Joyce Meyer - Peace of Mind
Well, thank you for joining us on, "Enjoying Everyday Life". You know, I just don't think the program would be the same if you weren't watching today. You know why? You're a very special person and God has a very good plan for your life. Today, I want to talk about peace and especially, peace of mind. Peace in the midst of the storm, not peace when the storm is over. You know, I started seeing this a few years ago, but I see it more and more. When we get unhappy and we lose our peace, so often, it's not so much about what happened as it is what we expected to happen or not to happen. "Well, I expected to be invited to the party". So now, I may be upset with somebody because I'm expecting something from them, that they didn't even know I was expecting.
Sometimes, we like people to be, "Well, I expected that you would call me. It's been two weeks since we've talked and I would have thought you would have called me long ago". Well, maybe they didn't even think about it. So, I think a lot of times, if we want to have peace of mind and enjoy our lives, we have to really get honest with ourselves about, what are we expecting? Are we expecting too much out of people? Are we expecting things out of people that we don't even give to other people, ourselves. It's often our unrealistic expectations that make us miserable rather than our circumstances.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Nobody can bring you peace, but yourself". Well, you know, and I want to add, God brings us peace, but you'll never have peace just by saying, "God, give me peace," because there is a decision involved in it, and it comes from trusting God. And really, to pray, "God, give me peace," if you want to get right down to it, it's not even really scriptural because the Bible already says that we have his peace. John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you: my perfect peace I give to you: not as the world gives do I give to you". So then, here comes the instruction. "So do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. Let my perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge".
So, it's like anything else. Somebody can give you something but if you won't receive it then it's not going to do you any good. So maybe, instead of praying, "Oh God, give me peace, give me peace", maybe the better way to pray is, "God, help me access the peace that you've given me". I'm not trying to be legalistic about praying for peace. I'm sure, if you pray for peace it's gonna work too. But, I think we do need to realize that we have peace. Just like, we have patience, we have joy, all those things are in our spirit and the point is, is in learning to walk in the Spirit rather than walking in the flesh.
This past weekend, I was teaching out of Philippians and it's called, "The Epistle of Joy," because Paul mentions 19 times, in Philippians, that we are to rejoice in the Lord. And so, I wanted to be real practical about, "Okay, what does that mean, rejoice in the Lord"? Well, I think it literally means to think about, when you're having problems, to think about what you have in the Lord. You're going to spend eternity in heaven, not going to hell. Sins are forgiven. You don't have to live under condemnation. You've been redeemed, purchased with the Blood of Christ. I mean, there's so many things that we have, "In the Lord," that if we think about what we have in him, the few years that we have to put up with whatever we put up with here, don't seem so bad when you think about the long-term. Amen?
How many of you are excited about going to heaven? The older you get, the more excited you'll be. The world has a little bit of a wearing affect on us I think laughing. You're never gonna have peace with your circumstances or with other people until you are at peace with yourself. As same as I always say, "You can't love somebody else if you don't love yourself". But, just think about this, Jesus could only speak peace to the storm because he had peace in him. We can't even be peacemakers if we're not at peace with ourselves.
So, I guess a good question for you to ask when the program's over and sit down and maybe have a little time with just you and God is, "Are you at peace with yourself, or are you constantly in a war with yourself over something that you feel like you didn't do right, or should have done better, or shouldn't have done at all or should have done and didn't do"? I know I was in strife with myself most of the time until I learned some of the things that I'm privileged to be able to teach now. And so, what goes on in you will come out of you.
Now, 1 Peter 3:10 and 11 was one of the scriptures that really put me on this path about needing to be at peace with myself. And this is what it says, "For, 'the one who wants to enjoy life and see good days,'" is that you? You want to enjoy life and see good days? "'whether apparent or not,'" and I think that's the amplified, but I think that's kind of interesting. He's saying, "You can enjoy your life even if your circumstances seem to be saying there's no way you can enjoy life". So, he said, "'the one who wants to enjoy life and see good days whether apparent or not must keep his tongue free from evil'". There we go with the words again. I just got a little correction from God this morning about something I'd been saying.
