When Work Becomes an Idol

True rest brings us into a right relationship with God and with others. When we experience this kind of rest, we feel revitalized, more alert, more creative and more human. Our capacity to love others, as well as our desire to be in relationship, increases. A deficiency of rest can compromise the quality and meaning of our work and negatively impact our health, family and personal lives.

Difficulty entering into rest might indicate that we’ve made an idol of our work. As fallen and broken human beings, we might devote ourselves to work in the vain hope that it alone will bring us meaning, purpose, security or happiness. Our work can become driven by a desire for perfection, worth, admiration or status. Perhaps some of us define success by comparing ourselves to others and working to have more than they do. Still others of us may use work to avoid dealing with other areas of life. We sacrifice our health, our families and our discipleship on the altar of excessive work.

The idol of work might fool us for a time, until we are passed over for promotion, fired, laid off or retired. Then we discover that work comes to an end, and meanwhile, we have become strangers to our family and friends. Fulfillment doesn’t come from frenzied work. It comes from rest and repentance. And strength comes from quietness and trust, trust that who we are in Christ is enough.
Prayer

Jesus, if I’ve made work into an idol or even an addiction, I repent and ask you to heal my wayward heart. Help me to take the steps I need to enter into true rest. Amen.

-From Finding Work and Life Balance daily devotional

Get Reappointed

 All of us become disappointed when we have a plan that fails, a hope that does not materialize, a goal that is unreached. When things like that happen, for a certain period of time we experience a letdown, one that can lead to depression if it is not handled properly.
That’s when we have to make the decision to adapt and adjust, to take a new approach, to just keep going despite our feelings. That’s when we must remember that we have the Greater One residing within us, so that no matter what may happen to frustrate us, or how long it may take for our dreams and goals to become reality, we are not going to give up and quit just because of our emotions. That is when we must remember what God once told me in just such a moment: “When you get disappointed, you can always make the decision to get reappointed!”

Disappointment often leads to discouragement, which is even more of a “downer.” How disappointing and discouraging it is to see the things we love senselessly destroyed by others or, even worse, by our own neglect or failure.

Regardless of how it may happen or who may be responsible, it is hard to go on when everything we have counted on falls down around us. That’s when those of us who have the creative power of the Holy Spirit on the inside can get a new vision, a new direction, and a new goal to help us overcome the downward pull of disappointment, discouragement, and destruction.

From the book New Day, New You by Joyce Meyer. Copyright 2007 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

Complaining Is a Sin! 

In Ephesians 4:29, the apostle Paul instructs us not to use any foul or polluting language. At one time, I didn’t realize that this included complaining, but I have since learned that murmuring and complaining pollute our lives.
Plain and simple, complaining is a sin! It causes many people a great deal of problems in their lives and destroys the joy of anyone listening.

We need to ask ourselves, how quick are we to become impatient and begin to complain when stuck in traffic or while waiting in checkout lanes in grocery stores or department stores? How quick are we to spot and point out all the faults of our friends or family members? Do we complain about our job when we should be thanking God that we have one?

The best antidote for complaining is thanksgiving. Truly thankful people do not complain. They are too busy being grateful for all the good things they have that they have no time to notice the things they could complain about.

The Bible says that we are to enter God’s courts with praise and thanksgiving. You and I need to make it a daily goal to live a life of thanksgiving. Let’s be as positive and grateful as possible.

Try going to bed at night pondering everything you have to be thankful for. Let it be the first thing you do in the morning. Thank God for “little” things or things you might normally take for granted: a parking place, waking up in time for work, a meal, your family… Don’t get discouraged when you fail, but don’t throw in the towel and quit either. Keep at it until you have developed new habits and you are living with an attitude of gratitude.

Be generous with your gratitude. It will sweeten your relationship with the Lord.

Prayer Starter: God, I want to live with an attitude of gratitude, starting right now! I thank you so much for loving me and for blessing me. Help me see the positive things in life and to thank You for them.

