Joyce Meyer - Aging Without Getting Old - Part 2
Well, thank you for joining us today on, "Enjoying Everyday Life". Well, I wanna talk to you today about something that we all deal with and that's stress. And you know, a normal amount of stress, our bodies are built to handle. But when it becomes excessive, it causes us problems, and it can even make us age faster than what we should. I've actually, written a book called, "How To Age Without Getting Old". And one of the ways that you're gonna add years to your life every year, no matter what: none of us can do anything about that. But we can age and add years to our life without getting old. The better you take care of yourself up front, the better you're gonna feel later on. And stress, excessive stress, really, they say 70 to 80% of all disease, although the disease is real, the underlying thing that got it started was stress.
Everything needs to rest. But you don't just need to rest your body, you need to rest your soul, inside, we need to rest. Our minds need to rest. If you worry all the time, and you're upset all the time, that in itself, can wear you out. Obviously, if you're gonna age without getting "Old" it has a lot to do with your mindset. Don't start thinking, "I'm old," or, "I'm too old to do that anymore". I stay away from saying, "I'm too old to do that". I just say, "It's not wise for me to do that anymore". There's certain things that I can't do now that I once did, but I say, "It's wise for me not to do that anymore". Where we get in trouble is when we push, and push, and push, and do things that God is no longer giving us the grace to do.
Now, to exalt Jesus means to put him first place in your life. And that means that we follow his commands. We follow the guidance and the leadership of the Holy Spirit. For Jesus to be exalted doesn't just mean that we start each day with a little prayer, and that's putting God first. It means following his guidance and doing what he leads us to do, all day, every day. And if we do that, you know what? We're gonna have enough energy to live a great life. We're gonna feel good most of the time. I mean, we all have days where we don't feel good, and we all get tired, but you're gonna feel good and be healthy. It's all the things that we do that God's grace is not on, that puts a lot of stress on our lives.
You know, even if somebody asks you to do something for them, and you know down deep inside that it's gonna put a lot of pressure on you, and it's not the wisest thing for you to do, if you say "Yes" to that and go ahead and do it, you're gonna do it without God's help. And so, it's gonna put stress on your life. Being a Christian doesn't just mean that you go to church once a week. It means that you follow God, you learn his word, you study his word, and you obey the word. But you also, have the Holy Spirit living in you. Believe it or not, the Bible doesn't deal with every single thing that you come across in life. It doesn't tell you what to say yes to and what to say no to in everything. But it does tell you to follow the leadings and the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
When Jesus ascended on high, he sent his spirit, the Spirit of God, to dwell on the inside of us, and one of his jobs is to guide us, to help us, and to guide us. And we're to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit. And you know what a prompt is? It's just a little, you know like a parent can look at a child that's doing something they shouldn't do, and just go... And boy, that kid knows. Well, that's kinda like the Holy Spirit. We'll either get a little... Or... But you feel it on the inside. It's like, you know what a prompting is.
You know, I have a clock in the studio that prompts me by telling me how long I've been talking. And I know that I have a certain amount of minutes to talk, and so, I can go over that if I want to, but if I do, I'm gonna create a mess, and all the work that we did is gonna be for nothing, or I'm gonna cause somebody a lot of extra work by having to do a lot of editing. So, I follow those promptings, and it makes everything go smoothly in life. Well, God prompts us too, through the Holy Spirit, what to say yes to, what to say no to. Stress was originally an engineering term. Now, instead of buildings collapsing, people are collapsing.
You can have mental stress, physical stress, emotional stress. Certain amount of stress we can handle, like I've said, but when it becomes excessive that's when it becomes a problem. Being upset puts stress on your body. Worrying puts stress on your body. Being angry and full of unforgiveness puts stress on your body. But you know what? Luke 10:19 tells us that God has given us, "Authority and power over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means harm us". In other words, every, single one of us: you, me, every one of us, God has given us the power, the energy, the strength, the ability to do what he wants us to do, but he will not give us the power, the strength, and the ability to do what he doesn't want us doing.
