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Watch 2022 online sermons » Joyce Meyer » Joyce Meyer - The Pursuit of Peace - Part 2

Joyce Meyer - The Pursuit of Peace - Part 2

Joyce Meyer - The Pursuit of Peace - Part 2
Joyce Meyer - The Pursuit of Peace - Part 2

Peace with God, peace with yourself, peace with your fellow man. This is actually a three-part series if I preach it properly, but you're gonna get this download here in five minutes. If you're gonna have peace with God, you gotta know that God loves you. You have to know God's character so you can know what to expect from him. You know that when you sin, he's ready to forgive. You know that he's full of mercy. You know that you can trust God. You can be open with God. You can talk to God about anything. There's absolutely nothing that you need to try to hide from God because he knows everything anyway. So if you're gonna have peace with God, don't try to keep secrets from him. There is no such thing as keeping a secret from God.

How silly is that to think we're not gonna tell God something. Peace with yourself, that's another 4-part series. Why don't you once and for all if you need to, accept yourself tonight? Quit having a war with yourself. You don't have any peace if you're constantly picking on yourself, taking a continual inventory of everything that's wrong with you, comparing yourself with other people. "I don't look like this, and I don't look like that, and I wish I had their figure, and I wish I had your hair. And I wish I had your gift, and I wish I could sing like that". Not. We are what we are. Let's take what we are, which is God's will. He doesn't make any junk. He doesn't make any mistakes. And let's do the best that we can with it and stop competing with other people and wanting a life that's not the life we have. We can be sour and sad the rest of our life because we're not like somebody else but that's never gonna make us like somebody else. Be yourself. Everybody else is already taken. Amen?

Now let me just tell ya, if you don't like yourself, you're in for a rough go because everywhere you go, there you are. Have peace with God, have peace with yourself, and then have peace with people. Wow. Let me give ya just a few tips on how to have peace with people, just a handful. Be stingy with your criticism. I mean just be as stingy as you can be with criticism. Mind your own business. Give your opinion very sparingly. Even when people ask for your opinion, usually they just want you to agree with 'em, not suggesting you be dishonest but you gotta keep in mind that I'm saying even if you only gave your opinion when people asked for it, even half the time they ask for it, they don't really want it. So there's really no point in giving people our opinion when they've not asked for it because it's never gonna hit them the right way. Don't try to control people. They don't like it. Everybody's not like you. Give them some space.

Now, we're gonna talk about the main thing I want to talk about tonight. The other thing that steals our peace is the storms of life. There's big storms, little storms, long storms, short storms, storms that aren't in the forecast, and we need to learn how to live ready. Now, we looked at 1 Peter 3:11 but let's look at Psalm 34:14. What is our job during a storm? It's not to fix the storm. It's not to make the storm go away. It's to actually hold on to our peace. If you want to become a powerful person, you learn how to hold your peace in the storm and when you can do that, the devil does not know what to do with you. Psalm 34:14. You say, "Well, it's just too hard. I just get too upset". Well, see, that's our first mistake saying that we can't do what God tells us to do. "Depart from evil and do good: seek, inquire for, and crave peace, pursue it and (go after) it".

I wish that I could convey to you what this scripture in 1 Peter 3:11 meant to my life when I realized, now listen to me, that I could no longer just stand around and wait for peace to fall on me, that I wasn't getting it by wishing it for it. I wasn't even getting it by praying for it because, to be honest, a lot of times we pray for things we've already got. And so we're praying prayers that are just useless because they're not prayers that God can answer. To say, "Give me peace" is not the right way to pray. Here's the way to pray, "God, help me walk in the peace that you've already given me that's inside of me. I have peace," and the more you believe that you have peace, the more you'll be willing to access that peace and walk in it when you need it. Peace protects you. Peace gives you power. Peace gives you authority over the devil.

When you hold your peace, it is the most powerful position that you can have. When we get rattled and upset, we are doing exactly what the devil wants us to do. Did you hear me? When we get rattled and upset and start saying all kinds of... Come on, you know when you get upset, the mouth goes to work. How many of you think that it's possible that you can learn to be peaceful in the storm? Some of you are just like, "I don't know. You don't know me". Well, I know me. You know, I used to have so many tantrums. Oh, my gosh, I was just like a pressure cooker waiting to blow. My mother cooked in a pressure cooker a lot when I was a kid. And if you've ever seen one, you know when it builds up steam inside then that little thing on top goes, it's threatening just looking at it, spurting out steam every once in a while.

And I remember her saying all the time, "Don't touch it. Don't touch it. Whatever you do, don't take the lid off. Don't touch it". And I was kind of like that it was like I was just like, just waiting for somebody to push me the wrong way. But you know why I was like that? It was because of all the stuff going on inside me. I wasn't protecting the kingdom that is within me. I didn't know who I was in Christ. I didn't have peace with God. I didn't believe God loved me. I didn't even believe he liked me let alone believe that God was actually pleased with me. I was insecure, I was fearful, all the wrong things. I didn't have to be, but why was I not getting victory over those things? Because I was pursuing kingdom benefits. I wanted my ministry to grow. I wanted my husband to change. I wanted my kids to change. I wanted to be in this certain social group at church. I wanted, I wanted, I wanted, I wanted. Give me, give me, give me, give me.