You know, a lot of times we say things just 'cause we think they're cute, or funny, or you know, whatever. But, our words carry power and we need to make sure that we're not speaking negativity over our lives or the lives of other people. "'He must keep his tongue free from evil and his lips from speaking guile. He must turn away from wickedness and do what is right, he must search for peace with God, with himself, and with others and pursue it eagerly actively not merely desiring it'". Boy, that's so good. That's such a rich, full scripture because he's sayin', "If you really want peace then it's not just gonna fall on you like ripe fruit fallin' off a tree on your head. You're gonna have to search for peace and pursue it and go after it".
So literally, one of the things that I did in the beginning of my walk of trying to learn to be peaceful was, I made a list of the things that seemed to steal my peace. So, you might want to start there. Like, if I had to hurry, it would steal my peace. Maybe, money issues stole my peace quicker than maybe, some other kinda thing. So, you might want to make a list of things, 'cause those are weak areas for you. Those are areas to pray over, and those are areas to be careful to not let the devil take advantage of you in those areas. So, if I know that hurrying is gonna steal my peace then no matter how much I pray for God to give me peace, I'm gonna have to learn to stop hurrying.
So, a lot of times it's not our circumstances that need to change, it's we need to change in some area. And so, what do we do? We spend our life praying for God to make that go away, and God, make that go away, and God, make that go away and give me this and take away that. And, all the time God leaves a lot of those things there because he's trying to use them to change us so we get strong enough that no matter what's going on, it doesn't bother us. And you know, if you're a long way away from what I'm talkin' about, don't be discouraged. If you just keep ploddin' along day by day, little by little you'll get there.
And you may be a person right now, that you just can say, "I just don't have any peace at all". But, today is a good day for you to start. And, this would be a good day for you to do what I said and make that list of things that you know steal your peace, and just maybe, take 'em one at a time and start asking God to help you with 'em and to make you strong in those areas. But, the last thing you want to do is feel guilty and condemned because you got all these areas that bother you and you can never seem to have peace. So, don't you love that? You gotta pursue it and go after it. And so, for me, realizing what stole my peace, help put me on that path, realizing the things that I needed to watch for.
Now, what about reasoning? Boy, we all have questions, don't we? And you know, asking them does sometimes bring answers. I mean, I've asked God things and he'll answer me. It's not always what I want to hear but he does answer me. But, a lot of things God doesn't answer. You know, when Jesus was on the cross and he said, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me"? He didn't get an answer. So, what did he do when he didn't get an answer? He said, "Into Your hands I commit my Spirit". So, when you don't understand something and God's not telling you anything, you know what your next job is? Surrender. Just say, "Well, I'm gonna love you either way, and I believe I can be happy either way, and you can give me peace either way".
We have to stop thinking that if we have problems we can't be happy, because you can be. And, I think we all know that there's not too many days in life that go perfectly the way we want them to. There's usually things that happen. So, we all have questions, they don't always get answers. Many things are hidden in the mysterious will of God concerning our lives. And, no matter how often we ask, "Why God, why"? What he really wants to hear is, "I'd like to know why if you're willing to tell me, but if not, help me trust you".
I've been saying this for years and I think it's a good statement, "There's no such thing as trust without some unanswered questions". If we knew everything and understood everything then there would be no reason to trust God. How many of you have something going on in your life right now, that you just absolutely don't understand? Let's see. Well, that's not too many people with their hands down. I even saw Mike with his hand up and he doesn't have hardly any problems. We can ask questions. I want you to pay attention here. We can ask questions. We can ponder things. We can think about things. You can even talk to somebody else about things. But, the minute you get into reasoning that's when you need to start backin' off. You know why? Because reasoning adds a lot of more problems to you.
Proverbs 3:5-7, "Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart. And don't rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path. He will make your path straight and smooth removing obstacles that block your way". But, the main thing that we want to get is, do not rely on your own insight or understanding. See, it's interesting about reasoning because if you reason long enough it makes you open to deception from the enemy and all he has to do then, is tell you something that makes sense to your mind.
