Allow me to share my notes from Festival of Life, which sermon was delivered by Joyce Meyer. This one is from the 1st session, in Jakarta on January 17th 2013.
Joyce used the analogy of the Israelites’ journey from Egypt to the promise land. I think this is brilliant. The question acted as a teaser was that why they had to take until 40 years to get to the promise land while distance wise they only needed couple of days to get there. The brilliant part was that God used those 40 years to shape them. As He is mighty, He could have just kept them safe and brought them to the promise land right away. This is exactly the same case as in our lives. We could have reached our destination faster if we listen to God. In all those 40 years, you can read it in the bible and find out how many times they complained, turned around from God and then blaming God for their miseries afterwards.
God is so in love with us and through hardship He lets us learn to depend on Him, to count on Him, and most of all to trust Him. I would see myself as a person who is solution-minded. I could easily get stressed out if people around me are talking about the same problem over and over again. And yet after a while they will do the same thing all over again. I managed my life just fine for I was always trying to be solution-minded. But we are human and we are so limited, so then once things got out of control and seemed like there’s no solution to the problem, that’s when our world starts falling apart.
Well, we could change things, some of them, but we definitely cannot change people because only God can change people. As I get to know God day by day, I learn to set my eyes on Him. We all know the truth and believe that:
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.” (Isaiah 55:8) NLT
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28) NLT
Our limited mind won’t get it, but have faith knowing that He will work things out. When you trust God, everything will start to fall just right in place.
Joyce also shared some of wrong thoughts that people usually have:
- “My future depends on my past”
The truth is: it is never too late to start again, to have a new beginning, to cleaning up the mess and to start working on your life again. Why? Because if you have God, you have all you need. And how is that going to work? God has a good plan for you, but you have stop looking back. God has promised this >> Isaiah 61:7.
“Instead of shame and dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor. You will posses a double portion of prosperity in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours” (NLT)
God will restore what devil took from you.
- “This is too hard”
The truth is: If God says so, nothing is too hard. If God wants you to do it, you can do it. As the children of God, we are anointed to do hard things. The last sentence may sound scary or ironic, but I’m so convinced to say that the bigger your problem, the bigger your testimony. God provides everything just enough for you to go through what He puts you through, but the choice is still yours whether you want to use all the equipment provided or to depend on your very own resources and then later saying that things are just too hard.
“I’ve never met a beautiful soul without an ugly story to tell. The greater your test, the greater your testimony.” ~Tony Gaskins
- “I can’t wait, I need a breakthrough right now”
The sentence just sounds like someone is so impatient. I always believe that the most important material of Christianity is humility, and I still believe it is. But couple of days ago I just realized that patience is just right after that. We can act as a humble person, but without patience we might not be able to reach the plan God has prepared for us. Without it, it is so easy for us to finally screw things up. Be patient. Trust Him and wait for Him, it’s worth the wait. And foremost, no matter how long we should wait, we will wait with patience.
- “It’s not my fault”
Oh I like this one. When people wrong you, this is exactly what will appear in your head. It is so easy to blame others for our problems. And Joyce was saying a real thing when she said this, “It feels so good to tell people how someone hurts you. How you are a victim.” I would add that it feels even better to see them nodding their heads as we tell them the story. We get back-ups, they are agreeing with us that we didn’t do anything wrong and it’s not our fault. But seriously, how is your life going to change by that? We need to let it go, and see point number one: we have to stop looking back. Hold His hand and move forward. Letting go means to get it out of your head and to get it out of your mouth. You need to stop thinking about it and you definitely need to stop talking about it. It takes time, but be patient and you’ll see the fruit. This is particularly a serious message for all the ladies out there 😉
At the almost-end of her sermon Joyce was saying this:
Be determined to conquer your problems. Do what you need to do. God is with you.