Facing Fear and Finding Freedom
by Joyce Meyer
If you don't remember anything else from this article, remember that fear i...
Face Fear and Move Forward
Isaiah 41:10 says, Fear not, for I am with you. I believe God works gently with us to bring us ...
do—even though they were afraid.

Don't Run
I believe the words fear not simply mean don't run. So the solution to fear is...
Your Future Has No Room For Your Past!
Many years ago I was extremely negative because of the devastating abuse that had t...
experiencing God's favor on a regular basis. Luke 2:52 tells us that ...Jesus increased in...favor with
God and man. You a...
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine
power to demolish stronghold...
protecting myself from being hurt by not expecting anything good to happen. When I really began
to study the Word and trus...
Everyone experiences insecurity at times. I know what’s it’s like to feel inferior to others and
insecure about myself. I ...
The Key to Overcoming Every Fear You Face
by Joyce Meyer
Everyone experiences fear in their life. There are big fears we a...
and joy. He's capable and bold. In Christ, we can do whatever we need to do with His boldness.
As you read the Bible and m...
Him. Instead of making ourselves miserable trying to figure everything out on our own, God wants
us to place our trust in ...
unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me
and you'll learn to live...
He ascended to heaven.
In John 14:27 (AMP) He tells His disciples, “Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give
and ...
Remember the old donkey stuck in the pit. When his owner tried to bury him, he persevered in
wiggling to shake off the dir...
strengthening and encouraging you to keep on keeping on during rough times. It's easy to quit, but it
takes faith to press...
of the way!
We can be going along, serving God, doing good, stepping out in faith and then all of a sudden,
without there ...
The Bible presents a lot of detailed instruction on what kinds of things we should think about.
Philippians 4:8 alone tell...
I like the phrase “prisoners of hope.” Think about it… If you’re a prisoner, you have no choice
about it – you can’t be ne...
He had promised to give them as their inheritance (see Joshua 1:6-9). And to all who set out to
follow God's plan today, H...
As you recognize a thought that is a lie, always defend yourself out loud. This means speaking to
Satan and the evil force...
Cast Your Cares on the One Who Cares for You
First Peter 5:6-7 says, Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves...
negativism and unbelief. Faith has a positive attitude that can overcome our past and lead us into a
great future. Faith i...
To worship means "to reverence," or "to defer to." We are to have reverential fear and awe of God.
We are to respect and h...
recording; you've probably heard it also.
We certainly don't want to move in the flesh or out of God's timing, but when Go...
First John 4:16 points out that we should be conscious of God's love. It needs to be more than just a
biblical fact for us...
something good to happen to you? Do you wake up in the morning excited and expectant about
life? You can do that by learni...
going to happen to me!"
[After all] the kingdom of God is not a matter of [getting the] food and drink [one likes], but
in...
am the Lord, I do not change... (Malachi 3:6). Everything else can change. If you have no hope of
seeing change in your si...
it and instead run away…for as long as possible.
People run from all kinds of things—like something new, or change in gene...
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  1. 1. Facing Fear and Finding Freedom by Joyce Meyer If you don't remember anything else from this article, remember that fear is not from God but from Satan. See Second Timothy 1:7. Every time you feel fear in your life, it's a manifestation of the kingdom of darkness. I often say in my teachings that fear is the "master spirit." It's the spirit Satan uses to try to rule God's people and keep them from coming under the leadership of the true Master, Jesus Christ. What Are You Afraid Of? Multitudes of people never fulfill the call of God on their lives simply because every time they try to go forward, the devil uses fear to stop them. Is he using fear to stop you? Satan uses fear to keep people from enjoying life. Fear brings torment, according to 1 John 4:18, and you surely can't enjoy life and be tormented at the same time. I want to encourage you to take an inventory in the fear department. What are you afraid of? Are there any areas in your life that are being stifled because of fear? Satan is always going to bring fear against us at various times. It's one of his major weapons—not a cap gun, but a cannon. Stepping Out in Spite of Fear All of us must learn how not to "fear the fear." The devil brings fear, but you can choose not to bow your knee to it. David said, "What time I am afraid, I will…trust…in You" (Psalm 56:3). I believe we can say that when God leads you to step out in an area to do something new, or leads you to make a bigger commitment, you may (or probably will) feel fear. However, if you're sure God told you to do it, put your trust in Him and go forward. I have to apply this same principle to my life all the time. Years ago, we realized that we really needed more office space. At the same time, we needed more employees, which would require more desks, computers, phones, etc. We had a choice. We had prayed for growth so we could help more people. And everything did increase—resource orders, speaking engagements, incoming phone calls, mail, etc. It was God's timing, and He was moving. We had to make a decision to either stand still in fear or move with God. If we had not been willing to rent more space and hire more people, we couldn't have kept up with the growth. I can tell you for sure that fear tried to stop me. I heard things like, "Joyce, you're getting in over your head." "That's too much money to spend." "What if the increase doesn't continue?" I'm sure you know the recording; you've probably heard it also. We certainly don't want to move in the flesh or out of God's timing, but when God is moving, you can't be afraid to move with Him. In my situation, I had a choice to be led by my head or follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. How Fear Works Some common fears are fear of lack, death, loneliness, people, authority, commitment, heights, germs, closed-in spaces, airplanes, dogs, cats, failure, rejection, being laughed at, and even fear of being attractive. We went to the library and got a typed list of known phobias—it was four pages long. It even included phobaphobia, which is the fear of being afraid. It seems that the list is endless. It convinced me even more of how extensive Satan's work is in this area.
  2. 2. Face Fear and Move Forward Isaiah 41:10 says, Fear not, for I am with you. I believe God works gently with us to bring us out of bondage and into liberty. If you've been afraid of something and desire to be free, the time will eventually come when you'll have to face your fear and not run away from it. Just take Jesus' hand, acknowledge that He is with you, and do it. If you're afraid of people with authority, the time will come when you'll have to confront an authority figure and not cower in fear. God will have arranged the time. He'll be there, but you'll have to choose whether to go through or run away. If you're at one of these crossroads in your life, let me encourage you to go forward. Don't stand still in terror, but take His hand and go forward. Remember, fear torments and God wants to deliver you from all of your fears. Do It Afraid! by Joyce Meyer Fear! Has it ever been a problem for you, holding you back from moving into areas that could enrich your own life and the lives of others? There is a solution. One of the many benefits available to Christians is freedom from fear. When we avoid making changes or confronting issues in our lives because of fear or dread, we need to remember that God has promised to go before us and bring us through victoriously as we obey Him. How to Be Prepared When we’re facing a job interview, for example, instead of being afraid that we’ll make a bad impression and fail to get the position, we need to ask God to prepare the heart and mind of the interviewer and help us present ourselves in the very best light. When God "prepares the way," we can trust that whatever happens will turn out for our good according to His perfect plan for us. The Bible tells of a man named Abram who trusted God in spite of his own personal fear. Now...the Lord said to Abram, Go for yourself [for your own advantage] away from your country, from your relatives and your father's house, to the land that I will show you (Genesis 12:1). How to Be Unstoppable How would you feel if God told you to leave your home, your family and everything that is familiar and comfortable and head out to an unknown destination? Full of fear? That’s precisely the challenge Abram faced—and it frightened him. But God's words to him were, "Fear not." It’s the same message He gave to Joshua when He called him to lead the children of Israel to take the land He had promised to give them as their inheritance (see Joshua 1:6-9). And to all who set out to follow God's plan today, He says, "Fear not." Elisabeth Elliot, whose husband was killed along with four other missionaries in Ecuador, says that her life was completely controlled by fear. Every time she started to step out to minister, fear stopped her. Then a friend told her something that set her free. Her friend said, "Why don't you do it afraid?" Elisabeth listened and took that advice. Together with Rachel Saint, the sister of one of the murdered missionaries, they went on to evangelize the Indian tribes of Ecuador, including the very people who had killed their loved ones. Many times we think we should wait to do something until we are no longer afraid, but if we did that, we’d probably accomplish very little for God, for others, or even for ourselves. Both Abram and Joshua had to step out in faith and obedience to God and do what He had commanded them to
  3. 3. do—even though they were afraid. Don't Run I believe the words fear not simply mean don't run. So the solution to fear is simple: Rather than bowing our knee and giving in to it, we must stand firm against it, knowing that God has gone before us and prepared the way. This is precisely what God wants us to do. Even if our mouth is dry and our knees are shaking, we need to keep asking God to strengthen us. We need to determine that our lives are not going to be ruled by fear but by the Word of God. As we saw before in Genesis, God gave Abram a tall order. He said, "Pack up and leave everyone you know and everything you’re comfortable with and go to a place I will show you." If Abram had bowed his knee to fear, he never would’ve fulfilled his destiny to become all God created him to be —the father of many nations. In the same way, if Joshua hadn’t overcome his fear and been obedient to God's command to lead His people into the Promised Land, they never would’ve enjoyed all that God had prepared for them. Giving in to fear alters God's best plan for your life. So use the power of God's Word to do what He wants you to do...even if you have to do it afraid! The rewards are great. Kiss Fear Goodbye and Enjoy Life's Journey by Joyce Meyer I define hope as "the happy anticipation of good things." Are you aggressively hoping for something good to happen to you? Do you wake up in the morning excited and expectant about life? You can do that by learning how to celebrate and enjoy this journey called life. Everything in life is a process in motion. Without movement, advancement and progression, there is no life. Once a thing has ceased to progress, it is dead. In other words, as long as we live, you and I are always going to be heading somewhere, and we should be enjoying ourselves on the way. God created us to be goal-oriented visionaries. Without a vision, we become bored and hopeless. Hope deferred makes the heart sick, according to Proverbs 13:12, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life. There's something about hope that makes people lighthearted and happy. You're not going to be happy if you don't have hope. The more hope you have in God, the happier you become. Biblical hope is a close relative to faith. I don't see how you can have faith without hope because hope is the foundation on which faith stands. Hope believes everything is going to turn out all right—hope is positive! To enjoy life you must maintain a good, positive attitude. God is positive, and He wants positive things to happen to each of us, but that isn't likely to happen if we're not filled with hope and faith. Some people are afraid to hope because they have experienced so much hurt and disappointment that they don't think they can face any more pain. They refuse to hope so they won't be disappointed. Disappointment is painful! Rather than being hurt again, they simply refuse to hope that anything good will ever happen to them. This type of behavior sets up a negative lifestyle. Everything becomes negative because their thoughts are negative. Proverbs 23:7 says, For as he [a person] thinks in his heart, so is he....
