Joyce Meyer - Fears to Conquer - Part 2
I love to bring you the Word of God because I know what it does in our lives. And I was talking to you about fear and I'm going to go back to talking about some very specific fears. But first, I wanna bring you a few more really great foundational scriptures about fear. First of all, 2 Peter 3:14, in the Amplified says, "So, beloved, since you are expecting these things," and he was talking about signs of the end times, "Be eager to be found by him [at his coming]," when Jesus comes back, "Without spot or blemish and in peace [in serene confidence, free from fears and agitating passions and moral conflict]".
When Jesus comes back, he wants to find us free from fear and standing strong in faith. The Bible says in Romans 1:17 that, "In the Gospel a righteousness which God ascribes," or gives to us and imputes to us as a gift, "Is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed through the way of faith that arouses to more faith]". I love that. The more we know who we are in Christ, the more we know how much he loves us and how precious we are to him. I mean the more you really believe that, and it takes time, it takes time for that mindset of "What's wrong with me? What's wrong with me"?
To be turned around to actually feel like it's okay to think there might be a few things right with you. God gives us his righteousness, we have right standing with God, not because we do everything right, but because we have put our faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. And so, the more you know and believe that right standing with God is yours, the more it builds your faith, and the more faith builds, the more you understand righteousness, and the more you understand righteousness the more your faith builds. In Luke 18 verses 1 and then I'll read verse 8, "Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not ever give up".
Well, that's a good message right there. Don't give up. No matter what you're going through right now, don't give up. "I tell you, he will see that they get justice". God is a God of justice, and do you know what that means? He makes wrong things right. "And quickly". He will bring justice and quickly. "However, when the son of man comes, will he find faith on the earth"? So, what does God wanna see when he comes back? When Jesus comes back, to get us and bring us home with him, what does he want to see? He wants to see us free from fear. And he wants to find us in faith. If you have been letting fear control your life, would you make a decision tonight, that you're gonna do whatever God wants you to do, even if you do have to do it afraid. That you are not going to let fear rule your life, steal your life, and keep you from having the joy that Jesus died for you to have. I love these scriptures, they're just so powerful.
In Exodus chapter 14, the Israelites were in a real difficult situation. Some of you may be thinkin', "Well, yeah, hello? That's me". They had the Red Sea in front of them. God had brought them out of slavery and bondage in Egypt. Givin' Moses the job of leading them out, through the wilderness, into the Promised Land. The land that God had promised to give them that he said would flow with milk and honey, many good things. And so, they had come out of Egypt, and Pharaoh had agreed to let them go but he was known for changing his mind. And they got to the Red Sea and that was in front of them and they looked behind them, and here comes the Egyptian army. Talk about being in a difficult place that looked like there was absolutely no answer. And they wanted to run!
See, that's what happens when fear comes to us, the first thing we wanna do is run! But here's what Moses said to the people, and he said it because it was what God was putting in his heart. "Do not be afraid". Now, he didn't mean don't feel fear, he meant don't run. "Stand still or stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again". Wow! They'd been dealing with this Egyptian nightmare for, some of 'em all of their lives. And God said, "If you stand still and don't run, I will deliver you from this". Well, that's a word for somebody. If you stand still and you stand firm and you don't run away from the hard place, you're in right now, God will bring deliverance to you and you will defeat that enemy and no longer have to deal with it.
And then 2 Chronicles 20:17, Jehoshaphat had been told that there were several enemies coming against him: the Moabites, the Ammonites, the Jebusites. I always say, "We've all got plenty of our own 'ites'". Might be the grouchy neighbor-ites, or the bad boss-ites, or the not enough money-ites, but we all got our enemies. And they were afraid, that's the first thing that we feel when we have problems is fear. But they did the right thing, they went to God to ask for advice. And here's what God said. Oh, I love this, "You will not have to fight this battle". Whoo, somebody oughta be clapping, matter of fact you can just bounce up and down on your couch right now, "Hoo, hoo, hoo". Or your chair, maybe you're not on a couch, maybe you're in a chair?
