Joyce Meyer - Beatitudes - Part 2
Well, welcome to, "Enjoying Everyday Life". I'm glad that you have decided to share this time with us. And I pray, right now, that what I say today, will be a blessing in your life. In Matthew chapter 5, there's what we call, "The Sermon on the Mount" or, "The Beatitudes". It's different areas, actually, different character traits that Jesus said if you have those character traits in your life, you will be blessed.
Yesterday we talked about, "Blessed are those that mourn, for they shall be comforted". Well, that sounds kinda like, "What, well, how could I be blessed if I'm mourning"? Well, it's not the mourning that makes you blessed, it's the comfort you receive from God, when you're going through something. No matter what kind of difficult thing we go through, we never go through it alone. I want you to remember that today. If you're hurting, you're not alone. God sees you: he already has your deliverance planned.
Today, we wanna talk about what Jesus said when he said, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth". Well, Jesus was meek. The Bible says that Moses was the meekest man on the face of the earth when God called him. But what is meekness? I think in our worldly society we look at it as weakness. It's like a meek person is like a mousy, weak person, and so, nobody really desires meekness. Yet, Jesus teaches us that it's a quality, a character quality that we need to seek diligently. And it won't come unless you do seek it. Because if you look at the definition of meekness in the vines Greek dictionary, which was what the New Testament was written in, part of the definition, and I love this, is "Strength under control".
Now think about that. The Bible says Jesus was meek. Well, so many times he was being mistreated and he could have done something about it, he had all power in heaven and earth. But yet he knew that he was in the center of God's will. And that a plan was being worked out. And he stood there meekly and waited for God's timing to be his vindicator. Boy, this is gonna be good for some people today that are watching. You're busy trying to get everybody back for what they've done to you, and God wants you to meekly and trustingly wait on him. "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth".
The meek are the same as the humble, you might interchange the two words. The meek person won't try to make something happen themselves, because they have a reverential fear of God. They don't want to offend God. They don't wanna miss what God has for them, so they'll wait on God's plan to develop in their life. But the proud person isn't gonna wait on God, they're gonna fix it right now. They're gonna have a plan, and they're gonna work their plan. And so often our own plans don't work out. Matthew 5:5 in the message Bible says, "You're blessed when you're content with just who you are". I love this, so, I really want you to get this part. "You're blessed when you're content with just who you are, no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourself proud owners of everything that can't be bought".
Oh, my goodness, what would happen if we were content with who we are? Now, I don't mean that if we have sin in our life, or character flaws that, you know, we need to be satisfied just to stay that way. We should always want to grow spiritually, and to overcome things in our life that are against God's will for us. But I'm talking about can you be content with the abilities that you have? Or do you look at other people who can do things you can't do, and you're jealous of them, and dissatisfied with yourself, because you want to be more than what you are? Or can you just be content with, "God this is who you've made me to be. These are the gifts and the abilities you've given me. And I love you, and I just wanna be who you made me to be".
I tell you: I think that most of our unhappiness comes from not liking ourselves. And truthfully, if you don't get along with yourself, you're not gonna get along with anybody else. Ask yourself today, "Are you content with who you are? Or are you always comparing yourself to somebody else, and competing with them wanting to be what they are"? The meek person is blessed because he's content. He has power over the devil because he's not disturbed whether he's being abased or abounding. To be honest, the blessedness of contentment is almost too wonderful to even know how to describe it. Just imagine not be upset about where you're at in life right now. And you know contentment doesn't mean satisfied to the point where you never want change, but it means satisfied to the point where you're not disturbed about where you're at right now.
I wanna say that again, to be content does not mean that you never want change. But it means you're content with where you're at right now because you know that you're growing, and that things are always changing in your life. And that if God has another plan for you, God can make it come to pass. God can do in a moment what we cannot do in a lifetime. Blessed are the meek. I'll be happy to tell you that I had a difficult time with meekness. Because I had been abused in my childhood and pushed around by people, and abandoned and abused some more, my father sexually abused me, and my first husband abused me and ran around with other women. And I just always felt like I was being taken advantage of. And so, I made vows and promises to myself when I was growing up, "When I get out of this situation, nobody's ever gonna tell me what to do again. Nobody's ever gonna push me around, nobody's ever gonna hurt me".
Well, then I had a very difficult time being meek and gentle and humble, because I wanted to take care of myself. But I tell you, it's hard work. First of all, it never works, and so anything that doesn't work is hard work, if you're trying to do it. It's been so wonderful to learn and keep learning, that it's so much better to wait on God. And I know some of you, right now, you need this message today, because you are in some kind of a situation and you are having a hard, hard time trying to wait on God. You know, we'll pray and we'll wait on God for a little bit, but we've always got a back-up plan in case he doesn't come through pretty quick. And sometimes you have to wait on God along time. You know, for example, don't go marry the wrong person in haste, because you don't wanna wait for God to bring the right person into your life.
