Joyce Meyer - Faith - Part 3
Well, thank you for joining me today on, "Enjoying Everyday Life". I'm teaching the word and I have great confidence that the Word of God has the power in it to change our lives. I started a couple days ago teaching on faith and I'm gonna finish that up today. It's so important to teach on faith because the Bible says in Hebrews 11:6 that, "Without faith it is impossible to please God". Well, faith in what? Faith in God. Faith that his word is true, and that his word is for you, and that his promises are for you.
And I love Hebrews 11:1, it says, "Now faith is a substance of things hoped for". And I think a lot of times we don't pay attention to that word, "Now". You see, God wants you to have faith today. We're gonna live our life one day at a time, but God wants you to have faith today. There's a story about Lazarus being raised from the dead in John chapter 11. And word was sent to Jesus that his good friend, Lazarus, was sick. But instead of going right away to heal him while he was sick, the Bible says that Jesus waited until he was dead. Well, what kind of a friend is that? One that already knows that he's gonna raise you from the dead. Lazarus had two sisters, Mary and Martha. And when Jesus finally did come, he went to the tomb and he said, "Roll away the stone". Well, that's another whole lesson in itself.
If Jesus was going to raise Lazarus from the dead, if he had the power to raise him from the dead, why did he need somebody else to roll away the stone? It's a great lesson in how we're partners with God, and he always gives us something to do, and he does something in response. You know, I really believe that if the people would never have rolled away the stone that Lazarus would still be in that tomb. Some of you may be waiting on God to do something, but he may be waiting on you to do something. Maybe there's something God's told you to do. Maybe there's somebody you need to forgive, or maybe there's an action that God has told you to take. Peter walked on water, but first he had to get out of the boat. Anyway, Jesus said, "Roll away the stone". And Martha said, "Well, by now he'll be stinking".
Well, when Jesus first got there, she said, "Lord if you would have been here, Lazarus wouldn't have died". So, she had faith for what Jesus could've done if he would've come before Lazarus died. And Jesus said, "Do you believe"? And she said, "Well, I believe that he'll be raised up at the resurrection". So, she had faith for the future, but she didn't have any faith for right now. She didn't believe that right now, God could do something. And God wants us to always have faith. You know, even if God doesn't do what I'm wanting him to do today, today I'm gonna believe that today can be the day. And when tomorrow comes, I'm gonna believe, if it hasn't been done yet, that tomorrow can be the day.
Let's don't let our faith just be floating around out there whenever, let's believe something good can happen today. And Jesus' answer to her is so simple, it's only a few words, but it's something you can base your life on. And in John 11:40, Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that if you would only believe, you would see the glory of God"? I love those two words, "Only believe". You know, believing God, believing his word, believing his promises, is such an amazing thing.
In Hebrews 4 it says that if we believe we'll enter the rest of God. Well, that's true. You know, you can worry about your problems and you won't be in the rest of God. You can run around to all your friends, asking them what you should do about your problem, and you won't be in the rest of God. But as soon as you believe the word. As soon as you see that God loves you and he promises to, "Meet all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ". As soon as you believe Romans 8:28 that, "He can take all things and work 'em out for good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose". When you believe, only believe, and "you we'll see the glory of God".
God wants us to live in faith, not just have a little faith once in a while when we need a miracle to happen, but to live by faith. Romans 1:17 says, "In the Gospel there's a righteousness which God ascribes". And that's the righteousness that he gives us through Christ, because of our faith in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, "He that knew no sin", that's Jesus, "Became sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him". So, when that righteousness is revealed, when you believe you're in right relationship with God, it gives you faith to ask God to do great and amazing things in your life. God's wanting to do some greater things in your lives than what some of you are asking him for. Ephesians 3:20, "God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above and beyond all that we could ever dare to hope, ask, or think, according to his power that worketh in us".
