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Watch 2022 online sermons » Joyce Meyer » Joyce Meyer - When Bad Things Happen to Good People - Part 1

Joyce Meyer - When Bad Things Happen to Good People - Part 1

Joyce Meyer - When Bad Things Happen to Good People - Part 1
TOPICS: Hard times
Joyce Meyer - When Bad Things Happen to Good People - Part 1

How many of you know, that it's very, very important that we make every effort that we can to be positive, in life. Some people, to be honest, you could solve all your problems if you would just change from being negative to positive. God's positive. There's nothing negative at all about him. And so, I just wanna encourage you to make a decision to say good things about your life, and good things about your family, and good things about your future, and just make that effort. Make a Holy Ghost effort to be positive.

And I heard a little story that I thought was cute. There was a woman that was, she was very positive lady and she was starting to lose some of her hair. And one morning, she got up and she only had three hairs on her head. And being positive, and wanting to have the best outlook, she said, "Well, I think, today, I'll just braid my hair". So, she braided her hair. The next day, she got up and she only had two hairs on her head. She said, "Well, I think, today, I'll just put my hair in pigtails". So, she put it in pigtails. The next day this poor woman woke up, and she only had one hair left on her head, and she said, "Well, I know what I'll do. Today, I'll put my hair in a ponytail". The next day she got up and didn't have any hair at all. She said, "Well, thank God, today, I don't have to do my hair".

I don't know that I could be that positive, but might give it a try. Well, I want to talk to you, today, about what happens when bad things happen to good people. You know, just because you're a Christian, that doesn't make you immune to having trouble, does it? Matter of fact, sometimes, it seems like you get more than other people do. And we to have to understand that the enemy hates it that you're saved. He hates it that you love God. Another thing, he hates, you have to understand this, is he hates it when you make any kind of progress. Any kind of progress at all. And in the earlier service, I was reading out of Mark 4 that when the sower sows the seed, and the word is placed in our heart, that the devil comes immediately and tries to take what was put in our heart. And I shared, and I just wanna to share this with you, 'cuz I think it's so important.

Mark 4, I believe, it's verse 27 says that, "The measure [of thought and study] that we give [to the truth that we hear] is the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that will come back to us again". Let's say that again. "The measure [of thought and study] that we give [to the truth that we hear] is the measure [of virtue]", which is another word for power, "[and knowledge] that will come back to you". So, I just wonder, let me just ask how much time do you put into meditating on, thinking about, maybe, doing a little deeper study on what you hear, when you come to church on Sunday. I know some of you, if you're honest, you'd have to say, "I never think about it again".

A lot of people can go to church on Sunday, and three hours later, they can't even tell you what the message was. And, the way you get the most out of anything is if you think about it a little bit. And in particular, I think it's important that you apply the message to yourself. In other words, when I'm done, today, I would like you to do a little thinking this afternoon, maybe, discuss it with somebody if you can. "Well, how do I behave when I have trouble? How do I behave when tests, and trials, and tribulations come my way? Am i? Do I remain stable? Do I continue to bless other people"? You know, I believe that we can grow to the place where, when we have trouble, we don't behave any differently at all, than if we weren't having any trouble.

Now, that doesn't mean that you're not hurting. But here's the thing that we have to learn is when you do the right thing, while you're still hurting, when you're good to other people, while you're hurting, yourself, that's when you're growing spiritually. When everything is up and rosy and you're feeling good, and getting your prayers answered, and a lot of great things happening to you, that's wonderful. We enjoy that, but you don't grow spiritually during those times. You enjoy the growth that you've already had, that you got during difficulty. How many of you agree, that the spiritual growth that you have, most of it came in your life, when you were having challenges and trouble, and having to apply the word that you know? And that's exactly why God tells us to give thanks in all things.

And to take it even a little bit further, in Ephesians 5:20 it says, "Give thanks to God for all things". Now, that's even a little bit harder. "Thank you, God, for this problem". See, that almost sounds ridiculous to even say that. But, if we really understand what difficulty does for us, then we can, "By faith," not by feelings, "But by faith," we can thank God. "God, if you're allowing me to go through this, I know you're good, I know you love me, and something good is going to come out of this. And I'm gonna be stronger". And I'll tell you, one thing you get, when you go through something, that is more valuable than what you might even imagine, and that is experience. Experience.