So, if you're just deciding what you wanna do in life without getting the counsel of God, then you can just go ahead and do it on your own. You won't do it with God's help. But I've learned the hard way, and that's how most of us learn things. I've learned the hard way to always go to God and ask him to help me in every, single thing that I do. We're built for a normal amount of stress, but none of us are built for excessive stress.
See, there was a time in my life when I didn't understand what stress was. My mother had a nervous breakdown when I was in my twenties. And for two years, she took shock treats, and just had all kinds of problems. She never really was the same after that. She was a sweet woman, but she just, all the extra stress in her life from my alcoholic, abusive father, really took a toll on her. And she just always had all kinds of health problems because of that. But because she had, had a nervous breakdown, any time anybody mentioned the word stress to me, I would go to the doctor not feeling good, and they would say, "Well, it's just stress," and that would make me so mad. Because I felt like they were telling me that I couldn't handle life. And I was strong. I was a strong woman of God, and I could handle whatever I needed to handle.
Well, you know what? That's really not true for any of us. You can handle what God gives you to handle. But when you start trying to go beyond that and do things just because you feel like doing it, or you wanna do it, or you're a people-pleaser and you don't know how to say no to anybody: those are the things that wear us out. Do you complain about your schedule? "Well, I've just got too much to do". Well, did you ever think of saying no to some things? I was crabbing about my schedule, one time to the Lord, "No sane person could be expected to do all that I do". The Lord whispered in my heart and said, "You make your schedule, if you don't like it, change it".
And see, that's true. If you don't like all the things that you've taken on in life, then start asking yourself if you really need to do all of them. In all probability, you're doing a lot of things because other people want you to, or just because it's what you've always done. Maybe, God got finished with it a long time ago, and you're still doing it. Ask yourself, not just what you're doing but why you're doing, what you're doing. And anything that's not being done with a right motive, cut it out of your life. We always feel like we have to do all these things, but there's a lot of things we don't have to do, if we really don't want to. My question today is not: do you have stress? Everybody has stress. My question is: are you managing the stress in your life? When it becomes excessive, are you cutting some things out of your life? Are you taking measures to avoid having too much stress? I said are "You" taking measures?
I don't know why we always think that other people shouldn't pressure us. No, they shouldn't pressure us. But even more than that, we shouldn't allow them to pressure us. We're gonna talk, I think, tomorrow about learning how to say no. And that's something we all need to do. You know, every time you get stressed out, your body goes through this cycle. There's a stressor. Your brain recognizes it's under stress. It says something to your pituitary gland. That affects your blood pressure. It affects your adrenal glands. Then your body releases cortisol and cortisone. Then adrenaline is released. Your body just goes through this cycle of stuff.
Well, you know, it's kinda like a rubber band. I got a nice new rubber band here. You know, I can stretch it and goes back, stretch it and goes back, stretch it and it goes back. Well, you know, that's what happens to our body. We can stress it, get a good night's rest, and it goes back. You can stretch it, get a good night's rest, and it goes back. You can really stress it, and uh-oh, something breaks. Well, you know what we do a lot of times, we tie a knot in it, and just keep going. Well, have you ever had a rubber band that had so many knots in it that you couldn't even tell what it was anymore? I wonder how many knots you have in you.
"Oh, I've got this big knot in the back of my neck. Oh, I've got this knot here in my shoulder, I don't know what that's from". Well, you know what it's from? It's from doing this all the time. And that knot are the places where you just tied up and tried to keep going without really, eliminating some of the things that you should be eliminating in your life. Organs fail because they get exhausted. Stress causes illness in our body. And even though the illness is real, stress is the root of it. You know, noise is stressful. And I tell you, I don't know, I mean, I like music, but when it is loud and wild. I mean, it just wears me out.
Now, if you're 20, you may like that. But I'll tell you, by the time you're 75, it's gonna get on your nerves. And I don't think it's good for us. They say that all the high-level noise that young people listen to today, even affects their hearing. We live in a very noisy world. We live in a very stressful world. You make one little, tiny mistake in traffic and people are... Ranting and Raving at you. There's so negative talk in the world, so much complaining. And I believe all of that causes stress. And so, I wanna invite you today, to calm down, and cheer up. I think that I can prove biblically, that, that's the answer to most of our problems.