"Take your positions: stand still and see the deliverance that the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid: do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you". Well, don't we love that? We don't have to run from things, we can face things and know that God will always be with us. Now, let's go back to some of those fears that we have. We talked about several things already now. Now, what about the fear that you're not gonna get what you want? You know, maybe that's not a fear that anybody has ever talked to you about, but I think that's a big fear in our life. We want things and so we ask God for them, and boy, if he's not moving fast enough, pretty soon we come up with a back-up plan.
Let me ask you a question, do you have any backup plans just in case God doesn't come through? Come on, now. Do you have any backup plans just in case God doesn't come through? You know, here's a good example, God promised Abraham and Sarah that they would have their own child, a child from their own body, and it was impossible. They were both too old to have children, I mean, like, way, way past the age when you could have children. And they waited for a period of time, but then they got tired of waiting and so they came up with their own bright idea. Do you ever get bright ideas when you're waiting on God and it's taking him too long? Do you ever think, "I know what I'll do". Oh, you gotta be careful of that.
So, Sarah got the idea that she would give her husband, her handmaiden, Hagar, as a secondary wife. Well, you know, any woman knows you don't give your husband another woman and expect that to work out well. She thought she could have a child through her. Well, it didn't work. I mean, they had the baby, but there was nothing but war between these two women from that time on. And I'm not gonna get into the whole story, but the point is, is that the Bible talks a lot about works of the flesh. And works of the flesh are works that don't work. Now, God wants us to work, but work, where you earn a good honest living, stay busy with your hands, that's different than "Works" of the flesh. Works of the flesh is our energy trying to do God's job.
And let me tell you something, when we want something really bad and we get to the point where we're afraid we're not gonna get it, we can come up with all kinds of nifty little plans, that just keep getting us in deeper, and deeper, and deeper trouble. James 4:1 and 2 says that, "The thing that causes fights and quarrels among us, is our desires". We want things and we don't get 'em, so this says, "You kill, you hate, you covet, you quarrel, you fight". And then it says, "You have not because you ask not".
So, what God wants us to do when we want something or need something is to ask him for it, and then leave it alone. I can't tell you how long it will take. I can't tell you how God will do it, or when he will do it. While you're waiting, if God shows you specifically something to do, then do that, because we are partners with God, and he doesn't always just do everything for us. But just to get emotional and start running around doing stuff, trying to make something happen, is one of the worst mistakes that you can make. "Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart". Ohh... That's so good.
Psalm 37:4: "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart". The fear of failure, boy, that's a big one. Well, you know what? To fail at something doesn't make you a failure. Matter of fact, I think everybody fails their way to success. In other words, probably a large majority of what I've learned in life, I've learned from the mistakes I've made, or from mistakes I've seen other people make. You know, we can not only learn from our mistakes, but we can learn from other people's mistakes. And when I was young and comin' up in ministry, I saw different things that other people in ministry did that I thought, "Well, that doesn't seem to be right". And then eventually it would get 'em in big trouble.
And so, you can learn from your mistakes. Mistakes are not fatal. Failure is not fatal. And failure, failing at something, is not final. The only way that you can fail, is to give up. Edison said that he invented the lightbulb, but it was a 2000 step journey. He actually said that he, tried two thousand different things before he found the thing that worked. Wow! So many people that have been great phenomenal successes, if you knew the number of times that they failed. Walt Disney was fired from a job because they said he had no creativity. Imagine that. What if he would've just said, "Okay, well I guess what I thought was going to happen was just my imagination. They told me I have no creativity"?
When are you gonna stop listening to what "they" tell you, and start listening to God and what's in your own heart? People told me I couldn't do this. They said, "You can't do that, you're a woman". And so, when I went to God and said, "I can't do that, I'm a woman". He said, "I know you're a woman". You can do whatever God tells you to do, even if you're the first person to ever do it, you can still do it. But everything is not gonna go perfectly right from step one. You will have things that you step out in and try to do, that won't work. Don't ever be afraid to say, "Well, I thought that was God. I thought that was what he wanted me to do, but I was obviously wrong".