—from Joyce Meyer daily devotional 

Jesus Is Not a Pharisee 

God desires to heal His people from past hurts caused by rejection. He wants you to know He will never reject you. He says in Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (NKJV). This is referring to those who are laboring at trying to be perfect and then beating themselves down with guilty feelings when they fail.
Jesus was talking to the people who were trying to live under the laws of the Pharisees. It takes a lot to please a Pharisee, and they’re still around today. I’m sure you know one, someone who conveys to you the message, “I’ll accept you if you perform perfectly and please me. I’ll reject you and withhold my love if you don’t.”

Jesus isn’t a Pharisee. He says in John 3:18 that he who believes in Him will never be rejected. Believe in Him, love Him, cling to Him, rely on Him and trust Him. Then you can truly enter in to the joy of the abundant life He offers you.

Prayer Starter: God, thank You for loving me and always accepting me. I believe in You, love You, trust You and rely on You with all that is within me.

—from Joyce Meyer daily devotional


Choose Life! 

We will never enjoy life unless we make a quality decision to do so. Satan is an expert at stealing and our joy is one of his favorite targets. Nehemiah 8:10 tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength. In John 10:10 we are told that “the thief” comes to kill, steal, and destroy, but that Jesus came that we might have and enjoy life. Satan is the thief, and one of the things he seeks to steal is our joy. If he can steal our joy from us, we will be weak; and when we are weak, the enemy takes advantage of us.

Weak believers are no threat to him and his work of destruction. In order to live as God intends for us to live, the first thing we must do is truly believe that it is God’s will for us to experience continual joy. Then we must decide to enter into that joy. Experiencing enjoyment in our souls is vitally important to our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. Proverbs 17:22 says, “A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” It is God’s will for us to enjoy life! Now it is time to decide to enter into the full and abundant life that God wills for us.

Joy and enjoyment are available just as misery is available. Righteousness and peace are available and so are condemnation and turmoil. There are blessings and curses available, and that is why Deuteronomy 30:19 tells us to choose life and blessings.

From the book New Day, New You by Joyce Meyer. Copyright 2007 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.

Shake It Off

One of my favorite stories is about a farmer’s donkey that fell into a dry well. The animal cried pitifully for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do for his poor donkey. Finally, he concluded that the well was too deep, and it really needed to be covered up anyway. Besides, the donkey was old, and it would be a lot of trouble to get him out of the pit. The farmer decided that it was not worth trying to retrieve the animal, so he asked his neighbors to help him fill in the well and bury the donkey.
They all grabbed shovels and began to toss dirt into the well. The donkey immediately realized what was happening, and he began to bray horribly. Crying would be our normal response if somebody was mistreating us this badly, so this donkey was responding the same way we would at first, but then he got real quiet. A few shovel loads of dirt later, the farmer looked down the well and was astonished at what he saw. With every shovel of dirt that hit the donkey’s back, the donkey would shake it off and step on top of it.

As the neighbors and the farmer continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he continued to shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon the donkey shook off the last shovel full of dirt, took a step up, and walked right out of the well. We can learn so much from this story. When trouble comes, if we will get still and listen, God will tell us what to do.

By the grace and mercy of God, I was able to shake off a lot of things in my life, a lot of hurt feelings, a lot of mistreatment, a lot of abuse, a lot of unfair, unjust, unkind things. Just like the donkey, in order to keep pressing on and have victory in our lives, we are going to have to learn to shake off the troubles that come our way.

From the book New Day, New You by Joyce Meyer. Copyright 2007 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.


Choose Better Thoughts, Reap a Better Life

 This scripture clearly says that death and life are in the words we speak. It’s so important that we learn to control our mouths, but we need to make sure we do it the right way.
I think some people try to control their mouths but do nothing about their thoughts. That’s like pulling off the top of a weed, unless the root is dug up, the weed always comes back. You’ll never control your mouth unless you first learn to control your mind.

We’re constantly tempted to think wrong thoughts, but we don’t have to accept them. We have a choice! We can purposely choose right thinking so that we can then choose right speaking.

