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Watch 2022 online sermons » Joyce Meyer » Joyce Meyer - Are You an Optimist or a Pessimist?

Joyce Meyer - Are You an Optimist or a Pessimist?

Joyce Meyer - Are You an Optimist or a Pessimist?
TOPICS: Optimism, Pessimism
Joyce Meyer - Are You an Optimist or a Pessimist?

Thank you for joining us on, "Enjoying Everyday Life". You know, I love the Word of God because the word changes us. It helps us. It gives us the power to be the person that God wants us to be. And when we began to do things God's way, we begin to really love our life because everything he tells us to do, or not to do, is for our benefit. And I wanna talk to you today about, are you positive or are you negative? Are you an optimist or a pessimist? Do you see the good in everything or do you see the problem in everything? Are you a thankful person? Do you thank God for the good things that he's done in your life? Or do you just complain about the things that he hasn't done in your life? Find the good in everything. That's a great gift to have. James 1:2-4 it says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds".

Now, I just wonder, really, how many of us have the ability to do that? How many of us have grown to the point, where we can actually do that? That when we're facing many trials, we can consider it joy. You know why he wants us to consider it joy? Because he wants us to believe that no matter what happens, something good will come out of it, if we keep a good attitude. "Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance". Or one translation says, "Patience". And I always say, "Well, they brought a lot of other things out of me before we ever got down to patience". Because I did not handle trials and tribulation very good. "Let patience finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing". So, the Bible is actually saying that when we have these tests and trials, that eventually, we will become a patient person. If God removed every one of them, right away, then we wouldn't grow.

So, a lot of the tests that we go through in life are for our spiritual growth, we just don't realize it. And it says that when you have these, and you learn to endure, you learn to be patient, that you will be a perfect person, lacking in nothing. So, I guess, really, when you think about it, a person who is truly patient, they can endure anything because they know that on the other side, of whatever the problem is, is going to be a blessing, and they can enjoy their life, while they're waiting, because they are patient. No one enjoys difficulty. But looking for the good, in every difficulty, gives you hope and keeps you optimistic. Will you start doing that? Will you start purposely looking for the good in everything? You know, it is something that we have to do on purpose because, normally, we just see what's wrong and we complain about it. But we can look for what's good and be thankful for it.

Romans 8:28: "All things work together for good to those who love God, and are called according to his purpose". I love that scripture. I'm sure you love it. In a conference, I share that scripture from the platform everybody claps and cheers. We love that because it gives us hope. Ephesians 5:20 says, "Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything". Not just in everything, but for everything. You say, "Joyce, do you mean to tell me that I'm supposed to thank God for my problems"? Well, yes. And the reason why is because we believe that the problem is going to work something good in us, or something good is going to come out of it. It may not feel good, right now, but it's gonna work something good in us, or work something good for us. You know, the Bible tells us, when we have problems, if we will handle them God's way, and God's way is the important thing. If we will handle them God's way, we will receive a double blessing. So, if you have a problem and you handle it God's way, in the end, God will give you double what you lost, in the beginning.

I don't know about you, but I love that kind of arithmetic. Gonna read this scripture one more time, Ephesians 5:20. "Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything". Wow, some of you, I'm sure, need to sit down when this program's over, and have a little session with God, and start thanking him for some things in your life that may not make any sense to you. You might say, "Why in the world should I thank God for this"? You do it by faith, believing his word. We can only do this, if we believe that God can work something good out of anything. With God, all things are possible. A man named, Kahlil Gibran, said, "The optimist sees the rose and not the thorns. The pessimist sees the thorns and is oblivious to the rose". Wow, that's so good. So good. I've written a book about, "The power of thank you," and I've got a whole chapter in it about these thorns and roses.

You know, I think, "Why do roses have to have thorns"? Well, you'll see. There's a reason for these things. We don't have to deny that the roses have thorns. But we can be thankful for them, if we realize that they make the rose all the more precious. You see, really, you couldn't appreciate light if you never had any darkness. Can't appreciate goodness, if there's never any evil. There always has to be something to offset the other thing. I've come to believe, and I want you to listen to me. "I've come to believe that we would have no appreciation of or gratitude for life's good times if we never experienced difficulty". I said that, but I wrote out beside of it, very good. So, that means I'm gonna have to read it to you again. I have come to believe, after walking with God, for 45 years, I have come to believe that we would have no appreciation of, or gratitude for, the good things in our life, if we never experienced any difficulty. Life has thorns, but it also has roses. Don't despise the thorns, appreciate them because they make you appreciate the roses even more. "Beauty for ashes," the Bible says that God will give us.

