Joyce Meyer - Calm Down and Cheer Up - Part 2
Well, thank you for joining us today for "Enjoying Everyday Life". I started yesterday talking about calming down. And I mentioned just how good even that word sounds, "Caaalm" just saying it, makes me feel calm. There's so much turmoil in the world, and so many things that people can be angry about and upset about. But I have some good news for you today, just because you have something to be upset about, doesn't mean you have to be upset. I wanna say that again. I just thought of that, right before we started this program. Just because you have something to be upset about, doesn't mean you have to be upset.
And maybe, that's the first lesson we need to learn because, I mean, I know parents who think they're not even good parents if they don't worry about their kids. But that's not true at all. You don't have to worry about your children, it's something that you decide to do. And our emotions can begin to flare up or sink down, but we don't have to go with 'em. Jesus said he left us his peace. But in the Amplified Bible, in John 14:26-27, he said, "Stop allowing yourselves to be upset and disturbed".
So, I think before anybody can have long-term, consistent peace, that the first thing they have to learn, is that they have to take responsibility for that peace, and understand that they can't keep waiting for all their circumstances, in the world, to change. That's exactly why Jesus said to live life one day at a time, and "Not spend today worrying about tomorrow, because tomorrow would have troubles of its own". We don't have very many days that goes by that something doesn't happen that we would rather, that it wouldn't have happened. And so, we have to be stronger, trust God more, and make a decision that we're not gonna live in that zone of upset all the time.
Proverbs 14:30, "A calm", I love that word, "A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath," which is strife and upset, "Are like rottenness to the bones". So, this tells us that all this stress, and upset, and anger that we're experiencing in the world today, affects our health in a very negative way. And it probably, would be safe to say that there are more sick people today, than there ever has been. People take more medicine than they ever have. And I do believe that all the stress that we have in our lives, because of choices that we make, and I know some of you're saying, "Now, wait a minute. I can't help it". Well, let's just take our schedules.
If I ask, how many of you have more to do than what is humanly possible? Most of you, or many of you would go, "Yep. That's me". Well, you know, you can change your schedule, you can learn to say, "No" to some things. We don't have to load up our lives to where, you know, we just don't have one second left for anything. Proverbs 14:30, let me read it again, 'cause it's so good. "A calm and an undisturbed mind and heart is the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness to the bones". So, you might say, that every day that you stay calm is like a day of having an IV drip all day long of health and nutrition.
Waiting on God, rather than taking emotional action, gives us the strength to do whatever we need to do, when God does give us direction. We can't hear from God when we're in a state of upset. We have to calm down and wait on God. "Be still, and know that I am God". Isaiah 40:31, we all know this. It's one of our favorite scriptures. But it's so true. "But those who wait for the Lord," and what does wait mean? We talked about it yesterday. To expect, look for, and hope in him. See, waiting is not a passive thing. It's a very spiritually active thing. You're believing, you're trusting, you're expecting God to show up at any moment. "Shall change and renew their strength and power: they shall lift up their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]: they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and they shall not faint or become tired".
You know, some of you are just tired all the time because you let your emotions rule your life. I know that, because that's the way I lived a lot of the years of my life. You know, we're called to be a witness to the world. And to be a witness is a different thing than just telling people about Jesus. It's living the kind of life that Jesus would live, or did live, when he was here on the earth, in front of people. I think it was Francis of assisi that said, "Preach at all times and if necessary, use words". In other words, let your life be a sermon to people around you. And I think one of the best ways we can do that is to stay calm in situations when everybody else is upset.
Let's just say, that you hear there's gonna be a lot of layoffs at your place of employment. Well, naturally, people are gonna be getting frightened, and they're gonna be scared. But you see, we can live in the supernatural by trusting God that we're in his hands, and that he can keep our job, or if we lose that job, he can get us one that's even better. We don't have to fret and be worried. We can, instead, stay calm and trust God. Well, if you do that, it's not very long and people will be saying to you, "How can you stay so calm with all these threats of layoffs"? And then, that gives you an opportunity to say, "Because instead of getting upset, I've decided to put my trust in God. I believe he'll take care of me".
And you know, when people ask you what's different about your life, then they're open and ready to hear. 2 Timothy 4:2, Paul is telling Timothy, a young preacher, how he should live his life. And they believed that they were living in the last days, they were expecting Christ to come back at any time. He said, "Herald and preach the word. Keep your sense of urgency [stand by, be at hand and ready], whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable. Whether it's welcome or unwelcome, you as a preacher of the word are to show people in what way their lives are wrong".
Isn't that so good? You are to show people, not to tell people. How many times do you ever go and tell somebody what they're doing wrong, and they appreciate you telling 'em? Not very often. Most of the time, that's what leads into arguments and strife. But he's saying, if you live the right way, you can show people by the way you live your life, what is wrong with their life. So, if we stay calm, I think one of the greatest witnesses that we trust God, is to stay calm when really, our circumstances dictate that we should be upset. Show people a better life that's available to them, through being an example.