Paul said that he learned how to be content, and I think it is something that we have to learn. And sometimes you have to be miserable long enough, that you finally say, "I can't live with this misery anymore. I'm gonna learn how to do things God's way". Philippians 4:11 and 12, Paul said, "I am not saying this because I'm in need, for I have learned to be content whatever my circumstances might be. I know how to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether I'm fed or hungry, living in plenty or living in want". You know, I said, "A meek person has the things that you can't buy with money".
Well, what are some of those things? You can't buy peace, you can't buy joy. You can maybe buy a little bit of fun, but fun only lasts while it's fun. When the fun's over, then that doesn't mean that you have any joy. Joy is so much deeper than fun. You can't buy a deep satisfaction in your soul of being content with who you are, and where God has you in life, right now. And you can't buy a sense of being right with God. God offers that to us through our faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus took our sin, and he gave us his right standing through our faith in him. These blessings cannot be bought, but they can come to a meek person. We should have a meek attitude and simply say, "I am what I am by God's grace. I cannot be anything else unless God helps me". I love that. "I don't need to compete with other people. I don't need to compare myself with other people. I am satisfied with what God has created".
Wow, I just feel so strongly that there are people who need to hear this today. And not just hear it with the ears on your head, but get it deep down inside of you. "I'm satisfied with who I am, with what God has made me to be, with the gifts, and the talents, and the abilities that he's given me. I'm satisfied with where I'm at in life, right now, because I know that I won't be here forever. God is always changing me". He changes us little by little from glory to glory. Just try to imagine the blessed life you would have, if you're completely satisfied. You feel right about yourself. You feel right about God and your relationship with him, and you're content with the life that he's giving you right now.
I like to say some mornings, "I love God, I love myself in Christ, I love my life, I love this day, and I'm gonna enjoy it". Don't always be hating, "I hate my life, I hate my hair, I hate the way I look, I hate my job, I hate my neighbors, I hate my neighborhood, I hate my car". That kind of stuff just makes you more and more and more discontent. You know, if there's something about you that needs to change, and you can change it, then do so. But don't spin your wheels and waste your time trying to do something about something you can't do anything about.
You know, I'd love to play a musical instrument and be able to sing, but that's just not me. When I sing in a public meeting during worship, they turn my microphone off because I sing in a key that nobody's ever heard, they don't even know what it is. And you know, I used to, "Wish I could sing like this one, wish I could sing like that one. Oh, if I could just preach and sing that would be wonderful". Well, I can't sing, and I tried to learn to play a guitar, but my fingers are so short I couldn't do that properly. Don't spend your time trying to strengthen all your weaknesses, maximize your strengths and get the best you can out of them. I can't sing but I can communicate.
Stop thinking about what you can't do, and look at what you can do, and start doing that. The meek person accepts life as it comes, he doesn't fight with everything that's not the way he would like it to be. Do you have a plan for today? Well, I can pretty much promise you, that everything is not going to work out the way you planned.
I talked to my daughter yesterday and she had a plan for the day, and she had all these things she wanted to get done. And so, I purposely didn't bother her yesterday with phone calls, because I wanted to give her a chance to get those things done. And this morning when I talked to her, I said, "Well, how did things go yesterday, did you get a lot accomplished"? And she said, "Nope, not hardly at all". One of her daughters came over, and she felt like it was a better thing for her to change her plan and spend that quality time with her daughter while she can. You know, it's good to have a plan. But we've also got to be ready to lay that down and make way for God. God often interrupts us, and when God wants to interrupt you, you certainly need to let him do so, because his plan is going to be better than yours.
Recently I was frustrated because a bunch of things had gone wrong in the morning. And I was gettin' ready to go out the door, and I was a little bit miffed, and God just spoke to me and he said, "Joyce learn to take life as it comes". That's so much better than fighting everything. This doesn't mean that we never resist wrong things. But it does mean that we don't waste our energy, trying to do something about something we can't do anything about. Meekness is not weakness, meekness is power, it's strength under control. Look at this scripture about Jesus. Matthew 26:48-54, "Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: 'the one that I kiss is the man: that you should arrest'". Jesus was betrayed with a kiss. "Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, 'greetings, rabbi,' and he kissed him. And Jesus replied, 'do what you came for, friend'. Then the men stepped forward seized Jesus and arrested him. With that, one of Jesus' companions," who happened to be Peter, "Reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear".