In Isaiah 61:3, the Bible says, it's prophesying about Jesus, and it says that, "He comes to comfort those who mourn, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness: that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified". You know, if you've had to ashes, you're gonna really appreciate the beauty. If you know what it's like to mourn over a loss, you're gonna really appreciate the comfort of God. I was abused sexually by my father, and abandoned to that abuse by my mother, who knew what was happening. But God has used it to make me the person that I am today. And I really can't even say anymore, "I'm sorry it happened," because I know that God has worked so much good out of it, that it just doesn't matter anymore. God has completely healed me, and he's worked good out of it, and other people have been helped by it. He allowed my pain to become gain to so many other people.

In Genesis 50:20, the Bible says, "You intended to harm me, God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done". You know, there may be things that you're going through, right now, that you just don't understand and they're painful things and they make no sense to you, and you think, "God, why don't you deliver me from this"? But how 'bout if you thank God, right in the midst of it? Even thank God for it. You say, "Wait a minute, Joyce. Now, that is ridiculous. I can't thank God for this". Well, you can, if you believe that on the other side of it, something good is gonna happen. You see, God can take terrible things, and work good things out of them, if you trust him. Let me say that again. God can take terrible things, painful things, awful things, and if you're willing to turn your life over to God, and do things his way, and the statement, "Do things his way is very important".

You know, one of the, "Do things, God's way," that I had to do, was completely forgive my mother and father. And even, take care of them, in their old age. Well, there was nothing in me that wanted to do that. But I knew it was what God wanted. And if we do what God wants, because we love him, no matter how hard it is, God will give you double blessing for your former trouble. It's so exciting when you begin to see this. A complainer doesn't end up with double blessings. Someone filled with self-pity doesn't end up with double blessings. You know what? We've got the book, the Bible, and if you read the end of it, you see that we win. The story's already been told. When Jesus died on the cross, he said, "It is finished". He laid out the plan of salvation, and a way for all of us to have a wonderful life. All we need to do is follow it. God has brought me through a lot. And as Daniel 3:27 says, of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who were delivered from the fiery furnace, "I don't even smell like smoke".

In other words, you can go through the fire, and come out, not scorched or burned, and not even smelling like smoke. Who could look at my life now, today, and realize what I went through, all those years as a child, or even, how hard that the ministry was in the beginning? Anybody who owns their own business, or who has started a ministry, you know. You know what it was like in the beginning. And a lot of people want to have the end, but they don't wanna go through, what you have to go through, to get to the end. There's challenges in life. Not everything is easy. But I plead with you, do things God's way. Even when the right thing is not happening to you, you keep doing the right thing. Galatians 6:9 says, "Be not weary in well doing: for in due season you shall reap, if you faint not". You know what? If you'll keep doing what's right, and you won't give up, and you'll keep doing what's right, and you'll keep it up, and keep it up, and keep it up, and keep it up, eventually, you will break the power of the enemy. And if you can be thankful, instead of murmuring and complaining, no matter what's going on in your life, there is power in, "Thank you".

Complaining and murmuring steals your strength, it weakens you. But being thankful adds power to your life. Can you imagine how mad it makes the devil when you've had a big problem thrown at you, and you can still say, "God, even in the midst of this, I thank you. I thank you in it, and I thank you for it, because I believe that some way, somehow, you're gonna work through this, and you are gonna make me a better person"? In Daniel 3:27, it says, "The satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the royal advisers crowded around," Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. "And they saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed: their robes were not scorched, and they didn't even smell like smoke". It would be hard for you to even imagine the condition of my life and my soul, when I finally, turned my life over to Jesus. And you know what, you can go to church every Sunday for fifty years, and never really turn your whole life over to Jesus. And he wants a full surrender. What are you holding back? What are you resentful about? Don't have resentment because of hard and difficult things that have happened to you in the past. Release 'em, give 'em to God, and trust him to work something good out of it.

So many people are angry, and they're bitter and resentful because they feel like that God didn't help them when he could have. God is good. And everything he does can be worked out for good, if we will just trust him. I had thorns in my life, for many years, and that was all I could see. Little, did I know, there were roses there, too, I just had to see 'em. A man had a conversation with his 71-year-old father, about life and growing through adversity. And this is what he said about that conversation. "One of the last things that my father said, before we got off the phone, resonated so much with me that I wrote it down. Here's what he said: 'it's been my experience, that most people, aren't truly happy, until they've had many reasons to be sad'".