  4. 4. Your Future Has No Room For Your Past! Many years ago I was extremely negative because of the devastating abuse that had taken place in my past. The result was that I expected people to hurt me, and they did. I expected people to be dishonest, and they were. I was afraid to believe that anything good might happen. I thought I was protecting myself from being hurt by not expecting anything good to happen. When I really began to study the Word and trust God to restore me, I began to realize that all of my negativism had to go. In Matthew 8:13, Jesus says that it will be done for us as we have believed. I believed everything was negative, so naturally many negative things happened to me. I needed to let go of the past and move into the future with hope, faith and trust in God. I had to get rid of the heaviness of despair, depression and discouragement. And I did, once I dug into the truth of God's Word! I found out that God is ...a shield for me, my glory, and the lifter of my head (Psalm 3:3). I began to turn my negative thoughts and words into positive ones! Now, I am not saying that you and I can get whatever we want by just thinking about it. God has a perfect plan for each of us, and we can't control Him with our thoughts and words. But we can think and speak in agreement with His will and plan for us. We can practice being positive in every situation that arises. Even if what is taking place in your life at the moment seems negative, expect God to bring good out of it as He has promised in His Word. You must understand that before your life can change, your attitude must change. Hope is a powerful, spiritual force that is activated through our positive attitude. We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose (Romans 8:28). What Satan means for harm, God intends for good. All things work together for good for those who love God. Satan wants to hurt you and have you spend your life distrusting everyone because somebody hurt you when you were a child, while you were in school, in your marriage, on your job, etc. The list of who, what, where and how you can be hurt is endless. You have to say, "No! That is subject to change! I am a child of the living God! Something good is going to happen to me!" [After all] the kingdom of God is not a matter of [getting the] food and drink [one likes], but instead it is righteousness (that state which makes a person acceptable to God) and [heart] peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). What this means is that after all the painful things that have happened in your past have come and gone, God still wants you to enjoy every single day of your life. This won't happen, however, until you make up your mind to take hold of the abundant life that Jesus' death and resurrection purchased for you. Until then, the devil will always try to take it away. Jesus said, The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows) (John 10:10). You are a new creation. You don't have to allow the old things that happened to you continue to affect your new life in Christ. As a new creature in Christ Jesus, you can have your mind renewed according to the Word of God: And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], and put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God's image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:23-24). Things will change for the better when you keep your thoughts filled with hope. Rejoice In Hope The Bible is full of hope-filled promises for you and me.Through Him also we have [our] access (entrance, introduction) by faith into this grace (state of God's favor) in which we [firmly and safely] stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God (Romans 5:2). Good things begin to happen to you when you rejoice in the hope of
  5. 5. experiencing God's favor on a regular basis. Luke 2:52 tells us that ...Jesus increased in...favor with God and man. You and I are introduced to the favor of God by faith. All of God's promises are activated by faith. We shortchange ourselves when we believe in Jesus but don't believe in His blessings. Believe that you walk in holiness and righteousness (see Ephesians 4:24), believe that you are anointed (see 2 Corinthians 1:21), and believe that you are blessed with every spiritual blessing as promised in Ephesians 1:3. Believe Romans 8:37 when it says you are more than a conqueror! Everything that is promised in the Bible is for us to rejoice innow. Be glad! Raise your expectancy level. Rejoice in the hope of experiencing God's glory right now. My husband and I believe for many things, but beyond them all, we believe in Someone—Jesus. We don't always know what is going to happen. We just know that it will always work out for our good! The more positive and hopeful we are, the more we will be in the flow of God. In Ephesians 1:17-18, the apostle Paul prayed, [For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him, by having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones). This glorious inheritance is for you and me! Second Peter 1:3 says, For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue). You Can Become Bold and Fearless by Joyce Meyer Bold: to be brave, daring, courageous, intrepid, valiant. God is calling us to be bold. If you have the tendency to not take chances in life because you're afraid of making mistakes, God wants you to know He's pleased with you when you try. It doesn't matter if you don't do everything exactly right. What matters is that you step out in faith, believing God will help you! Second Timothy 1:7 says that God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power—and He wants us to use it! It doesn't take courage to do what we already know we can do. True courage is displayed when you're afraid to do something but you go ahead and do it anyway. The truth is, we don't ever have to fear because we can ask God for His help anytime we need it. Taking the Focus Off of Performance There are so many people who are so afraid of making a mistake that they don't do anything. Instead, they sit around saying, "What if I'm wrong?" Well, we're human. We're going to make mistakes and look silly from time to time. We can be so afraid of being judged or criticized or getting laughed at. But the only thing fear does in our lives is stop our progress. What matters to God is relationship…not performance. God knows we aren't perfect, and He's totally okay with it. The problem is, the devil knows it too, and he does his best to tell us every step of the way! We can be going along, serving God, doing good, stepping out in faith and then all of a sudden, without there being any justification for it, we'll have a day or week when we have an attack on our mind about fear. That's when we need to say what God's Word tells us:
  6. 6. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. — 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 NIV Honesty Outweighs Perfection We can care too much about what people think of us to the point where it totally immobilizes us and we are petrified about looking wrong. But do you know what? I think if we are more truthful, we will actually get more respect than we do by trying to hide everything, pretending we're perfect. I believe one of the main reasons people like to listen to me is that I tell all my junk. It helps them to relax, to relate to me, and offers them hope that if I can do some of the things I've done and make it, so can they. We need to stop living in fear of making mistakes, because we will make mistakes—period. God is not asking us to not make any mistakes. He's calling us to be bold—fearless in approaching Him, in stepping out in faith, and in trusting Him to lead us. Kiss Fear Goodbye and Enjoy Life's Journey by Joyce Meyer I define hope as "the happy anticipation of good things." Are you aggressively hoping for something good to happen to you? Do you wake up in the morning excited and expectant about life? You can do that by learning how to celebrate and enjoy this journey called life. Everything in life is a process in motion. Without movement, advancement and progression, there is no life. Once a thing has ceased to progress, it is dead. In other words, as long as we live, you and I are always going to be heading somewhere, and we should be enjoying ourselves on the way. God created us to be goal-oriented visionaries. Without a vision, we become bored and hopeless. Hope deferred makes the heart sick, according to Proverbs 13:12, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life. There's something about hope that makes people lighthearted and happy. You're not going to be happy if you don't have hope. The more hope you have in God, the happier you become. Biblical hope is a close relative to faith. I don't see how you can have faith without hope because hope is the foundation on which faith stands. Hope believes everything is going to turn out all right—hope is positive! To enjoy life you must maintain a good, positive attitude. God is positive, and He wants positive things to happen to each of us, but that isn't likely to happen if we're not filled with hope and faith. Some people are afraid to hope because they have experienced so much hurt and disappointment that they don't think they can face any more pain. They refuse to hope so they won't be disappointed. Disappointment is painful! Rather than being hurt again, they simply refuse to hope that anything good will ever happen to them. This type of behavior sets up a negative lifestyle. Everything becomes negative because their thoughts are negative. Proverbs 23:7 says, For as he [a person] thinks in his heart, so is he.... Your Future Has No Room For Your Past! Many years ago I was extremely negative because of the devastating abuse that had taken place in my past. The result was that I expected people to hurt me, and they did. I expected people to be dishonest, and they were. I was afraid to believe that anything good might happen. I thought I was
  7. 7. protecting myself from being hurt by not expecting anything good to happen. When I really began to study the Word and trust God to restore me, I began to realize that all of my negativism had to go. In Matthew 8:13, Jesus says that it will be done for us as we have believed. I believed everything was negative, so naturally many negative things happened to me. I needed to let go of the past and move into the future with hope, faith and trust in God. I had to get rid of the heaviness of despair, depression and discouragement. And I did, once I dug into the truth of God's Word! I found out that God is ...a shield for me, my glory, and the lifter of my head (Psalm 3:3). I began to turn my negative thoughts and words into positive ones! Now, I am not saying that you and I can get whatever we want by just thinking about it. God has a perfect plan for each of us, and we can't control Him with our thoughts and words. But we can think and speak in agreement with His will and plan for us. We can practice being positive in every situation that arises. Even if what is taking place in your life at the moment seems negative, expect God to bring good out of it as He has promised in His Word. You must understand that before your life can change, your attitude must change. Hope is a powerful, spiritual force that is activated through our positive attitude. We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose (Romans 8:28). What Satan means for harm, God intends for good. All things work together for good for those who love God. Satan wants to hurt you and have you spend your life distrusting everyone because somebody hurt you when you were a child, while you were in school, in your marriage, on your job, etc. The list of who, what, where and how you can be hurt is endless. You have to say, "No! That is subject to change! I am a child of the living God! Something good is going to happen to me!" [After all] the kingdom of God is not a matter of [getting the] food and drink [one likes], but instead it is righteousness (that state which makes a person acceptable to God) and [heart] peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). What this means is that after all the painful things that have happened in your past have come and gone, God still wants you to enjoy every single day of your life. This won't happen, however, until you make up your mind to take hold of the abundant life that Jesus' death and resurrection purchased for you. Until then, the devil will always try to take it away. Jesus said, The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows) (John 10:10). You are a new creation. You don't have to allow the old things that happened to you continue to affect your new life in Christ. As a new creature in Christ Jesus, you can have your mind renewed according to the Word of God: And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], and put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God's image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:23-24). Things will change for the better when you keep your thoughts filled with hope. How to Find Freedom From Insecurity by Joyce Meyer We have an epidemic of insecure people in our society today. Many people have an identity crisis because they don’t really know who they are and they base their worth and value on all the wrong things – what they do, what they look like, who they know, what they know or what they own. What do you think of yourself? How do you feel about yourself? Do you ever compare yourself with other people and feel belittled if you can’t do what they can do or be like them? Have you ever said “I wish I looked like her” or “I wish I had what they have” or “I wish I could do what you do”?
