Why Shouldn't I Give Up? - Joyce Meyer (sermon online). Joyce Meyer: "I know that sounds like a simplistic answer, but I still--i still remember where I was at when I asked God this question. It wasn't too far from where this building is. And I was just having such a hard time with my mind, just these thoughts over and over and over. And you know, I would cast them down, and they'd come down, cast them down, and they would come back. And I literally felt like I was in this battle all day, that by the end of the day, I was just completely worn out. And I remember in my heart just saying to God, "how can I just not think about something?" And so beautifully, He just said, "think about something else." And see, you can't think two things at one time. So, if there's something bad that you're thinking, think about something good. Another thing that's very helpful"
full textual sermon "Why Shouldn't I Give Up?" - Joyce Meyer
Joyce Meyer: what have you given up on, and what are you whining about? Let's let his testimony kick us in the tutu a little bit and say, "I'm going to start climbing a tree if that's what I have to do to see Jesus in my life," amen?
Ginger: as we walk through each new day, we all have questions. They're just part of life. But did you know there are answers for you? God says when we look, we'll find him. He's not trying to hide anything. So together, we are discovering life's everyday answers.
Ginger: coming up, Joyce has a really encouraging message for you if you've just ever felt like you're not succeeding, maybe you want to give up. Don't, stay right here. And the answer to our help me question is simple, yet so powerful.
Ginger: he says, "how can I be free from having evil thoughts? I want to think about the things of God."
Joyce Meyer: well, start thinking about the things of God, and then there will be no--I know that sounds like a simplistic answer, but I still--i still remember where I was at when I asked God this question. It wasn't too far from where this building is. And I was just having such a hard time with my mind, just these thoughts over and over and over. And you know, I would cast them down, and they'd come down, cast them down, and they would come back. And I literally felt like I was in this battle all day, that by the end of the day, I was just completely worn out. And I remember in my heart just saying to God, "how can I just not think about something?" And so beautifully, he just said, "think about something else." And see, you can't think two things at one time. So, if there's something bad that you're thinking, think about something good. Another thing that's very helpful, a lot of times we just need to get up and get out of the house, or get away from what we're doing, change our surroundings, stop staring at the problem, and just go out and do something else. You know, go and get involved in something else that will help take your mind off of it. You know, this is just a woman thing, but it's amazing what I can get my mind off of when I go shopping and see something that I want. I mean, i've actually had the experience of, like, not even feeling good physically, and go out and find something I really like, and then all of a sudden I'm thinking, "man, I didn't feel bad at all while I was doing that." So, getting your mind off of something and onto something else sometimes requires taking a little bit of action. Just get up, go somewhere, take a walk, do something else, look at something else. Because the more you sit and just focus on your problems, the worse they're going to seem.
Ginger: right. And of course, he's talking about thinking about the things of God. I would think we have to be full of God's word to help us to do that as well.
Joyce Meyer: well, absolutely. And also being around Godly things. You know, be in church on a regular basis. You know, if your church has services three, four times a week, go every time they do. Do whatever you can do to help yourself stay in an atmosphere that's pleasant. Listen to good music. You know, if you're going to watch tv, watch decent stuff, don't watch junk all the time. Surround yourself with positive people, not people that are just going to feed into your problems and be negative all the time. And even sometimes, to be honest, it seems like everybody wants to talk about our problems all the time. And you appreciate people caring, but sometimes you don't just need somebody else to say so, "tell me more about your problem." It's like sometimes I just tell people, "you know what? I am just tired of talking about it. I just don't want to talk about it anymore." So, even sometimes you have to take the aggression to say to somebody who loves you, "you know, I know you're just trying to help me, but right now I really just need to get my mind off of this. I need to do something else."