You don't have to have any shame about that. You can just simply learn from it and go on. How about the fear of being hurt? Wow, I think that's a big fear too. How many times do we isolate ourselves or we won't really have intimate friends or intimate relationships? We don't want to be vulnerable, we're afraid if we let a person in too much that we're gonna get hurt. Well, especially if you've been hurt a lot by a lot of different people, you can get into this protective mode, and build walls around yourself or you can never really have the kind of relationships that you would love to have. I'm gonna be honest with you and tell you, if you're gonna have relationships with people you will get hurt. If you're gonna get married, you will get hurt. If you're gonna have children, there's gonna be times when they're gonna hurt you. It's part of life, that's why we need Jesus our healer.
You see being hurt is not really that big of a deal, as long as you know how to go to your healer and receive his healing power. Please don't live your life afraid to be involved. You know, a lot of people go to a church and they need workers, and they need people to help with this and that and something else, and to serve on committees. And how many times do we hear people say, "I don't want to get involved"? Well, a lot of the reason is because they're afraid they'll be taken advantage of, if they get involved. Don't always be afraid of being hurt, just know that if you get hurt, you'll recover. Praise God, we can always recover. God is a God of restoration, he's a God of redemption. Wherever you're hurting right now, God can heal you in that place. Jesus can heal us everywhere we hurt.
Maybe you think, "People are gonna walk all over me". "Nobody will consider me". "Everybody will forget about me". "Someone will hurt me". "People will use me". You know, we fight and struggle to be in control, so nobody can ever hurt us. We fight and struggle to be number one, so everybody else has to be under us. We wanna be first, we wanna be ahead. And you know what? It's just hard, hard work. God wants us to cast all of our care on him and let him take care of us. Will you turn the care of your life, and what happens to you... Could you turn it over to God, tonight? Could you let it go? If you want this to help you, if you want this to be an evening that you can say, "My life changed on that evening," then make a decision to stop trying to take care of yourself all the time, and cast your care on God. And just see God will take better care of you than you ever could take care of yourself.
Now, I'm not saying not to do things that you need for your health and you know, obviously I want you to take good care of yourself. But I'm talking about taking the worry, that kind of care on yourself. If you wanna get into a relationship, a friendship or a relationship and the enemy says to you, "You're gonna get hurt," don't let that make your decision. Just say right back, "Well even if I do, God will heal me". I want you to have a wonderful, full, exuberant, exciting life. You know, every time you get hurt, don't try to get somebody back. The Lord said, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay". So, if you do get hurt just forgive right away, and then pray for the person who hurt you, and let God be the one who deals with them. You don't have to always be trying to take care of yourself.
"Fear is a dead end, but faith always has a future". Let me say it again, "Fear is a dead-end, but faith always has a future". Now, how about the fear of trouble, trials, and tribulation? Boy, kinda back to those evil forebodings that I talked about earlier, "I'm afraid of trouble". You know, the Bible says, "We are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us," in Romans 8. More than conquerors! Well, I think I know what a conqueror is, but what is more than a conqueror? As I was pondering this, and meditating on it, talkin' to the Lord about it: what is more than a conqueror? I felt like what he'd put on my heart is: to be more than a conqueror means, that you know that you have the victory, before you ever get the problem. Wow.
Well then, what does that mean? I don't have to fear trouble. I don't have to fear trials and tribulation. I don't have to fear things that come against me because I'm more than a conqueror through Christ who loves me. Because Jesus loves me, I know that he will take care of me. No matter what happens in your life, you're gonna come out on top, if you keep your eyes on Jesus, and trust him with the situation. Great example in Mark chapter 4, Jesus got in the boat with the disciples and he said, "Let us go to the other side". Well, you better believe when Jesus says something that's exactly what's gonna happen. I always say, "There's a beginning, there's an end, but there's also the middle, and if you can't make it through the middle, you'll never get to the end".
