Joyce Meyer - Calm Down and Cheer Up - Part 1
Well, thank you so much for joining me today. I really believe that today's message is going to help you. I want to start by asking a question: are any of you, that are watching, right now, upset about anything? Is there anybody watching today that needs to calm down? You know, I love the word "Calm". Just saying that word makes me feel better. And so, today, I'm gonna be teaching on calming down. There's a second part to this message called, "Cheering up". I won't get to that part today, but we're going to be on this for a couple days, at least, maybe three, we'll just see how far we get.
You know, peace is one of the most wonderful things in the world. And you can have peace but you have to have it on purpose. Because the devil is always trying to take it away from us. I say, "He sets us up to get us upset". He knows our weak areas and he tries to make sure that we experience them enough that we end up getting emotionally upset and distraught. Couple of quotes that I thought were really good. One by Josiah holland, "Calmness is the cradle of power". So really, the calmer you stay the more powerful you are. And then, Brian Tracy said, "Set peace of mind as your highest goal, and then, organize your life around it".
Now, just think about that. If my goal is to stay in peace, then I have to change the way I do some things and be adaptable and adjustable in my life to keep that peace. And I lived a lot of years without peace. Actually, I remember a time in my life when I didn't even know what peace was because I grew up in a house of turmoil. And I honestly, really, didn't know what it felt like. But as you'll hear me share later, my husband was a great example to me. And I became very hungry for peace, but I found out that I couldn't get peace just by praying, "Oh God, give me peace". Because you see the truth is, Jesus said, "My peace I leave with you. Not as the world gives do I give unto you: but my [own] special peace, I give and bequeath unto you". Then the Amplified Bible says, "So stop allowing yourselves to be upset and disturbed".
So, I have a responsibility, you have a responsibility, we can't just pray for peace to come on us. Of course, we can pray about it and should be praying about it, but we still have to watch for the things in our life, and when you start to feel yourself getting upset, that's the best time to say, "No, I'm going to calm down". Isaiah 30:15, "For thus says the Lord God, the holy one of Israel: 'in returning [to me] and resting [in me] you shall be saved: in quietness and in [trusting] confidence shall be your strength. But you would not'". I love that. How many times does God show us in his word what to do, but we will not? If you wanna have peace, and calmness of mind and heart in your life, you may have to learn how to do a lot of things a different way than the way you have been doing them.
You see, we always want our circumstances to change. "Well, if you wouldn't then I wouldn't. And if this didn't happen then I wouldn't respond this way". And I did that for a long time. "Well, if you would do something different then I'd be happy, and if you would do something different, I'd be happy". But God told me to stop giving everybody else the responsibility for my peace and joy, and to take responsibility for it, myself. And I really hope you're getting this today, because some of you could have peace, you could calm down, if you'd be willing to trust God more. Our strength: spiritual and physical, is dependent on it.
Do you know that getting upset, like getting really emotionally upset, is hard work? It absolutely wears you out. And it's much easier to not get upset than it is to get upset and try to calm down. When we're upset, it's the worst time in the world to be making decisions. We say things that we shouldn't be saying. We do things we shouldn't be doing. It's not a good time to make decisions. The Bible tells us that we are not to be intimidated by anything, but if we stay calm, now, listen to this, if we stay calm, it's a sign to the devil that he can't control us and that he's going to lose this battle. And it's a sign to God to come and deliver us.
Here's the scripture: Philippians, 1:28 and 29, "And do not [for a moment] be frightened or intimidated in anything by your opponents and adversaries, for such [constancy and fearlessness] will be a clear sign, (a proof and a seal) to them", your enemies, the devil, "Of [their impending] destruction". You see, when a person has circumstances that should upset them, and they stay calm, it's a sign to the devil that he can't control us and that he's going to lose the battle. "But it is [a sure token and an evidence] of your deliverance and salvation, and that from God". I love that scripture! Stay calm. CAAALM, it's a beautiful word. You can just sit in a chair and close your eyes and just say, "Caaalm", and it just feels good.