  8. 8. Everyone experiences insecurity at times. I know what’s it’s like to feel inferior to others and insecure about myself. I grew up in a very unstable, volatile home environment and never really felt safe and secure throughout my childhood. That’s why it’s very important to me to feel safe and secure in my life now. The good news is, we don’t have to live insecure lives because it’s God’s will for us to be very secure and not to live in fear. We were created to feel safe, secure, confident and bold; it’s part of our spiritual DNA as born-again believers in Christ. But the key to living a secure life in Christ is knowing who you are in Christ, really receiving God’s love for you, and basing your worth and value on who God says you are, not what you do. One thing that really helped me get a revelation about this is Isaiah 54:17: “But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall show to be in the wrong. This [peace, righteousness, security, triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord….” This scripture clearly states that as servants and children of God, it’s part of our inherited, bloodbought right through our relationship with Jesus Christ to be secure. We are joint heirs with Jesus and whatever He has, we get. But we have to take it by faith, which means we believe it before we see it. And since we believe what we say about ourselves more than what others say, we each need to speak what the Bible says about us as children of God to overcome the negative, defeating opposition in the world that wants us to see ourselves compared to others, not who we are in Christ. Another thing I needed revelation about was the love of God for me. The first message I preached in my public ministry was about God’s love for us. I didn’t really want to do it because I felt like it wasn’t a powerful, new message and people already knew God loves them. But the Lord impressed on my heart that many people don’t understand His love for them, and if they did, they would act a whole lot different than they do. They wouldn’t get caught up in competition, compare themselves to others, be afraid of their mistakes or afraid of admitting weaknesses if they were secure in God’s love. First John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love…but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror!” This opened my eyes to the fact that I was one of those people. So for the next year, I focused my Bible study on the love of God, and during that time, I received my own personal revelation of God’s unconditional love for me and acceptance of me. Getting a revelation of God’s unconditional love helped me understand that my worth and value are based on the fact that I’m a child of God, not on what I do. This is so important because if we believe God loves us based on what we do or how well we perform, we will never be truly secure and stable in our relationship with Him. I’ve had to remind myself at times that I am not Joyce Meyer Ministries. I am more than this ministry. And if a time comes when God asks me not to do this ministry anymore, I will be just as important and valuable to Him then as I am right now. The same thing is true for you. No matter what you do for a living, whether you’re single or married, have children or not, you’re well educated, rich or poor, you are just as important to God as everyone else. We are all equally valuable to God. God is love. And He really loves you! I pray that you will experience God’s love for yourself every day of your life. Then you can have the life of peace, joy and true security that He’s planned for you.
  9. 9. The Key to Overcoming Every Fear You Face by Joyce Meyer Everyone experiences fear in their life. There are big fears we are very aware of and little ones we may not even realize we have. I've learned that it's very important to understand what fear is and how it works against us because if we don't, it can keep us from becoming what God created us to be, which means we won't fulfill our purpose in life. Fear's Evil Scheme Fear is a tool the devil uses against us to make us miserable and destroy our lives. It begins as a thought and then creates emotions that can rule us. It often becomes a strong, intense feeling that tries to move us to make a foolish action or tries to prevent us from doing something that would be good for us. Because it's such a common way that Satan attacks people's lives, I think of it as the master spirit he uses to manipulate people and keep them out of God's will. Simply put, fear is the opposite of faith. God wants us to walk by faith, and Satan wants us to walk by fear. When we learn to live by faith and not let fear rule our life, we can live a fulfilling, satisfying, peaceful and joyful life in Christ. Like I said before, fear begins with a thought. Proverbs 23:7 tells us that "as [a man] thinks in his heart, so is he" (NKJV). I like to say it like this: Where the mind goes, the man follows. Finding Freedom This is why the Bible talks about meditating on the Word of God and having our minds renewed (see Romans 12:2) so we can know what God's will is. Meditating means you roll the Scripture over and over in your mind until it becomes part of you. Meditation takes information and turns it into revelation. When you get revelation about something, then you know that you know that you know it, and the truth of it sets you free from the lie that was holding you back from something God had for you. Is Fear Holding You Back? I wonder how many people actually have gifts and talents from God but they aren't using them because they tried and failed? So many people are frustrated because they know they're not doing what they are meant to do and are letting fear rule them. I want you to get a revelation about this because you're not going to ever be really happy if you don't fulfill your potential and be who God created you to be. The key is to learn who you are in Christ and see yourself in Him. When we become born again through a relationship with Jesus Christ, we actually become "recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do good works which God predestined…for us…[living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]" (Ephesians 2:10 AMP). So whatever Jesus is, we are too. He is strong, and in Him, we are strong. He is courageous; in Him, we are courageous. He is a conqueror, so we can be too. He has peace and joy, so we have peace
  10. 10. and joy. He's capable and bold. In Christ, we can do whatever we need to do with His boldness. As you read the Bible and meditate on what God says about you, you will be able to recognize the fears in your life that are holding you back and overcome them by seeing yourself in Christ. Then you will find you have whatever you need to do what you are created to do. The Cause and Cure for Worry by Joyce Meyer Worry, feeling uneasy or troubled, seems to plague multitudes of people in our world today. It's human nature to be concerned about the bad situations in our world and in our personal lives, but if we're not careful, the devil will cause us to worry beyond what's reasonable. Worry is like a rocking chair—it's always in motion but it never gets you anywhere. So why do we struggle with it? And what good does it do? Worry is the opposite of faith, and it steals our peace, physically wears us out, and can even make us sick. When we worry, we torment ourselves—we're doing the devil's job for him! Worry is caused by not trusting God to take care of the various situations in our lives. Too often we trust our own abilities, believing that we can figure out how to take care of our own problems. Yet sometimes, after all our worry and effort to go it alone, we come up short, unable to bring about suitable solutions. At a young age, I discovered firsthand that people hurt people, so I didn't trust others. I tried to take care of myself, deciding not to depend on anyone who would hurt or disappoint me. Too often our experiences in the world teach us this, and even after we become Christians, it takes a long time to overcome it. It's difficult to learn how to trust God, but we eventually must learn that trying to take care of everything ourselves is too big a task. Cast Your Cares on the One Who Cares for You First Peter 5:6-7 says, Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you, casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. Since Jesus invites us to cast all of our care and worry on Him, why do so many of us refuse to let go? Apparently, we're not yet fed up with being miserable. “ Worry is like a rocking chair—it's always in motion but it never gets you anywhere.” The only way to have victory in our lives is to play by God's rules, and He says we must quit worrying if we want to have peace. So when things come our way that cause us to be concerned, we need God's help. How do we get it? First Peter 5:6-7 lists two important steps: 1) humble yourselves, and 2) cast your care on Him. That seems pretty clear and simple, yet some continue struggling because they're too bullheaded to ask for help. But the humble get the help. So if your way isn't working, why not try God's way? All of us would be better off if we'd learn to lean on God and ask for His help. But as long as we try to do everything ourselves, God will let us. He won't take care of our problems and worries—our cares —until we turn loose of them and give them to Him. Either we're going to do it or God's going to do it, but both of us aren't going to. Now, casting your care doesn't mean you can be irresponsible. God won't do for you what you can do yourself. You must do what you can do, and then trust God to do what you can't. When we humble ourselves and ask for His help, then He's able to release His power in our situations. It's only then that we can really enjoy life. So the cure for worry is humbling ourselves before God, casting our cares on Him, and trusting
