Joyce Meyer - Beatitudes - Part 1
Well, welcome to, "Enjoying Everyday Life". I'm glad that you've joined us, and I believe that what you're gonna hear today will help you enjoy your life more. In Matthew chapter 5 there's a sermon or group of sermons called, "The Sermon on the Mount" that's how we refer to it or "The Beatitudes". And they're character traits that Jesus talked about, where he said if we have those character traits or those virtues, there will be a special blessing that comes along with that.
And you know, developing Christ-like or godly character is not always that easy, but it's definitely doable and it's what God expects out of us. We should want to be Christ-like. That should be one of our number one goals as believers is to not just go to church, and know scriptures, and maybe do a little church work, but it's really to get out in the world and live the life that Jesus lived, so people cannot just hear about Jesus, but see him through us. And I'm going to talk today аbout: blessed are those who mourn. And that sounds rather odd, because you think well, "How could I be blessed if I'm morning"? But you'll see in this teaching that the blessing comes from the fact that when we mourn, God comforts us. And God's comfort is so precious, so amazing that the trouble or the thing that's made you sad, it's almost worth going through it, just to experience God's comfort.
And another thing to remember is, you can't really comfort somebody else in what they're going through, if you've never needed God's comfort yourself. So, blessed are those who mourn. Our attitude should be, "Well, I'm going through something really difficult, but I believe this is gonna end well. I'm really hurting right now, but I'm gonna come back. I'm really going through something difficult, but I believe that God works all things out for good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose". If you're going through a difficult time right now, would you do that? Would you say right now, "I'm really hurting right now, but this is going to end well". Come on, let's say it together, "I'm really hurting right now, but this is going to end well".
You see, one thing that we always have, as long as we have Christ in our life, is hope. And so no matter what we're going through, the good news is we're going through, and we will come out on the other side, and it will come to an end. And the really good thing is, is it can be used by God for character development. If we continue to do the right thing when the wrong thing is happening to us, we grow spiritually during those times. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted". You know, a lot of times in life we ask wrong questions, and asking a wrong question never brings a satisfying answer. Like, most people would ask, "Why do bad things happen to good people"?
Well, I've never been able to find a right answer to that. I know people, right now, that are going through things that are some of the sweetest, most loving, awesome, people that you could ever wanna know. And yet they're going through something that seems so unjust and so unfair. Well, it's not gonna do me any good to ask God, "Why did this happen to that person"? The thing that we should ask is instead of saying, "Why do bad things happen to good people"? We should ask, "What happens to good people when bad things happen to them"? Well, when bad things happen to a good person, if they remain steadfast and continue to do what they know they should do, they will always come out on the other end, and there will always be a good take away from what they went through, that's gonna make them a better person. I really believe that.
We should ask, "What happens to good people when bad things happen to them"? Well, number one they grow spiritually. They bounce back. They become better, not bitter. Let's talk about that for a minute. So many people when something that seems unfair or unjust happens to them, they get bitter. And bitterness is something you don't want in your life. It poisons everything in your life. Maybe even right now somebody's watching, and to be honest, you're just a little bit mad at God because you've had some trouble in your life that really just doesn't seem fair. Well, instead of being angry at God, trust him that he's good, he doesn't bring bad things in our life. We have an enemy, the devil. And then there's just all kinds of mean people in the world that just do mean things.
But we can trust God to take a bad thing and work it out good. You know why? Because he is the God of justice. He is the God who makes wrong things, right. So, if you're bitter, angry, resentful, full of unforgiveness, I really pray that you'll work through it with God, and you'll let it go. So you give him an opportunity to take that thing that's causing you to mourn, and actually let it end up being a blessing in your life. They don't count what they've lost, they count what they have left. Wise people, people that are strong in the Lord, they don't just look at what they've lost. They don't just look at the things that have been bad in their life, but they look at the things that they have left that are good.
I heard a good statement just recently, and you may have heard this before but, "Every day is not a good day, but there's something good in every day". Let's say it again, "Every day is not a good day, but there's something good in every day". And boy, your life becomes so blessed when you become the kind of person that looks for those good things, even in the midst of other bad things that are happening to you. When bad things happen to good people, they continue obeying God no matter what they feel like. Mmm, that's a good one. You know, a lot of times, I actually did a message one time called, "What to do when you don't know what to do". And there's so often in our lives when we say, "Well, I don't know what to do? I don't know what to do? I don't know what to do"?
Well, what should you do when you don't know what to do, when you've got a problem and you don't know what to do? What you should do is keep doing what you do know how to do. There's really a lot in that if you think about it. So often when we're hurting we withdraw, and we just wanna nurse our wounds. And we stop going to church, we stop reading our Bible, we stop wantin' to do anything for anybody else. We get bitter and resentful, we get confused because we're trying to figure it out. But none of those are the right thing to do. If I have a problem in my life, and I don't know what to do, I pray about it. I ask God to show me what I can do if there's anything I can do. But I don't keep trying to do something about something I can't do anything about. I just keep doing what I know to do.
