Joyce Meyer - Grief and Loneliness
Well, let me just start out with a question. Irregardless of what has happened to you up until this day, what are you planning to do with the rest of your life? What are you gonna do with the rest of your life? Are you gonna keep mourning over everything that didn't work out good back here, or are you going to move on from that, realize that all of that is now something you can't do anything about, you can't change. Are you gonna make a decision today, and possibly every day we have to make this decision, to let go of all those things, and press on to the things that are ahead.
You know, I think that some people, and maybe more than we realize, although they function in society, they have jobs, they go to church, they smile at people, they say they're okay, they're existing, not even living, but they're existing with, like, a low-level grief in their life over disappointments that they've had, and things that did not work out the way that they hoped that they would work out. You know, I think sometimes we can get so used to something that we just put up with it, instead of confronting it, dealing with it, getting well, and going on. I'm gonna show you a couple scriptures today, interesting scriptures, one about Isaac and one about David, where it actually says that they refused to be comforted.
And I think sometimes that's the case with us, too. Our pain from the past can almost become our identity. That's now who we are. We're this broken, painful person that had all these things happen to us. We've had all these disappointments, and it really can become a dangerous type of new, modern disease. We need to realize that Jesus can heal us everywhere we hurt, and every day is a brand-new day. Loss is nothing other than a place to start over. Did you hear me? You may not ever be able to go back and have what you once had, but who's saying that what you're gonna have in the future can't be better, amen? I'm gonna say that again. Maybe you can't go back and undo the wrong you did. Maybe you can't go back and repair the relationship that was ruined. Maybe you can't go back and undo something that happened back here that hurt you. You can't go back and get people to treat you the way that you would have liked to have been treated. You can't go back and get your parents to love you.
My mom died about three weeks ago, and it was kind of interesting for me how I reacted. Because of the abuse in my childhood and my mother not dealing with it properly, I never had a healthy, right relationship with her. I took care of her, and I was good to her, as good as I could be, but there was just no right rapport between us. And so, I didn't maybe have some of the feelings that somebody might have had, had they had a really great relationship with their mom, when she died, but I found myself having some very interesting reactions couple of weeks after it, and I'll talk a little bit more about it later. But one of the things I experienced was anger, and I'm thinking, "Why am I angry"? I didn't even know that it was regarding her. I just thought, "Man, I'm in a bad mood, or you know, I got on the wrong side of the bed," because I was kind of taking it out on everybody else.
Do you know when you have anger stuck in you from something that you've been deprived of in your past, if anger's in you, it's gonna come out of you somewhere, some way, somehow. Somebody else is gonna pay the price for something you didn't have back there. So these things can't be stuffed. Don't stuff your stuff, amen? We're gonna deal with some things. Tonight, I don't usually like to do this, 'cause I don't like to stay what I'm gonna preach on, 'cause people think, "Oh, I don't need that". But I'm gonna let the cat out of the bag.
Tonight, I'm gonna teach on how to stop running from your problems. I tell you, we are experts at running away. Do you know that even procrastinating is running away? So, go get every troubled person you know, bring 'em back here tonight. Tell 'em you're gonna take 'em to the best party in Birmingham tonight, amen? I always say take 'em out to dinner before you come. Christians will go anywhere if you feed 'em. They'll put up with anything if you'll feed 'em a good meal. And so, I lost my mother, and it was interesting, because one of the reasons I had the reaction that I had was because even though my dad had already passed, and my only brother had already passed, now my mother was gone, and it was like there was a finality that I was never going to get from those family relationships what any normal person should have.
And so, there was a grieving that I experienced, but I have enough experience with God to know not to let a spirit of grief get on me, or to get bitter about something that I missed in life, because even though I missed something back there, and even though you may have missed a lot back there: somebody mistreated you, somebody hurt you, somebody didn't give you what you should have had. You worked hard at a job for a long time. You got passed over for promotions time after time. Then you got laid off, and it's just not fair, and part of you is screaming out, "It's just not right". Well, it's natural to have an anger when you're mistreated, but you can't try to take it into your future. No matter what I lost back there, I can have a wonderful tomorrow and the next day, and the next day, and the next day, but it's up to me, and it's up to you, about what kinda attitude I'm going to have.
Don't let the devil dictate your attitude to you, amen? Don't let the enemy form your attitude. Learn how to form your attitude from God. The God of all comfort is here with us this weekend, and we're gonna learn how to get divine transfusions of comfort. You know, if you were anemic, you could go to the hospital and get some kind of a transfusion. I like to watch these emergency room shows, and you know, boy, if somebody comes in and this is not right, that's not right, one of the first things they call for is blood, and they get a transfusion. Well, you know what? We can get a transfusion from the blood of the cross this morning.
We don't have to be anemic Christians. We don't have to be weak people who go around with all of our vital Christian signs off. We can check into the hospital of the Holy Ghost this morning and say, "I need a divine transfusion of comfort. I need a divine transfusion of your presence". And, all it takes is just a willingness to believe that God is here, that he's not only with you, but he's in you, and that he's there to help you, and that you don't have to live your life crippled, and lame, and just worn out, and weary, and bitter, and resentful. You can't change things on your own, but you can go and get a divine transfusion in the presence of God, and he can make your future so bright that you would need sunglasses to even look at it, amen?
You should just soak up the worship this weekend. That is a great place for a divine transfusion. Just being in a room full of Christians is like a divine transfusion. I don't know about you, but it feels so much better to me in here than it does out in the world. I love just hanging out in these meetings. I mean, my goodness, I wouldn't miss going to church, if I were you, just to have the opportunity to just hang. Just, ooh. It's a great atmosphere just, "Anointing, come, come on me". You know, every person that you're sitting around has got an anointing of the Holy Ghost in them. They all have different gifts. Just appreciate what we've got in this room today. "Where two or three are gathered together, there I am in the midst of them".
This is not just a... I don't know. What sport do they play here, anything? Is this a sports arena? Somethin', I don't know, anyway. It's not just a normal arena. Today, this is the house of God, amen? What are you gonna do with the rest of your life? You know, forward is the only gear that God has. There's no reverse on God's gearshift. There's no stop and do nothing the rest of your life, on God's gearshift. There's only forward. Let's look at Luke chapter 9, beginning in verse 52. "And he said to another one, 'become my disciple, side with my party, and accompany me!' but he replied, 'Lord, permit me first to go and bury (and await the death of my father.' but Jesus said, 'allow the dead to bury their own dead.'"
Now, when I'm reading this, I'm not talking about lost loved ones, so don't take it in an offensive way. But the point that Jesus is trying to make here is we need to stop spending all our time on things that really have no life in them for us, that we cannot do one thing about anymore, and we need to get on with living, amen? I read a statement recently that I love, "Live while you're alive and don't die until you're dead". Come on, live while you're alive and don't die until you're dead. Make a decision today that you are gonna enjoy the living daylights out of the rest of your life, and you're gonna let God reward you for everything that you've lost, that you are gonna have a double-good, extra blessed life because of the pain in your past.
