Joyce Meyer - Book of James Bible Study - Part 1 - Enjoying Everyday Life
Joyce Meyer: the more mature you become in Christ, the more he's liable to let you go through a few things that really don't have anything to do with you.
They have a lot to do with other people. Joyce Meyer: God's word is seed. How many of you've seen that in the Bible that the sower sows the seed? And seed has power to produce after its own kind. If a tomato seed can be planted in the right kind of ground and produce a bunch of tomatoes, then what can the word of God do if it's planted in the right kind of ground, which is our hearts? And what kind of a harvest can you have in your life from spending this time here with us tonight or however many sessions you get to come to? I think that the harvest from what you're spending your time doing right now can be phenomenal, but part of it depends on how you receive it. There's different kinds of ground. And so, I wanna really encourage you to receive the word with meekness.
Joyce Meyer Full textual Bible Study - Book of James - Part 1 - Enjoying Everyday Life
You're gonna see that that's what james said, that the word has the power to save our souls if we receive it with meekness and that means that every single thing you hear, you have the attitude, "man, I need this. I need this." I always tell people, I don't care how many times you've got it underlined in your Bible, until you're doing it on a regular basis, you don't know it. If you're like me, I like to underline, and color code, and star, and checkmark and, you know, sometimes if you're not careful, you can feel real proud of yourself if you open your Bible and you've got a bunch of it underlined. But what we have to look at is, am I doing this? And no matter how many times we hear the same thing over and over, we still need it. So, here's a little bit of historical background on james.
First of all, there are 2 disciples among the 12 named james. This epistle is not written by either one of them, but it was written by james, the brother of Jesus. James occupied a prominent place in the church in jerusalem and is mentioned in the book of acts. The theme of this book in the Bible is how to have a living faith, a faith that actually works and produces good things in our lives and in the lives of other people. It's evidenced by righteous living and Godly behavior.
True faith manifests righteous living and Godly behavior. Let me just throw in here that if everybody who calls themselves a Christian had a living faith and was walking in right behavior and Godly behavior, people would have a totally different attitude worldwide toward Christianity and Christians and they would be flocking into the churches to try to get some of what you have. Joyce Meyer: your position in history right now is so important. I mean, it is very important that you're alive right now and that you get to be part of seeing this generation come to a saving knowledge of Christ but that will not happen if we don't walk the walk and do something other than just go to church on sunday morning and think that because we do that, we've got a ticket into heaven.
Chapter 1 is about a victorious faith. Chapter 2, having our faith manifested. Chapter 3, a faith that controls our behavior. Chapter 4, a faith that causes us to be submissive to the will of God. And chapter 5, a patient and an expectant faith. Although Jesusalthough james was the brother of Jesus, he recognized him as the resurrected lord for he refers to himself as a servant of God and of the lord Jesus Christ. Now, james chapter 1, verses 2 through 4. I'm sure these are like your very favorite scriptures in the Bible. You're already groaning and I haven't even opened it up yet. Joyce Meyer: see, I heard a, "ugh." How many of you already know what james 1, verse 1 says? "be holy joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations." How many of you have made it to that point and you don't need this message tonight? You're Joyce Meyer: you know, it's almost not even hardly fair for God to ask a preacher to preach this message because somebody asked me what I was gonna preach on this weekend?
I said, well, I get the extreme thrill of trying to get people excited about their trials. Joyce Meyer: which is not easy. And the only way that we can actually consider them joyful, and that's about our thinking process, we don't necessarily have to be clapping and cheering about the discomfort we're going through, but if we understand what the Bible says about the value of trialsand this is a message that's under preached. Yes, God wants to bless us and he wants to bless us more than we know how to handle. He will open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing so great that we cannot contain it. We don't even know how to take it in. But I know from the word of God and from experience that God cannot bless us in the natural beyond where we're at spiritually.
I wanna say it again. You're not gonna give your baby that's 3 years old the keys to the car. Amen? And you don't because you love him. And every one of us should stop praying for God to give us all the stuff that we think we have to have to make us happy and we should pray a new prayer and this is the prayer that we should pray. I pray this on a regular basis. I invite you to join me. "god, please don't give me anything that I can't handle and still keep you first in my life." Joyce Meyer: amen? And something we don't hear enough of in prayer anymore I don't think is, "your will be done. Your will be done." We've gotten really good about telling God everything that we want him to give us, but he says that difficulty, and trials, and tribulations, and things that test our faith, that we should consider them joyful because, not 'cause they feel good right now, but because of what they have the ability to do in us if we won't run away from them. And, you know, there are some things you can't get away from, but there are a lot of things that you can get away from. Amen?