John 14:27, Jesus said, "'peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled neither let them be afraid'". One translation says, "[stop allowing yourselves to be upset and disturbed]". And I really love that one, that's the Amplified classic. Stop allowing yourselves to be upset and disturbed. You know, you can feel when you initially start to get upset. Let's just say that you're in a conversation with somebody and it starts to get heated, and you feel those emotions rising, rising, rising. And now, the voice levels are rising. Well, you know, why not back out of it before it turns into an extremely stressful situation that's going to just absolutely wear you out?
You know, everybody today, just says, "Well, I've got so much stress. I've got so much stress". But my question is, what are you doing about it? Are you doing anything about it other than complaining about it? Any one of us can look at our life, and you can write down everything you do for a week, and go back and look at the things that you did that you really didn't need to do. And I can tell you, it would relieve a lot of stress out of your life. If you're exhausted, perhaps it's because Jesus is not being exalted in your life. Maybe you're not putting him first. There's so many great scriptures on obedience, and I just wanna share a couple of them with you.
Isaiah 1:19 and 20 says, "If you're willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land". Willing and obedient. We're always willing to have good things, but obedience needs to go along with that. Colossians 1:18 says that, "He is the head of the body, the church, he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent". You know what that means? First. In everything God's will should come first. I wonder how many Christians March off to church every week, you even read a little bit in your Bible everyday, but the question is, is are you being obedient to what the word says? You know, the apostle James says, "If you hear but you don't do, your deceiving your own self". And I really think this is where the problem lies. It's not a matter of, do you know what to do? It's a matter of are you living a lifestyle where you're obeying God.
I can tell you, if you are obeying God you are not going to be stressed out all the time, because God will not give you so much to do that you have to be frustrated and upset all the time to do it. Boy, I like that. I almost feel like I need to say it again. So, I think I will. If you're obeying God and doing what you believe he's leading you to do, I can guarantee you, that you will not be exhausted and worn out, because God will not give you more to do than what you can do and stay in his rest. "What do you mean, Joyce? We can't stay rested all the time". Well, the Bible says that there is a sabbath rest that remains.
Now, under the old covenant that was one day a week that people rested. But in Hebrews 4, it talks about a sabbath rest. And I think that's a way that we can live. You know, if I'm trying to do this, and I'm worried about what you think of me, it's gonna stress me out while I'm doing it. But if I prepare, do my best to prepare, I've prayed, I'm trusting God, I can stay relaxed while I do this, and help you. And yeah, I'll be tired, but I'm not going to be stressed out and a frustrated kind of tired. Matthew 6:33 says, "Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all these other things will be added unto you". Problems are caused by doing what you want, yourself, or what somebody else wants you to do, instead of what God wants you to do. "God always leads us in triumph," the Bible says. He always leads us in triumph. Are you being obedient to God? Are you following the promptings of the Holy Spirit?
Proverbs 3:5-7 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and don't lean on your own understanding: in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path". Are you acknowledging God in your ways? Do you even take a minute to think about whether or not you should say yes to something someone has asked you to do. You know, one of the things that was really helpful to me was, it was hard for me to say no when people would ask me to come to their church or their event and speak. Because, first of all, I love to preach. And so, I wanted to take every opportunity. And then a lot of times, it was friends, and I didn't wanna disappoint them. I never wanted anybody to think that I felt like I was too good to come to their event and speak.
And so, sometimes it got very confusing to me about what to say yes to and what to say no to. And I asked a friend, who also does what I do, how she handled it. And she said, "You know what I've learned to do"? She said, "Anytime that I'm asked to go do something, I think through everything it's gonna take for me to do it. I think about how long the flight is gonna be. I think about how many times I'm gonna have to change flights. I think about how much I'm gonna have to pack. I think about how many nights I'm gonna have to be gone". She said, "I think about everything before I say, 'yes'". And how many times have we said yes to something, and then got in the middle of it and thought, "Well, I didn't realize it was gonna be all this"?