"But Jesus said to him, 'allow the dead to bury their own dead: but as for you, go and publish abroad throughout all the regions the kingdom of God.' Another also said, 'I will follow you, Lord, and become your disciple and side with your party, but let me first go and say goodbye to those that are at home.'" It's amazing how many people want to follow Jesus after they do somethin' else. Okay, so we're just gonna assume that everybody in here is a believer in Jesus Christ, but what are you waiting on to get fully committed? Well, maybe you guys are pretty committed, 'cause you're here on Friday morning. But, you know what? There's a lot of folks watching by television, you're just like... "Well, I'm gonna turn that set on and watch Joyce. Fulfill my requirements". No, when are you gonna get fully committed?
You know, I was a Christian for a long time before I was a serious Christian. There's a difference in puttin' your time in and being radically on fire for Jesus. "Jesus said to him, 'no one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back to the things behind is fit for the kingdom.'" Doesn't mean God doesn't love you, but he's saying you're not gonna really be any great value to him in kingdom work as long as you're mourning over something you can't do anything about anymore. And you know, I think sometimes, I really believe this. You know, standing up and teaching on grief is not always the cheeriest message, but I believe there can be a grief that's good. We need to feel the pain sometimes of the things that have happened to us, but then we need to move on beyond it.
But I really believe that there are a lot of people in the world that are emotionally not right. That doesn't mean you're emotionally ill, but you know, just to be down all the time. That's not the way God wants you to feel. And I do believe that there's a lot of people that have this low-level grief in their life, and they don't even really know what it is. They may be going and getting counseling all the time. They may be going and doing this and that and something else all the time, but sometimes all you need to do is just deal with the things that you're letting ruin your life that are leftover things from yesterday that you don't need to drag into today.
Let me ask you, what are you gonna do with the rest of your life? It's time to get over it and go on. Good memories are great, but don't so impressed with even the good things that you have done in the past, or that have happened to you, and let them keep you from doing even greater things in the future. Can I tell you what? And this is my habit, the moment the Birmingham conference is over, while I'm on my way home, I will start thinking about the next one, in Sacramento. You don't have time to keep messing with things that are behind. No matter how many great conferences we have, and we have had some phenomenal things happen. I mean, I've had some blow-out crusades in India, things that just are like, "Oh my gosh, nothing could ever get better than this".
But you know what? Everything today is better than something was yesterday, because what's yesterday no longer can really minister any life to me other than having a good memory, but, "Today is the day the Lord has made". I'm gonna fully live this one, fully enter into this one. I don't know, maybe it would be the last one I have. Maybe Jesus will come tonight. We'll all go home. So let's just make this day a real barn-burner. Let's just make it a great day, amen? You know, in Luke 17:32, there's an interesting scripture, just three words. I guess next to the two-word verse that says, "Jesus wept," it's the next shortest verse. And it just simply says, "Remember Lot's wife"!
Now, I don't know how much you know about Lot's wife, but she was in Sodom when God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, very wicked cities. And they'd been living in the midst of this wickedness, and God was gonna just get rid of everybody, but he said he would save Lot's family. But he gave an interesting order, "When you're on your way out, don't look back". She looked back and turned into a pillar of salt. Now, I've been over there, and they showed us a pillar of salt that they say is Lot's wife. I don't know for sure if she is or not, but, you know, it's like a... Just a huge hunk of rock. And I think a lot of us become like that, just like stuck in place, frozen in motion, not able to go forward, because you can't see where you're going if you're always looking this way.
Come on, if you were supposed to look back, you'd have eyes in the back of your head, not the front of your head. We don't have any eyes back there, so that's gone. That's finished. That's done with. God's only gear is straight forward, amen? This is an exciting day. Exodus 14:15, "The Lord said to Moses, 'why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward!'" So, if you're sitting around crying about something all the time, wallowing in self-pity, blaming everybody for your problems, God is saying, "Why do you cry? Get up and go forward". It's time to shake some things off today and move beyond 'em.
Now, interestingly enough, the Israelites were in a very difficult place. They had the Red Sea in front of them, that had not parted yet, and the Egyptian army behind 'em. That's a good place to sit down in the desert and cry. I might of just had myself a good fit if I would have been there with 'em, too. They were in what I talked to you about last night, the middle, remember that? I said there's a beginning and an end to everything, but there's also a middle. Well, many of you are in the middle of whatever right now. You're coming out of bondage, you're heading toward victory. You've been saved. You know God loves you, but you're still dealing with a lot of spiritual immaturity and things in your soul that need to change, and you're headed toward being a fully mature, spiritual Christian that can really be used by God, but you're somewhere in the middle.
And I don't know how you feel, but I think sometimes we're in the middle, we just kinda feel like, "Well, I'm not what I used to be, and I'm not what I'm gonna be, and frankly, right now, I don't know what I am. All I know is it hurts". That make any sense to anybody? You can't go back. You can't go forward. You're stuck out there with your pain. And you gotta be very careful that you don't get that attitude of just quitting and giving up, and just staying in the same place.
You know what I was thinkin'? I think that sometimes we get like a car stuck in the mud. Do you have enough snow here that you ever get stuck in it? Not so much? Okay, doesn't snow in Birmingham? Okay, well, have you ever been stuck in the mud? You know, you get stuck in the mud, and your wheels just... And I think sometimes that's the way we can get in our lifes. We get so entrenched in things we cannot do anything about. Now, listen to me. Stop trying to do something that you can't do, and start doing the things that you can do.
Did you hear me? Stop trying to do what you cannot do: I can't change people and make them like me. But I can go forward and hope that God will put more favor on my life and put more people in my life that will love me and treat me the way God would want them to treat me. You can't do anything about the one person who deserted you and left you that didn't have enough sense to love you properly, but if you refuse to have a bitter attitude and let a spirit of grief get on you and become bitter and angry, then you can meet somebody else that is gonna not only love you, but love you double, triple, because God can cause that to happen in your life.
You know, I was married once before I married Dave Meyer. I was married 5 years to a guy that mistreated me, ran around with other women, didn't work. I woke up one night and caught him trying to steal my little cheap wedding band off my finger to sell it. And so, you know, I'm gonna tell you a few of those stories this weekend, how I got deserted and left in new Mexico. I was deserted and left in California. There was a time in my life when I was homeless, but I didn't get stuck back there, amen?
It's not about where I was then. It's about where I am now. And the thing is is so many people think they're only one that's got the biggest problem in the whole world. Let me tell you something, there are many, many, many, heroes of faith that have overcome things much greater than anything that all of us in this room put together are going through, and they still got a smile on their face and they've beat that dumb spirit of grief that tries to rule our lives. That is from the devil. It is not from God.