God wants you to believe for greater things. Go ahead, don't be afraid to do it. Don't worry that you don't deserve it, I can already tell you that you don't deserve it. I don't deserve any of the good things that God does for me, but I have my faith out every day that something good is gonna happen to me today. We need to have faith right now, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen". You know, there are many wonderful things in the spiritual realm, which really is just as real as this realm, it's just that we don't see it. And our faith, our confession of faith, helps pull those things out of that unseen realm into this realm, where we can see them. There's a righteousness revealed that leads us from faith to faith. I like that.
God doesn't want us to live from faith to doubt and unbelief, and then back to a little faith, but the just shall live by faith. We do everything by faith. One day at a time, not tomorrow or sometime, not yesterday but today we believe God. And when you believe God it gives you peace. "Joy and peace are found in believing," Romans 15:13. If you've lost your peace, check your believing. If you lost your joy, check your believing. Come on, if you're discouraged and depressed, check your believing. When we're believing right, other things seem to go right. Well, what does faith do? Well, faith honors God, and it releases him to work. It allows us to enter the rest of God. It releases joy and peace in our lives, and it makes all things possible, if we will only believe.
So, we're gonna talk now about living by faith one day at a time, one day at a time. We all have faith but it's up to us where we put it, we talked about that. Maybe you weren't with us every day this week, but we talked about that earlier. "God hath dealt unto every man the measure of faith". You have faith. Maybe you only have a little weak faith because you haven't been using your faith? You all have muscle, but if you haven't been using your muscle, then you just have a little tiny muscle. Maybe your muscle is so tiny that you can't even see it, but it's there. And if you start exercising it and working it, pretty soon that muscle will grow.
There's a law of use, you use it or you lose it. And you know, if you work out on a regular basis with weights and you've built up muscle, they say it only takes three weeks before you start losing that muscle. That's why you need to stay strong with God all the time, not just try to get strong when you have a problem. "God hath dealt unto every man the measure of your faith". Well, let's ask this question again that we asked on the first day: where is your faith? Is your faith in your boss and your paycheck, your friends or family, your bank account? Or is your faith in God? Let your faith be in the power of God, not in the wisdom of man. 1 Corinthians 2:5, "So that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God's power". Live by faith. Just get up in the morning and release your faith, "God, I trust you today to take care of me. I can't do anything right without, you apart from you, I can do nothing".
I've been in this television studio thousands and thousands of times. And I've taught messages like this, thousands and thousands of times over the 45 years I've been teaching the word. But don't think for one minute that I came here today without leaning and relying on God, without putting my faith in him, because I did not. Proud people think that they can do something by themselves, but the humble man knows that apart from God he can do nothing. Hebrews 10:38 says, "But the just man shall live by faith, and if he draws back and shrinks in fear, my soul has no pleasure or delight in him".
Now that doesn't mean that God stops loving you, or that he's displeased with you in every area. But he don't— he doesn't like fear. 'cause fear is the devil's way of controlling us. When we fear, we're putting faith in what the devil says. God wants us to put faith in what he says. You say, "Well, Joyce, it's hard". I have people tell me that all the time, "Well, it's just hard. It's hard". Well, sure, it's challenging to believe something you don't see, but that's what faith is. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for". It's the evidence of things we don't see.
So, real faith must be something really amazing because it's evidence, it's like you've got it in here. You have things like that. You have things in your heart. You've got it in your heart. You may not have it in the natural, but you've got it in your heart. And if you keep it in your heart, you stay in agreement with God, you keep being obedient to him, it'll come out in to the natural. God is able and has the power and the goodness to do whatever needs to be done in our life. Now, what about double mindedness? I think we need to do something about double-mindedness, because you know, doubt will try to steal your faith. And everybody has doubt come to them, but that doesn't mean that we have to receive it.
One man said, "Doubt your doubts". If a doubt comes, say, "I doubt that, I trust God". Being double-minded is mixing faith with doubt. You have a little bit of faith and a little bit of doubt. It's kinda like having a little bit of something positive and a little bit of something negative, really you still end up with nothing. James 1:6 talks about prayer, the power of prayer. It says, "When you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind". And you know, doubt is a close relative of fear. Doubt comes because we're afraid we're not gonna get what we asked for. Or we're afraid we made the wrong decision, or we might even be afraid that we asked for the wrong thing.