  11. 11. Him. Instead of making ourselves miserable trying to figure everything out on our own, God wants us to place our trust in Him and enter into His rest, totally abandoning ourselves to His care. I know that when we are able to believe and say, "God, I trust You," it will literally change our lives. Psalm 37:3 says, Trust…in the Lord and do good.... God didn't create us to worry about helping ourselves all the time. He wants us to sow good seed by reaching out to help others. When we simply trust God and get busy doing the good things we know to do, then He'll bring a harvest of blessings into our lives and meet our needs. Develop an Attitude of Faith and Prayer I've learned that my attitude has a lot to do with living a worry-free life. There will always be situations that cause us concern, but with God's help, we can live above all of it and enjoy life. Cast your care on the Lord and say, "God, I trust You, and I'm going to enjoy the life You have given me." When you give your problems to God, you must also decide to be satisfied with His answers. Trusting God to do what's best for us involves dying to self. Paul said, ...it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me (Galatians 2:20). You can trust God to do what's best for you, so you don't have to worry about it. When you have a positive attitude and keep your faith in God, you can't be defeated. We must stop trying to make things happen the way we want and get to the place where we desire to please God more than ourselves. The Christ in us has to supercede what we want. Faith and the Word of God will help you overcome worry. Worrying involves negative thoughts, but speaking positive things out of your mouth will interrupt those negative thought patterns. When we are full of the Word of God, we can speak it out of our mouths in faith. Faith is stronger than doubt, negativism and unbelief. Faith has a positive attitude that can overcome our past and lead us into a great future. Faith is a powerful force that cannot be conquered. Another powerful force is prayer. When you're under pressure, it's always best to pray about it instead of talk about it. Prayer is the blueprint for a successful life. During His time on earth, Jesus prayed. He entrusted everything to God—even His reputation and life. We can do the same. We don't have to explain all the problems to Him; we can just give them to Him and ask Him to take care of everything. Don't complicate prayer. Just have confidence in simple, believing prayer. Look at Paul's instructions in Philippians 4:6-7: Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God's peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. If you're a Christian who goes around burdened or weighed down all the time, something is wrong. You may have had faith in Christ for salvation, but you haven't moved into walking in faith daily for the life that God has given you. The Bible tells us that God is faithful—that's one of His major characteristics. He can be counted on to come through for us, so we should trust Him totally and completely. When we do, we'll be ready for anything that may come our way. Allow God to Give You Peace and Rest In Matthew 11:28, Jesus said, Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Jesus wants to ease our burdens and give us rest. The Message Bible says it this way: Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the
  12. 12. unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly (Matthew 11:28-30). That sounds good, doesn't it? I've had enough heavy stuff in my life, and I want to be free. It's nice to know that we don't have to figure everything out. We need to get comfortable with saying, "I don't have a clue, but I'm not going to worry about it because God's in control. I'm going to live free and light!" When we're overloaded with the cares of this life—struggling, laboring and worrying— we need some help. Our minds need to rest from worrying about how to take care of problems, our emotions need to rest from being upset all the time, and our wills need a rest from stubbornness and rebellion. So we need to be humble enough to call out to God and say, "I need help!" Your beginning doesn't have to dictate your ending. Get God involved in every area of your life and allow Him to lead you into rest. Worry or Worship? Worry and worship are exact opposites, and we'd all be much happier if we learned to become worshippers instead of worriers. Worry opens the door for the devil, but worship is reverence and adoration for God that leads us into His presence. God created us to worship Him, and I don't believe we can walk in victory if we don't become worshippers. Sometimes when we don't have what we need or want, the enemy tries to discourage us and keep us from worshipping God. But when we know that God has our best interests at heart, we can worship Him regardless of our circumstances. Remember, God is good even when our circumstances are not! God doesn't always give us our heart's desire right away. He wants us to develop a deep, personal relationship with Him and an outrageous love for Him so much so that we can't live without it. This kind of relationship and love brings the worshipful attitude that God wants us to have. To worship means "to reverence," or "to defer to." We are to have reverential fear and awe of God. We are to respect and honor Him, and defer to Him by submitting to and obeying Him, and adapt ourselves to His will. We must realize that Christ, living in us, has come to lead and guide us into a special lifestyle of worship and victorious living. When Satan throws worry on you, I challenge you to stop what you're doing, get down on your knees before God, and begin praising Him. Worship is a spiritual weapon, a warhead or bomb you can use against the enemy. Your prayers and worship will get you heavenly help, and you won't have to fight your own battles. God's grace and power can make things happen with ease that you can't bring about no matter how much you struggle. So stop worrying about everything, give it to God, and live in grace. Grace isn't just divine favor— it's power! Don't waste another day of your life worrying. Determine what your responsibility is and what it is not. Don't try to take on God's responsibility. When we do what we can do, God steps in and does what we can't. So give yourself and your worries to God and begin enjoying the abundant life He has planned for you. This article is taken from Joyce's DVD teaching, Freedom from Worry and Anxiety. Finding a More Peaceful Way of Life by Joyce Meyer If you are a follower of Jesus Christ and believe the words He spoke to His disciples, then you can definitely find peace in your life. He’s helped me find a lot more peace than I used to have, and He can help you find peace too. What Jesus Said About Peace Peace is important because Jesus talked about it many times, especially in His final moments before
  13. 13. He ascended to heaven. In John 14:27 (AMP) He tells His disciples, “Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]” Jesus essentially said, “I’m leaving you My peace. Now you need to do all you can to hold on to your peace and stop letting yourself get upset.” Jesus also gives His peace in John 20:19, 21. Now, you might be thinking: “Okay, we can see that Jesus likes peace and wants us to have it. But how can I have it today? Here are seven practical ways you can immediately increase your peace. 1. See the value of peace. Maybe you need to take peace a little more seriously. If you don’t think it’s a big deal to lose your temper, worry all day or get stressed out, you may have underappreciated the gift of peace more than you realize. See 1 Peter 3:11. “ Jesus designed us to be fruitful, not busy.” 2. Take inventory of where you spend your time. Do you have an unsustainable life? Maybe you have way too much on your plate, but you keep saying yes to things and filling up your calendar. Remember that Jesus designed us to be fruitful, not busy. So cut away the branches that are not bearing fruit. 3. Trust God. Believers in Christ are supposed to believe, right? That means we trust what He says in His Word and completely give everything over to Him. When we do that, we enter His rest (peace). See Proverbs 3:5. 4. Decide not to be a people pleaser. It’s impossible to keep all the people in your life happy all the time. This doesn’t mean you should be rude to them. Just don’t try to please someone at the expense of displeasing or being disobedient to God. Live to please Him first. 5. Mind your own business. I’ve learned that usually, the less I know about other people, the better off I am. Being nosy and spending energy trying to learn what others are doing or saying produces anything but peace in life. See 1 Thessalonians 4:11. 6. Let peace be the umpire of your life. If you are thinking about doing something, but you don’t have peace about it, don’t do it—because if it’s not peaceful, it’s not God. 7. Do whatever you can to work toward simplicity. I’ve learned that the busier you are, the more important it is to have simplicity, which means sometimes it’s best to let things go instead of starting a war over something petty. Also, it might be simpler to not own so much stuff. Trying to take care of too much can just overwhelm and frustrate you. If you will put these suggestions into practice, a more peaceful life is possible for you. Remember that Jesus is the Prince of Peace, and He can provide the tranquility you long for…even in today’s busy world. Every one of us has problems, some worse than others. And we all struggle to get victory over some issues or circumstances in our lives. We need a miracle to get over them. So what do you do when you need a miracle? You wiggle.