Everybody wants a better life. Well, show them that you can have joy in difficult times, show them what it's like to be a generous giver, show them what it's like to be peaceful, to be patient, to have joy, and peace, and to be kind. You don't have to preach to them in words necessarily, not that there's anything wrong with that if the door's open to do it, but we can all preach a sermon by living our lives the right way. Stay calm, cool, and steady. And keep doing your job in the kingdom. You know, Jesus stayed calm in storms. And actually, his example made the disciples believe in him all the more. Mark 4:35: "That day when evening came", and I want you to listen to this, "He said to his disciples, 'let us go over to the other side'".
Now, when Jesus said, "Let's go over to the other side," he meant, we will end up on the other side. "Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. And there were also other boats that were with him. A furious storm came up", one translation says, "Of hurricane proportion". "And the waves were breaking over the boat and they were nearly swamped in the water. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion". Do you ever feel like that? You're having a storm in your life and you think, "Jesus, are you asleep"? Well, he literally, was asleep. All this commotion's going on all around him, but he's asleep. You know why? Because he already knew that no matter what happened in the middle, he was gonna end up on the other side. "The disciples woke him up and said, 'teacher, don't you care if we drown?' and he got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, 'quiet. Be still'".
Now, you know something? He could only speak peace to the storm because he had peace in him. And it's very important that we maintain an inner calm and an inner peace. If you just think about the ocean, which is very deep, there can be a terrible, terrible, furious storm on the surface of the ocean. Waves beating about, wind blowing, but down deep in that water is just as calm and peaceful as it can be. And that's the way our lives can be. No matter what's going on around us, deep inside, we can stay calm and peaceful if we have our trust in God. "He got up, rebuked the wind and the waves and said, 'quiet. Be still.' then the wind died down and it was completely calm. And he said to his disciples, 'why are you afraid? Don't you have any faith?' and they were terrified and asked each other, 'who is this? That even the wind and the waves obey him'"?
You know, dave's stability, after we got married, I didn't really know what calm was, and peace. I'd lived in turmoil as long as I could remember. I was sexually abused by my father and he drank excessively, and he'd go out and get drunk and come home, beat my mother up, rant and rave, and yell. And our house was just full of fear, full of arguing, full of strife. And so, I really didn't even know what peace felt like, certainly not consistent peace. And Dave was just so calm and peaceful. And you know, the way I was, I would even try to get him upset: because if I was upset, I wanted everybody else to be upset with me. And he just remained calm. And I resented it at first, it made me angry. But then, his life showed me what was wrong in mine, like the scripture, we previously read.
His life was a witness to me, and I started wanting the peace that I saw him have. And when I got hungry enough for that peace, and I asked God how I can have that peace, he began to show me things in my life that I would have to handle differently, if I wanted to have that peace. We can't just pray for peace. We have to learn the things that upset us, and either avoid them, or when they come, be prepared ahead of time to remain calm anyway. Like I learned that when I hurry, if I hurry for a long time, I'll end up getting upset. So, that meant that I had to arrange my life in such a way that I didn't have to hurry. I had to leave some things out. That I could prepare some things the night before that would make my mornings easier, so the enemy didn't take advantage of me and have me get all upset at the beginning of the day, because usually, if you start out that way the whole day may go that way.
Well, when we start to feel ourselves getting upset, that's a signal to calm down. The devil is on the prowl. "He roams around the earth looking for whom he may devour," but I can tell you that it does not have to be you. Dave's stability increased my desire to have what I saw him have. And people need to see Christians remaining calm in the storms of life. My goodness, there is such an opportunity today for all of us, who call ourselves Christians, to be a witness to the people around us because people are so fearful right now, and upset, and there's so many crazy things going on. I mean, it's like, I don't know what people do, if they don't know Christ. Because he is the source of our strength. It's being calm in the storm that gives us authority over the storm.
Reading Mark 4:35 through chapter 5 verse 1, if you read chapter 5 verse 1, remember 35 said, "Let us go over to the other side". And in chapter 5 verse 1, it says, "And they arrived on the other side". And I love that. You start out here, we're going to the other side. But boy, in the middle, and there's always a middle, that's where the enemy tries to take you out, steal your faith, get you to give up on your dreams, get you to believe your prayers aren't gonna be answered. But if you stay calm and steady, and you stick with God, and you continue doing what you believe God wants you to do, you will end up on the other side. I know it, by the Word of God, but I also, know it, by my own life.
Proverbs 16:32 says, "Better is a patient person than a warrior, one was self-control is better than one who can take an entire city". Wow, somebody who has self-control, who can control themselves, who can control their emotions, and that doesn't mean you don't feel them, it just means that you don't let them control your life: that person is better than somebody who can go in and conquer an entire city all by themselves. A person with self-control is stronger than somebody who can conquer a whole city. Wow. That is awesome. What's going on inside? You know, you can put a smile on your face, but that doesn't mean that you're not all upset inside. We can tell everybody "We're fine", but that doesn't mean that we're not living in a war zone at home. We can pretend to have faith, but you know, pretense never impresses God. Always remember that. Only the truth will set you free.