Make your mind up and stop changing it. Get your mind made up and don't change it. Make your mind up that God wants to do something good in your life. And then no matter what kind of circumstances you have keep believing it and keep saying it, "Something good's gonna happen in my life". If you believe that when you confessed your sins that God forgave you, then even if you feel guilty you say, "I don't believe that guilt. I believe the Word of God. I believe that God has forgiven me". And you know, you stick with that, that condemnation, that guilt you feel will disappear. It'll go away. Paul even encouraged the believers he said, "Make your mind up what you're gonna give and don't change it. Give as you've purposed in your heart". He says in 2 Corinthians 9:7, "Each of you should give what you decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver".
When you give into the Kingdom of God, when you give into the work of God in the earth, when you give to your churches, to your ministries, do it with a smile on your face. How many prosperous believers would there be, if everyone followed through and did what they said in their heart, that they were gonna do. Don't back down when things get tough or when things get tight. Obviously if something happens in your life and you can't, then you can't, but keep your word, keep your commitments. Make up your mind what you believe that God has called you to do, and just keep at it, keep at it, keep at it, keep at it.
How many times do you think the devil told me that I was crazy, that I could not do this? He told me I was a woman, then I told God, "I'm a woman," and God assured me that he knew that when he called me. Don't let the devil convince you that God can't use you because you're not perfect, or you're not this, or you're not that. I think education is wonderful if it's good, right education, get all of it that you can. But you don't even have to have that for God to use you. I didn't have all the right education, but God still used me. Make up your mind what you wanna do with your life. If you wanna be healthy, make your mind up you wanna be healthy, and then be willing to do the things that you need to do, to build good health in your life. If you wanna get out of debt, then make your mind up that you're gonna get out of debt, and realize when you make that decision that it's gonna take a while, and it's gonna take some effort, and it's gonna take some sacrifice.
You see, a lot of times we make decisions, but they're not quality decisions. And as soon as it gets a little uncomfortable, as soon as it gets a little hard, then we change our mind. We're double-minded. I always say, "It's very easy to go on a diet Sunday night after dinner. But what about Monday around 3 or 4 o'clock in the afternoon, when you're startin' to get real hungry"? You see, we have to be willing to go through the difficult parts to get through to victory. I always say, "There's a beginning, there's an end, but oh, mercy, there's a middle". Beginning is not hard, anybody can begin something new. Anybody can begin an exercise program, anybody can begin to get out of debt. Anybody can begin. But if you can't make it through the middle, you're never gonna finish. You gotta be able to make it through the hard part.
So, let's make our mind up to stop being double-minded. Before you make decisions, think about what your committing to, because it won't all be easy. Let's talk about living life one day at a time. That's my kind of my slogan for this year: one day at a time. Somebody, they asked me the other day, did I have anything special in my heart for this year? Last year it was, "All things are possible with God". Well, see, I'm still hangin' on to that, I don't let go of that just because last year's over. Now, this year it's, "One day at a time". You know, there's a lot of things going on in the world, and a lot of things we're not accustomed to dealing with, and a lot of things we don't have answers to.
And so, people ask you for answers that you don't have. And I've just decided instead of being confused all the time, and trying to figure things out, I'm just gonna, one day at a time, one day at a time. You know, the Israelites had to live like that, one day at a time. They were out in the wilderness and there was no food out there, unless it was supplied supernaturally. And God gave them something called "Manna," and the word "Manna" just really means: "What is it"? God rained it down out of the sky. It was like this white flaky substance and they didn't know what it was. So, they called it, "What is it, mana"? And God told them that they could gather enough each day for that day. But if they tried to gather more than what they needed for that day, it got full of maggots and worms, and it would rot and stink.
Well, you know, if I can just play on that for a minute. A lot of people have stinking rotten lives, because they're always trying to figure out the future. What about today? Enjoy today. You know, we spend so much time, sometimes worrying about tomorrow that we miss today. The Bible says, "Don't worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will have sufficient problems of its own". You don't need to worry about tomorrow because tomorrow there'll be other things you'll need to deal with. Just take care of what you need to take care of today and enjoy today.