We're gonna get a divine transfusion of comfort. I think somebody's already getting it now. God said, "Moses, you tell the people, 'stop crying and go forward.'" So Moses was God's mouthpiece, and today, and I'm gonna say that I'm God's mouthpiece to you, and so here it comes. Stop cryin' and go forward, amen? And especially, to all the people watching TV around the world, you're hearing this in 70 different languages in all parts of the world, and God's word to you today is, "Stop crying and go forward," amen? Whoo! I feel the bondages breaking.
You might have a reason to grieve. Go ahead and do it in a healthy way, but get over it and don't spend your life with a spirit of grief. It's so important that we learn how to stop remembering what God has forgotten. Forget what you've done. Forget what you have not done. Forget what people have done to you. Forget what people have not done for you. Isaiah 43:18 and 19, we have to take a look at it. You say, "Well, I just can't forget". Well, of course, you know, we can recall memories if we want to. I can sit down and on purpose remember all the abuse that I got from my dad, and how my mom didn't do this, and you know, other relatives who knew what was going on didn't do that. I can do that if I want to, but it doesn't serve any purpose in my life. It doesn't help me in any way at all.
And don't think that the devil, still after all these years, doesn't try sometimes to drag me back there. "Do not earnestly remember". It doesn't mean you can't remember if you really want to, but it says, "Don't earnestly". Don't let your mind get on that. Don't meditate on all the things that you've lost in life. "Neither consider the things of old". Verse 19, "Behold I am doing a new thing"! Isn't that refreshing? We love that, don't we? "Behold, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs forth: do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it"? See, God's got a new thing planned for all of us, but if we don't let go of the old stuff, then we can't have the new stuff.
Now, what's the difference in proper, healthy grieving and a spirit of grief? Well first of all, grieving is deep, mental anguish over a loss or it's deep sorrow. But as I said, I think a very positive way to look at loss is that loss is a place to start over. Endings always bring new beginnings. One door closes, but God is already opening another one. You just have to look for it in faith, amen? To grieve means to be sorrowful, to mourn, or to be distressed. The grieving process is actually very healthy. If you don't take time to, I think probably the best way for me to say this is, to feel the pain. You know, we're not very fond of pain or anything that's uncomfortable. And to be honest, we develop a lot of ways to avoid it.
My father abused me sexually for a lot of years. I won't go into the details, but it was very bad. And I reached a point where it became obvious to me nobody was gonna help me. My mother wasn't gonna help me. Few other people that I tried to reach out to didn't want to be involved, didn't want to help me. And, I got this plan, this "I'm gonna survive" plan. You know, sometimes if you can't find any help, you just dig in and make a decision, "I'm gonna survive". But what happens sometimes when you do that is there's a hardness that comes on your soul. You almost develop this pretend life where, "Everything's okay. Praise the Lord! I don't need you. Who needs you? I don't need anybody". Which is really just not true.
So I went into survival mode, and my whole thing was, "When I'm 18, I'm gettin' out of here". So I did. When I was 18, I moved out. And I thought because I got physically away from the problem that I didn't have the problem anymore. Boy, is that not reality. 'cause the thing is is I took it with me in my soul. I had it in my attitude toward people. I had it in the way I felt about myself. It affected me in every area of my life. So, Dave and I got married, and long story short, Dave meyer was a divine intervention in my life. Amen? And let me just say something to you. Don't pray for the person you want to be involved with. Pray for the right person to be involved with. Just stop it.
If there's one certain person that you wanna get involved with, just stop it. Don't be praying for that. Just say, "God, you bring the right person into my life". And the right person may not always be the one that makes you feel gooey and comfortable. Dave had enough spiritual maturity to know how to love me the whole way through, but also to confront me when it was necessary. So the first several years of our relationship were not too good. And then in 1976, the Holy Spirit touched my life in a real powerful way, and we got involved a lot more in hearing the Word of God, and going to seminars, and things like that. And we went to a seminar one night where a woman was speaking who had been abused and had become a prostitute.
And now she was married, but was telling her story. And she had a book that she had written, and you know, I didn't care too much for her message. I just wanted to get home and get away from it. I didn't wanna be reminded of, you know, sometimes we think, "I don't wanna hear that stuff. I don't wanna have to think about that". Well you know, the truth is, is if you're healed from that, then hearing somebody else talk about it doesn't bother you at all. You're just grateful. It makes you grateful that God has delivered you and set you free. Amen?
And so Dave went out to the resource table and bought me her book. I didn't want the stupid book. But he gave it to me. And you know, sometimes if we don't have enough sense to get something for ourselves, God'll have somebody else give it to us. So, if somebody gives you, for example, one of my older books called, "Me and my big mouth," you probably should read it. I had to change the title on that book because people said they couldn't give it for gifts. It made everybody mad that they tried to give it to. So, I sat down one day and the book was laying there. I picked it up and opened it up to page one, and she started talking about the details of her childhood, and I mean, it couldn't have been any more like what happened to me if it would have been a duplicate copy.
I took that book and I threw it across the room, and I said out loud, "I am not reading that". Because when I started reading it, I started feeling the pain that I had never really let God deal with because I had stuffed my stuff. Amen? And about that time, I heard the Holy Spirit speak in my heart two words. "It's time". Now, I believe that when I teach, I'm led by the Lord in the timing of what I teach. And so I just wanna say to whoever's in this room that needs this, and especially all the millions of people that watch by tv around the world and on your other equipment, for many of you, the word of the Lord for you today is, "It's time". It's time to stop running and face things.
You see, the difference in trying to face things as a person in the world without God and facing something as a believer is that if you don't know God, then you're gonna have to try to face it by yourself and it really might be too much for you. But with God by your side and the Holy Spirit as the overseer of your case, amen? He is the counselor, the comforter. He knows exactly when to bring what up at what time. And when God said it was time and he put that book in front of me, why hadn't he put it in front of me five years before or ten years before? Because it wasn't time. I wasn't ready. I wasn't strong enough. I wouldn't have gone through what I had to get through to get through.
You know, the only way out is through. The way out is not avoiding, or running, or ignoring. The only way out is through, and through always means pain. I mean, it does. That's what the grieving process is. You feel the pain. And God has developed a system that actually you can bear if you know the different things that happen and the order in which it takes place. Usually, when something really difficult happens, the first phase of grief is shock. "I can't believe it". We have shock absorbers on our car. My husband's got great shock absorbers on his car. You don't hardly feel anything when you hit a bump in the road that you didn't know was gonna be there. But I've ridden in cars that, man, every little bump in the road feels like you're gonna lose everything on your insides. And God has built in shock absorbers in our life.
I remember when my uncle died, my aunt sat around for days saying, "I can't believe it. I just can't believe it. I can't believe he's gone". You know, when I finally started facing the ugliness of my past and really started realizing how people that were supposed to love me just were not there for me. I mean, I have to tell you, I don't understand it. I don't know how people can do the things that they do to other people, but I have to say that I believe hurting people hurt people. I don't believe that most people are just mean and wicked on purpose. I think there's something inside of them that's hurting them that makes them hurt somebody else.