I'm just telling you the truth. I wasn't chasing after the right thing. And if you chase the wrong thing, you're never gonna end up with the right thing. Amen? That's a keeper. If you chase the wrong thing, you'll never end up with the right thing. If you want peace, pursue it. If you wanna walk in love, you gotta study love. You gotta put on love. You gotta get up every day and you gotta plan to go out of your house and love people. You gotta be ready to give. You gotta have stuff prepared to give. If you want to walk in love, you can because God will help us walk in love. He's called us to walk in love and I wanna love people. I wanna be peaceful, and I am determined that I'm gonna enjoy my life, I mean everything about my life, not just the vacations, not just the paydays, everything about my life. How many of you are ready for some of that? But storms come. You never know exactly when they're gonna come.

John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you: my [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid". Now how many of you are seeing that next sentence coming up? "[stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed: and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]" now, let's be clear that we're not gonna do anything without the grace of God, nothing. Apart from you, we can do nothing. Our job is to believe and God's job is to do. So I believe that God can help me do everything that he's told me to do if I'm willing, and I can't be just a little bit willing, I've gotta be radically willing. It's amazing what I've seen happen in my life in this area of temperament. Just by focusing on something like "I'm determined I'm not gonna live without peace". And it took me a good number of years. I had to really start backing into, okay, what is stealing my peace? I found out when I have to hurry that I lose my peace.

So, then I had to stop hurrying. I found out that if I worry about stuff all the time, that I'm not gonna keep my peace. So I had to dig in with God, and pray, and study the Word of God enough to get to the point that I realized how useless worry is. Worry is like sitting in a rocking chair and rocking all day. It keeps you busy but it gets you nowhere. You don't make any progress. It's useless. What is it that steals your peace? You say, "Well, my kids steal my peace". Well, you got 'em. They're yours. They're gonna be there until they're grown and gone. Sorry, that's... You wanted 'em. "These kids are driving me crazy". Well, yeah, kids can be challenging, there's no doubt about it. You got three or four teenagers in the house, you need every book I got, trust me. But here's the thing, you weren't any different when you were their age, except those few of you that were angelic while you were growing up.

I mean how many of you did some double dumb stuff when you were a kid? I mean I used to do stupid stuff like hold my breath till I'd pass out. Play chicken with cars out in the street. Me and my friends would lay down in the street and see how close the car could get to us before we'd roll out of the way. Last one to, yeah, people are going... Well, you know, I had a lot of guts way back then, I just wasn't too smart about it. I did stupid stuff, dumb stuff. You're all shaking your head at me, what did you do? And you know what? I'm still here, and I love God. And I've got a fruitful life. I'm doing some good things. And you're still here and you're growing up in God. And you know what? Your kids are lot more likely to make it if you pray for them and stop nagging 'em all the time. Hold your peace. You know we think that we can't. "I can't help it. I just get upset. I can't help it, I just get upset".

You know let's have a moment of truth. The truth is we can control ourselves, if we really want to. If you're around the right people, come on, if you're around the right people, you won't act the way you do at home sometimes. Come on now, it's a moment of truth, you know. Exodus 14:13 and 14, the Israelites were between the Red Sea and the Egyptian army, not a great place to be. And they started having a fit and God told Moses to tell 'em, "Hold your peace, hold your peace, hold your peace, and God will fight for you". See, when we hold our peace what we're really saying out loud with our actions is "God, I trust you". When we hold our peace we're saying, "I know there's nothing I can do about this but, God, I trust you to take care of this situation".

Now, you know, we have two categories of problems. We have circumstance problems and people problems. And people problems make up a large percentage of it. But the best thing to do is to keep yourself calm in adversity, let the storm pass, which it always does. There's always sunshine above the clouds, always. We need to learn to mount up with wings as eagles. When they have a storm, they actually use the storm, the downdraft of the storm, instead of running from it, they head right into it. You've heard the term "Old eagle eye". They have tunnel vision, they can see miles away, and they see a storm coming and they don't run from it. They get ready and they use it. And when the wind hits them, it bounces them up above the storm. They look down at the storm and fly around in the sun. "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and they shall not faint".

God did not create us to be afraid of everything and be running all the time. If you notice in the armor in Ephesians 6 there's none for your backside. That's because God didn't expect to see his sons and daughters running from trouble. Stand still, hold your peace and God will fight for you. The battle is not yours, but it's God's and the enemy that you've seen today, you will not see again. What do I need to do? What do you need to do? Hold my peace. Hold my peace. Nothing else just, "I trust you, God. I trust you, I trust you, I trust you". In Mark chapter 4, verse 35 Jesus got in the boat with the disciples and said, "Let us go to the other side".