  14. 14. Remember the old donkey stuck in the pit. When his owner tried to bury him, he persevered in wiggling to shake off the dirt that was thrown on his back, stepped on it after each wiggle, and eventually walked right out of his pit. The same can happen for us. But we gotta wiggle! “Wiggling” simply means taking responsibility to obey God. The bottom line is that whatever your problem is, the way to fix it is to do whatever God tells you to do. The thing we have to get is that while God wants to help us, there’s a part only we can do to get our breakthrough. God will give us the ability to do our part, but we still have to make the decision to obey God. We have to “get up on the inside,” take responsibility for our choices, and have a good attitude while we’re doing what we are supposed to. It may not be easy – in fact, a lot of the time it’s just hard. But every time we do what’s right especially when its hard, we make progress in our relationship with God and get closer to our miracle. And we can do it. Remember that the promises of God are for “whosoever will.” That means you! What to Do If You're Tired of Toughing It Out by Joyce Meyer Have you ever noticed how so many different thoughts run through our minds every day? Some are good, some bad. Unfortunately, our natural temptation is to focus on the bad; so accepting them doesn't take any effort. The effort comes when we're determined to cast down the negative thoughts, and take a firm grasp of the positive ones. The Battle for Your Thoughts Positive minds full of faith and hope produce positive lives. The opposite is also true: negative minds full of fear and doubt produce negative lives, which can ultimately destroy your life. Some people have been hurt so many times that they don't think they can face the pain of another letdown. Therefore, they refuse to hope so they won't be disappointed. Battles are fought in our minds every day. When we begin to feel the battle is just too difficult and want to give up, we must choose to resist negative thoughts and be determined to rise above our problems. We must decide that we're not going to quit. When we're bombarded with doubts and fears, we must take a stand and say: "I'll never give up! God's on my side. He loves me, and He's helping me! I'm going to make it!" Don't Give Up! No matter how bad the battle rages in your mind, don't give up! Step out and regain the territory that's been stolen from you. Even if it's only an inch at a time, make sure you're leaning on God's grace and not on your own ability. In Galatians 6:9 the apostle Paul simply encourages us to keep on keeping on! Don't be a quitter! Don't have that old "give up" spirit. God's looking for people who will find the courage to rise above all the negative and pursue the positive. Whatever you may be facing or experiencing in your life right now, I want to encourage you to stay positive and refuse to give up! God is with you. He'll help you make spiritual progress—
  15. 15. strengthening and encouraging you to keep on keeping on during rough times. It's easy to quit, but it takes faith to press on to victory. Reprogram Your Mind When the battle seems endless and you think you'll never make it, remember that you're reprogramming a "worldly" mind to think as God thinks. In the same way that computers are programmed, our minds are also programmed. From the time we're born, our minds are like computers that have had a lifetime of garbage programmed into them. But God—the best "computer programmer" around—is working on us every day to reprogram our minds as we cooperate with Him (see Romans 12:2). When Progress is Slow This process of reprogramming or renewing our minds will take place little by little, so don't be discouraged if progress seems slow. Don't get down when you have setbacks or bad days. Just get back up, dust yourself off and start again. When a baby is learning to walk, he falls many, many times before he develops the ability to walk without falling; however, the baby is persistent. He may cry for a while after he falls down, but he always gets right back up and tries again. Learning to change our thinking works the same way. There will be days when we don't do everything right—days when our thinking is negative. But never stop trying. God is gradually bringing us around to His way of thinking. Just don't give up! This article is taken from Joyce's book, Never Give Up. You Can Become Bold and Fearless by Joyce Meyer Bold: to be brave, daring, courageous, intrepid, valiant. God is calling us to be bold. If you have the tendency to not take chances in life because you're afraid of making mistakes, God wants you to know He's pleased with you when you try. It doesn't matter if you don't do everything exactly right. What matters is that you step out in faith, believing God will help you! Second Timothy 1:7 says that God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power—and He wants us to use it! It doesn't take courage to do what we already know we can do. True courage is displayed when you're afraid to do something but you go ahead and do it anyway. The truth is, we don't ever have to fear because we can ask God for His help anytime we need it. Taking the Focus Off of Performance There are so many people who are so afraid of making a mistake that they don't do anything. Instead, they sit around saying, "What if I'm wrong?" Well, we're human. We're going to make mistakes and look silly from time to time. We can be so afraid of being judged or criticized or getting laughed at. But the only thing fear does in our lives is stop our progress. What matters to God is relationship…not performance. God knows we aren't perfect, and He's totally okay with it. The problem is, the devil knows it too, and he does his best to tell us every step
  16. 16. of the way! We can be going along, serving God, doing good, stepping out in faith and then all of a sudden, without there being any justification for it, we'll have a day or week when we have an attack on our mind about fear. That's when we need to say what God's Word tells us: The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. — 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 NIV Honesty Outweighs Perfection We can care too much about what people think of us to the point where it totally immobilizes us and we are petrified about looking wrong. But do you know what? I think if we are more truthful, we will actually get more respect than we do by trying to hide everything, pretending we're perfect. I believe one of the main reasons people like to listen to me is that I tell all my junk. It helps them to relax, to relate to me, and offers them hope that if I can do some of the things I've done and make it, so can they. We need to stop living in fear of making mistakes, because we will make mistakes—period. God is not asking us to not make any mistakes. He's calling us to be bold—fearless in approaching Him, in stepping out in faith, and in trusting Him to lead us. You Can Win the Battle in Your Mind by Joyce Meyer Thoughts are powerful, and according to the writer of the book of Proverbs, they have creative ability. See Proverbs 23:7. In fact, you cannot have a positive, exciting life and a negative mind. See I spent a lot of years unhappy because the minute I woke up in the morning I started thinking negative, sad, depressing things. Now I can truly say I am fully satisfied since the Holy Spirit has helped me operate out of the mind of Christ (the mind of the Spirit) that is within me. Maybe you've spent years thinking wrong thoughts based on a warped, dysfunctional past, but that can change today. A Powerful Force If you struggle with negative thinking, it's important for you to come to grips with the fact that your life won't change until your thinking does. Renewed, God-like thinking is vital for change. The Bible says that God loves us, but have you ever struggled to believe this? I have learned that if we never meditate on God's Word, we will never experience the depth of His love for us. The love of God is meant to be a powerful force in our lives, one that will take us through even the most difficult trials into victory. Think About What You're Thinking About
  17. 17. The Bible presents a lot of detailed instruction on what kinds of things we should think about. Philippians 4:8 alone tells us to think about things that build us up, not tear us down. If you're a believer, you probably think some Scripture-based thoughts throughout each day, but think about this. Are you mixing them with negative thoughts or just any random thoughts that come into your mind? For most of my life, I simply thought whatever fell into my head. Much of what was in my head was either lies Satan was telling me or just plain nonsense. The devil was controlling my life because he was controlling my thoughts. Read Mark 4:24. It tells us the more time we spend thinking about the Word, the more power and ability we will have to walk in it. It also says the more we read and listen to the Word, the more revelation we will receive to understand it. In the flesh we are lazy and want to receive from God without any effort on our own part, but that's not the way it works. You will only get out of the Word what you are willing to put into it. I encourage you to make a decision to meditate on God's Word every day because every moment you spend absorbing it, the more virtue and knowledge you will receive from God. How to Overcome Negative Thinking and Live with Hope by Joyce Meyer Do you have hope for your future? Or do you generally expect negative or disappointing things to happen? I was taught to be negative when I was growing up. I lived in an abusive atmosphere with negative people, alcoholism, fear, ranting and raving… As a result, I developed an attitude that it was better to expect nothing good than to expect it and be disappointed when it didn’t happen. I often wondered, What’s going to go wrong next? It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized I was living with evil forebodings, which created a vague feeling around me all the time that something bad was going to happen. Then one day, God spoke to my heart about this. He showed me that I was dreading that something bad was going to happen, but He wanted me to expect good things to happen. Jeremiah 29:11 (AMP) tells us that God’s thoughts and plans for us are “for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.” God wanted me to say, “Something good is going to happen!” The truth is, God doesn’t work in us through negative attitudes full of self-pity, laziness, passivity or an “everybody owes me” perspective. God works through faith! But before we can have faith, we have to have hope. I Became a Prisoner of Hope! Hope is favorable and confident expectation; it’s an expectant attitude that something good is going to happen and things will work out, no matter what situation we’re facing. Zechariah 9:12 (AMP) says, “Return to the stronghold [of security and prosperity], you prisoners of hope; even today do I declare that I will restore double your former prosperity to you.”