Now, you know, Peter had a little problem with pride and that eventually got dealt with in his life. But he wasn't the one to just wait, he's like, "Well... You're not gonna do that". "Jesus said to him, 'put your sword back in its place, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword'". Now, listen to this, "'do you think that I cannot call on my father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels'"? In other words, Jesus said, "If I don't wanna go through this, I don't have to. I can ask my father, and he'll send 12 legions of angels to deal with this. I don't need you, Peter, to cut off somebody's ear". And by the way, Jesus healed the man's ear. I love that. He said, "'but then how would the scripture be fulfilled that says it must happen this way'"?
That's one of the best examples of meekness that we can find in the scripture. Jesus said, "I don't have to put up with this. I don't have to stand here and let them capture me and take me". We need to understand that Jesus did not have to do what he did for us, he chose to do it in obedience to his father. Wow, I wrote that beside this, "Wow"! How many times would we be better off to just be quiet in a situation, not have to have the last word, not have to argue about a situation? But no, we've gotta show them that we're right. We've gotta prove that we're right. Let's pray and ask God for meekness and humility. You know why? Because it's a position of power, it's not a position of weakness, it's a position of power. "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth".
A meek person will allow God to be their vindicator. Romans 12:19, "Don't take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: 'it is mine to avenge: I will repay,' says the Lord". Oh, how good is that? The moment that you forgive your enemies, you're set free. It doesn't mean that what they did is right, but your right response is to let it go and give it to God. And then God can deal with the person in the right way. We might be inclined to cut off their ear, but God might have a better plan. Let him be the one. And in Hebrews 10:30 it says, "For we know him who said, 'it is mine to revenge: I will repay, I the Lord will judge the people'".
You know, a meek person won't even feel the need to defend themselves. Now, that may sound really strange. But you know, whatever people said about Jesus, he just said, "Whatever you think". You know, I really think a person who really knows who they are, and is confident in who you are, you don't feel the need to have to convince everybody else that you're okay, and try to get them to think good things about you. I think Jesus' attitude was more, you know, think what you want to, I know who I am. And the apostle Paul said, "You judge me if you want to, I don't care what you think, because I don't feel anything against myself".
We just wear ourselves out trying to make sure that everybody thinks we're good and that we're right. We don't need to be so concerned about what everybody thinks. Let God convince people. Matthew 27:12, "When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer at all". It takes real power to not retaliate and try to vindicate yourself. A meek person handles correction graciously. Oh my, Proverbs 1:7 says, "Fools despise skillful and godly wisdom, instruction, and discipline". How hard is it when somebody brings you a word of correction, to say, "Thank you"? Oh my, it's takin' me awhile to get there.
And just yesterday, somebody said something to me that was a little bit of a corrective nature, and I said, "Thank you for reminding me of that". And I was like, "Did I say that"? That was me, God you are really in the miracle-working business because I can tell you years ago, that wouldn't have been me. If somebody woulda told me there was something wrong with me, I woulda quickly told them everything that was wrong with them. "Yeah, well, you're not so perfect yourself either". How wonderful it is to be meek enough to just say, "Thank you for sharing that with me". And that doesn't even mean that they're always right, but we can let God let them know if they're wrong. Oooh boy, we don't like to be corrected.
Ew, here's a good one, a meek person is submissive to authority. I bet you just love to have people tell you what to do, don't you? You know, watchman nee said, "That a person's first job when they walk into a room, is to find out who's in charge, and then make a decision to come under their authority". We have such a rebellious society today, I mean, nobody wants anybody telling them anything. And you can't grow spiritually, if you can never receive any kind of correction. The word itself corrects us. If I talk to you about not feeling sorry for yourself, I'm not doin' it because I'm wanting to make you feel bad about yourself. I'm doing it because I wanna help you be set free from that thing that's keepin' you in bondage. Have a submissive attitude to authority.
And let me conclude this teaching by saying that the Bible tells us that we are to seek, and that's a strong word, it means to pursue and go after with everything you've got. We're to seek humility and to seek meekness. These are not character traits that are just gonna fall on us because we go to church. They're not even necessarily things that we can just pray for God to give us, and all of a sudden, they're just gonna show up. I mean, for example, if you pray for patience, you're gonna probably get some kind of a trial. Because you can't develop patience, if you don't have anything to be patient about. It's the same way with meekness and humility. If you really wanna be a meek person, you're probably gonna have an opportunity where you're gonna have to decide if you're gonna walk in pride, or if you're gonna walk in humility, and wait on God and trust him.
Well, I hope you've enjoyed what we had to say so far today, or at least if you didn't enjoy it, I hope that it helps you to be more like Jesus. We're offering you some more teaching, like we always do, "Nine Attitudes That Keep You Happy," on four CDs and the "Battlefield of the Mind Study Bible". Study Bibles are great tools, I encourage you to get these resources.