In Mark chapter 5, verse 1 it says, "And they arrived at the other side". But there are several verses in between that. And they got in the boat and a major storm of hurricane proportions hit the boat. And it was relentless and it was tossing the boat hither and tither. And Jesus was asleep having a nap in the bottom of the boat. And they were having them a fit. "Don't you care anything about us"? "God, don't you love me? Surely if you loved me, this would not be happening. I know you could do something, God, and you're not doing anything. I don't understand why you're not doing anything". And Jesus rebuked them for their littleness of faith. "Oh, you of little faith". He calmed the storm, corrected them. In chapter 5, verse 1, they arrived on the other side. And you know what? Whatever you're going through, it will pass. It will. It's not gonna last forever. The more you tell yourself that, the easier it's gonna be for you to go through it. And I know if you're hurting now, that does not sound inviting at all.

You're like, "Don't tell me to be peaceful and happy. You do not have any idea what I'm going through". Well, I don't know exactly what you're going through but, you know, I'm not talking out of no experience. I've been through a lot of really, really, really hard things. When I'm going through really hard times, one of the things that really helps me is to think about what benefit I might get out of it when it's over. What do we end up with when we go through these really, really, really difficult times? Well, I'm gonna tell you a handful of things that you come out of it with. Number one, you're closer to God than you've ever been before. Am I not telling you the truth? How many of you have been through, as a believer you have been through some kind of a nightmarish situation and you can honestly say that on the other side of it, you knew God in a way that you did not know him when you went in? Can I tell you that is a great benefit? That's the best benefit of all.

The second thing that you get is more compassion for hurting people. It really hurts you when you see other people hurt because you've been touched with those same kinds of infirmities. We have a high priest who understands because he has suffered in all points and been tempted in all points just like we have, yet he never sinned but he understands. And I'll tell you the truth, if you think God's gonna use you to minister to other people and you're gonna be able to do it and never go through anything, you better not pray that "Use me, God," prayer and if you already have, it's too late. You can't take it back now. Come on. If we don't have any experience, we have nothing to say. And I'm not saying everybody's life has to be a nightmare for you to encourage other people, but I'm just telling you when you get down with people that feel like their guts are coming out, you better have something to relate to with them 'cause they want to know that you know what they're going through.

Another thing that you get when you go through things like this is you are more thankful and more grateful. We begin to appreciate things that God would love us to appreciate anyway and we don't. The next thing you get is stronger, stronger, whoo. Something happens in your soul. You know, Joseph had a pretty rough time, but interestingly enough in Genesis, there's not very much said about it at all. It just really kind of looks like he just, well you know, got thrown in a pit, and sold into slavery. Potiphar's wife lied about him so he just went to jail and was nice there too. You know, yippee, yippee and someday he ended up in the palace. And I got to thinking about that. I thought surely there's more to it than that. I mean, surely, it was hard for him to go through the things that he went through. And I wish sometimes that the Bible did tell us more about the gut-wrenching things that some of these people went through. Well, it does with job, it does with David, but with Joseph I thought it really didn't say that much. But then I found a secret in Psalm 105. Let's look at Psalm 105, verses 17 and 18. You doing good out there? We're gonna have peace on purpose.

Psalm 105:17 and 18, "He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold as a servant". God sent him because he was trying to get him in a place where God was gonna need a man that belonged to him. Actually when God sent him and all that stuff happened to him, God had one thing in mind for Joseph and that was promotion. One of the things you're gonna get when you go through hard times is promoted when it's all over. Now let's put this next verse back up and look at this. "He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold as a servant. His feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in chains of iron," and here it is, "And his soul entered into the iron". You don't get it, do you? You know what? Nobody's gonna understand that scripture if you haven't lived it. I get it. It's like the chains that had him bound did something in his soul so magnificent, the pain that he went through in that situation did something so unbelievably magnificent in his soul that his soul became like that iron, not hardhearted, but strong, strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

You know, one of the reasons why I'm strong is because I made it through almost 15 years of regular sexual abuse and being raped over and over by my own father. But I'm strong. And I'm not bitter. Now, you know, just to make sure I wasn't being a heretic, I decided I better look at what somebody else had to say about that verse. So I looked up some stuff out of "The treasury of David," that sounded pretty right on. So, I thought I'd do that. And it quotes the verse, "Whose feet they hurt with fetters'. From this we learn a little more about Joseph's sufferings than we do from the book of Genesis". And then he goes on, "He was laid in irons, or into iron came his soul". "The prayer book version" of this verse says, "The iron entered into his soul. It is ungrammatical but probably expresses much of the same truth. His fetters hurt his mind as well as his body and well did Jacob say..."

And I won't go into all that. But then down here it says, "The iron fedders were preparing him to wear chains of gold, and making his feet ready to stand on high places. It is even so with all the Lord's afflicted ones, they too shall one day step from their prisons to their thrones". Yes! Please remember, if you're going through something that you just feel like is gonna kill you, it won't. Now, you can give up, if you want to. But if you make a decision, "Not only am I not gonna give up, I'm gonna hang on to my peace and believe that God is gonna work something good out of this". And you can make a few announcements to the devil. "I'm gonna be more compassionate. I'm gonna be closer to God. I'm gonna be more grateful than ever before. You are gonna be sorry that you messed with me. Because I am gonna be a much better person, than I was when this started. And I am going to have a promotion in my life". Come on, everybody give God praise. Amen!
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