It's interesting how we calm down if we think we've got the answer. Even when, in many times, we find out later that we don't. Back in the early days of the ministry, we have too many employees do it now, but, you know, maybe we had 15 employees and everybody, we had little mail slots and you know, each little slot was about like this. And so, if you wanted to get something to an employee, a message, or a notice, or something, you'd put it in their slot. And so, God used that with me as an example, and he said, because sometimes we would put something in somebody's slot telling them to do something and then they didn't do it. And when, we'd go and ask 'em about it, they would say, "Well, I didn't get that," because we had put it in the wrong slot.
And so, God told me, he said, "You have a lot of things in the wrong slot. You think you know this, and you think you know that, and you think you know how I'm gonna do this and how I'm gonna do that". But, even thinking that I knew, calmed me down. 'Cause see, then we feel like that we've got the answer, and we don't have to just be out there in mystery land where we never know, from one minute to the next, what's gonna happen. All God wants us to know is he's good, he loves us, and he may not take us the route that we'd like to go, but he will take us along the route that will end up being best for us.
The Bible said that he led the Israelites the long hard way, even though there was a much shorter route that they could have taken, from Egypt to the Promise Land. And then, he said, "They were not yet ready for war". You see, when they went in to the Promise Land, they had to get rid of the current occupants. You know, once they entered the Promise Land, no more manna fell, there was no more gettin' your breakfast and dinner rained out of the sky, and they were in one war after another, after another, after another because in taking ground back that belongs to you, that the enemy has stolen, you sometimes, gotta be ready to stand your ground and fight for it. And many times, we're just not ready to do that and so, God has to teach us things about who he is, his love for us, and how he will take care of us, and his faithfulness.
You know, when you've been walking with the Lord for a good number of years, you can say without even flinching, "I know that God is faithful". Now, if you've just been born again a year, then you're still hoping he'll be faithful. But, the only way we get to that knowing is through having experience with him. And, in order to see his faithfulness, we have to have a problem. It's like, somebody said one time, "If you don't have a problem too big for you to solve then you're never gonna get a miracle". And we don't qualify for a miracle if we can fix our own problems, so... And then, I love verse 7 in proverbs 3, it says, "Do not be wise in your own eyes". In other words, I think that's saying, "Don't even think you can solve your own problems without my help". "A man's mind plans his way," proverbs 16:9, "As he journeys through life, but the Lord directs his steps and establishes them". Proverbs 16:25, "There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but its end is the way of death".
Wow. How many people have felt, "Well, I'm going to do it my way," and it just ends up destroying? I mean, we see that all the time with people. People who don't want to have God as an authority in their life. Or, people that are wealthy and famous, they think they've got everything they need, and they end up being some of the most unhappy people on the face of the earth, and sometimes commit suicide and you know, have drug problems and alcohol problems and all kinds of stuff. We are made for God. He created us for fellowship and nothing else is ever gonna work unless we have God in our life. I'm sure you've heard the cute little saying, "We've all got a God-shaped hole on the inside of us and nothing fits in there but God".
And so, all he really wants is to be part of your life. He just wants to be part of everything that you do. He says, "'come to me like a little child'". And, I do that, although, it was really hard for me in the beginning, "Lord, help me fix my hair this morning". "Lord, help me bowl right," you know. It's like, I don't need to be prayin' about my hair, and my contact lenses, and you know. So then, I quit for a while and then I'd have a big mess and so I've learned, just lean on God for everything. How many of you know that we need to lean on him for everything? "Man's steps," I love this one, proverbs 20:24. "Man's steps are ordered and ordained by the Lord. How then can a man fully understand his way"? So, if you're like, "I just don't get what's going on in my life". That's because God's in charge of it and our finite minds, you know, sometimes, if God would actually tell us what he's trying to do, we wouldn't get it anyway. We wouldn't grasp it.
I've wondered about why the Bible doesn't tell us more things about heaven, or like, what we're gonna be doing there. You know, there's some information but there's not just a lot, you know. And, I just decided the other day, you know, probably, it's gonna be so fantastic that our minds really couldn't grasp it. You know, John on the Isle of Patmos, when he had his visions that we call, "The Revelation," he saw things that he couldn't explain. And so, sometimes we don't have the ability to understand greatness beyond what we think greatness is. That's why we should all be very excited to get there and see what God's gonna pull out of his sleeve and how good it's gonna be.
