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Archive for July 30th, 2018

Keeping your joy

From JO’s sermon tonight:

we all have opportunities to get upset, go around frustrated: somebody was rude to us, traffic was backed up, we can’t find our car keys. life is full of inconveniences, delays, people that don’t do right. we’re never going to stop these things from happening; the key is how we handle them. the scripture says no man can take your joy; that means you control your joy; nothing can take it from you, you have to give it away.

next time someone cuts you off in traffic, ask yourself, “is this worth giving them my joy?” that person that’s rude to you on the phone that you’ve never met; are you going to give them your joy? that delay, plan that didn’t work out, negative comment; are you going to let that sour your day? the reason some people are not happy is, they’re constantly giving away their joy.

you can’t control what people do, say, but you can control how you respond. quit giving away your joy, letting the same people upset you; traffic, delays, things that don’t work out, frustrate you. you can’t pray these things away. that person at the office that gets on your nerves, they may not change; don’t go 20 years giving them your joy. they may not change, but you can change.

life is too short to live frustrated, upset about things we have no control over. people have a right to have their opinion; you have the right to ignore it. people have the right to be rude; you have the right to stay happy. quit letting their negative comments upset you; they wouldn’t be talking about you if you weren’t making a difference. nobody talks about people that aren’t doing anything; they’re talking about you because you’re going places. they can see there’s something special about you; you have the favor of God. you’re blessed, talented, anointed.

sometimes, small-minded people will try to push you down and discredit you. don’t pay any attention to it; that doesn’t carry any weight. what they say cannot keep you from your destiny; that is simply a distraction.

every person has negative chatter. all your family members unfortunately are not going to be for you; George Burns said, “happiness is having a loving, caring, close-knit family, living in another city.” some of your relatives, you have to love them from a distance.

all of your coworkers are not going to celebrate you. all of your friends are not going to be loyal. some people can’t handle your success; they’ll make remarks trying to bait you into conflict, get you upset. don’t get involved in battles that are not between you and your destiny. most of the conflict we engage in is a distraction; the enemy would love to get you off course, offended, trying to straighten people out, convince them that you’re ok. your job is not to change people’s minds about you, make people like you; your job is to run your race, be who God called you to be, not worry about the critics, naysayers.

God will cause the right people to like you. everybody is not supposed to like, approve you; some people are ordained by God to not be for you. you have to accept that everyone is not going to accept you.

we see it in the scripture: Joseph’s brothers weren’t supposed to be for Joseph; they were ordained to betray him. without their betrayal, Joseph would have never made it to the palace to help the Israelites during the famine. quit being sour because somebody betrayed you. how do you know that’s not leading you to your palace, that that disappointment is not a part of God’s plan to take you to the next level of your destiny?

King Saul was ordained to not like David; if he would have celebrated David, been happy for his success, David would have never taken the throne. are you upset because someone is not for you, when the truth is, God has ordained them to not be for you?

when Nehemiah was rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, there were two men, Sanballat and Tobiah; they didn’t like what he was doing. they stood at the bottom of the mountain and constantly shouted insults at Nehemiah, trying to bait him into conflict, get him upset, frustrated. Nehemiah understood this principle; he said, “no thanks, I’m not giving you my joy. you may not like me, but you not liking me has nothing to do with me fulfilling my destiny; I’m going to stay focused on what God called me to do.”

if Nehemiah would have gotten upset, went down there to straighten them out, even if he shut them up, he wouldn’t have finished the wall when he did. all the chatter that comes against you is a distraction, to get you upset so you get involved in battles that don’t matter; then you look up, and you’re not accomplishing what you should. do yourself a favor; don’t pay any attention to it.

quit being upset by people who are not for you, make negative comments, try to marginalize you, push you down. what they say doesn’t determine your destiny; they are simply a distraction, noise, don’t give it the time of day.

some people, no matter what you do, they’re not going to like you. even if you changed, did everything they wanted, they would still find some reason why you don’t measure up. you have to be at peace with people not being at peace with you. you don’t need their approval to fulfill your purpose. you don’t have to have them be for you to become who God created you to be. but if you get distracted trying to win them over, spending your valuable time trying to convince them to be for you, then you will miss the fullness of your destiny. don’t take the bait; don’t let them get you riled up.