And I'll tell you one of the best things that you can do when you're hurting is continue being good to somebody else. Because I can promise you no matter how bad you're hurting, there's somebody that's hurting worse than you are. And when bad things happen to good people, they experience the comfort of God, and that's awesome. Matthew 5:4, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted". Our natural inclination would be to feel that we're blessed, when good things are happening to us, not when we have something that we're mourning about. However, it's often the things that we cling to, that we actually really need to let go of, that separate us from having a deeper relationship with God.
There's actually some things I mean, I don't know, maybe you have a friend in your life, that really is hindering you from a deeper walk with God. They're either not a believer, or they're not as far along as you are spiritually, and they're not interested in really going any further. And let's just say this person has been a friend for a long, long time and you can't imagine not having them in your life, and something happens that separates you from them. Let's just say maybe you do something not meaning to that hurts their feelings, and they get angry and don't wanna have anything to do with you anymore. Well, that can just seem like the most terrible thing in the world, but really maybe losing that relationship is something that you really needed, and you wouldn't let it go yourself. So, God had to intervene and take it out of your life, so you could go on and grow into the person that he wants you to be.
I've had things like that happen in my life multiple times, and I'm sure you have too. You know, our perspective on the problems in our life, makes all the difference in the world as far as how we're going to handle them. I love Genesis 50:20. If you're not familiar with this story, you certainly need to read it. Joseph had been so mistreated and had so many unjust things happen to him. And at the end of the story he has an opportunity to get the people back that hurt him. Wow, "Now I'm in a position where I can get you back". But see, what you do in that situation shows what kind of character you have. It shows if you have the attitude that God can bless, or if you still have a bad attitude that's gonna continue to bring problems into your life.
And Joseph had an opportunity to get them back but instead the Bible says this, "As for you, you thought evil against me, but God meant it for good". Actually all the things that happened to Joseph, ended up building character in him, and he was put into a very high position in Egypt which allowed him to be able to feed people during a time of famine. And so, all the things his brothers had done to him, caused him to end up in Egypt. And so he said, "You meant it for harm," and that wasn't good on their part. "But God meant it for good, to bring about that many should be kept alive, as they are this day". And Joseph said, "I'm not gonna harm you, I'm gonna help you, I'm gonna take care of your families because I am not in the place of God".
And boy, do we ever need to learn that lesson of letting God be our vindicator, and not wasting our time trying to get people back. Now, when people are hurting, one of the things that they tend to do is feel sorry for themselves. At least, I certainly had that problem for a lot of years, and I'm sure that at least some of you do. The foolishness of self-pity, let's talk about that. Well, we can receive the comfort of God if we handle ourselves biblically in trials. But self-pity does not comfort us. We think that we're comforting ourselves, "Oh poor me, everybody mistreats me, this is not fair, nobody does anything for me".
My goodness, I remember how many days I wasted in self-pity. And God finally taught me that I couldn't be powerful and pitiful at the same time. And we all want to be powerful people. How about you? Don't you wanna be a powerful person, have a powerful life? Well, self-pity is not gonna lead you into that. And so, one of the things that we must learn, if we wanna really be a Christian who has mature character, a Christian who is Christ-like, you never seen Jesus in the Bible feeling sorry for himself. He never wasted two minutes feeling sorry for himself, and he had all kinds of unjust things happen to him. He was accused of things he didn't do, lied about, he was abandoned, he was betrayed, he paid for sins he didn't commit. There were all kinds of unjust things that happened to him, but he never sat around and felt sorry for himself. He just kept doing what God sent him to do.
Come on, I want you to get that today, he just kept doing what God sent him to do. And if you're hurting today, God wants to comfort you. But he can't do that if you're full of self-pity trying to give yourself comfort by sittin' and thinking about how bad everybody treats you. Self pity. It says, "All of Jacob's children tried to comfort him concerning Joseph, but he refused to be comforted". I think that's kind of an interesting statement. Genesis 37:35, "And his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted". And you know, sometimes we're like that. It's like, you're in a bad mood and you're mad about something, or you're hurt and you've been mistreated, and somebody comes and tries to cheer you up and you're in such a bad state, you don't even wanna be cheered up.
Now, you would get mad at them if they didn't try to cheer you up, but when they do try to cheer you up, you just keep coming back with more bad reports. "'no,' he said, 'I will continue to mourn until I join my son in the grave'. So, his father wept for him". Self-pity is rooted in fear. It's rooted in the fear that we are never going to get what we want. "I'm never gonna get what I want, and so, I'm just gonna feel sorry for myself because I end up being the tail end of everything in life". For example, "We will never be loved, we'll never be promoted, we'll never feel physically better, never have more money," oh, the devil loves the "Never" lies. "You're never gonna change, you're never gonna get promoted, you're never gonna have anybody love you, things are always going to be this way".
Well, what are some ways that we can recognize self-pity? I think sometimes we can get so accustomed to having something in our lives. I mean, I can be honest and tell you there were years in my life where my automatic go-to when I didn't get my way, was to feel sorry for myself. I didn't get what I wanted, felt sorry for myself. I didn't get my way, felt sorry for myself. And it took me a long time before I realized that if I didn't get my way, I needed to trust God that maybe I didn't need to get my way in that situation. And that what I needed to do was stay happy, because I was trying to grow in God and not be a selfish, self-centered person. I want you to ask yourself, or spend a little bit of time thinking about, how much time do you waste in self-pity?