  18. 18. I like the phrase “prisoners of hope.” Think about it… If you’re a prisoner, you have no choice about it – you can’t be negative. And when times are tough or you’re dealing with disappointment, hope will cause you to rise up in faith and say, “God, I praise You and I believe You’re working on this situation and working in me. My faith, trust and hope are in You!” Hope is determined and doesn’t give up. God wants us to be locked up in hope, trusting that He can change what needs to be changed, that we can do what He wants us to do, and that all things are possible with God. If we will be steadfast in our hope, we can’t lose – we have to be winners in life. When God called me to ministry, it didn’t happen overnight. There were many years of preparation and building up what is now a worldwide ministry. During those years, I wanted to quit many times. But my testimony is, I’m still here! And if you won’t give up, you’ll have victory too. Human nature is impatient, selfish and wants things quickly. Why is it that although it takes us years to get into our messes, we expect God to get us out of them in a few days? In John 16:33, Jesus tells us that we are going to have tribulation, trials, distress and frustration in this world, but in spite of that, we can be of good cheer and take heart. Why? Because He has overcome the world. And when we live in Him, we become overcomers too! That’s why Jesus died for us. He came to save us from sin and death and to give us abundant life – now. And I’m determined to have everything Jesus died to give me. Make a decision to have everything Jesus died to give you. You have to do it on purpose. Be determined to do what God wants you to do and refuse to live with negative expectations. Ask God to help you live in hope and declare by faith, “Something good is going to happen to me!” Do It Afraid! by Joyce Meyer Fear! Has it ever been a problem for you, holding you back from moving into areas that could enrich your own life and the lives of others? There is a solution. One of the many benefits available to Christians is freedom from fear. When we avoid making changes or confronting issues in our lives because of fear or dread, we need to remember that God has promised to go before us and bring us through victoriously as we obey Him. How to Be Prepared When we’re facing a job interview, for example, instead of being afraid that we’ll make a bad impression and fail to get the position, we need to ask God to prepare the heart and mind of the interviewer and help us present ourselves in the very best light. When God "prepares the way," we can trust that whatever happens will turn out for our good according to His perfect plan for us. The Bible tells of a man named Abram who trusted God in spite of his own personal fear. Now...the Lord said to Abram, Go for yourself [for your own advantage] away from your country, from your relatives and your father's house, to the land that I will show you (Genesis 12:1). How to Be Unstoppable How would you feel if God told you to leave your home, your family and everything that is familiar and comfortable and head out to an unknown destination? Full of fear? That’s precisely the challenge Abram faced—and it frightened him. But God's words to him were, "Fear not." It’s the same message He gave to Joshua when He called him to lead the children of Israel to take the land
  19. 19. He had promised to give them as their inheritance (see Joshua 1:6-9). And to all who set out to follow God's plan today, He says, "Fear not." Elisabeth Elliot, whose husband was killed along with four other missionaries in Ecuador, says that her life was completely controlled by fear. Every time she started to step out to minister, fear stopped her. Then a friend told her something that set her free. Her friend said, "Why don't you do it afraid?" Elisabeth listened and took that advice. Together with Rachel Saint, the sister of one of the murdered missionaries, they went on to evangelize the Indian tribes of Ecuador, including the very people who had killed their loved ones. Many times we think we should wait to do something until we are no longer afraid, but if we did that, we’d probably accomplish very little for God, for others, or even for ourselves. Both Abram and Joshua had to step out in faith and obedience to God and do what He had commanded them to do—even though they were afraid. Don't Run I believe the words fear not simply mean don't run. So the solution to fear is simple: Rather than bowing our knee and giving in to it, we must stand firm against it, knowing that God has gone before us and prepared the way. This is precisely what God wants us to do. Even if our mouth is dry and our knees are shaking, we need to keep asking God to strengthen us. We need to determine that our lives are not going to be ruled by fear but by the Word of God. As we saw before in Genesis, God gave Abram a tall order. He said, "Pack up and leave everyone you know and everything you’re comfortable with and go to a place I will show you." If Abram had bowed his knee to fear, he never would’ve fulfilled his destiny to become all God created him to be —the father of many nations. In the same way, if Joshua hadn’t overcome his fear and been obedient to God's command to lead His people into the Promised Land, they never would’ve enjoyed all that God had prepared for them. Giving in to fear alters God's best plan for your life. So use the power of God's Word to do what He wants you to do...even if you have to do it afraid! The rewards are great. God's Prescription for a Sound Mind by Joyce Meyer For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind! (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJ) Prepare for Battle As you begin to reclaim your mind and thought life from the enemy, know that he won't easily give up the place that he's had. You will have to do battle against his lies and confusion. You must declare out loud that you will not allow any outside force to do your thinking—man or spirit. There are spiritual laws that demons must obey. They can't stay when you've commanded them to leave. Your power and authority come from the name of Jesus, the blood of Jesus, and the Word of God. Ask God to give you discernment about the lies of the devil. Think About What You're Thinking About
  20. 20. As you recognize a thought that is a lie, always defend yourself out loud. This means speaking to Satan and the evil forces out loud, binding them in the name of Jesus, and forbidding them to lie to you and use your mind as their playground. As you continue to use this prescription regularly, you'll regain your peace, your memory, restful nights, and the ability to concentrate and comprehend. Stand Firm—You're Not Alone You are in a battle that all of God's children fight (see Ephesians 6:12). Make up your mind not to give up! According to Colossians 3:2, set your mind on things above and keep it set! As you begin this battle, things may seem to get worse before they get better. This is because the demonic powers are fighting to keep their place. Call upon God's grace in the name of Jesus, and He will give you the power of the Holy Spirit to completely overcome every evil tendency. Don't Give Up! Remember, regaining your mind is a process. We all fail at one time or another. God knows our weaknesses; that's why He gave us 1 John 1:9. Just ask for forgiveness and envision the blood of Jesus washing away your sin. Continue claiming that your mind belongs to you, and with Jesus' help you will be victorious. When you hear a lie going through your mind, say out loud: "Satan, you are a liar. I will not receive (or believe) your lie in the name of Jesus" (see 2 Corinthians 10:5). "I remind you that it is written, …He who lives in [me] is greater (mightier)than he who is in the world. I command you to bow your knee to the name of Jesus and leave me." (see 1 John 4:4). You have now pulled the lie out—just as you pull a weed out of the ground. But an empty hole remains where the weed once was. You must fill that space with Scripture. Begin to meditate on God's Word or sing a praise song to God. Whatever it is you choose to do, make a conscious effort to fill your mind with good, pure, wholesome and lovely thoughts (see Philippians 4:8). The Cause and Cure for Worry by Joyce Meyer Worry, feeling uneasy or troubled, seems to plague multitudes of people in our world today. It's human nature to be concerned about the bad situations in our world and in our personal lives, but if we're not careful, the devil will cause us to worry beyond what's reasonable. Worry is like a rocking chair—it's always in motion but it never gets you anywhere. So why do we struggle with it? And what good does it do? Worry is the opposite of faith, and it steals our peace, physically wears us out, and can even make us sick. When we worry, we torment ourselves—we're doing the devil's job for him! Worry is caused by not trusting God to take care of the various situations in our lives. Too often we trust our own abilities, believing that we can figure out how to take care of our own problems. Yet sometimes, after all our worry and effort to go it alone, we come up short, unable to bring about suitable solutions. At a young age, I discovered firsthand that people hurt people, so I didn't trust others. I tried to take care of myself, deciding not to depend on anyone who would hurt or disappoint me. Too often our experiences in the world teach us this, and even after we become Christians, it takes a long time to overcome it. It's difficult to learn how to trust God, but we eventually must learn that trying to take care of everything ourselves is too big a task.
  21. 21. Cast Your Cares on the One Who Cares for You First Peter 5:6-7 says, Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you, casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. Since Jesus invites us to cast all of our care and worry on Him, why do so many of us refuse to let go? Apparently, we're not yet fed up with being miserable. “ Worry is like a rocking chair—it's always in motion but it never gets you anywhere.” The only way to have victory in our lives is to play by God's rules, and He says we must quit worrying if we want to have peace. So when things come our way that cause us to be concerned, we need God's help. How do we get it? First Peter 5:6-7 lists two important steps: 1) humble yourselves, and 2) cast your care on Him. That seems pretty clear and simple, yet some continue struggling because they're too bullheaded to ask for help. But the humble get the help. So if your way isn't working, why not try God's way? All of us would be better off if we'd learn to lean on God and ask for His help. But as long as we try to do everything ourselves, God will let us. He won't take care of our problems and worries—our cares —until we turn loose of them and give them to Him. Either we're going to do it or God's going to do it, but both of us aren't going to. Now, casting your care doesn't mean you can be irresponsible. God won't do for you what you can do yourself. You must do what you can do, and then trust God to do what you can't. When we humble ourselves and ask for His help, then He's able to release His power in our situations. It's only then that we can really enjoy life. So the cure for worry is humbling ourselves before God, casting our cares on Him, and trusting Him. Instead of making ourselves miserable trying to figure everything out on our own, God wants us to place our trust in Him and enter into His rest, totally abandoning ourselves to His care. I know that when we are able to believe and say, "God, I trust You," it will literally change our lives. Psalm 37:3 says, Trust…in the Lord and do good.... God didn't create us to worry about helping ourselves all the time. He wants us to sow good seed by reaching out to help others. When we simply trust God and get busy doing the good things we know to do, then He'll bring a harvest of blessings into our lives and meet our needs. Develop an Attitude of Faith and Prayer I've learned that my attitude has a lot to do with living a worry-free life. There will always be situations that cause us concern, but with God's help, we can live above all of it and enjoy life. Cast your care on the Lord and say, "God, I trust You, and I'm going to enjoy the life You have given me." When you give your problems to God, you must also decide to be satisfied with His answers. Trusting God to do what's best for us involves dying to self. Paul said, ...it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me (Galatians 2:20). You can trust God to do what's best for you, so you don't have to worry about it. When you have a positive attitude and keep your faith in God, you can't be defeated. We must stop trying to make things happen the way we want and get to the place where we desire to please God more than ourselves. The Christ in us has to supercede what we want. Faith and the Word of God will help you overcome worry. Worrying involves negative thoughts, but speaking positive things out of your mouth will interrupt those negative thought patterns. When we are full of the Word of God, we can speak it out of our mouths in faith. Faith is stronger than doubt,
  22. 22. negativism and unbelief. Faith has a positive attitude that can overcome our past and lead us into a great future. Faith is a powerful force that cannot be conquered. Another powerful force is prayer. When you're under pressure, it's always best to pray about it instead of talk about it. Prayer is the blueprint for a successful life. During His time on earth, Jesus prayed. He entrusted everything to God—even His reputation and life. We can do the same. We don't have to explain all the problems to Him; we can just give them to Him and ask Him to take care of everything. Don't complicate prayer. Just have confidence in simple, believing prayer. Look at Paul's instructions in Philippians 4:6-7: Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God's peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. If you're a Christian who goes around burdened or weighed down all the time, something is wrong. You may have had faith in Christ for salvation, but you haven't moved into walking in faith daily for the life that God has given you. The Bible tells us that God is faithful—that's one of His major characteristics. He can be counted on to come through for us, so we should trust Him totally and completely. When we do, we'll be ready for anything that may come our way. Allow God to Give You Peace and Rest In Matthew 11:28, Jesus said, Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Jesus wants to ease our burdens and give us rest. The Message Bible says it this way: Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly (Matthew 11:28-30). That sounds good, doesn't it? I've had enough heavy stuff in my life, and I want to be free. It's nice to know that we don't have to figure everything out. We need to get comfortable with saying, "I don't have a clue, but I'm not going to worry about it because God's in control. I'm going to live free and light!" When we're overloaded with the cares of this life—struggling, laboring and worrying— we need some help. Our minds need to rest from worrying about how to take care of problems, our emotions need to rest from being upset all the time, and our wills need a rest from stubbornness and rebellion. So we need to be humble enough to call out to God and say, "I need help!" Your beginning doesn't have to dictate your ending. Get God involved in every area of your life and allow Him to lead you into rest. Worry or Worship? Worry and worship are exact opposites, and we'd all be much happier if we learned to become worshippers instead of worriers. Worry opens the door for the devil, but worship is reverence and adoration for God that leads us into His presence. God created us to worship Him, and I don't believe we can walk in victory if we don't become worshippers. Sometimes when we don't have what we need or want, the enemy tries to discourage us and keep us from worshipping God. But when we know that God has our best interests at heart, we can worship Him regardless of our circumstances. Remember, God is good even when our circumstances are not! God doesn't always give us our heart's desire right away. He wants us to develop a deep, personal relationship with Him and an outrageous love for Him so much so that we can't live without it. This kind of relationship and love brings the worshipful attitude that God wants us to have.