When the Israelites saw this manna they said, "What is it"? Because they didn't know what it was. And Moses said, "It's the bread the Lord has given you". And, "This is what the Lord has commanded: 'everybody is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer for each person,'" which I think is about a quart. And, "'keep it in your tent'. The Israelites did as they were told: some gathered much some gathered little," depending on how big their family was. But then like I said if they tried to keep it, and tried to hold some over, it would rot and stink. The only way you can have a good life that you can enjoy is if you learn how to live life one day at a time, trust God, one day at a time.
You know, we need to gather every morning, we need to gather, they gathered their manna in the morning. And I wanna kinda playoff on that and say, "We need to gather our manna every morning too". You know, there's a lot of evidence in the word, that morning is a good time to spend time with God. Mornings is a good time to pray. I'm not gonna call morning 6 a.M. Or 5 a.M. I get up about 5:00, 5:30, so it's early for me. But a lot of people have a different schedule.
Let's just say that morning is the first thing you do every day. Maybe you don't get up till 1:00 in the afternoon because you do shift work. Well, that's your morning. So, before you do anything else, before you go out of the house, before you make any decisions, spend some time with God. Psalm 63:1, "O God, you are my God: early will I seek you". Whoo! I mean, when you got a problem, don't wait until you're three months into it before you seek God, seek God the minute you get a problem. When you have a problem, don't wait to pray. Pray right now. You don't have to say, "Well, when I pray, I'll pray about that". No, you can pray right now. If you don't pray right now, you may forget to pray about it. You don't have to be in any certain room in your house to pray, or in the church to pray. You can pray silently in your heart, wherever you're at. I will rise up early and I will praise you.
Psalm 108:2 and 3, "Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise the Lord, among the nations: I will sing of you among the people". One more, Proverbs 8:17, "Those who seek me early and diligently shall find me". The best way to start every day is to gather that manna early in the day. And don't think because you gathered some today, because you spend some time with God today, that that's gonna last you for a week. No, you get up and you spend some more time with God tomorrow, and the next day you do the same thing. I don't think that anything honors God more than if we give him time, and if we give him time, first. We either learn to live one day at a time, or we worry, and we reason, and we give ourselves all kinds of anxiety and nerve problems, because our mind is never at rest. We need to learn how to let our mind rest.
Matthew 6:34, "Therefore don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself". Bury yesterday. Don't worry about tomorrow. If something went wrong yesterday, ask God to forgive you, ask God to fix it, and then go on and enjoy today. Come on, I want you to enjoy today. I'm tryin' to talk to some people that are watching the program right now, God wants you to enjoy today. The Bible says in John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal kill and destroy". But Jesus said, "I came", thank God Jesus came, "I came that you might have and enjoy your life, and have it in full, have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)". Whatever went wrong yesterday, give that to God, release it to God, right now. Don't worry about what's gonna happen tomorrow, don't try to gather tomorrow's manna today.
Now, just go to God, spend some time with him, pray, talk to the Lord, read some word, listen to some good teaching, get your day started right. And enjoy today, live today. Bury yesterday. Paul understood it. Philippians 3:12 and 13, he said, "Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have arrived or have taken hold of everything that God has for me. But one thing I do". "One thing I do", he said, "Forgetting what lies behind and pressing toward the things that are ahead". Well, that's a good message for you today and a good message for me, letting go of what lies behind and pressing on to the things that are ahead.
Well, today we're offering you two teachings on CD called, "What Is Faith and How Does It Work?" Come on, I know you wanna learn more about faith. You've been stirred up by this teaching and you wanna learn more. Well, we're offering you some more and we're gonna send along with it a booklet that we put together called, "Building faith". You can have strong faith, if you'll do what you need to do to build that faith. Now, God loves you, he's got a good plan for your life. God's proud of you, he's pleased with you. And I'm grateful that you joined us today. And I pray that you'll join us again tomorrow. God bless you and have a good rest of the day.