And if you can believe that, then it's much easier for you to forgive them and go on with your life. And I'm not responsible for what they do, I'm only responsible for my reaction to what they do. I know that sounds like, "I don't like that. I don't like where this is going. I don't wanna deal with this". But see, if you don't deal with it, it will deal with you the rest of your life. Amen? I don't have anything particular going on in my life now that I would say is grieving me, but this helps me. It helped me to understand that when I experienced that anger, the week after my mom died, which just came totally out of nowhere, I didn't even know, I just thought at first I had a hormone going in the wrong direction if I got any left, and I don't think I do, but you know.
And then when I started praying about it, it's amazing what you find out when you pray. When I started praying about, "What is wrong with me"? Then God showed me something that I don't think I would have ever seen was that I was experiencing some kind of anger because of the finality now of knowing that I would never get what a daughter should have from a mother. How many of you had a very difficult time growing up? You went through some things that just were really not good. And you know what? Some people, even in here, you can get a spirit of grief on you and you can carry it through your whole life. It can become your badge of identity. "I am a wounded, mistreated victim".
Don't ever call yourself a victim of anything. You are not a victim of anything, you are a child of God, amen? And Psalm 27:10 says, "Even though my mother and my father have forsaken me, the Lord will adopt me and take me up as his own child". But I was so glad to see that I was just having a healthy response. It wasn't wrong. What I was feeling wasn't wrong, but it would have been wrong for me to have kept it. And can I tell you, if you don't get rid of some of the things that you're mad about, if you don't work through some of those things, and resolve them, and learn how to get divine transfusions of comfort, it's gonna affect and poison everything that you try to do in your life. And that doesn't mean your whole life will be lousy, but it won't be what it could have been. Come on, I said it won't be what it could have been if you would have worked through those things.
You know, I've learned that the devil can't steal something from me if I'm willing to give it and sow it as a seed. In the early days of our ministry, when we first went on television, one of the stations that we were on that was a very expensive, we were on it once a week. Just about the time that we had built up a good viewing audience, and you know, you always put out money that's an investment before you build up a viewing audience that's gonna communicate with you and start helping pay those TV bills. And they decided they wanted to do something else with that time slot, so just like that, they broke our contract and took us off the air.
I was so hurt. I was a young woman in ministry and that was our best station. We got such a good, and I just thought, "Oh no, how could they do that"? Well, you know, first I was like, "What"? And then you go into anger. There's a process to all this. It's like you go from one thing, you get angry at them, you get angry at the devil, you get angry at yourself. Is there something that I could have done? My aunt said that, and we heard her. There would be times when she'd get so mad at my uncle for dying. "How could you leave me with all this stuff by myself"? Has anybody else ever lost anybody really close to you and you've ever felt that? It's like, "How could you do that"?
And see, that sounds kinda goofy to say you're mad at somebody who died, but the point is, is you're in such pain that you're kinda like saying, "How could you do this to me"? And that's okay for where you're at. That's part of the process. But then you gotta let it go. And even when it comes to getting mad at the devil. You know, I was mad at my dad for a long time. And then when I found out the devil was real and he wasn't just a guy in red pajamas with a pitchfork that came out on Halloween, that he did indeed only want to kill, steal, and destroy, and that he had really, behind the scenes, arranged for everything that hurt me in my childhood, then I got mad at the devil. But what are you gonna do to him? You can't give him a black eye. You can't punch him out. How do you get the devil back?
Then I found the secret. Romans 12:21, "You overcome evil with good". Today, I'm getting the devil back for everything that he did to me in my childhood. Today, I have the privilege of teaching people how to not let the grief of their past hang on to them in over 70 languages around the world. How exciting is this? I am overcoming evil with good today. You say, "Well, I might not ever have the opportunity to do what you're doing". Let me tell you something. If you're hurting, and you go out, and you purposely be a blessing to somebody you work with, you're getting the devil back. I believe this is one of the greatest secrets in the Word of God.
The only way that you can overcome evil is with good, and it's the best way in the world to release joy and experience complete healing in your life. Don't ever waste your time sittin' around hating somebody over somethin' that you can't do anything about. God's got good plans for your life and for my life. Deuteronomy 34, verse 8, "And the Israelites wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days: then the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended". Now, this is an interesting thing in the Word of God because under the law, and we don't live under the law, so nobody's giving you 30 days to mourn and get over your problems, but there's a good message here that God gave people 30 days to mourn.
You can be as sad as you want to these 30 days, but when they were over, then God expected them to go on. In one of the books that I've written, I've got a story that I can't remember all the details about accurately, so I hope I don't tear it up too bad, but it's about a tribe that lived out in the middle of a jungle somewhere, and somebody actually went over there and became a missionary with them.
And one of the things that they discovered which was quite astounding was these people, although they had lots of things that they could have been very upset over, they'd been robbed by another local tribe and they'd taken all their stuff, they were a very joyful people and they had no bitterness, no resentment. But they had this certain thing that they did in their culture where when they had a loss, or when a loved one died, or the time when their village was robbed, they had this little house, tent-like thing, and so if something really bad happened to me, then I would go in that place and they would sing out their pain. They turned it into a song.
♪ I'm hurting so bad ♪
♪ I just don't think I can stand it. ♪
♪ How much longer can I cry? ♪
♪ I don't think I can endure this one more day. ♪
♪ I'm so angry that I feel like I just wanna ♪
♪ Knock somebody's head off. ♪
This is a true story. And they would stay in there and do that, venting, letting their pain out, feeling their pain, and then giving it away until they felt like they had a total release. Then they'd come out and go back to living. Don't stuff your stuff. When we lost that television station, I think it was almost kinda like a turning point for us. You say, "What"? Well, I was sitting in church one day after that happened, and it was offering time. The offering receptacle was down here at the end getting ready to come our way, and I felt like that God said this to my heart, "I want you to give that television station in the offering".
Well, obviously I couldn't do it physically, so it was gonna be a spiritual thing. And the Lord put on my heart, "Anything that you're willing to give, I can bring a harvest on. So you can either let the devil steal it, or you can give it to me and I can do something good with it". Is anybody here? Come on. I never got to be a kid. It took me a long time to learn how to have fun, because I just never got to be a kid. And you know, there should be a healthy child inside every healthy adult. And if it's not there, then you're all grown up and there's no lightheartedness, there's no fun, there's no teasing or joking. It's just everything's work, responsibility... And so I could be bitter that my childhood was stolen or I can say, "God, I'm gonna give you my childhood that was so dysfunctional, and let's see what you can do with it".
So now, at 71, I'm getting to be a kid. I'm having so much fun up here this morning, you wouldn't believe it. Amen? When the Holy Ghost heals you, he can graft things in that somebody else took away, and you become a brand new creature in Christ. Amen? So here's the moral of the story. A year later, couple years later, I don't remember when it was, that station called us and asked us if we would go back on, not once a week, but every day, and they offered us a premium time slot. Come on, give God glory.
