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.


Love: Your First Priority 

Where does love fit into your list of priorities? Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you” (JOHN 13:34 NKJV). It seems to me that Jesus was saying love is the main thing on which we should concentrate. The apostle Paul states that “faith, hope, love abide . . . but the greatest of these is love” (1 CORINTHIANS 13:13). 
Love should be number one on our spiritual priority list. We should study love, pray about love, and develop the fruit of love by practicing loving others. God is love, so when we walk in His love we abide in Him. 

Because we walk in God’s love by receiving and expressing it, we should not deceive ourselves into thinking we can love God while we hate other people (SEE 1 JOHN 4:20). It took me about forty-five years to realize that my priorities were mixed up and that I was not making love the main thing in my life. The commitment to learn how to walk in love has been the single best decision I have ever made as a Christian. 

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

Use Your Words to Succeed at Being Yourself

 Never say or think negative things about yourself, such as, “I never do anything right. I’ll never change. I’m ugly. I look terrible. I’m dumb. Who could ever love me?” Matthew 12:37 says, “By your words you will be justified…and by your words you will be condemned.” Proverbs 23:7 (KJV) says, “As [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he.” In other words, the way we talk and think about ourselves reveals how we feel about ourselves and affects our lives. 
You need to speak good things about yourself (as private confessions) in line with what the Word says about you. For example: “I am the righteousness of God in Christ. I am made acceptable in the Beloved. God created me and formed me with His own hands, and God doesn’t make mistakes.” 

I like starting the day declaring positive, biblical confessions. You can do this while you’re driving to work or cleaning house. I also encourage you to look in the mirror and say out loud, “God loves and accepts me, and so do I.” When you start to speak good, positive truth about yourself, you can succeed at being yourself, just the way God created you to be.

Prayer Starter: God, I’m done with speaking negative things about myself. I declare the truth that You love me and accept me. I can be all that You created me to be.

—from Joyce Meyer daily devotional 

Our Standard Is Jesus 

Obey God in every little thing, and you will enjoy an excellent life. Be diligent in your obedience. Learn to live your life before God and not before man. Go the extra mile and do all the little things that God tells you to do, even though nobody else may ever know. Put your grocery cart back in the stall where it belongs instead of leaving it out in the middle of the parking lot. Why? Because the owner of the property has put up a sign saying, “Please return carts here,” and God has said to submit to authority (SEE TITUS 3:1). 

The flesh says, “Well, everybody else leaves their carts everywhere; why should I put mine up?” Because our standard is not others – our standard is Jesus. When I compare myself to everybody else, I don’t look too bad. But if I compare myself to Jesus, I am humbled and ask God to help me! Until Jesus comes to get us, we need to compare ourselves to Him and the standard of holiness that He holds up for our lives. 

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

Go to the Throne Before the Phone! 

Don’t run around seeking counsel from just anyone. Pray first, asking the Lord whether it is His will that you go to another human being for counsel or whether He desires to counsel you Himself. In my own life I have had many, many problems, yet I never went to anyone else for counsel with the exception of one time. On this occasion I visited a lady in ministry who had been abused herself. I do not mean to discredit her, but she really was not able to help me. It was not her fault; she simply was not anointed by the Lord to do so.

God is not obligated to anoint what He does not initiate. So often people run to others without following the guidance and leadership of the Holy Spirit, and it never bears good, lasting fruit. When you are in trouble, go to the throne before you go to the phone. I do not mean to suggest that it is wrong to seek counsel. I am just suggesting that you pray and allow the Lord to lead and guide you through the Holy Spirit. Let Him choose the right counselor for you. Just because a person has been through what you are going through, or is a close personal friend, does not mean that individual is the right counselor for you. So I repeat, pray! 

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