of you have gone through some terrible stuff in your life and you now have victory? Well, look at you, awesome. We have to start making right choices while we are still hurting, mmm. It doesn't feel good now, but oh, later on.
Hebrews 12:11 says, "For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later..." does anybody in here, care anything about later? 'cause you know, later will come. And, you know, you're 20 now... I love what the Psalmist said, "Once I was young and now I'm old". And I thought, "Yep, happens to everybody". No matter how young you are now, later on is gonna come and listen to me, later on you're gonna have to reap the seeds that you sow now. So today, is the day for a turnaround. Today is the day to make a decision. And, if it feels like it's gonna rip your flesh apart, do what God is asking you to do. If you're in some kind of a wrong, ridiculous relationship that you know is wrong for you, get out of it. And, I'm not talking about walking away from a marriage.
So, don't go home and say, "I'm leaving you 'cause Joyce told me to". That is not what I'm talking about. I mean, there are people in here today, you are Romantically involved with other people that you know are poison in your life. Come on, don't slink down under your seat. "Well, I'm just trusting God to change him". Oh, honey. I'm not saying it can't happen, but you might want to see a little bit of evidence before you... You know, just even a little bit of evidence. We make up all kinds of excuses, tell our self all kinds of things so we can do what we want to do. Don't do things that you know are poisoning you. You've only got one life to live and you have to make right choices for yourself. Does anybody need to hear this today? If you're the only person you know, who's doing what's right, you keep doing what's right, and you'll be the only one who will end up happy later on.
Now, change is painful. I'm not gonna tell you that it's not. Doing the right thing when you're hurting is painful. I'm not gonna tell you that it's not. But I am gonna tell you that you only have three choices and here they are: press past the pain now. Just go ahead and say, "God whatever it takes, I want to do this and get it over with". Press past the pain later and be miserable until then. Or, you can have a third choice, keep the pain forever. Okay, you know what helped me to press through the pain? Oh, my gosh, it was so hard for me to learn how to have a decent attitude. You don't know what a wrestling match I had with self-pity. I mean, I just felt sorry for myself because I'd been abused. And who wouldn't feel sorry for themselves if they had the stuff happen to 'em that I had happen to me? But see, what I was doing, was I was using what had happened to me as an excuse for bad behavior.
Come on now, I'm talking to somebody. And I kinda had this, "Everybody owes me something, mentality". Well, I was due something, but only God could pay me back. And see, that's the thing you gotta realize. If somebody stole something from you, they stole your childhood, they stole your joy, they stole something that should have been yours, don't try to get them to pay you back. They have no ability to pay you back. Go to God and ask him to pay you back. I mean, I just felt so sorry for myself. And you've heard me say it, God said to me, "You can be pitiful or you can be powerful, but you can't be both".
There's always choices. Do you want to be a victim or do you want to have the victory? You want to sit around and feel sorry for yourself day after day and just keep looking at all the things that happened to poor ole you? Or, do you wanna give all that mess to God and say, "Now let's just... Come on, I want to really see you show out in my life". But that promise of reward kept me going. When I was going through the hard times of trying to get over the abuse that I went through, man, I hung onto Isaiah 61: 7 and 8, "Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion: instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot: therefore in their land", I love that part. You don't even have to wait till you die and go to heaven. God'll start blessing you right now while you're alive. "In their land they shall possess a double portion". Double, double for your trouble. "And everlasting joy shall be theirs". Why? "For I the Lord love justice: I hate robbery and wrong".
God hates it when people mistreat you, and he hates it when you mistreat other people. "And I will faithfully give them their recompense," which means reward. How many of you are looking forward to the reward? See, when you're hurting that's what you got to remind yourself of. "This is not right, it's not fair. It is so hard, but God help me act right and I know that I will have a reward on the other end". Are you with me? But see, it's so hard to not just act the way you feel. God help us. Help us be nice to people that aren't nice to us. If you hold unforgiveness toward people, you are doing nothing but hurting yourself. You're not getting them back.
Hebrews 11:6, "God is the rewarder of those who diligently seek him". Guess what? You chose to take your Saturday and be here. Come on now. And you're gonna hear some stuff and are hearing some stuff that's gonna keep you out of trouble next week. Come on. Has anybody, since you been here last night and this morning, and I'm not just trying to get you to make me feel good, I want truthful answers. How many of you have made some kind of a decision because of something that you've heard that you know is gonna be life-changing for you? Well, then it's worth every bit of effort that I put into this to come here.
Now, you've made the decision, now, you gotta go home and follow through when there's no pretty music and no lights and the party's over. Abraham was presented with a very hard choice and an opportunity for a reward. And, I think this comes to us all the time. I think more than we realize, we're being presented with choices, choices, choices. God said, "I set before you life and death, good and evil, choose. Choose life that you and your descendants may live". Why did God give us a choice? Because he doesn't want robots. He doesn't want people that have no choice but to love him. He wants us to love him because we want to. He wants us to say yes to him, but that requires saying no to other things.
And I love this story that I'm going to relate to you out of the Bible, I get so many different messages out of this but in Genesis 11:31, twelve through two. Abraham was not the first man that got offered an opportunity to go to the land of Canaan and do something great. "Terah," who was Abraham's father, "Took Abram his son and lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, and his son Abram's wife, and they went forth together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the Land of Canaan".
Okay, so, they started out to do something. But, when they came to Haran, they settled there. How many people start out for the best and they settle somewhere along the way 'cause it gets too hard? I'm not doing that. If there's any blessing to be had, I'm going for it. Amen? They settled in Haran. I'm asking you not to settle. Why did they not go all the way? I don't know, the journey got hard. They got tired. Maybe the devil was tellin' 'em, "You're never gonna get there. This is taking too long".
For some reason, they made a choice and they settled. And I want you to look at this. This amazes me. "And the days of Terah were 205 years, and Terah died in Haran". So, where he settled, was where he died. And can I tell you this? If you settle for less than what God's best is for you, you may not fall over physically dead, but there will be a type of death that will come to your soul because you will know that you are living less than the large life that God has for you. Come on. Don't settle. Don't settle.