You don't have to be alone to be lonely. Some of the loneliest people in the world have got all kinds of people around 'em, all the time. You know, you can have a lot of people around you but if all they want is what you can do for them, they're not caring much about you, you can still end up feeling very lonely. And you can be alone and not be lonely. So, loneliness is not about alone-ness. I think if you want to know the truth, there's probably an unbelievable number of lonely people in the world.
Many of you in here today are lonely. It may not be anything that you even put that terminology to, but there's an aching need on the inside of you for something, you feel you need to be understood, you feel that you need to be comforted, you want to feel that you've got that right connection with people that maybe you just don't have. We all need good friends. We need good family relationships. And as we well know, they're not always all that easy to develop and maintain. You know, I think the Bible is a book about relationships, if you want to know the truth.
I think that there's really just a lot in the Bible about relationships. And, it's about three relationships, your relationship with God, our relationship with God, our relationship with people. And then, also, very importantly, our relationship with ourselves. Do you know that you have a relationship with yourself, but it might not be a very good one? And if you don't have a good relationship with yourself, then you're not going to have very good relationship with anybody else. That maybe somethin' that you don't think of often, how you relate to yourself, but it is important. Now, I believe that in order to not be lonely, there are two things that we have to have a real good understanding on.
Number one and this is going to sound something like, "Yeah, yeah, I know that," but just stick with me, God is always with us. See, I knew that wouldn't impress you at all. He said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you". But I think sometimes we're just not as aware of things as we should be. There's so many things coming at our minds today, and so many things that cry out for our attention. And I think a lot of times we're aware of things we should be ignoring and we're unaware of things that we should be paying attention to.
So, one of the things that I've been praying for this year, and I actually, taught on this two weeks ago, in another city, I'm asking God to give me the gift of awareness. Because I believe that God is doing things in our lives all the time, and we don't even see it. And I believe that if we will just take a moment to remind ourselves, God is with me, and we have angels with us all the time. Now obviously, you can think well, you know, "I know God's with me, but that's a little different. You know, I can't really sit down and have a conversation with him".
Well, you know, you know how to talk, but maybe you haven't learned how to listen. Amen? And, I mean, how many times in my life have I asked God a question and a scripture would pop up on the inside of me? You know, all this word that you're getting in you is for a reason. And the more of it you put in you, the more the Holy Spirit can recall it at specific times when you need it. A relationship with God is not about just going to church once a week, or twice a week. To be honest, and you know, I hope there's no pastor that hears me say this to gets mad at me, so give me time to explain it, but I think sometimes we make too much out of the weekly church, "Experience," and not enough out of our daily walk with God on a regular basis.
We go to church to join together in community and fellowship with other people, to be accountable to somebody else, hopefully somebody will miss us if we're not there. We go to worship corporately, to be taught the Word of God, and to be part of family. But, most of our walk with God is not lived out in that one place. It's Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, morning, afternoon, evening, middle of the night, God is with you all the time. And, you don't have to go looking for him. If you're a believer in Christ, he lives in you by the Holy Spirit and how much closer can you get than in you? God is part of every fiber of your being. So, I remind myself sometimes, "God is with me. God is with me". I don't know about you, but I have to remind myself of things. God is with me. Everywhere I go today, God is with me.
You know, he's not just with me when I'm doing spiritual things like praying and studying the Bible or going to church. God's with me when I go shopping. Hallelujah. See, it took me a long time to realize that we shouldn't divide the sacred from the secular. In other words, God is just not interested in just these little religious parts of us, matter fact, it probably sometimes, he's just like, "Oh really"? You know? We start to pray and get a whole different tone in our voice, become a totally different person. You know? God just wants to live with you. He wants to live with you, and in you, and through you and he wants to be involved in every single thing that you care about. He wants to be involved in how you dress, and who you hang out with, and what you do, and where you go.
There's nothing that interests you that God is not interested in, concerning you. And he will never, never leave you nor forsake you. He doesn't hide his eyes when you do bad things. We may hide from God, but he doesn't hide from us. And, I don't know how long it'll take me, but before this day is over, I hope you get you convinced that you are never alone. Never alone. Never alone. Now, a few scriptures, Joshua chapter 1, verse 9, "Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go". Come on. He's with you wherever you go. Deuteronomy 31, verse 6, "Be strong, courageous, and firm: fear not nor be in terror before them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you: he will not fail you nor forsake you".
Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, we're gonna get really excited about God is being with us today. Maybe I could just challenge you until you really get this deeply rooted in you, why don't you say out loud about 10 times a day, "God is with me right now". When I go out today, God is with me all day long. That was too long of a sentence for everybody to get it right. Now, psalm 139:7-10, I love God's word. "Where can I go from your spirit? Where could I flee from your presence? If I ascend up into heaven, you're there: if I make my bed in Sheol (the place of the dead), behold, you're there. If I take the wings of the morning or dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall your hand lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, surely the darkness shall cover me and the night shall be the only light for me, even the darkness hides nothing from you..".
God is everywhere. The omnipresent God who is everywhere, you're never really alone. I'm challenging you to become purposely, more consciously aware of God's presence. You know, there are a lot of things that are very real in another realm even though we can't see them. And, I don't know exactly what all is going on in this room today, but, mmm... I have a feeling there's a whole bunch of angels in here today. I think God arranges all kinds of neat things like, who people sit with in meetings. I don't know. If you walked in here single, you better look around. And of course, John chapter 14, talks about how, "I am with you, but I will be in you". He was talking to his disciples about when he went away, and he said, "I'm with you but I will be in you". In you, say, "God is in me".
If you ever feel forsaken, have you ever felt like everybody let you down? And everybody that you expected to be there for you caved in on you at the wrong time. Let's look at 2 Timothy, chapter 4, verse 16. We need to really desire the manifest presence of God in our life even a lot more than we lean on other people. You know, people are important, but to be honest, sometimes they become too important to us. I can do without anybody but I can't do without God. "At my first trial," now this is the apostle Paul, "At my first trial no one acted in my defense as my advocate or took my part or even stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them"!
Well, that's another whole message right there. Everybody let me down, "God forgive 'em," mmm... "But the Lord stood by me," the one person who didn't leave him was the Lord. "And he strengthened me". Wow. Now, you know, there's good stuff going on in here today, in the spiritual realm, you need to reach out with your faith and take some of this. Don't just sit there like a bump in the chair going... "But the Lord strengthened me". I love it.
Let's talk about some of the things that cause loneliness. Number one, I think that we all crave to be understood. Don't you just wanna feel like somebody gets you? Doesn't look at you like you got three heads if you're not like them. You know, I don't like it when people try to make me be like them. I wanna be me. I wanna be free to be me. And it took Dave and I some time, but we worked that out a good number of years ago, and I think my favorite thing about mine and Dave's marriage is that we totally give each other freedom to just be who they are. Dave actually likes my sassy personality. He says, "There's that old fire. That's what I married you for". And I love the fact that he just lets me be me. Isn't that great?