Ginger: if you have any question at all for Joyce, send it in today. If you're on twitter, use hashtag #askJoyce Meyer. And if you go to our website, joycemeyer.org, go to the everyday answers page. There's a really easy place there to submit your questions, just like leigh did. This question that we have comes from that webpage. You know, sometimes life's circumstances can really feel overwhelming, and we're tempted to give up. We've all been there. So, this question from leigh says, "I have endured so much wrong as a child to an adult. Will I ever live happily? There is so much I have missed out on in my life, at times I want to give up." Leigh, we are really so sorry for all that you've been through, but don't give up. If you have a relationship with christ, you have what it takes to succeed. But first, stop focusing on your limitations, on the past, because God has something new for you. And Joyce will explain more as she answers the question, why shouldn't I give up?
Joyce Meyer: I want to start in luke chapter 19, the first 8 verses. "and [Jesus] entered jericho and was passing through it. And there was a man called zacchaeus, a chief tax collector, and [he was] rich." So, this is telling us that zacchaeus was not a real honest guy. Tax collectors were probably hated more than any other group of people in those days. And so, he not only collected taxes, but he obviously got rich himself by taking other people's money. Maybe something about zacchaeus wasn't satisfied with his life because he'd heard about Jesus, and he was trying to see Jesus, which one he was, because Jesus was coming. And it says he could not see him because he was small in stature. Now, let's just be plain, that means he was real short, okay? And now, you know, like dave can see things that I can't see, and he has a habit of laying things on top of stuff that's--like he might put something on top of a shelf that I can't even see the top of. And he'll say sometimes, "well, don't you see that?" And I'm like, "no, you know, I don't see that." So, I guess if a person is real short and there's a big crowd, and there's something you're wanting to see, you might feel that that was like a little deficit or a handicap for you. But the thing that you're going to find interesting that i--the reason why I love this group of scriptures is because zacchaeus didn't let what was going to be a little problem for him stop him. Everybody say determination. See, if you ever want to have what Jesus died to give you, you've got to have a boatload of determination. And that determination means that you have this attitude, "if anybody can have what Jesus died to give them, then I can have it. If God can bless anybody, then God can bless me." Now, come on, I'm talking about having a more aggressive attitude. If God can bless anybody, he can bless me. If God can do that for anybody, he can do that for me. If he did it for you, he can do it for me. All too often, we look at what's wrong with us, and why we can't and can't and can't and can't. And we need to remember that God is no respecter of persons, and whatever we will trust God for and believe for, if it's in his word, not just 'cause you decide you want to, but if it's in his word, you can count on God doing that in your life at the right time and in the right way. Well, zacchaeus wanted something, but he had a challenge in front of him, and I love what happened here. He was trying to see Jesus, but he was small. Verse 4, "so he ran on ahead and climbed up in a sycamore tree in order to see him, for he knew that he was about to pass by that way." Now see, I have this little thing that I like to say, that more people need to be willing to climb a tree if that's what it's going to take to get what they want. And you can translate that however it fits into your life. "so he ran ahead and he climbed up in the tree. And when Jesus reached the place," and I love this, I want you to get a picture of this. Try to imagine this scene. Big crowd, guy wants to see Jesus. I mean, huge crowd. He's really not a very good guy, he's got problems in his life, but maybe he's ready for a change. He wanted to see Jesus, couldn't see him, should he just give up? Is it going to be too hard? Should he just say, "oh, this is not going to work for me," and walk off? No, he ran ahead of everybody else and he climbed up in a tree. "and when Jesus came passing by," I love this part of the story, it says that he looked up. Now, why would Jesus be walking along and decide to look up in a tree? I'll tell you why, because there was something in the attitude of zacchaeus that drew the spirit of Jesus to him. Come on now. And so--and he said to him, now watch this, "zacchaeus, hurry up and come down because I must stay at your house today." Who does Jesus like to hang out with? People that have got a determined attitude that they're not going to quit and give up. You know what? I think if we're whiners and moaners and groaners, and all we do is talk about what we can't, and what we don't, and what we're not, I'm not sure that he cares to come to our house. And I don't mean that, you know, we don't have christ as our savior, but I'm just talking about if we want the presence of God in our lives, then we've got to have the kind of attitude that he wants us to have. And that means I don't care what I'm not, Jesus is everything that I need. And so, I may be short, but I can find a way to do what he wants me to do. Come on, come on, come on, come on.