I love that. You have to be looking in the spirit and listening in the spirit to get what I'm trying to say, today. You can never be truly happy, unless you've had many reasons to be sad. You know, I've gone through some very challenging things in my life, and I'm thankful for every day that I feel good. I'm thankful for every good night sleep that I get. I'm thankful for every person that God brings into my life, that loves me, because I know what it's like to not be loved and to be mistreated. I know what it's like to be used and abused. And I'm so grateful for what God has done in my life. And I don't think that I could have that gratitude if I hadn't gone through, what I went through. I believe, this is because it takes all of those bad days and hardships to teach us how to truly, appreciate what we have. It builds our resilience. These are the reasons why we can thank God for, and in, everything.

I know some of you are even mad at God because you prayed for a loved one that was sick, and you prayed for them to live, and they didn't, they died. But you know, really, if they were a believer, they didn't really die. They just passed out of this realm and went into another one. And you're not really mourning for them, your mourning for yourself. And you're mad at God because you didn't get what you wanted. But you could trust God, that he always knows what he's doing. Even if it seems unfair or feels unfair, he always knows what he's doing. And you know what? No matter what you're going through, right now, you may not realize it, but you have already got the victory. Romans 8:35-37: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine, or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: 'for your sake we face death all day long: we are considered like sheep being led to the slaughter'".

In other words, other people might look at your life and say, "Well, you just, you talk about the goodness of God and all he's done for you, but you just look like a sheep being led to the slaughter". But he said, "'no, in all of these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us'". You know what it means to be more than a conqueror? It means that we know that we have the victory before the battle ever begins. We can live without fear, because no matter what trouble comes our way, we know that in and with God, that it's gonna end up okay. I've learned to say, in the last couple of years, "This is gonna end well". "This is going to end well". Don't be a pessimist, be an optimist. Look for the good in everything.

2 Corinthians 2:14: "But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumph [as trophies of Christ's victory] and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere". Boy, when you handle things, the way that God wants you to handle things, you get out in the world, and you're like a sweet-smelling fragrance, because most people out there are just murmuring, and grumbling, and complaining about everything. There's power in being thankful. But grumbling just steals all your power. Job had terrible difficulties, perhaps more than any, that all of us, put together, have ever experienced. I mean, he went through some awful stuff. But yet, he could say, "I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God: I myself will see him with my own eyes, and not another. How my heart yearns within me".

That's so awesome. Right, in the midst of all of his terrible trouble, he said, "I know that my redeemer lives, and I know the day is gonna come when I'm going to stand in his presence, and have victory over everything". Paul said, "For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain". You know, you don't have to be afraid of death. There's nothing to be afraid of. If you're a believer, you don't really die. You just pass out of this realm and go into a much better place. Paul even said, "For me, I would just as soon go, and be with the Lord, but for your sake, I'll stay, because I believe God still wants to use me in your life".

You know what? This world has nothing in it that's gonna totally satisfy us. So many people are discontented. And when I do teaching about being content, we can see how many people are watching on Facebook, and places like that. And it's amazing, I can tell by that, that so many people are discontented, and they're looking for some kind of something, to fulfill them. But let me tell you, as long as you're in this earth, you're never gonna feel completely fulfilled because this is not your home. Your home is in heaven, and you're just passing through here. And even if you live to be 100, that's like a drop of water, in all the oceans of the world, compared to eternity. Spend your time here and now, getting ready for there. Because that's where you're gonna really live. Heaven is our home. Hallelujah. Don't expect to be totally content here. Because this world does not have what you need, God does. Don't be afraid of death. Don't let it have any power over you.

You know, some difficulties are just tests. Just plain and simple, they're just tests. And God wants us to pass our tests. So, when difficult things happen to you, I'll tell ya, we have had so many repairs on our house, this year, it's just getting to be ridiculous. We lived in the house now, like, almost 15 years. And I guess, it's come to the point where, I mean, air conditioners and chimney repairs, and water getting into the house, and just on, and on, and on. And boy, it would be so easy to just crab and complain, then, I think, "Well, thank God, we can have it fixed". Things can always be so much worse than what they are. So, don't just think about how bad things are. Think about how worse they could be, and thank God, that he's gonna take care of the problem. Remember, when you're being tested, pass your test, so you don't have to take 'em again. Be a thankful person. Be an optimist, not a pessimist.
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