Joyce Meyer — Facing the Storms of Life
Joyce: Well, welcome to the program today. Ginger's joining me today with questions from you about holding on to your faith during the storms of life. Well, we all get opportunity to do that, don't we?
Ginger: we sure do. We sure do. And you know, this has been a really tough season, especially this past year with a lot of natural disasters. So storms, I think, are a great metaphor. There are natural storms and there are spiritual storms so, we all go through hard times. So we've put together several questions about storms in light of the natural disasters and things that people are dealing with. Here's a question from twitter. It's from Amelia. She says, "How can I help encourage others that God didn't leave them alone in their battle"?
Joyce: You know, sometimes, to be honest, I think encouraging people doesn't even have to involve words. I think sometimes, just to be with somebody is what they really need. Just to maybe let them talk and vent a little bit. You know, we're always looking for something to say to people but sometimes just a hug or just a "I understand," you know, just "I understand".
Ginger: That's so true. We definitely see that when we have the opportunity to just go love on people after a natural disaster. 'Cause you can't possibly do enough so you go with what you can and you just be there and being there, especially from day one, to help is really important.
Joyce: That's true.
Ginger: A question for you from Mary: "How do we live in peace and be happy every day when there are so many people who are filled with pain? I see every day people with no place to live or food to eat".
Joyce: Well, I hope this doesn't sound like a cold answer but we have to not take on a false sense of responsibility. And I've had that all my life. I mean, I find myself trying to take care of things that I do not need to get into at all. It's just it... and it's not even like I'm not minding my own business. It's not that kind of stuff. It's like, I don't need to do that. That's not my responsibility. And so God had to remind me one time, you know, "You're not the Savior, Joyce: I am".
And so compassion is beautiful. We need to have compassion for people but if you let other's people's problems and their pain become so intense for you that you have no joy in your life, then that's not good either because then you're basically not making use of what God has given you. So the best thing to do is to stay healthy, peaceful, happy, and do all you can do to help people. But to realize that you're not the only one God's using. You know, God may use you for a little bit. He may use somebody else for a little bit. But it all begins with the heart this person has, that it's good that she feels that way but not to let it make her so miserable she can't enjoy her own life.
Ginger: Yeah, so being part of Hand of Hope is a wonderful way to see that we're there, we're committed, we're helping people because God opens the door for us to, but he continues to give us joy even in the midst of the difficult things that we see.
Ginger: Dianne would like to ask you this, Joyce. She says: "How do I feel joyful in tough times? It's easy to get bitter and discouraged but hard to remain faithful in God during painful seasons".
Joyce: I think just being honest with God is so good. You know, just, "You know what, Lord, I don't feel very happy right now but I know that what I feel is connected to my circumstance. I do have joy in you and I'm grateful to know that I can have hope even though I have a problem". And then you have to make some decisions. And one of the decisions you make is what do I have to be thankful for?
Okay, maybe somebody wakes up, let's say, with a migraine headache but, thank God, you know, there's something that I can do about this. I don't like having them but, you know, I've got something I can take for it or I've got a friend I can call for prayer. So, and you know, these are things you have to almost write down and remind yourself to do because when you're hurting, your pain is real and it's very difficult to ignore it. And so, be honest with God and find something that you can find joy in, even if it's a small thing, just to bring that light into the midst of the darkness.
Ginger: Yeah, make a decision, trust God even when the circumstances don't say what you would like them to say.
Joyce: That's right.
Ginger: here's a question from Gabrielle and she says, "God loves us so much, why does he let bad things happen to us, particularly believers"?
Joyce: Well, "Many are the afflictions of the righteous. God delivers him out of them all". And I think it's important to establish that God is not the source of our problems. Satan is. And as far as why doesn't God stop them sooner than he does, I mean, if God's gonna deliver me in three weeks, why can't he deliver me now? Those are questions that really are hidden in the mysteries of God that we don't really know how to answer.
You know, in Romans 8 we always talk about how we know that all things work together for good to those that love God and are called according to his purpose. But there's actually something else very interesting in there. It starts out in verse 26 and says: "We don't know how to pray as we ought to so there's things we don't know.
Sometimes you're hurting so bad you don't even know how to pray but we do know that God works all things out for good. So we don't know why God doesn't deliver us sooner. Sometimes we've prayed about it and prayed about it, we don't even know how to pray about it anymore, but we do know from our past experience and from the word that God can and will take the bad thing. He didn't do the bad thing but he can take it and work it out to our good. You continue to believe that God is good, even though, you know, I hear myself saying sometimes, "I feel like you're abandoned me," but I know you haven't. So what we know is more important than what we feel.
Ginger: Yeah, you know, you just took a very, very difficult question that we all deal with and put some real godly practical answers to it. And like you said, it's not a complete answer. It's not that we understand everything. It is a mystery. But to know that God's hand is on each one of us with love, with a plan for good, really makes a difference.
Joyce: I think it's a great tragedy really when we see suffering and we see pain and we think it's not our problem. That's not good. One of the ways that I've found to come to peace, come to terms with these things is to refuse to do nothing. No matter, I mean, there's a lot of things I can't do.
You know, I remember one time a woman saying to me, "Well, you know, you go on these missions trips," I think I'd just come back from India, "And you see all these thousands upon thousands of starving children, don't you feel like it's kind of useless, all the work you do and the money you put into it. No matter how many you help, there's always gonna be more that need help". And I went to God with the question because I wanted to have an answer if I was ever asked that again.
And what God put on my heart is that if you can only help one person it's worth doing. Because the whole point is you have the ability to relieve somebody else's suffering today. And you can do it through helping us financially at hand of hope continue to reach out to people that have disasters like you've seen today or children who are hungry, children who are homeless, women who've been abused, all kinds of ways. I think one of the greatest things that we can do is lay our own burdens aside long enough to go help somebody else.
Remember, every little bit makes a difference. So I'm asking you today if you'll send in a really nice generous offering to our missions, our mission outreaches here at Joyce Meyer Ministry. I believe you're gonna do your best and we're gonna do our best to make sure that we help as many people as we can with what you give. Thank you.