Verse 29, "For you have been granted [the privilege] for Christ's sake not only to believe in, (adhere to, rely on, and trust in) him, but also to suffer in his behalf". Wow. You know, a lot of times we read verse 28 and don't even bother with 29, because nobody wants to talk about this suffering thing. But sometimes in order to stay calm... Let's just say for example, maybe, you have to not have the last word in an argument, or maybe, you have to let somebody think you're wrong when you're pretty sure you're right. But, you know if you keep going back and forth, it's gonna cause an argument it's gonna cause strife, and so, you may be better off just to let them think whatever they want to, and trust God, that if you need to be shown to be in the right that God himself will take care of that, and that way you can stay calm. But you may suffer a little bit during that process.
And when I say suffer: I mean in the flesh. You know, your flesh has feelings, and like, if you don't get your way, your flesh suffers. Well, there were many years in my life where if I didn't get my way, I got upset and I said things I shouldn't have said, or wouldn't talk at all, and I acted foolish. Well, now I don't wanna do that anymore. It's not, I'd rather adjust myself to the situation rather than get upset. I'm committed to staying calm and being peaceful. But that doesn't mean that my flesh loves it. Sometimes, I suffer in the flesh in order to do what God wants me to do. When we have a problem, we usually rush to action! It's like there's a little demon that sits on our shoulder and says, "Well, what are you gonna do? What are you gonna do? What are you gonna do? What are you gonna do"?
Why do we always think that we have to do something? And yes, there are things that we are to do. In Ephesians 6, I believe it's 12 or 13, it says, "Having done all [the crisis demands], stand [firmly in your place]". So, there are things that God wants us to do but we need to know what those things are, before we just start doing a bunch of stuff. You know, you could do something that somebody else does and it might not work at all for you. Because we need to have God's direction and the only way you can get that is to calm down and be quiet, so you can get that sensing inside of what direction you should take.
Psalm 46:10 says, "Be still, and know that I am God". "Well, what does that mean"? Well, I think it means that if we will wait on God, and you'll see in a minute that waiting on God is not like a passive, you know, "Hmmmm". If we will be still and wait on God, then we will see his miraculous workings in our life. Be still and know that I am God: let God prove himself to you by being willing to wait on him rather than trying to take matters into your own hands. Let me give you an example 'cause I just feel like somebody needs this. If you're really angry at somebody right now and you're planning ways that you can get them back, why don't you make a decision, right now, that instead of doing that you're going to let it go, you're going to forgive them - and forgiveness is not a feeling, it's how you decide to treat somebody. And you're going to pray for them. And then, God can move in and take care of the situation.
God is our vindicator. He's the one who makes wrong things right in our life. If you stay angry all day, today, if you are angry, and you stay angry, it's only gonna hurt you, it's not gonna hurt the person you're angry at but it is going to hurt you. Before we do anything else, we should wait. I always like to say, "Let emotions subside before you decide". Let me say that again, let emotions subside before you decide. You know, sometimes like in an argument if your emotions are all, "Mmm," just by being quiet, they'll start to calm down. And you can have emotions that are overly excited! Or emotions that are extremely depressed, and either one can get us in trouble.
You say "Well, Joyce why would being really excited get me in trouble"? Because sometimes when you're really excited you do things that you wouldn't ordinarily do, or you do things that you regret later and I'll give you an example from my on life. You know, women, generally like to shop, and this is something that happened many years ago, but I had a little money saved, it wasn't a tremendous amount, but I had a little money saved. Let's say it was $200. I don't remember exactly but it wasn't a lot. And I had been wanting a new watch, but I like things that sparkle and shine, and I don't even wear a watch now, but back then, we didn't have all the cell phones that told us what time it was all the time.