Joyce Meyer: stop thinking about what you don't have, and how you weren't raised right, and how you didn't get this, and you're not this and you're not that. Don't focus on what you're not, focus on who he is and what he can do through you. So, as we go on, "so he heard and he came down, and he received and welcomed him joyfully." Verse 7, "and when the people saw it," and this always happens, these people just aggravate me to no end. "when the people saw that Jesus was going to go to zacchaeus' house, they all muttered among themselves, indignantly complaining, 'he has gone to be the guest of and lodge with this man who is devoted to sin and is a preeminent sinner.'" It's amazing, the person who has an aggressive attitude and gets God's attention and something good starts to happen in their life, how all the people don't like it, and they--nobody else ran and climbed up a tree. And so, they shouldn't have been murmuring because zacchaeus got something from Jesus that they would've like to have had. And then verse 8 says, "so then zacchaeus stood up and solemnly declared," I love this part, "to the Lord, 'see Lord, the half of my goods [now] I give [by way of restoration] to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone out of anything, I [now] restore four times as much.'" You see what happens to people when you start hanging out in the company of Jesus? All of a sudden, you get generous. All of a sudden, you start wanting to give instead of taking. Zacchaeus had been a taker, he'd been a thief, he'd been taking other people's money and using it for himself. Now, all of a sudden, one encounter with Jesus and he's a changed man. Let me tell you something, don't let any deficit in your life hold you back. You know my story if you've watched me on tv. I mean, my gosh, I got such a bad start in life. I mean, I was hurt so bad, and you know, I had to come to the point where I just said, "I'm not going to let that hold me back." God is greater than your past, amen? He's greater than any problem that you've got. We've got a young man that's here today, and I don't know where tony's at, but this is like the third time he's been to one of my conferences. I met him 10 years ago, and he was one of the make a wish foundation children. He happens to be in a wheelchair, and he's got some physical challenges, and so his wish was to meet me, which I thought was just--it's just one of the sweetest things that's ever happened to me.
Joyce Meyer: so anyway, there's tony right there. See, there he is. Look at that, tony, now you're famous, you're going to be on tv. Check it out. All right, now he came here today, they drove from naples, and he's so excited because he's about to graduate from college. Come on. He's getting a business degree in administration. Now, how many people in that situation would just give up and say, "well, my life's over, I can never do anything"? Come on, what have you given up on and what are you whining about? Let's let his testimony kick us in the tutu a little bit and say, "I'm going to start climbing a tree if that's what I have to do to see Jesus in my life," amen? Yeah, awesome. Awesome, awesome, awesome. I'll tell you what, I just get so excited about people that won't give up. And i'll be very honest with you and tell you something. You know, we have got such an unbelievably great ministry, and I just--i am so blessed that God is using me. But I just want to tell you something, I really in the natural am not all that talented. I mean, I mean, you know I have average iq and, you know, I got fairly decent grades in school, but I wouldn't call myself extremely creative or anything. But i'll tell you what I do have, I have got a boatload of guts and determination, amen? And you don't--you don't want to tell me that I can't do something. Actually, my trainer, my exercise coach, he comes to my house and trains me, and he's been in the business for a long, long time. And I told him he needs to go into the business of being a psychologist because he gets his clients figured out. And he knows how I am. He knows if he tells me that he doesn't think I can do it that it's already done. And so, he'll give me some exercise to do and he'll say, "well, you know, you probably can't do 12, so just see if you can do 8 or 10." And then I just give him this look, it's like, "well, you might as well write 12 down on your sheet because 12 is what it's going to be." And see, I didn't--I'm trying to get the point across to you today that you will be amazed what you can do if you won't have a give up attitude before you ever give it your best to find out what God can do through you if you'll trust him and take a step of faith. I mean, I am telling you that there is no way that I should be doing what I'm doing. I talk. And I gave my mouth to God, and I said, "i believe that I can overcome my past because I see the promises in your word." Hey, listen, when I started this, women didn't do what I'm doing. There was maybe a handful, just a handful. And I just want to say again determination. I love what the apostle paul says that's recorded in philippians 3, "my determined purpose is to know him and the power of his resurrection that lifts me out from among the dead even while I'm in the body." And if you want to have a great relationship with Jesus, you can have a great relationship with him, but you're going to have to be determined to not let the devil or circumstances or anything else steal it from you. How many of you want to have the best life that you can have?