You can choose life-generating thoughts by hearing, reading, thinking and talking about God and His Truth. What’s inside you will find its way outside, so when you fill your mind with good, positive, powerful, life-giving things from God, positive, powerful, life-giving words will naturally follow.

Prayer Starter: Holy Spirit, I want to change my thoughts so that I can speak life-giving words. Help me fill my thoughts with Your Truth so that my words reflect You.

—from Joyce Meyer daily devotional

Letting God’s Love Overcome Past Hurt 

Early in our marriage, Dave and I had some rough years, and a lot of it was because I needed God to heal me from my past of being abused sexually, emotionally and verbally by my dad. Through a lot of tears and difficult moments of choosing to forgive instead of getting revenge, God brought me through, and He’s also used my testimony to bring healing to the lives of others. When God heals you of past hurt, He not only wants to help you, but He also wants your experience to be a gateway through which others can experience the same healing.

Eventually, I came to a point where God led me and Dave to move my parents to St. Louis and even buy them a home, which was very difficult for me. But my dad ended up apologizing to me for all he had done and even received Christ into his life.

I experienced a whole new level of emotional health because I let God heal me through the power of forgiveness, and allowed Him to use my restoration to help heal my dad.

You know, we can all hurt in a lot of different ways. Loneliness, disappointment, rejection, fear and insecurity all have the ability to hurt us deeply. I couldn’t move beyond the hurt from my past until I received and experienced the love of God and allowed Him to turn it all around.

Before you can move beyond your pain and learn to love and forgive others, you have to experience God’s love.

When dealing with your past, remember that God loves you deeply. The Bible says that we are only complete when we experience the love of Christ, which is so great you could never fully understand it. As you receive His love, healing will begin in your heart and you will be made complete with the fullness of His life.

Prayer Starter: Lord, I believe You can help me overcome the hurt and pain of my past and use my healing to help others. Help me to experience the love of Christ and make me complete with all the fullness of Your life and power.

—from Joyce Meyer daily devotional

It’s Okay to Laugh 

Many serious things are going on in this world, and we need to be aware of them and prepared for them. But at the same time we need to learn to relax and take things as they come without getting all nervous and upset about them. We need to learn how to enjoy the good life God has provided for us through the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ (SEE JOHN 10:10). In spite of all the troubling things going on around us in the world, our daily confession should be, “This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Something we Christians need to do more of is laugh. We tend to be so heavy about everything – our sin, expecting perfection from ourselves, our growth in God, our prayer life, the gifts of the Spirit, and memorizing Bible verses. We carry around such heavy burdens. If we would just laugh a little more – be of good cheer, “cheer up” – we would find that a little bit of laughter makes that load much lighter.

In the world we live in, there isn’t a great deal to laugh about so we will need to do it on purpose. It is easy to find plenty to worry about. To be happy, we need to work on it a little. We need to laugh and have a good time.

From the book New Day, New You by Joyce Meyer. Copyright 2007 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.


Complain and Remain, Praise and Be Raised 

Complaining is a sin! It is a corrupt form of conversation that causes many people a great deal of problems in their lives. It also opens many doors for the enemy. Words are containers of power. Complaining, grumbling words carry destructive power. They destroy the joy of the one doing the complaining and can also affect other people who have to listen to them. 

In Ephesians 4:29, the apostle Paul instructs us not to use any foul or polluting language. At one time I would not have known that included complaining, but now I have learned that it does. Murmuring and complaining pollute our lives and probably sound like cursing to the Lord. To Him it is verbal pollution. To pollute is to poison. Did you ever stop to think that you and I can poison our future by complaining about what is going on right now? 

When we complain about our current situation, we remain in it; when we praise God in the midst of difficulty, He raises us out of it. The best way to start every day is with gratitude and thanksgiving. Get a jump on the devil. If you don’t fill your thoughts and conversation with good things, he will definitely fill them with evil things. Truly thankful people do not complain. They are so busy being grateful for the good things they do have that they have no time to notice the things they could complain about. Praise and thanksgiving are good; complaining and grumbling are evil.

From the book New Day, New You by Joyce Meyer. Copyright 2007 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.