So, I wanted a new watch but I wanted something that would be really pretty. So, we were at the mall and went in this Jewelry store and sure enough they had a beautiful watch that had a lot of rhinestones on it and the salesman told me it was on sale, but I had to get it today if I wanted to get the sale price. So, you know, that pressure of, "Get it now, get it now, get it now, or lose the opportunity," is part of the enemy's tactics to get us to take action without really thinking about what we're doing. But I'd been learning some things by then, like I'm teaching you today about the importance of waiting and because it was going to take almost all the money that I had saved.
And then, the salesman pressured me even a little bit further and said, you know, "If you'll take it today, I'll give you an extra 10% off". Oh my, my emotions are just, you know, up here. I don't know if you've noticed or not, but anytime you look at a piece of Jewelry, in the Jewelry case, in the store, it always looks better than it does when you take it home. And I finally, realized what it is, it's the lighting that they have on it at the time. Before you buy anything like that, take it out of the case, and look at it in regular lighting so you can see what it's going to look like. But anyway, I'm learning some things by now.
So, I decided that I would take a little walk, think about it a little bit. So, I'm walking, you know, up and down the mall and, lo and behold, I saw a suit, in a window, that I really liked. I mean, it was little at the waist and then it kinda flared out and it just was really pretty. So, I decided to try it on, that was a mistake. I tried it on, and oh, it looked so good on me. And Dave just loved it, and he said, "You should get that". Well, that also was gonna take all my money. So, now I had a real problem. I couldn't get the watch and the suit and I had to decide which one I wanted. So, once again, I said, "I'm gonna take a walk and think about this and I'll come back if I want it".
So, I took another walk for a little while. And I know you're anxious to see which one I bought. Well, you know what ended up happening? I thought, more than I want the watch or the suit I don't wanna be broke. Because I liked havin' a little bit of cash so if I wanted to take somebody to lunch I could, or if I wanted to buy somebody a little present I could. And so, I decided, "I'm not gonna get either one". Well you know what? In due time, God provided both. Dave actually, ended up buying me the suit, a little bit later. And I don't remember how I got a watch that I liked, but I eventually did. God gave me both of them because I waited and didn't act emotionally.
Give God an opportunity to lead you. Take a little bit of time to wait. In Exodus 14:9-15, the Bible says, "The Egyptians, all Pharaoh's horses and chariots, horseman and troops, pursued the Israelites and overtook them as they encamped by the sea". Now, you know the Israelites had been begging God for a long time to get them out of Egypt where they were slaves. And so, eventually, God raised up Moses to lead them out. But the very first thing that happens, when they are led out is they find themselves in a very difficult spot. They were trapped at the Red Sea, and the Egyptian army was behind them. So, they definitely were like, between a rock and a hard place. There was no good options.
And so, "As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, Marching after them. And they were terrified and they cried out to the Lord". They're getting upset. "They said to Moses", and I love this. It's like, when we get upset, we start blaming all of our problems on somebody else. "They said to Moses, 'was it because there was no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done by bringing us out of Egypt'"? Well, they were the ones that wanted to leave and now, all of a sudden, everything is Moses's fault.
"'Didn't we say to you in Egypt, "Leave us alone: let us serve the Egyptians'? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die here in the desert"'". And if they did ever say that to Moses, they certainly got over it because they definitely wanted to leave by the time they left. "And Moses answered the people, 'do not be afraid, stand firm,'" and I'm going to change that, do not be afraid, calm down. Can I say that to you right now? Do not be afraid, calm down. God loves you. He's got a plan for your deliverance. He's got a timing for your deliverance. And God will take care of you if you trust him to do it. If he shows you something to do then by all means do it. But don't just start doing a bunch of things and saying a bunch of things, just out of a position of being upset.
"'Don't be afraid, stand firm,'" or calm down "'and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring for you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you: and you need only to be still'". Wow, wouldn't it be wonderful if you turned your tv on today just to hear me say "Calm down, wait, and be still, and let God bring your deliverance". I know in my heart that there are thousands of you watching, you need that word for today. Calm down, be still, wait on God, and he will bring your deliverance, in the right way, at the right time. The Lord will fight for you, and all you need to do is be still. "Then the Lord said to Moses, 'why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on'".