I'm not gonna read all these scriptures but 1 Corinthians 2:14 and 15 are definitely worth reading because it basically says, "The natural man does not understand the spiritual man". And so, I look at it like, my natural mind cannot understand my spirit. That's why we need a lot of discernment rather than natural reasoning. We need to be able to discern things because something can seem to make a lot of sense but yet, if you've got like, a check in your spirit, you don't have peace about it inside, you may never make any sense out of why you felt that way but it's always best to go with your spirit and not with your head. How many of you tend to lean more toward your own brain, your own thinking? I think we all do to a certain degree.
So, who cannot love Colossians 3:15? "Let the peace of Christ the inner calm of one who walks daily with him be the controlling factor in your hearts deciding and settling questions that arise. To this peace indeed you were called as members of one body of believers. And be thankful to God always. Now, the original translation, the amplified Bible says, "Let peace be the umpire in your life deciding with finality everything that brings up a question". Have you ever done anything that you just, you knew you didn't have peace about when you did it? Anybody? Boy, I have too, and after a few rounds of that, you find out that's really about the silliest thing you can do because you're just buying yourself some problems when you do that.
Symptoms of excessive reasoning: confusion. If God's not giving you an answer the more you think about it, think about it, think about it, think about it, think about it the more confused you get. Struggling, excessive reasoning always turns into a mental struggle. It leads to being double-minded and triple-minded. We just can't make decisions and we're goin' back and forth, and back and forth, and back and forth. Frustration, because trying to do the impossible always frustrates us and when we're trying to understand everything that only God knows the answers to. You know, life is just a lot better if we just stop tryin' to figure everything out. Maybe that's the simplest way to some this up. But we want to know. We want a blueprint for our life all laid out. We want to know what's gonna happen next.
Why do you think so many people in the world pay for so-called psychics, and go to palm readers, and fortune tellers? And, I mean, I looked up the other day how many billions of dollars are spent every year on that kind of stuff and I can't remember now what it was but it was just like, "You have got to be kidding". That money could be used to preach the Gospel all over the world and then everybody would have their answers. It's amazing how much money people will lay down just to get somebody to try to tell them what their future holds. You don't need to read your horoscope. The stars are beautiful. And, there was a star that led the wise men to Jesus, but we're not to guide our life by the stars.
I remember working with a girl many, many, many years ago, and I realize now, it was just a setup from the enemy because I was really searching for a deeper walk with God. I was a Christian, but I was in a church where I wasn't really learning what I needed to learn to overcome my problems. And, I was working with a girl that was really big-time into charting her life by the stars. And, I mean, she didn't even get her haircut unless the stars told her what day she should get her haircut. So, she started offering to chart my life.
Well, at first, I thought, "Didn't bad sound, sounded interesting". And, very shortly after that I got filled with the Holy Spirit and it's a good thing God interrupted and saved me because there's no telling what I might have gotten into. We have to be very, very careful in the world today. Even with, people prophesying to you. You know, if you don't bear witness, you don't go jump off the deep end and do what anybody tells you to just because they told you to, it has to bear witness with you in your own heart. "'I assure you and most solemnly I tell you unless you become like little children, you will never enter into the kingdom'". You know, kids don't have to know everything. You tell 'em, "Oh yeah, I'll get that soon". "Okay," and they go on off and play. So, let's become more childlike and not have to know everything so we can enjoy peace with God.
Now, you're gonna have to want this book. I don't know how you could not want this book, "21 ways to find peace and happiness". I mean, who could not want that book? I even want the book and I wrote it. "21 ways to find peace and happiness," so we're offering this today for any amount and what you give is gonna go toward our tv airtime. You know, they don't let me on television free, it does cost money. And, we rarely ask you to give to pay for it, but we're asking you today to give a generous offering just to help us not only pay for the programs that you watch but also to spread the Gospel even further all around the world. Thank you so much for being with us today. And, I pray that you will have an amazing day.