I had a job in ministrywell, I'll start somewhere else. I was in a church at one point and they really didn't want me teaching home Bible study. They were a little bit controlling and manipulative. And so, I wasn't really being treated all that great. And man, my first impulse is I'm out of here. Who needs this? I'm out of here. And I really felt that God told me that I needed to stay. Well, it was uncomfortable to stay. Every week when I went in the church, it was uncomfortable to stay. There was all these home Bibles studies that different people had and ours at one point was listed, then all of a sudden, ours came off the list. And things like that can hurt you, you know? When you don't get picked, when you're rejected, things like that can hurt you.
And, but God really dealt with me that I couldn't leave there with an attitude in my heart because, you see, if you leave someplace with a bad attitude, you're gonna enter the next place you go with that same bad attitude. And so, God doesn't want us to go when we wanna go. He wants us to go when he says to go. Joyce Meyer: and then I came to a situation where I was in a church that I'd worked at for 5 years and God was really dealing with me about steppin' out and starting to do what I'm doing now. And I didn't wanna go. And I stayed there for another year, maybe two after God started dealing with me and I'm telling you what, things were just not getting good. And so, you can go when God wants you to stay and you can stay when God wants you to go.
You see, we like to be comfy and I don't want to give up my friends. I was concerned about what people would think, that I was ungrateful, that I was full of myself, thought I was gonna go out and have this big ministry now and blah, blah, blah, blah. But if I wouldn't have listened to God, then we wouldn't be here tonight. And I just wonder how many of you, maybe God has told you to do or not to do somethingwhen I say told you, I mean either through his word, which is a word from God this is the main way that God is gonna speak to us and deal with us. And anything else that you think you hear better line up with that or you're in trouble. So, we need to get about the business of spiritual maturity. And listen, I don't like it any better than you do.
I had a situation happen a few days ago. I told you I got angry and I had a trial that was not of my making. I was having a great day and somebody else did something that then caused me to not have a great day. How many of you love it when you're going around doing good, and you're just clicking along with Jesus, and everything's great, and you're enjoying your day and now somebody else does something? Joyce Meyer: well, to be honest, probably 70%, 80% of our problems are people problems for a lot of different reasons. That doesn't always mean it's all them, you know? So, we better say that just to get it out there. But in this particular situation, then it took my time. I had to deal with something I didn't wanna deal with. Then I had to, you know, do some other stuff. And so, I'm getting ready to preach this message on being joyful about these things, and so I just thought, "okay God, just now tell me how this is gonna be good for me? I want ya to tell me how this is gonna be good for me? And what am I gonna learn out of this? How is this gonna help me?"
And actually God put something interesting on my heart. He said, "this wasn't so much for you as it is for the other person," because the way I dealt with it, I had to bring a correction. And so, if they then received that, that can help them build their character and do more of what they're supposed to do. So, I might as well just tell you this and put it out there so you don't have to find out on your own later, but I'll just tell ya that the more mature you become in Christ, the more he's liable To let you go through a few things that really don't have anything to do with you. They have a lot to do with other people. Joyce Meyer: come on, now. I mean, a very good case in point would be my relationship with dave. I mean, I had serious issues when we got married. And they were all internal so they didn't start comin' out until after the wedding. Joyce Meyer: how many of you feel me on that one? You know, it's like they didn't start comin' out until after the wedding. Everybody's on their good behavior during the courtship. And I didn't even know dave played golf when I married him.
Did not know what a golf ball was because I was the only thing that mattered in hisyou know, his life during those five dates that we had before we got married. Joyce Meyer: but, you know, dave went through a lot those first few years, and if he would have left because he felt like leaving, we wouldn't be here tonight. And so, whatever this means to different people here tonight or those watching by tv, you better think twice before you just think, "well, I'm out of here." Maybe you need to say, "is it your will? What do you want me to do in this situation?" And I don't see nearly as many smiles as I'd like to see. Joyce Meyer: and I know, I know it's all painful. There's nothing that we hurtthat we hate worse than having to go through things. But it's here and we can't ignore it. We have to learn to understand it. He says, "consider it wholly joyful when you're enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort of fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and the proving of your faith bring out endurance, steadfastness, and patience." Now, we'll talk in a few minutes about some other things that they bring out too, but eventuallyeventually we'll get down to that if we let God work with us long enough. You know why? At the moment of your new birth when you receive Christ, the nature of God was planted on the inside of your spirit. Little seeds of everything that God is, his character, all the fruit of the spirit, it's all in you.
Believe it or not, you are patient, but it's just like a little teeny, teeny, tiny seed buried somewhere under all your flesh. And listen to this, patience, the greek dictionary says, is a fruit of the spirit that grows only under trial. And it comes from a root word called h-u-p-o-n-e in the greek and it means to remain under. So, patience has nothing to do with running away from. It has everything to do with being steadfast, being disciplined, being committed, sticking with things, going all the way through with things. And I think we all know that the first thing our flesh wants to do when anything gets hard is quit and run away. Amen? But before we run in the future, we need to say, "god, what do you want me to do in this situation?" Patience is like a muscle. Faith is like a muscle. The less you use it, the more it atrophies and the weaker it gets. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. The stronger it gets, the more you can do. You see, God, not only does he want to do things for us. You know, to be honest, sometimes I just get tired of having to tell people that 500 times to get them to keep listening.