See, a lot of times when we have problems we get so afraid that we're just frozen in fear and we just don't do anything. And I wanna encourage you no matter how big of a problem you have right now, if you wanna do something, keep doing what you know is right. Keep studying the word, keep helping other people, keep going to church, keep your commitments. Don't just get depressed, and full of self-pity, and sit somewhere, and think about your problem, and think about it, and think about it, and think about it, and think about it, and then get on the phone and talk about it, and talkin' about it, and talkin' about it.
You know, when you have a problem the more you think about it and talk about the more upset you get. Almost anybody can get themselves upset if they just sit around and think about their problems. When we're upset, we say wrong things, we do wrong things. Let's just say that moving and acting emotionally "NEVER", capitalize all the letters in NEVER, solves our problem. Well, what does it mean to wait on God? It was quite an eye-opener for me when I actually, dug a little bit deeper and studied this.
To wait on God, doesn't mean to just sit around and do absolutely nothing. It means to expect, to look for, and to long for God's favor, his answer and his power. Like, being hopeful means that you are expecting God to show up at any moment and do the thing in your life that needs to be done. Waiting on God is not passive. It may be passive, as far as, like, taking physical action, but spiritually, you're very active and you're trusting God and you're saying, "I know you're gonna take care of me. I know you're gonna do what's right. I believe you're gonna show up any moment and make this situation right". It's spiritual activity, rather than fleshly activity.
Psalm 25:4 says, "Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths". In other words, ask for guidance. James 4:2 says, "You have not because you ask not". If you have a problem right now, and you don't know what to do, instead of just saying, "Oh God, I don't know what to do, I don't know what to do," ask him to show you what to do. Proverbs 3:5, 6, and 7 say, "Lean not to your own understanding. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and mind, and lean not to your own understanding: in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path".
God will show you what to do if you ask him, and you wait on him. God's help comes, and I love this statement, God's help comes in proportion to our waiting and hoping in him. Psalm 33:20 says, "Our inner selves wait [earnestly] for the Lord: he is our help and our shield. For in him do our hearts rejoice, because we have trusted, (relied on and were confident) in his holy name". Psalm 37:34 says, "Wait for and expect the Lord and keep and heed his ways".
While you're waiting on God, be obedient to whatever the word tells you to do. "And he will exalt you to inherit the land". God led the Israelites all the way through the wilderness and into the Promised Land. But to be honest, they waited, took them a lot longer than it should have because they kept grumbling, and complaining, and murmuring while they were out there. But many delays are divine delays. They weren't ready really, to go into the Promised Land, yet. And maybe, some of you, I know this was the case with me, maybe, some of you are asking God for something, but it's gonna take a little while. He wants to give it to you, it's in his plan. But he has something prepared for you, but now, he has to prepare you for it.
Sometimes, we're not spiritually mature enough to handle the things that God wants to give us. Isaiah 26:3, "Says you will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant, peace whose mind...Is stayed on you" keep your mind off your problems. One morning, I was starting to have my time with God and I was thinking about all my problems, thinking about my problems, thinking about my problems. And the Lord spoke to me and said, "Are you going to fellowship with your problems? Or are you going to fellowship with me"? Don't make the mistake that I was making. Spend your time with God and it will strengthen you and enable you, to hear from God.
Now, if you've been enjoying this teaching, you can get this teaching and more by going to the website or calling us. We're offering you, "Calm Down and Cheer Up", today's teaching on CD and, "Your Battles Belong to the Lord", a wonderful book. I wrote it, but I still think it's wonderful. And I believe these two resources together, will really help you. And maybe, you even know somebody that you should get these resources for. Maybe, you know somebody that's got a real battle in their life, and this would be the best gift that you could give them. Thank you for being with us today, and always remember, that God's thoughts are toward you and they're always for your good. God bless you.