Well, you know, if you want that in your life, the best way to get it is to start sowing it in other people's lives. So how 'bout if you get the ball rolling by going home and totally accepting the differences in the other people in your life so that a seed, yeah, well you ain't liking that, okay. You know, I love acts chapter 7. I'm not gonna go there again 'cause I got a lot of things I wanna share with you today, but in acts chapter 7, Moses, when he went out to help his brethren, they came against him and said, "What do you think you're doing"? And I think it's verse 25, it says, "He expected them to understand that he was trying to help them, but they did not understand". He expected them to understand that God had called him, but they did not understand.
Well, you know, I expected all my friends to be happy for me when I received the call on my life to teach, and I was just so happy. And everywhere I looked, I got rejection. "You can't do that. Who do you think you are? I mean, what makes you think you could do that. Well, you're a woman". Oh yeah, that's right. And then I told God, "I'm a woman". "You think I don't know that"? I lost my friends. I got asked to leave my church. I expected that people would be happy for me, but you know, a lot of times when something great happens in your life, not everybody's happy for you. Isn't that a bummer? Part of it's jealousy, part of it's judgment and criticism, but we cannot spend our lives looking to people to give us what we need. We've gotta go to God to get it and be able to get it from within ourselves.
As long as your heart's right and you've got peace with God, you can't be overly concerned about whether or not other people understand you. And another thing that I just love, love, love, love, love, love, love about Jesus, and it's recorded in Hebrews chapter 4, we have a high priest who understands. Lord have mercy, there's one person who gets me, and that's Jesus. Isn't that wonderful? He understands all my little quirks. And you know, I used to think that I was weird, and I spent my whole life feeling weird, like I didn't fit in with other people, and now I've found out that I'm just unique. Amen? Come on, why don't you just fall in love with yourself today, just... And you know, I don't mean that like in a selfish way, but I mean, just stop being at war with yourself. "I'm not this. I'm not that. I should be this. I should be that".
Just be who you are. You may not be where you need to be, but thank God you're not where you used to be. You're okay and you're on your way. Have a nice time with yourself. Celebrate yourself. Jesus' family did not understand him. His brothers basically were ashamed to be associated with him. They were like, "Well at least if you're gonna go around saying all these things, how 'bout doing a few miracles"? Yeah. My family didn't understand. I mean, my immediate family did, but not Dave's family, not my extended family. Nobody understood. And you know what? I believe that one of the greatest, one of the number one tools that satan uses to keep people from fulfilling the call of God on their life is rejection. There's no pain that's any worse than rejection. We just crave and want acceptance.
So I love Ephesians that says that we are made acceptable in the beloved. God accepts you today. He loves you. Let's look at Isaiah 53, verse 4. I had not looked at this for a long time, and I opened this up this morning and looked at this, and I thought, "Wow, that scripture, my"! Now keeping in mind that everything Jesus did, he did it for us. He bore it for us. He took our place. This is a powerful scripture. Isaiah 53:3, "He was despised and rejected and forsaken by men, a man of sorrows and pains, and acquainted with grief and sickness: and like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we did not appreciate his worth or have any esteem for him". Wow. He gets us. And he bore all those things for us so in him we could go through those things and not be destroyed by them. Did you hear me? We don't necessarily get to avoid all those things, but the truth is the Bible says that when people reject me, in effect they're rejecting Christ because he's the one who sent me.
See, I don't know if you know it or not, but God thinks you're a pretty cool person and he loves to hang out with you. He never gets tired of seeing your face. I'm happy about this today. Now, let me talk to you about being deserted, because the definition of the word "Loneliness" means to feel that you're deserted, that you have no one. Now, you know, I've said a couple times in these meetings that everything has a beginning, a middle, and an end. And you know, the beginning's pretty exciting. If anybody makes it to the end, that's a great feeling, you know? "Phew, finally got the closet cleaned out. Phew, finally out of debt". "Wow, finally lost all the weight that I need to lose". "Wow, finally my kids have graduated from high school". "Thank God I survived raising kids. Finally". But see, most of us, we spend more of our time in the middle than we do anywhere else. And not all of the middle is bad, but sometimes the middle can be pretty messy.
How many of you understand what I mean by the middle? All right. It's kinda like when you're not what you used to be, and you're not what you're gonna be, and you're somewhere out in the middle of this, and you're not sure what's gonna happen. You can't go back and you can't go on, and you're just stuck out there with God. Then half the time you feel like he's asleep in the bottom of the boat, and then all the people who don't like anything you do. Come on, you guys are with me today. Now, you know, we all have a call from God on our life from the womb. I mean, God has already preplanned and predestined a path for us. That doesn't mean that it's gonna happen no matter what we do. It just means that God has already decided his part. So God has already decided that you should have a good life. God's already decided that. And then he lays out in his word the path that we should take. And then if you walk in that path, you will end up with the will of God for your life.
Everything that's possible is not positively gonna happen because we need to be willing to do things God's way. And one of the main things that we have to do in the middle, now listen to me, is not give up. It doesn't take any special Holy Ghost talent or strength to give up. Anybody can do that. Giving up is the easiest thing in the world. Making it through the middle all the way to the end is another story altogether. And it just frightens the living daylights out of me the number of people who have amazing lives predestined for them, but they give up in the middle because it's hard. "I got rejected". "I was abused". "I was abandoned". Well you know, it's not fair for somebody to stand in front of you and say I have this great life and all my dreams have come true. You know, I mean, things are good for me now. I mean, wow, mercy.
I have four kids that I did finally raise and get through school. Thank God. I have been married now 47 years, and all the stuff I used to get mad about... Did I ever want to give up on my kids? Oh, I mean, I thought probably three out of my four kids were crazy. I mean, I just, like... I am just like, "What is your deal"? I honestly didn't think, there was two of 'em that I really didn't think could ever go out of the house and live on their own. And now it's pretty funny because one of 'em is the CEO of all the state-side ministry and the other one helps take care of me. So let me tell you, there's hope for those kids that you think aren't gonna make it.
You know, even raising kids sometimes is lonely, because if you're a good parent, you're gonna have to say no when your kid wants to hear yes, and then you're trying to do the right thing for them, but now they're all mad at you and won't even talk to you. And there's a loneliness in that. There's a loneliness about being a leader because you cannot make one decision that everybody's gonna like. It's not possible. I don't care what you do. I don't care what song you sing, somebody wishes you would have sang another song. And if you're gonna live all your life trying to keep all the people happy all the time, you are gonna go stark-Raving mad and have a nervous breakdown.
So there's two things we need to do. Live to please God and follow our heart. You're not gonna be fulfilled if you live to please everybody else and you lose yourself in the process. There's all different types of loneliness, but I do believe that there are more lonely people in the world than those who actually feel together and fulfilled. And so I wanted to attack that today and get people to the point where they don't have to go around grieving all the time because somebody didn't like them, or somebody didn't accept them, or somebody doesn't approve of them. You know, Jesus felt deserted when he was on the cross. "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me"?