Maybe that's not a problem for you. But if it is, this is an invitation from God to start taking steps toward getting out of that. Don't stay in that trap. What are some ways that we can recognize self-pity? Well, self-pity always wants to blame somebody else for its problems. Be it man or God, someone must be blamed. Self-pity is always negative and pessimistic. It feeds on the assumption of more bad news. It is so sure things will be bad, that it almost resents anybody trying to cheer them up. If someone says, "Oh, it won't be that bad". Self-pity becomes defensive. Self-pity wants sympathy and it's usually found talking about the problem. Someone who's full of self-pity, they don't wanna talk about anything good, they just wanna talk about their problems.
And I love this one, self-pity is always much worse off than anybody else. If you say you didn't sleep good last night, they haven't slept for a week. The person filled with self-pity, if you have a headache, they've had a headache for a week. No matter what you've gone through, everything they've gone through is much worse than anything you've gone through. Self-pity often refuses any advice that it's offered to help them get out of their situation. They think nobody understands them. Nobody understands what they're going through. Nobody's got it as bad as they do. Self-pity makes us insensitive to what other people are going through, so we're not able to have compassion on them. Selfishness and self-pity go together. Self-pity is actually an act of selfishness, because we turn in on ourselves. When we have a problem, God wants us to give our problems to him. And then he wants us, while we have the problem, to reach out to other people and be a blessing to somebody else. And then that good seed that we sow, God can bring a harvest from and he'll bring answers into our lives.
I hope you understood that. Don't try to fix yourself, give your problems to God. Now, if there's something you can do, do it, but so often we're in situations and we can't do anything about them. And it's frustrating to have a problem that you can't fix. I know, because I'm miss fix-it, I wanna fix it. But boy, I've learned when I have a problem I can't fix, I cast my care on God. I remember, Philippians 4:6 and 7, "Be anxious for nothing, but in all things by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God, and the peace that passes understanding, shall be yours". Make your requests known to God, tell him what your problem is, cast your care on him, so he can take care of you. And then reach out and do something for somebody else. Do something good for somebody else, then you're sowing a good seed that God can bless and bring a harvest in your life.
Your answer's gonna come a lot quicker while you're busy about God's business. If you take care of God's business, he will always take care of yours. Self-pity is also governed by self-righteousness. The self-righteous person always has the attitude, "Well, this shouldn't have happened to me," or, "I don't deserve this," or, "How could this happen to me"? And you know what? The things that we think about like this, "Well, how could this happen to me"? It can happen to somebody else, and we don't think that much about it. It's like, "Well, that's too bad, but you know, cheer up God'll take care of it". We need to start responding differently to trials and tribulations, it's one of the largest parts of growing spiritually. People who intend to have power with God, have to learn how to receive God's comfort.
You know, when Jesus left the earth, he sent the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is referred to as: the comforter, "The comforter". And oh, it's so sweet to have the comfort of the Holy Spirit in your life. David prayed this, "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil: my cup overflows". That kind of an attitude will be blessed. God wants to comfort you, are you willing to receive his comfort right now? And you know, I've learned after all these years of walking with God, one of my first response is now to being hurt, is to ask God to comfort me. I've learned I can't comfort myself. And to be honest, running to other people expecting them to comfort me doesn't always work either.
You know, I don't think there's anything harder than, you're really hurting and you go to somebody and it's obvious, they don't get it at all. They just don't understand at all. But if we go to God for that comfort, "God, I'm asking you to comfort me in this situation". Then you can receive the comfort that you need. Jeremiah 31:13 says, "Then young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness: I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow". There's a time to mourn, but there's a time then to let it go and go on.
In Ecclesiastes it talks about, "There's a time for everything". It says there's, "A time to mourn, and a time to laugh, a time to be sorrowful, and a time to dance". 2 Corinthians 1:3 and 4, "Praise be to the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all of our trouble, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God".
Now, you know, hopefully and prayerfully some of the things that I'm saying to you today, or have said, are making you feel better. Maybe you're receiving some hope into your life. Or you're feeling comforted by knowing that you're not the only one that goes through difficult things. Maybe for some of you it didn't feel too comfortable when I talked to you about self-pity, but it's something that now you've been kinda confronted with and you can get on past that. But you see, I could not even be trying to help you right now, if I would've never needed God's help myself. I can only comfort you, because I have experienced his comfort in my life. And I want you to have that so you can comfort other people.
You know, we always like to offer you more teaching, because this 25 minutes of teaching that you get on the program is great, least I hope you think it's great, but we all need more than that. And we're talkin' today about attitudes and how to behave when you're going through trouble, and it's a challenging situation. So, today, we're offering you four teachings on CD, "Nine Attitudes That Keep You Happy". "Nine Attitudes That Keep You Happy," and our, "Battlefield of the Mind Study Bible". That's a great Bible, it's got all the stuff highlighted that's about the mind and the mouth, and it'll be a real blessing to you. So take advantage of these resources. Let God comfort you today and reach out and comfort somebody else.