And so many people they have a good start. It's exciting to start. Everybody's clappin' and cheerin' and you're full of zeal and zest. Well you know, when you get out in the middle and it's a looong time and your journey is a lot longer than you thought it was gonna be, and harder than you thought it would be, and all the people have stopped clappin' and cheerin', that's where you find out what you're made out of. Are you gonna keep on keepin' on? Are you gonna run away in fear?
Well, sure enough, they all got in the boat and a storm of hurricane proportions came up. You know what? I bet that storm wasn't in the forecast and every storm in your life is not in the forecast either. You know what? I don't know what's going to happen to me tomorrow. I'm expecting it'll be good. But see, how comforting it is to know I expect it to be good, but even if it's not, I know that with God's help I can deal with it, because I am more than a conqueror through Christ.
Now, that doesn't mean I'm gonna enjoy it. But it does mean that I can find a way through him, to let him help me deal with the problem and still enjoy my life. You know what? You don't have to be miserable just because you've got a problem. It's perfectly okay for you to enjoy your life, while you let Jesus work on your problem. I think that might be worth saying again. You don't have to be miserable, just because you have a problem. It's perfectly okay, for you to go ahead and enjoy your life while God is working on your problem. Well, the disciples got all upset, they were afraid of the storm. And guess what? Jesus was on a cushion sleeping, sleeping!
Come on, do you feel like that God's asleep in your life? Like, "Wake up God! I got a problem here". Well, they did wake Jesus up and he got up and he calmed the storm, but he also rebuked them for their lack of faith. And then, you know what happened next? I love this, chapter 5:1 says, "And they arrived on the other side". I can see this whole situation, and it's played out so many times in my own life. "Okay Joyce, I'm gonna get in the boat with you and we're gonna do this, this is where we're gonna end up," and then all of a sudden one storm after another, after another, after another. But any time that I've stuck with God and continued to believe, guess what? We always made it over to the other side. And I think a lot of you, you're not very far from the other side.
So, don't throw it all away now. Keep believing. When Jesus comes back, who is he gonna find in faith? And who is he going to find free from fear, and agitating passions? You. I think tonight is a really important night for you. I think that God's got some amazing things for some of you. And this is a great encouragement for you to hold steady, stand still, see the salvation of the Lord. God is on your side, you're more than a conqueror. There's plenty of power, for you to do whatever it is that you need to do. You know, we're living in times of trials and tribulations. Jesus said that in John 16:33, "In the world, you will have tribulation," it's a promise. But he said, "Cheer up! I have overcome the world". In other words, what's he sayin'? "You're gonna have problems, but I've already taken care of 'em. It's already been dealt with, just put your trust in me and cheer up. Enjoy your life".
1 Chronicles 16:9, Paul said, "A wide door of opportunity opened unto him and with it many adversaries". You better believe when an opportunity comes your way to go forward, in anything. The enemy is gonna come in and bring a storm to try to derail you and get you to believe you never heard from God to start with. But I'm here to tell you tonight, blessings are coming your way. Something good is going to happen to you. You are gonna make it to the other side and you are more than a conqueror. And don't you ever let the enemy steal that from you.
In Isaiah 41, he said, "Do not fear for I am with you". And you know, that's really a great place to end this message. You don't have to be afraid. Why? Because God is with you. "Well, what's he gonna do"? I don't know, but it'll be the right thing. "Well, when's he gonna do it"? I don't know that either, but it will be the exact right time. I want you to relax. Know that God loves you more than you could ever possibly imagine. And that he does have a good plan for your life, and don't you let the devil steal it from you through fear. I'm gonna pray for you.
Father, I pray for all the people watching, all these precious people that have joined us. And I pray that they will have a better understanding on fear, and that they will not let fear rule their lives. That even though they may feel afraid, that they will know they can still do, whatever they need to do, through Christ who is their strength. And I pray that they've been encouraged and lifted up, and that they feel a new strength, a new refreshing. And I pray that they would soon, and very soon, see good things happening in their life. In Jesus' name, amen.