Now, we know that God did not forsake him just like he never forsakes us, but there are times when God will hide his presence from us, and boy, that's not fun. And when he was in the garden of Gethsemane going through his greatest hour of agony, the guys that he has poured his life out to couldn't even be bothered to pray with him one hour. Judas betrayed him, Peter denied him, and you know what? If he made it, we can make it. He went through all that so in him we can go through it too and come out victorious on the other side. Listen, Jesus went through a lot, but let's think about where he's at today. Come on. He made it to the end. He said, "It is finished"! Wow! And you know what? If there's anything in me that God can get out of me that will help you get to the point in your life where you can say that, "I made it".
I'm so proud of the fact that Dave and I've been married 47 years and that even though we're very different and it wasn't always easy, we made it. Amen? We made it. So I married this guy, and, oh, he was handsome, but he was a conniver, and just a liar, and lazy. Cute, but how many of you know you can get over cute pretty quick? Boy, we're together on this one, amen? And you know, same thing for men. How many men are trapped by some beautiful woman with just the right figure? And it becomes a nightmare. You'd be better off with a plainer woman that had a lot of God in her. So, I married this guy, cute, but just to be frank, a real jerk. And we went to new Mexico, and we were staying in a motel room. And he was gone all the time, and I'd eat ice cream every night, and in 30 days I gained 30 pounds. Just out of loneliness.
Listen, when you're lonely, don't go to comfort food. Go to the God of all comfort. Come on now. Don't do comfort shopping, go to the God of all comfort, amen? I think I need about four hours to do this justice. So, we're living in this motel, and after about two weeks, he just didn't come home one night, and he just left me in Albuquerque, new Mexico. I was 18 years old. Didn't even have enough money to get home. I had to call somebody that I knew. They sent me $80 for a bus ticket. I couldn't call my parents and ask for help because I knew what that would mean with my dad. If you ever needed anything from him, you were gonna pay for it. And then he did the same thing to me again. Left me in Oakland, California.
You say, "Well, if he did it to you once, why were you dumb enough to go back"? Well... Come on, sisters. Talk to me. 'cause he came back, "I'm so sorry. I love you so much. Will you give me one more chance"? You don't even want to know how many times I did that. When I got pregnant, he left me and lived with another woman who happened to live two blocks down the street. And every morning when I would go to work, I would drive past where he and her were living together, and I was pregnant with his baby. So I know what it's like to feel lonely, and to feel deserted, and to feel like nothing you've ever tried to do has worked out in life. But I'm still here.
See, that's really the message. I'm telling you all of these things that I went through to say, "I'm still here". I made it through the middle. And I don't know what kind of middle you're in, but you know, when I had my son and I came out of the hospital, now, you know, my husband had come to the hospital, and he couldn't really deny the baby was his because the baby looked just like him. Anyway, I came out of the hospital. Him and I walked out of the hospital and had this little baby boy, David, and had nowhere to go. Didn't have a home, didn't know what we were gonna do. So for all intent and purposes, I can say that I was officially homeless for a period of time. At the end of that pregnancy, because he wasn't living with me, when I had to quit work, I didn't have anybody to take care of me. I know what it's like to be deserted. My hairdresser took me in and I stayed with her and her mother until I had the baby.
Listen, I know what it's like to be lonely. And I remember a lot of those days, and months, and years in my life, and it just absolutely leaves me with my mouth hanging open in awe at what God has done in my life. Come on now. There's hope for everybody. Don't you dare quit in the middle. God's got a plan for you and no devil in hell can keep you from having it if you just won't give up. All you gotta do is just say, "I'm going through! I'm not going under, I'm going through". My, my, my. And you know, I think about all the different people in the Bible. Joseph, he made it through the middle and he made it from the pit to the palace. Moses, he made it through the middle after he ran from Egypt, and then we found out last night he ultimately had to go back and face what he ran from. But then he fulfilled the call of God on his life and he could say, "I finished my course with joy".
Abraham had to leave his home and everything that he was familiar with because God felt he had found a man that he could come into covenant with. But he had to go through lonely times in the beginning. You know, listen to me please. When God wants to do something in your life, sometimes he has to separate you. Come on now. Sometimes he has to separate you from a lot of other ungodly influences. And you think the loneliness is gonna kill you, but I can tell you, if you don't have anybody else, you get to know God and yourself really well. So let's just get over the "I'm lonely" thing and let's stop making bad decisions because we're lonely, and doing things that destroy the rest of our life. Because if you just wont quit and give up, my, my.
Esther had to be lonely when as a young girl I'm sure she had a plan for her life, and all of a sudden, God interrupted that plan. "No, I don't want you to do that. I want you to do this". Well, that sounds dangerous. Esther ended up saving an entire nation because she made it through the middle. The God of all comfort. I want to talk to you for a few minutes about receiving comfort from God. You know, I was thinking this morning about receiving, and there's a teaching that I do about receiving versus getting. You know, we're always trying to get something. "Did you get your healing"? "Did you get your breakthrough". "Did you get saved"? It's a totally wrong attitude. "To as many as received him gave he power to become the sons of God". We receive mercy. We receive forgiveness for our sins.
Ginger: Joyce answers your question of the day soon, so stay with us.
Joyce: Well, when we are experiencing grief and loneliness, it may not feel like it, but God is with us. Today, we have questions from people struggling with grief and loneliness. So, a lot of people in the world are hurting. A lot of people are lonely. And you know, you can be in a room full of people and still feel lonely.
Ginger: That is so true.
Joyce: Just because the conditions in the world are so difficult today, grieving is something that I'm sure, a lot of people are doing over lots of different things. So, I know you've got some questions.
Joyce: How can we help people?
Ginger: Well, we have a question exactly like you were just talking about and many, many good questions from people who are hurting and just need some encouragement. This is from karen in Canada, "Our family recently immigrated to Canada from south Africa, and I feel lonely. My husband is emotionally disconnected from me. I try to be strong for my kids' sake but I'm exhausted and overwhelmed with grief and sadness. What can I do to get through"?
Joyce: Well, first thing I would do is talk to yourself a little bit and realize, anytime you make a change that drastic it's going to take a good while to get adjusted. I mean, I'm remembering when you came to work here.
Ginger: It was hard.
Joyce: It was hard for you. You'd left friends that you were very, very close to. You loved your church. You had a hard time finding one that even came close to being what that one was for you.
Ginger: And even going to the right thing doesn't always answer that.
Joyce: Right, and this was where you were supposed to be, no doubt about that, but it was still hard. And so, it sounds like the decision that she's made is probably going to be a permanent one. And so, first of all, give yourself time, but then secondly pray for God to give you friends. You know, I think a lot of times we just don't pray. We just struggle with stuff and fight with stuff, and we just don't pray. And you know, I've experienced loneliness in my life and that may sound really odd to people, as many people as, watch me on TV, but they're watching me, I don't see them. And in order to do what I'm doing, I spend a great deal of time by myself. And you know, people always think the star's dressing room must be so great, and I'll tell ya, it's just the back rooms of all these conference centers. They're not all that great. And I've prayed for God to put the right people in my life at the right time. And you can trust God to do for you what you cannot do for yourself. I would be careful about just sitting around thinking, "I'm so lonely. I'm so lonely and I don't have any support". All those things may be true, but just thinking about them over, and over, and over is only going to make it worse. And so, I know this is not always the answer that people want to hear, but sometimes nobody can do anything about our problem but us. And so, if people aren't coming to her, maybe she needs to go out and make some friends, put herself in a situation where she can reach out to somebody else that's lonely and needs a friend.