We are just not very good at laying our lives down and saying, "god, what can I do for you? Just for one day, could I forget about myself and say, God, what can I do for you today? You've been so good to me. You don't have to do one more thing for me the rest of my life if you don't want to. How can I serve you? What can I do for you?" Joyce Meyer: but oh, I tell you what, it's very challenging to preach on sacrifice, and suffering, and being somewhere where you don't wanna be, and waiting on things. But you know what? When we let God work with us in our lives and we do go from glory to glory to glory, I tell ya what, you give yourself a few years with the lord of really listening to him and you'll go through some stuff, but you come to a place where the stuff that used to bother you doesn't even phase you anymore. It's likesee, we don't need less problems. We need more strength. We don't need less opposition. We need more character. We need more faith, more spiritual muscle on the inside of us. And we need to be able to say with paul, "i can do all things through Christ who is my strength.
Whether I'm abased or abounding, I can do all things through Christ." Now, I know in saying this, probably some of you, this is the last thing in the world you wanted to hear out of me this weekend, and thankfully, we will get to go on to other things, like your mouth and Joyce Meyer: and other more exciting things as we go on here. But I just think it'sif you can believe when you're going through something and if you can open your mouth and say, "i hate this but I believe it's gonna work out good. God, I'mma tell you right now, this don't feel good, I don't like it, but I trust your word that you will work something good in me as result of this. And so therefore, I'm gonna do it by faith, God, but I'm gonna put a smile on my face and I'm not gonna murmur and I'm not gonna complain. And I am just gonna say now, 'you do what you want to do in my life.'" Joyce Meyer: amen? Now, if you'll go home and start to do these kinds of things, I'm not gonna tell you that boy, are things gonna come up roses in 2 days. They won't. But the day will come when you'll think, "i am so glad that I finally stopped running away from everything that was hard and I've learned how to go through with God and come out victorious on the other side." We all wanna be a conqueror, but we don't want anything to conquer. We wanna be victorious, but we don't want anything to have to have victory over. And we're just so down about going through. "i'm just going through."
Well, the good news is is you're going through, and you've got Jesus with you, and you're gonna come out on the other side. Joyce Meyer: and honey, when you come out on the furnace, you won't even smell like smoke. Who would ever guess by looking at my life now or many of your lives what you went through in the earlier years of your life? Who could possibly imagine some of the things that you've gone through and where you're at now? You came out and you don't even smell like smoke. Joyce Meyer: so, you know, we can think of a woman who's pregnant and we are pregnant, so to speak, with so many good things, so many good things on the inside of us. And a woman who is pregnant, actually while she's in labor, she has pain and joy at the same time. Her joy of bringing a child into the world overcomes the pain because she will actually go do it again. Joyce Meyer: figure that out. And I had three during the time when they knocked you out when you had babies and then I bravely decided to have the last one all natural. Joyce Meyer: and he lacked 1 ounce weighin' 10 pounds. Man.
Matter of fact, women will pray for their labor to start. Joyce Meyer: are any of you praying for your spiritual labor to start? Would anybody just go home and say, "okay God, I am tired of being a namby-bamby baby, whiny, up and down, happy when things go my way, sad when they don't. I'm tired of getting my feelings hurt all the time and being jealous and getting mad all the time. I want you to do something in me, let my labor start." Joyce Meyer: oh, it sounds a lot more exciting here than it will be when you get home by yourself. Joyce Meyer: I mean, I'm just sayin'. I mean, we got the lights, the music. We got the crowd. Whoo! Lord, have mercy. Trials bring out a lot of stuff before they get around to bringin' out the good stuff that's in there. Joyce Meyer: well, I said it today, but it's worth repeating.
Our trials are not necessarily evidence of God's displeasure or anger, but they develop us and they train us to use our faith. So, count it all joy when you encounter various trials. Now, if you missed any part of today's teaching or if this is really interesting to you and you wanna know about the rest of the book of james, today our offer is an entire package about james, a Bible study of james. It's an action plan. This includes personal study guide, the book of james booklet, and four teachings on cd and dvd. You can also download the study guide. Now, this is something that I've been doing, just teaching on different books of the Bible and people have really enjoyed it. I've enjoyed doing it and people have really enjoyed getting this because it's so good to hear other people, but it's really good when you study the Bible for yourself.
This is a way that you can do a group Bible study or even your own study on your own. So, please get these resources, I think they will really help you. Now remember, God has got a good plan for your life. It may be taking longer than you'd like it too. God's not usually in a hurry, but he will show up at just the right time.