Joyce Meyer: you might say, "yeah, I'm praying about that." Well, that's good, you always want to start with prayer, but I want to tell you something, it's going to take a little bit more than that because God's going to show you some things that you need to do, some things that you need to change. And he will give you the grace to do it, but when it comes right down to it, you've got to do the doing.
Ginger: so, grab hold of what Joyce just said like a bulldog, and don't let go. God will give you the grace to do your part. And he will help you live a life beyond what you ever thought was possible. And we have some resources today that will also help you on this journey. When we talk about doing your part, it really is getting into God's word, being in prayer, understanding what he says about who you are, and making sure that that hope is activated in your life. Part of this offer is Joyce Meyer's book called "get your hopes up." Now, this book is really encouraging. It's bright and cheery, it tells you what hope is, but it's a lot more than that. It activates that hope in your life. Even the subtitle says, "expect something good to happen to you today." That's a big change for some of you. This may be exactly what you need. Or that friend right now that you know who's going through a rough time, this is a great gift for them. And then also the offer comes with this teaching, it's called "it's never too late." It's a teaching from Joyce Meyer, and it is full of God's word that will really help you walk through some of these difficult times, and take you into those good times that you're looking for. So, be sure to order both of these today. It's so easy to do, so don't wait, do it right now. And how about we have a listen to what you have to say. It's time for your voice.
Ginger: well, we asked you to share with us what you are most thankful for this year, and we got a lot of great responses. There is much to be thankful for. Amanda shared this, "i am most thankful for God's love. I lost my brother earlier this year to a very aggressive cancer. It was very hard for our family, but I continued to praise God for all the years we had with my brother. And every day, I worked really hard to find something positive out of this difficult situation. We have food, shelter, clothing, and most importantly we have love. My husband and I have been through challenging situations in our short 7 years together, but our motto is, 'we've got love, baby.' Having God's love is so special." Well, amanda, that is beautiful, and what a great way to pay tribute to your brother. And we are sorry for your loss, but so grateful that God's helping you deal with the grief. Here's another one, this one came to our instagram account. It says, "i am most thankful for what I have seen and experienced for myself, and how philippians 4:19 became a reality in my life." Philippians 4:19 is the verse that says that God will supply all of our needs according to his riches and glory. They go on to say, "I took Joyce's suggestion of confessing the word and used that scripture as a starting point. After a while, things started happening. What I know, however, for sure, is that we are worshiping a loving, faithful, and generous God." That's awesome. He's another one from instagram, "he took me from depression, self-hate, self-doubt, and debt. He's still working on me and I won't give up, won't give in because he loves me." Well, there you have it, that is the key right there. We don't have to give up. He is always there with us, so this time we want to hear your success stories. Tell us what God is helping you to do. And don't be afraid to share those successes. It's not pride when you're giving him all the glory, so let us know those things that you are very excited about that are going well in your life. Use facebook, twitter, hashtag #ea, that way we can find it. And don't forget that those successes are a gift from God.