You know, you don't do what I'm doing and not have the devil attack you. And I could stand here and give you a list of that would wrap around this church, of different things that have happened to me, and different situations that have come against me, in these 45 years. And, especially, in the beginning, maybe, like, the first 20 years. I think, once the devil gets it through his thick head that you're not gonna quit and give up, then, maybe, he'll go and bother somebody else. But we still do have situations come up every single, solitary day. But you know, I don't notice 'em so much anymore. It's like, I guess I just don't pay that much attention, or I just realize it's just part of life. And that's just what you gotta deal with, and you go on about your business.

This morning, I got up at 4 o'clock to start studying, and there was only two lamps in the room. That's all the light that there was. So, I was sitting by one of the lamps, and the light started to flicker on and off. And so, I'm doing what we normally do. I shook the lamp, and hit the bulb. But I thought, "Oh, don't go out. Don't tell me you're gonna go out". Well, sure, enough, it went out. So, now, I can remember a time, when I had less experience that, that would have just... It would have upset me. "Here I am, God, trying to study the word. Get ready for this service". Come on, you know how we are. "Why'd this have to happen, now"? Has anybody noticed that trouble never comes at a convenient time? It's always when you don't want it. It's never the right time to have it. And so, I calmly got up. Went to another lamp. Took the bulb out of that lamp. Went and put a new bulb in my lamp. And everything was fine.

You know, it's so wonderful when you can stop being upset about stuff you just can't do anything about. I wonder how many of you are dealing with somethin' right now, you can't do anything about it. Only God can do something about it. And you don't want it to last long. And we hope it don't last long, but only God can control that, too. And I don't know why it is, that sometimes, we have a trial and it gets over real quick. We pray and we get an answer to prayer right away. But then, there's other times, when they just last, and last, and last. And it seems like it's one thing after another, after another, after another. And it just doesn't do any good to get upset. Because getting upset about it just makes it worse. And so, I've had a lot of experience in my life, just like many of you have.

I was sexually abused by my father, growing up. And you know, every time you have a bad experience, you have a decision to make. "Am I going to go over or am I going to go under? Am I gonna get bitter, or am I gonna let this make me better"? And one of the reasons why I chose this subject, today, was because... We put Instagram posts on every day, on social media, and they're just about a minute long. But I can tell how many people watch the different ones. And I don't look at the numbers just to feel good about myself, or feel bad about myself, whichever way the numbers turn out to be. But I do it because it helps me know, really, what people need the most. You know, it's like, like, I had one up, the other day, and it was about excuses, and we had 427.000 people watch it.

Well, I think I'm gonna do some teaching on excuses. Matter of fact, I think I just might make a whole series. So, that tells me a lot of people know that they're making excuses for stuff that they ought to be dealing with. But the other one that was really high, I mean, normally, average for us would be about 250.000 people a day watching them, but this one was close to 500.000, and it was what to do, when you have trouble, you have three choices. And I guess there's a lot of people, with a lot of trouble, because they were sure watching. So, I thought, maybe, some of you, might be having some trouble and, maybe, I could talk to you about these choices, today, that we have.

So, when you have trouble, you can give up. You can just, say, "That's it". You can let it destroy you. You can let it destroy your faith. And you know how we are, when things first happen, especially, if it's real painful we're like, "I just can't take this, I can't do this. I can't take this". I shared earlier, today, that when God called Jeremiah, Jeremiah said, "You got the wrong man". It's interesting, how often, we think God's got the wrong person for the job. "Surely, you don't want me to do that"? After my parents, abused me... Well, my mother didn't abuse me, my dad did. But my mom knew about it, and she was just too fearful and weak to do anything about it. And as they got older, and weren't able to take care of themselves properly, I mean, they were limping along, but they weren't taking care of ourselves properly.

One morning, I was praying, and God started putting on my heart that he wanted me to bring my parents to st. Louis, where I live. They lived about 300 miles from us. And take care of them, till they died. Well, I rebuked it. I thought it was a devil. I said, "No, God, you got the wrong woman". I was like, Jeremiah, "This can't be". But sure enough, God didn't give up. And it was me. And so, we obeyed God and did it, and turned out to be the thing that actually, brought my father to a place of repentance and salvation, before he died. You know, a lot of times when God asks you to do something hard, it's for somebody else. And sometimes, when you go through something hard, the sole purpose is just for somebody else to see how you handled it. Amen?