Ginger: Yeah, I think that's a great answer. Sometimes that really is important is be what somebody else needs.
Ginger: And that really helps us as well. Amy from Wisconsin says, "I have grief from the loss of my health. How do I have a positive attitude when I hurt every single day"?
Joyce: Well, I'm sure that, that's quite challenging. And I certainly don't want to try to make light of it, but here again, sometimes, at least I know for me when I don't feel good, and I've had my share of issues in my life, the more you sit around and think about how you feel, the worst you feel. And sometimes just getting out and doing something or doing something for somebody else, you know, I don't think there's anything more powerful than getting yourself off your mind and think about somebody else. And honestly, I think one of the things that I hate about sickness more than anything, is because you are tempted to just constantly think about you and how you feel.
Ginger: It's hard not to.
Joyce: I hate that. I feel like it just makes you so self-centered. And so, I know what she's dealing with because I've had to deal with the exact same thing. But, it's amazing how I find, and I mean, this is the absolute truth, sometimes I may be feeling really bad, but if I go out and do something, it's a little hard in the beginning but then when you get your mind off of it, actually does really help you to do better. And I understand, you know, I don't know what her health problem is, but you know, if she's lost her health through not taking care of herself or something like that, she can always get it back. And, we can always pray for miracles. And one other thing I'll say, hope is a powerful motivator. And so, to let yourself become hopeless is one of the most painful things in the world. So, I would keep hoping that I'm going to get better and better everyday, and that God's going to bring a solution and there's going to be an answer, and in the meantime, do as much for others as you possibly can.
Ginger: I did have one really good friend whose health took her to the place where she just couldn't get out or do much. And after a lot of suffering and struggling with this, came to the point where she realized what a prayer ministry she had, and an encouraging letter writing ministry. Just whatever little crack that God gives you to reach out to someone else can make a big difference.
Joyce: You really do you have to fight back or the problems in the world just suck you up and...
Ginger: Yeah, you're right. You're right. Well, here's another question. My heart goes out to this person. She says, "I've had three miscarriages in a row. I'm very thankful for my two children that I have but I just feel overwhelming grief at times with my loss".
Joyce: Well, I understand that, I had one miscarriage in my life, but I was very young and probably wasn't affected by it like she has been. And you know, trying to answer questions for people that are grieving is challenging because it's very easy to hurt their feelings.
Joyce: And, I don't want to do that at all. But, if I'm going to be honest in answering the question then you know, if somebody's had a major loss, your only choice really is to look at what you have left, not just keep looking at what you've lost. To look at what you have left, and to trust God to work good out of it. You know, there's so many other people, I'm sure, in the same situation that she's in. And, I can't sit here and say I understand exactly how you feel because I don't. But, I have had enough experience with God that I understand the answers. And I know even like, I see things on television where somebody's lost a loved one and they won't move on, and the only advice they ever get is you have to move on. And, as cold and hard as that sounds, that is the truth. I mean, you only stay stuck in a place of pain or you move past it to what's left in your life. And, man, pour yourself into those two kids that you have, and if you can't have another child naturally and you really want one that bad then, I mean, there's lots of kids that are lookin' for a good home. And so, that's always an option. And I think a lot of times God really wants people who can't have children to consider doing that. I feel so sorry for all these kids that don't have parents. And, what a ministry that is, even to foster kids. It's like, to be a child and to never have any parenting and just be switched from house, to house, to house that's gotta be miserable. So, you can always turn your loss into somebody else's blessing if you are willing to.
Ginger: And I think something you said is really important. You said that this is a big loss.
Joyce: It is.
Ginger: Because a lot of times people will gloss over, and I think it's right for her to understand that she has faced a big loss and God still is there for her and still wants healing for her.
Joyce: That's right. And, he can still work good out of it. And you know, the Bible says in Romans 12:21, "We overcome evil with good". And so, she's had some disappointing bad things happen, but she can turn it around, and ask God to use it for his glory, and you know, maybe reach out and help somebody else.
Ginger: Yeah, Michelle, from Oregon, says, "I'm lonely being a Christian with an unbelieving husband. When you love someone, and they don't share the most important part of your life, it's challenging. He's a wonderful man, but what can I do as I struggle with loneliness because of this"?
Joyce: Well, she's probably one of several million women that are like that. And, first of all, you certainly can believe that as you continue to be a good example that, I mean, his situation could change in a moment.
Ginger: Yeah that's true.
Joyce: Just pray that God will reveal himself to him. And make sure, that you have other Christian friends that, I mean, sure that won't be like having your husband on the same page with you, but thank God she's got a good husband, that he's not an unsaved mean husband. And you know, be involved with other good Christian people. Join a small Bible study group or something where she can feel that she has friends. I mean, there are millions and millions of people, where one person in the family is saved. And of out of all the prayer requests that we get here, which are thousands upon thousands, they've told me that the number one is prayer for loved ones that aren't living right or are not saved. And so, naturally we're going to grieve over that. But you know, my father who sexually abused me and I mean, mean, mean, mean, he accepted the Lord finally, when he was 80. And he died when he was 83. And you would have thought that there was no way that, that man was ever going to get saved. I mean, he said some really hard harsh things even about God and a relationship with God. And I just kept praying for him and asking God to save him, and he did.
Ginger: So, there's always hope.
Joyce: There's always hope, no matter how long it takes, or no matter how old somebody is. And you know, it's important for her to use wisdom and not, you know, be, "Overly Christian," around him, or her trying to do the job. You know, you gotta put it in God's hands and just let God do what only God can do.
Ginger: Yeah. Well, thank you Joyce, 'cause these are hard, and we do have great compassion, so...
Joyce: We certainly do.
Ginger: I appreciate your answers.
Ginger: We have a question from Steph. She says, a few months back, I was recruited for an amazing job opportunity. In my role, I primarily work with our executive team, which is primarily composed of men. I've been there for eight months now, and I've experienced sexism like never before. I'm not sure how to deal with this, and whether to address it or not, as I am fearful for my job". What would you tell her to do?
Joyce: Well, first of all, you want to do what's right in God's sight, even if it does cost you the job. You know, no job is worth being tormented and pushed around. I don't know what kind of comments you're getting or how serious it is. But, if it is serious, then yes, you do need to confront it, keeping in mind that it could mean the loss of your job. But, I always tell people, anything that we lose in order to maintain our integrity before God, God will always promote us and give us something much better than what we lost.