  23. 23. To worship means "to reverence," or "to defer to." We are to have reverential fear and awe of God. We are to respect and honor Him, and defer to Him by submitting to and obeying Him, and adapt ourselves to His will. We must realize that Christ, living in us, has come to lead and guide us into a special lifestyle of worship and victorious living. When Satan throws worry on you, I challenge you to stop what you're doing, get down on your knees before God, and begin praising Him. Worship is a spiritual weapon, a warhead or bomb you can use against the enemy. Your prayers and worship will get you heavenly help, and you won't have to fight your own battles. God's grace and power can make things happen with ease that you can't bring about no matter how much you struggle. So stop worrying about everything, give it to God, and live in grace. Grace isn't just divine favor— it's power! Don't waste another day of your life worrying. Determine what your responsibility is and what it is not. Don't try to take on God's responsibility. When we do what we can do, God steps in and does what we can't. So give yourself and your worries to God and begin enjoying the abundant life He has planned for you. Facing Fear and Finding Freedom by Joyce Meyer If you don't remember anything else from this article, remember that fear is not from God but from Satan. See Second Timothy 1:7. Every time you feel fear in your life, it's a manifestation of the kingdom of darkness. I often say in my teachings that fear is the "master spirit." It's the spirit Satan uses to try to rule God's people and keep them from coming under the leadership of the true Master, Jesus Christ. What Are You Afraid Of? Multitudes of people never fulfill the call of God on their lives simply because every time they try to go forward, the devil uses fear to stop them. Is he using fear to stop you? Satan uses fear to keep people from enjoying life. Fear brings torment, according to 1 John 4:18, and you surely can't enjoy life and be tormented at the same time. I want to encourage you to take an inventory in the fear department. What are you afraid of? Are there any areas in your life that are being stifled because of fear? Satan is always going to bring fear against us at various times. It's one of his major weapons—not a cap gun, but a cannon. Stepping Out in Spite of Fear All of us must learn how not to "fear the fear." The devil brings fear, but you can choose not to bow your knee to it. David said, "What time I am afraid, I will…trust…in You" (Psalm 56:3). I believe we can say that when God leads you to step out in an area to do something new, or leads you to make a bigger commitment, you may (or probably will) feel fear. However, if you're sure God told you to do it, put your trust in Him and go forward. I have to apply this same principle to my life all the time. Years ago, we realized that we really needed more office space. At the same time, we needed more employees, which would require more desks, computers, phones, etc. We had a choice. We had prayed for growth so we could help more people. And everything did increase—resource orders, speaking engagements, incoming phone calls, mail, etc. It was God's timing, and He was moving. We had to make a decision to either stand still in fear or move with God. If we had not been willing to rent more space and hire more people, we couldn't have kept up with the growth. I can tell you for sure that fear tried to stop me. I heard things like, "Joyce, you're getting in over your head." "That's too much money to spend." "What if the increase doesn't continue?" I'm sure you know the
  24. 24. recording; you've probably heard it also. We certainly don't want to move in the flesh or out of God's timing, but when God is moving, you can't be afraid to move with Him. In my situation, I had a choice to be led by my head or follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. How Fear Works Some common fears are fear of lack, death, loneliness, people, authority, commitment, heights, germs, closed-in spaces, airplanes, dogs, cats, failure, rejection, being laughed at, and even fear of being attractive. We went to the library and got a typed list of known phobias—it was four pages long. It even included phobaphobia, which is the fear of being afraid. It seems that the list is endless. It convinced me even more of how extensive Satan's work is in this area. Face Fear and Move Forward Isaiah 41:10 says, Fear not, for I am with you. I believe God works gently with us to bring us out of bondage and into liberty. If you've been afraid of something and desire to be free, the time will eventually come when you'll have to face your fear and not run away from it. Just take Jesus' hand, acknowledge that He is with you, and do it. If you're afraid of people with authority, the time will come when you'll have to confront an authority figure and not cower in fear. God will have arranged the time. He'll be there, but you'll have to choose whether to go through or run away. If you're at one of these crossroads in your life, let me encourage you to go forward. Don't stand still in terror, but take His hand and go forward. Remember, fear torments and God wants to deliver you from all of your fears. Perfect Love Casts Out Fear by Joyce Meyer Do you suffer from fear or insecurity? What about the fear of lack? Are you worried that God won't come through for you? I have been there too. I have been literally worried sick about so many things, including my past, my future, my finances, what people thought about me. And because I couldn't get my mind off of my problems, I found myself in a place of utter torment. But we do not have to fear that God doesn't love us or that He won't come through for us in our time of need. We need to learn to accept the reality of His love for us, so that our fears do not control us. First John 4:18 says that perfect love casts out fear. If you're afraid of facing a person or a situation in your life, God's love can help you put your fears to rest. The Cure for Insecurity Because I had been abused in my childhood and was fearful of being hurt or taken advantage of, I became very insecure. And I spent many years trying to control everything and everyone in my life. Instead of trying to control and manipulate people, I needed to learn to trust God, pray, and believe that He would do what was best for me at the right time. Most of all, I needed to abide in His love.
  25. 25. First John 4:16 points out that we should be conscious of God's love. It needs to be more than just a biblical fact for us…we need to experience it daily. Several years ago I was so desperate for a revelation of God's love that I began to keep a journal of the things He did in my life that I believed displayed His love. No matter how small they were, I recorded them. When people gave me things, I recorded it. When I was shown favor in situations, I recorded it. When God answered prayers and did things for me that I had requested, I recorded it… This process helped me become conscious of His love, and I began to heal. I found out that the love of God is the cure for the insecure. Overcoming the Fear of Lack Another major fear people face is the fear of lack. The fear that your needs won't be met—that God won't come through for you in time. You may be in a situation that you've never been in before, facing all kinds of new responsibilities. You may have needs that are beyond your resources and the spirit of fear is attacking you, telling you that you aren't going to make it. You may feel like nobody else cares. But God cares. In fact, Hebrews 13:5-6 says you can trust God to come to your rescue. Even when it seems that absolutely nothing is happening in your life, He is working. Beloved, God has a good plan for you, and He'll manifest it right on time. If you need financial support, He'll provide. If it's physical support you need, He'll sustain you. If you need emotional support, He'll comfort you. He'll nourish you and bring you back to a place of strength. God is for you. He is not against you. Satan is against you, but the greater One lives in you! Let Nothing Separate You from God's Love During hard times and moments of insecurity, Satan works overtime trying to convince us that God doesn't love us—that if He did, either we wouldn't be in this situation, or He would've delivered us by now. I confess with my own mouth the truth that God does love me during these attacks of fear. And I encourage you to say several times a day with confidence, "God loves me!" Don't allow the devil to steal this truth from you. Romans 8:38-39, which I pray will comfort you right now, says: For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. As long as you refuse to let anything separate you from God's love, you will have the victory. Kiss Fear Goodbye and Enjoy Life's Journey by Joyce Meyer I define hope as "the happy anticipation of good things." Are you aggressively hoping for
  26. 26. something good to happen to you? Do you wake up in the morning excited and expectant about life? You can do that by learning how to celebrate and enjoy this journey called life. Everything in life is a process in motion. Without movement, advancement and progression, there is no life. Once a thing has ceased to progress, it is dead. In other words, as long as we live, you and I are always going to be heading somewhere, and we should be enjoying ourselves on the way. God created us to be goal-oriented visionaries. Without a vision, we become bored and hopeless. Hope deferred makes the heart sick, according to Proverbs 13:12, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life. There's something about hope that makes people lighthearted and happy. You're not going to be happy if you don't have hope. The more hope you have in God, the happier you become. Biblical hope is a close relative to faith. I don't see how you can have faith without hope because hope is the foundation on which faith stands. Hope believes everything is going to turn out all right—hope is positive! To enjoy life you must maintain a good, positive attitude. God is positive, and He wants positive things to happen to each of us, but that isn't likely to happen if we're not filled with hope and faith. Some people are afraid to hope because they have experienced so much hurt and disappointment that they don't think they can face any more pain. They refuse to hope so they won't be disappointed. Disappointment is painful! Rather than being hurt again, they simply refuse to hope that anything good will ever happen to them. This type of behavior sets up a negative lifestyle. Everything becomes negative because their thoughts are negative. Proverbs 23:7 says, For as he [a person] thinks in his heart, so is he.... Your Future Has No Room For Your Past! Many years ago I was extremely negative because of the devastating abuse that had taken place in my past. The result was that I expected people to hurt me, and they did. I expected people to be dishonest, and they were. I was afraid to believe that anything good might happen. I thought I was protecting myself from being hurt by not expecting anything good to happen. When I really began to study the Word and trust God to restore me, I began to realize that all of my negativism had to go. In Matthew 8:13, Jesus says that it will be done for us as we have believed. I believed everything was negative, so naturally many negative things happened to me. I needed to let go of the past and move into the future with hope, faith and trust in God. I had to get rid of the heaviness of despair, depression and discouragement. And I did, once I dug into the truth of God's Word! I found out that God is ...a shield for me, my glory, and the lifter of my head (Psalm 3:3). I began to turn my negative thoughts and words into positive ones! Now, I am not saying that you and I can get whatever we want by just thinking about it. God has a perfect plan for each of us, and we can't control Him with our thoughts and words. But we can think and speak in agreement with His will and plan for us. We can practice being positive in every situation that arises. Even if what is taking place in your life at the moment seems negative, expect God to bring good out of it as He has promised in His Word. You must understand that before your life can change, your attitude must change. Hope is a powerful, spiritual force that is activated through our positive attitude. We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose (Romans 8:28). What Satan means for harm, God intends for good. All things work together for good for those who love God. Satan wants to hurt you and have you spend your life distrusting everyone because somebody hurt you when you were a child, while you were in school, in your marriage, on your job, etc. The list of who, what, where and how you can be hurt is endless. You have to say, "No! That is subject to change! I am a child of the living God! Something good is