In Luke 6, Jesus said, "What good is it if you love somebody who loves you back? Even the sinner can do that. What good is it if you lend to somebody who can pay you back? Even a sinner can do that". And so, let's just say, what good is it if we're all happy and positive, when everything is coming up roses, and I mean, a sinner can do that. But the thing that's supposed to be different about us, is that by trusting God, when we have trouble, to be really honest, we should grow to the point where you can't really tell any difference in us, when we're having trouble, and when we're not. It's called being stable. And that's something we all need to pray for, and seek for, in our life, is to be stable. To not be up and down, up and down, with our circumstances, but let the circumstances do what they want to, and we remain the same.

There's nothing that makes the devil any madder, than for you to love people, when you feel like all hell has broken out against you. And experience is so important. You know, one of the things when you go and apply for a job, one of the first things they'll ask you is, "Do you have any experience"? Everybody would rather hire an experienced employee than somebody that they're gonna have to train from the ground floor up. But the only way you can get experience is by going through things. Nobody can pray experience on you.

The Bible even says of Jesus, in Hebrews chapter 5, that, "Although he was a son, he learned, [special active] obedience by the things that he suffered, and that those things gave him experience that allowed him to become the author and the source of salvation". So, even, some of the hard things that Jesus went through, helped prepare him, for the call on his life. And I'm telling you that some of the things that you're going through, right now, they're intended to help prepare you, for something that God wants to use you for. And you don't know what God may want to do with you.

My goodness. I was making my bed when God called me to preach. I wasn't expecting to get a call to preach. I was making my bed. I was about 36 years old, and just making my bed. Listening to the first teaching cassette, at that time, I'd ever heard. It was a message called, "Cross over to the other side". And this desire just filled me, to teach the word. And I felt like God said, "You're gonna teach my word, and go all over the world, and teach my word". And that was the most ridiculous thing that I could have ever heard. Because I was the last person on the face of this earth, that you would have ever thought could have done anything like that. I mean, I had so many problems, you wouldn't believe how many problems I had. I was a mess. So, see, part of God's deal is, is that no matter what your like, right now, you can look at somebody like me, who's made it through, and say, "You know what? If she can do that, I can do that, too". Amen?

So, experience is very, very valuable. And if you don't get anything else out of your trials, except experience... See, I know how to handle a light bulb that goes out, now... At an inconvenient time, because that's not the first time it's happened. And there would have been a time when I would have gotten all upset about that, and ruined my day, and probably found some reason to get mad at Dave, because my light bulb went out get out. You know, when things happen to us, if we don't like, we have a tendency to take it out on other people. You ever notice that? And in James chapter one, it says something none of us like. "Consider it joyful", what a scripture, "Consider it joyful when you fall into all kinds a trials and tribulations knowing that the trying of your faith, worketh patience". The Amplified Bible says, "Brings out patience".

Well, I'll tell ya, it brought a lot of stuff out of me before we ever got around to patience. Man! See, you're a spirit, soul, and body. And the spirit is the deepest part of you, and when the Holy Spirit comes to live in you, when you're born again, the Holy Spirit comes to live in you, "The seed of God, the divine sperm," the Amplified Bible says, "Comes to live in you". And so, if you can just look at it this way, it's like, you get a seed of everything that God is, planted in you. But you know, seeds have to grow. They have to be watered, they have to be nurtured, they have to be taken care of. And what God does is he takes these seeds, and pretty soon, they make their way out of your spirit into your soul. And your soul is your mind, your will, and your emotions.

So, you actually, start to think different. You begin to talk different. Man, you even start to act different. Wow! So, why should we be joyful in trials? Because it's going to work good things and you. Now, I know it's hard to do, when the trial is going on. But after you get a few rounds, you finally learn the right way to handle stuff and the wrong way to handle stuff. Because I can tell you, no matter how mad you get, it's not going to make your trial go away. And if you get bitter and resentful, and you're offended because you have a problem, that's not gonna help you either. And so, we need to learn that these things that we go through, have a purpose. We may not know what that purpose is, but if it's nothing other than for us to get experience, it's worth it. Amen.
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