Today, Joyce Meyer talked about determination and not giving up. So, here's a very inspiring story about the challenges and joys of raising a child with special needs. [music] jason: I am jason. Phil: who's holding him? Who's that? Jason: you. Phil: yeah, that's me. Jason was born in 1974. He was born with spina bifida, and so he had to have surgery at 7 hours old. Three months later, he underwent a procedure, a laryngoscopy, because he had a failure to thrive. You were about 3 months old, you were having surgery on your throat, and your heart stopped beating. And when your heart stopped beating, something happened in your brain, okay? Jason: this. Phil: that. See where these dark spots are? That's called brain damage. He had a cardiac, 16 seconds without oxygen. So, after that, it took a long time for you to learn how to do things again. He has another event, a grand mal seizure for 5 hours. He's read his last rites a second time, but he did survive it. But it was like taking an eraser, and whatever life was in his eyes was gone. It went back to zero, the same way it was after his cardiac. Heartbreaking. The demands of having a special need child are very broad. They are pervasive. You do not move, breathe, think, act without considering that responsibility. It's just not a mechanical responsibility, it's a responsibility of love, compassion, and caring. As far as us outliving him, that's probably not going to happen. We will pre-decease him, and so one of our concerns, parental earthly concerns, is his future, of course. But we have things set up. We know that nobody's going to love him where--there's not a person on the planet earth. You're always in the bubble, you're always on, you're never off. You're conscious of anything and everything. Nothing escapes you in terms of what's happening with him. So, you can be thinking wonderful things, and then for the next 2 hours, you're dealing with this issue. Louise: but he has created his own room downstairs. There's a storage closet downstairs that's been cleaned up. Everything is--down there is his. Jason: this is mine. I put wheels on myself. Phil: we need the confidence and the promises that Jesus christ delivers. Those get transferred to jason through the way we care for him, the way we love him, the way we try to do things for him, the way we protect him, the way we look out for him. You already love the kid because he's your kid. You don't care what's wrong with him. You love him on that basis, okay? And it's not a matter of your life being enriched because of Jesus, though that's true. It's a matter of your life being whole with Jesus. And it wouldn't be that way, there would always be this issue of sufficiency without Jesus. And jason would suffer for that. You grieve for jason because you know he does not understand, so what do you pray for? You pray for understanding. For me to understand what jason's thinking, feeling, okay, you need to equip me to deal with this because you have blessed me with him, you have blessed her with him. It's not a burden. I don't want--i don't want that impression. He's equipped us to deal with it. Louise: going to help me find lunch? Okay, go get the peanut butter. Want raspberry jelly? Jason: I think so. Louise: are you going to open that? Good. Jason is a blessing. He goes, he brings laughter, lightness, love everywhere he goes. Jason: what's so funny? Phil: you, bugs bunny. All right, now we're cooking with gas for me. You're the man, thank you. That's not a bad sandwich, is it? Jason: no. Phil: all right. It really testifies to john chapter 9, verses 1 through 4, where you know, Jesus asked, "why is this man blind? What did his parents do?" You know, you don't get it. This person will bring glory to God, okay? End of story, and that's what jason does, brings glory to God.
Ginger: with God's help, you can overcome struggles in your life. And waiting for you on the other side of those difficulties are tremendous benefits and joys. You know, sometimes people tell you don't get your hopes up. Well, just forget what you've been told. Joyce Meyer's book, "get your hopes up" and her teaching series "it's never too late," are going to help equip you through what God's word says to do with the tools you need to succeed. So, hang on, don't give up, take hope. And those are not all just platitudes, they're not just words of encouragement. They are promises in God's word for you today. As we leave you, here's a look at what's coming up next week on "everyday answers." Bye bye.
Joyce Meyer: well, you know what i've found? And I mean, I have seen this so, like, shockingly in the last year. A lot of times when we pray for God to do something or to fix something, he gives us something to do. But we miss that part.
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