  27. 27. going to happen to me!" [After all] the kingdom of God is not a matter of [getting the] food and drink [one likes], but instead it is righteousness (that state which makes a person acceptable to God) and [heart] peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). What this means is that after all the painful things that have happened in your past have come and gone, God still wants you to enjoy every single day of your life. This won't happen, however, until you make up your mind to take hold of the abundant life that Jesus' death and resurrection purchased for you. Until then, the devil will always try to take it away. Jesus said, The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows) (John 10:10). You are a new creation. You don't have to allow the old things that happened to you continue to affect your new life in Christ. As a new creature in Christ Jesus, you can have your mind renewed according to the Word of God: And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], and put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God's image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:23-24). Things will change for the better when you keep your thoughts filled with hope. Rejoice In Hope The Bible is full of hope-filled promises for you and me.Through Him also we have [our] access (entrance, introduction) by faith into this grace (state of God's favor) in which we [firmly and safely] stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God (Romans 5:2). Good things begin to happen to you when you rejoice in the hope of experiencing God's favor on a regular basis. Luke 2:52 tells us that ...Jesus increased in...favor with God and man. You and I are introduced to the favor of God by faith. All of God's promises are activated by faith. We shortchange ourselves when we believe in Jesus but don't believe in His blessings. Believe that you walk in holiness and righteousness (see Ephesians 4:24), believe that you are anointed (see 2 Corinthians 1:21), and believe that you are blessed with every spiritual blessing as promised in Ephesians 1:3. Believe Romans 8:37 when it says you are more than a conqueror! Everything that is promised in the Bible is for us to rejoice innow. Be glad! Raise your expectancy level. Rejoice in the hope of experiencing God's glory right now. My husband and I believe for many things, but beyond them all, we believe in Someone—Jesus. We don't always know what is going to happen. We just know that it will always work out for our good! The more positive and hopeful we are, the more we will be in the flow of God. In Ephesians 1:17-18, the apostle Paul prayed, [For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him, by having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones). This glorious inheritance is for you and me! Second Peter 1:3 says, For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue). The Hope Of Seeing Change If there is anything in this world that you can be sure of, it is change. Something is always changing. Why is it, then, that we find ourselves thinking, "Nothing will ever change... I'm always going to be like this... My situation will never change... He'll never change... She'll never change... I'm never going to be as good as so-and-so"? The only thing that will never change is God. For I
  28. 28. am the Lord, I do not change... (Malachi 3:6). Everything else can change. If you have no hope of seeing change in your situation, change probably isn't going to come. We endure so many things emotionally that we really wouldn't have to suffer if we put our hope in God and stopped looking at all of the circumstances we can't control. We will never enjoy life unless we decide to! In order to live as God intends for us to live, we must truly believe that it is God's will for us to experience continual joy. Then we must decide to enter into that joy, which is essential to our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. but a broken spirit dries up the bones. Hope makes joy available, just as a lack of hope produces misery. We can choose to enjoy righteousness and peace or stay in the midst of condemnation and turmoil. There are blessings or curses available, and that is why Deuteronomy 30:19 tells us to choose life and blessings. What do you do while you wait for change? You pray, believe and expect to receive. Maintain a positive attitude, knowing that God is working on bringing your change and that you will see it. Throughout your waiting time, the devil will scream, "It's not going to change; it's going to get worse!" Don't listen to this and become discouraged. Instead, wake up in the morning and say out loud, "This is the day that the Lord has made, and I will rejoice and be glad! Something good is going to happen to me today! Everything in my life that is not right is subject to change! The One who never changes is changing my situation. And while He's doing it, I'm going to enjoy my life!" Put your confidence in God and stop wearing yourself out trying to make things happen. The decision to have a good attitude while your change is coming can change you! Now is the time to decide to enter into the full and abundant life that God wants you to have. God Is Working Right Now! Most of us have a hard time believing that God is working on our behalf until we see something happening with our natural eyes. This usually isn't the way God works. He works behind the scenes much of the time. Right now He is changing hearts and drawing sinners unto Him. Right now He is working in our government. Right now God has a plan for your promotion. He may be speaking to your boss about giving you a raise. God is busy working in your life as long as you believe. Hebrews 11:1 says, Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. Proverbs 17:22 says, A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, This scripture begins with the word now. Although the Greek word from which it is translated actually means "but, and, etc.," rather than "at this point in time," I still believe the term can be used to describe faith and hope. Faith and hope operate right now! Without them, life isn't enjoyable. Every time I lay aside faith and hope, I stop believing and I lose my peace. And as soon as I lose my peace, my joy goes with it. Make a decision to be a now person. God has a good plan for your liferight now. Trust Him today. Believing God brings you into His rest and puts an end to the torment caused by impatience and anxiety while you're waiting. No matter how hopeless your situation seems to be or how long it has been that way, I know you can change because I did. It took time and heaping helpings of the Holy Spirit, but it was worth it. It will be worth it for you, too. Whatever happens, trust in the Lord and trust in the power of hope! My hope is in God who never changes. Nothing is impossible with Him. He is a big God, and I'm believing Him for big things. How about you? Don't Hide From Confrontation by Joyce Meyer Most people don’t like confrontation. If you do, you are in the minority. Many are petrified of it and tell themselves that it’s just too hard. So, when faced with a difficult situation or person, they avoid
  29. 29. it and instead run away…for as long as possible. People run from all kinds of things—like something new, or change in general. They run from their past. And many people in our society run away from responsibility. But the problem with running away from something is that you stay stuck. You don’t make any progress. Now personally, I never had too many problems confronting people. In fact, I used to be overly confrontational, so the issue was more about how I handled confrontation. I had to learn how to confront people and situations the way Jesus did. I also had to learn how to confront the devil. And still, every once in awhile God, will give me a little refresher course on confronting the devil so he can’t walk all over me and I won’t listen to his lies. It’s Time to Stop Running “[God] wants us to be bold, courageous, and to know we can handle anything that comes our way!” We need to be people who will no longer run away from difficult situations because God doesn’t want us to be afraid. He wants us to be bold, courageous, and to know we can handle anything that comes our way! Look at 1 John 4:4 (AMP). It says, “Little children, you are of God [you belong to Him] and have [already] defeated and overcome them [the agents of the antichrist], because He Who lives in you is greater (mightier) than he who is in the world.” The next time you feel fearful about a situation or person that you know you need to confront, just quote this scripture and remind the devil of his place. And tell him, “No! I’m not putting up with fear any longer.” Find Your Source of Strength Maybe you just need to live with a little more oomph! I’m talking about Holy Spirit oomph that says, “I am God’s child, and I’m not going to be stepped on my whole life. I am the head and not the tail, above and not beneath. I will not live in fear. I will not run away from things. Because I can do whatever I need to do in life through Christ who strengthens me.” You can confront your problem. Or you can choose to run away from it. But if you run, the Bible is pretty clear as to what happens to people who run away from what God has called them to do... They end up in the wilderness. Wilderness Residents in the Bible I want to talk about two people in the Bible who ran away when they were afraid and how God helped them confront their fear. Moses – God had a destiny for Moses. But at forty years old, Moses did something wrong and instead of facing Pharaoh, he fled and “dwelt in the land of Midian” (Exodus 2:15 NKJV), which was a desert wilderness area outside of Egypt. He spent the next forty years in a holding pattern. God had to work some things out of Moses before he was ready, at age eighty, to go back and lead the Israelites. Hagar – In Genesis we read how this servant girl got caught up in a really bad situation with Abraham and his wife, Sarah. When Hagar became pregnant by Abraham, which was Sarah’s idea, this created a big fight between her and Sarah. So Hagar ended up running away. The Bible says she ended up in the wilderness by a spring.

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