And so, I've learned too, to think about what I'm saying yes to, and to think about, is the fruit that it bears gonna be worth the effort that's put out. And we really try to do that even here at the ministry, in our various departments. It's like, are you spinning your wheels doing something, doing something, doing, doing, doing, that's really only producing this little, tiny, bit of fruit? Or could you put that same effort into doing things that are gonna produce a lot of fruit? Follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He will lead you: he will guide you. And always use wisdom. And I say wisdom is simply, doing now what you believe you're gonna be satisfied with later on in life.
And what about simplifying some things? I wrote down here, simplify, simplify, simplify. Simplify, simplify, simplify. You know, one of the things that you can do is if you're busy, and you're going from thing to thing, to thing, instead of going from thing to thing, to thing, take a five-minute vacation in-between. I've learned how to do that and it's really helpful to me. Sometimes, like after say, I work out with my trainer, well, I'm tired when that 45 minutes is over. But then a lot of times, I would go straight from that to doing something else, and then straight from that to doing something else. And I've learned now, if I start to feel really tired, I go sit down in my recliner for five minutes, and put my feet up, and drink some water, or some Perrier, or something that I enjoy. It's amazing how just five minutes can restore you. You're worth some rest. You don't have to just live in a rush all the time. We have too much stuff. Stuff, stuff, stuff.
You know what? Sometimes, I go in my closet, and I'll stand there, "What do I wanna wear... What do I wanna wear... I don't know what to wear". Go through everything, and there's so much, I can't make my mind up. But you know what? When I was a teenager, I remember, my closet was about this, maybe this wide. And I had eight outfits. On Monday, I wore one. On Tuesday, I wore one. On Wednesday, I wore one. I never got confused about what to wear. I had two pair of shoes. That wasn't confusing: you wear one, or you wear the other. I had a coat, so I put it on every day when I needed a coat. But it's different now, because we all have so much stuff that it gets confusing about what we even wanna put on our body. And what about food choices?
I told somebody today, I said, "I actually, heard myself complaining the other day", well, actually, Dave reminded me. I said, "I am so tired of trying to figure out what to eat every day". And you know, I hear people say that frequently, "I'm so tired of trying to figure out what to eat every day". And Dave said, "Isn't that pitiful. We're tired of trying to figure out what to eat every day, and there are people all over the world who have nothing to eat many days". See, that's from having too many choices, and too much available to us. I really think all the stuff in the world is part of what stresses us out.
I remember a story a missionary told me. He lived in Africa for many years. And in Africa, where he lived, they only had one kind of cereal it was called "Weetabix". And so, if you wanted cereal, you ate weetabix. Well, when they did come to the u.S., which was every few years, his wife always wanted to go to the grocery store right away and get some different cereal. And so, one day he took her to the store, and he stayed in the car, and she went in, didn't come out, didn't come out, didn't come out, didn't come out. Finally she came out and she didn't have anything. And he said, "Well, what were you doing in there all that time, and you didn't buy anything"? She said, "There were so many choices of cereal that I got so confused, I couldn't figure out what to buy". And I forget what the number is, but it's just like, some ridiculous way high number of different kinds of cereal there are in one grocery store. There's one certain candy, I think there's 26 different kinds of that candy. You can get it with mint, without mint, with nuts, without nuts, on and on, and on.
And so, simplify your life. It will remove so much stress if you just simplify your life. And simplify how you go about things. Don't turn everything into a nightmare. God wants you to age without getting old. In other words, you're going to age every year, but you can get to be 75, or let me just put it like this - you will, someday, be 75, and you don't have to get there with most of your body parts completely worn out, all stressed out, unhappy, miserable because you feel bad all the time. You don't have to get there and feel like you're ancient. You can age, and still not get old. Don't get an old mindset. And remember, if you take care of yourself now, you're gonna reap the benefit of it later on. So, why don't you ask God to start showing you all the things that put stress on you? And do the best you can to cut some of those out of your life, and it's gonna help you big time.
Today, we're offering my book, "How To Age Without Getting Old". I hope all of you buy it, no matter what age you are. We're offering it to you, for your gift to the ministry of any amount. And we promise to use that money wisely to help people all over the world. Just do your very best, send in your best gift, and we'll get the book to you. God bless you. Thank you for being with us today.