1 Peter 3:3-4 says, "Let not yours be [merely] the external adorning with [elaborate] interweaving and knotting of the hair, the wearing of Jewelry, or the changes of clothes", and this is not saying that any of those things are wrong or that we shouldn't look our best, and do our best. But it says, "Don't let that be the only thing you're concerned about". "But let it be the inward adorning in the beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle, peaceful spirit", a calm atmosphere inside you, "Which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God". That is such a good scripture.
You know, it takes me about an hour, if I'm on a day where I need to wash my hair, and style my hair, by the time I take a shower, get my makeup on, style my hair, get my clothes on, get ready to go, it takes about an hour. Well, I do that every day because I wanna look nice when I go out. Well, do I spend the same amount of time getting ready spiritually? Well, thank God, I do. Matter of fact, I spend a little more than that. But how many people will spend that hour looking good on the outside, but they don't spend even two minutes trying to make sure that their heart is right.
Let me tell you something, if you spend time with God every morning before you try to do anything else, it is the wisest investment of time that you can have. Talk to him, sit quietly in his presence, tell him what you want or need, spend some time studying the word, listen to a good teaching cd, watch me on TV, get the word in you and stir yourself up by putting yourself in remembrance of the things that God wants you to do. Be gentle, be peaceful, not anxious, or worried, not upset, or tense but relaxed. Practice staying relaxed inside. You can sit in a chair in just, let yourself relax. Practice being calm because it destroys evil. Ew, I like that. The devil doesn't know what to do with you if you stay calm in the storms of life.
Now, five open doors for being upset. Wow. Well, the first one, I have here is when our plans don't succeed. Oh, all you planners beware, because things are not always gonna work out the way you've got 'em planned. Now, I think having a plan is good, but we need to always present that plan to God. Know that it's in his hands. And perhaps, even pray daily, "Now, Lord, you know what I have planned today. I'm gonna do this, this, this, this, that and that. But if my plans don't work out, help me stay calm and not get upset". Plan ahead of time to stay calm if things don't go your way, and maybe, it'll happen more often. Make a plan then offer it to God. Proverbs 16:9 says, "A man's mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure".
The second open door: when other people don't do what is right. Doesn't it just make you so aggravated, when people you love, you can plainly see them doing dumb stuff, making bad decisions that you know are gonna cause trouble in their life, and they just won't listen? Well, we finally have to learn that everybody has a right to make their own choices when they reach a certain age, and that sometimes, the only way people can learn is by doing and getting the results of what they've done. It doesn't do us any good to be upset over somebody else's bad choice.
Third open door: when we have to wait for gratification and reward. When we're doing the right thing, but the right thing is not happening to us. I think it shows great spiritual maturity if you can do what's right, when the right thing is not happening to you. If you can treat people good when maybe they're not treating you good. You say, "Well, I sowed but I haven't reaped yet. I need a quicker result. I prayed but God hasn't answered. I've done things right and nothing has changed for me". Well, we have to wait. God tells us that we receive the promises of God by faith and patience. Not just by faith, but faith and patience.
I talk often, about the woman who came to the altar, when I was offering to pray for people at the end of a meeting, and she put her hands on her hips, and she said, "I want my money back". And I thought, "What in the world are you talking about"? I said, "What do you mean, you want your money back"? She said, "I've been listening to you and I've been doing what you said to do for two weeks, and I've been giving in to the offerings, and nothing has changed in my life". Well, to be honest, it was all I could do not to laugh, and it wasn't because her situation was funny, but I thought here's somebody who's had no experience with God, they think that they can have a lifetime full of mistakes, and do one thing right, and have it all fixed overnight.
Well, you know, let's at least give God the same amount of time that we gave the devil to mess our lives up. Let's give God at least that much time to get 'em fixed. Yes, God could just magically, supernaturally fix every problem we have, but that's not what's gonna happen. He's gonna walk us through things, and teach us things, and he delivers us, but he does it little by little.
And then, the fifth door is when we're tired and in poor health. Well, I'll tell you what, if the enemy wants to take advantage of me, one of the times, I have to be really careful is if I'm super tired. Let me ask you a question. Do you get cranky and grouchy when you're tired or you don't feel good? Why do we think that we have a license to mistreat everybody else because we don't feel good? Sometimes, it's just the way we look at things. The enemy will look for every little, tiny, open door that he can, to try to get you upset. But my advice to you today is calm down and cheer up.
Now, you know, if you'd like to have a recorded copy of what you've heard today, plus the teaching from yesterday, and the teaching I'm gonna do tomorrow: you can get it on cd. It's called, "Calm Down and Cheer Up". And along with it, a book that I've written called, "Your Battles Belong to the Lord". They're gonna give you more information about how you can get those resources, and I advise you to get them because you need to hear this over and over. Thank you so much for being with us today, and God bless you.