Jesus said, “blessed are the meek; they will inherit the earth.” meek doesn’t mean weak, it means strength under control. when you ignore negative comments, don’t pay attention to the Sanballats and Tobiahs of life, you’re not being weak, you’re being meek. you have the power to fight, the strength to straighten them out, tell them what you feel, but your strength is under control; you’re not wasting time engaged in battles that are not between you and your God-given destiny. when you stay on the high road, God will take care of your enemies; God can defend you better that you can defend yourself.

in the scripture, Elisha was traveling from Jericho to Bethel. along the way, a group of young men came out and started making fun of him because he was bald. the scripture says they were mocking him, saying, “go baldy go.” Elisha could have gotten upset; instead, he remained calm, they couldn’t take his joy. they were baiting him, trying to get him distracted; he just stayed focused and continued doing what God called him to do. while those young men were making fun of him, two bears came out of the woods and tore them to pieces.

you don’t have to straighten people out; God will be your vindicator. God knows how to take care of the opposition. He sees what they’re doing, hears the disrespect. if you’ll stay in peace, God will fight your battles. when God does it, it will be better than anything you could have done.

but your feelings will want to pay people back. feelings will tell us, “get even, stand up for yourself”; if you let feelings rule, you’ll get upset, give away your joy. don’t get on board with your feelings. the Psalmist said:

Psalm 94:13 (AMP)
That You may grant him [power to calm himself and find] peace in the days of adversity

it doesn’t say God will keep us from all the adversity, opposition, negative chatter, it says they will come, we’ll have opportunities to get upset, but God has given us power to stay calm. quit telling yourself, “I can’t help it; this person at the office, they just get on my nerves”; you have the power to stay calm. that doesn’t have to keep upsetting you. that is a learned behavior: they say something negative, I get offended. traffic is bad, I get upset. the clerk is rude, I just let them have it. the problem is, you have strength, but it’s not under control. you need to relearn how to respond, develop some new habits. next time something happens that you don’t like, pause for a moment, and say, “Father, thank You that You’re giving me the power to remain calm, a spirit of discipline and self-control.”

you don’t have to let the same things keep upsetting you year after year; change your approach. you may have been trained to respond a certain way, grew up seeing people lose their cool, get upset, offended; why don’t you try a different approach? when you let people upset you, you’re giving away your power, letting them control you; if they push this, button you get offended, that button, you get upset, this other button, they bait you into conflict. why don’t you turn those buttons off? life is so much more freeing when you’re not controlled by what people say, offended when someone’s upset, sour because traffic was bad; you have tapped into the power to remain calm.

many people are like garbage trucks; they go around full of anger, frustration, bitterness. as their garbage piles up, they need somewhere to dump it; sometimes they’ll dump it on you, but you can’t take it personally, it has nothing to do with you. just smile, wish them well, and move on.

successful people don’t let garbage trucks overtake their day. if someone dumps a load on you, don’t get upset; if you make that mistake, you’ll end up carrying around their garbage, and eventually dump it on someone else. you have to keep your lid on. these days, many people are dumping frustration, disrespect, criticism, bitterness; we can’t stop them from dumping it, but we can keep them from affecting us.

we have enough things of our own to deal with; you don’t need somebody else’s bitterness, sour attitude, pressure. keep your lid on tight; let those things bounce off of you. your destiny is too great, your time is too important, to go around weighed down with other people’s garbage. you can’t keep it from coming, but you can keep it from getting in you.

realize how valuable each day is; we’re not always going to be here. it’s easy to live upset, offended, frustrated, but most of the things that are upsetting us, in the big picture, they don’t really matter. traffic was backed up, it took you an hour to get home, it should have taken you 30 minutes; is that worth losing your joy over? you’re alive, healthy, God’s given you a family to love. somebody was rude to you, made you look bad, said something negative; is that worth going around offended, discouraged?

what if we found out we only had a month to live? I wonder how many things we’re allowing to upset us now, if we found out our time was limited, we wouldn’t even pay attention to it. our time IS limited. the scripture says, our life is like a mist; we’re here for a moment, then we’re gone. that little quirk our spouse does that gets on our nerves; if we knew we weren’t going to be here in a month, we wouldn’t let it bother us, we would focus on all the things that are right, not on the few things that are wrong. we wouldn’t complain about driving in traffic; we’d be happy to be in the traffic, we’ve got another day to enjoy life. “I’ve got to go to work”; not me, I GET to go to work. some people don’t have a job, some people are in the hospital, aren’t able to work. I’m grateful to be employed. “it’s Sunday, I’ve got to go to church again”; not me, I get to go to church. God’s been good to me; I’m going to go back and say thank you.

“my boss is not fair, he’s hard to get along with, this is not the position that I want”; somebody would gladly trade places with you. it may not be perfect, but keep the right perspective; God’s blessed you with a job. if you will pass the test of being happy where you are, God can open some new doors. but if you don’t get happy there, you probably won’t get to where you want to be. your boss may not be fair; quit giving him your joy. he doesn’t control your happiness; you control your happiness. but if you let a grouchy boss, neighbor, relative, steal your joy, it’s not their fault, it’s your fault. you are as happy as you want to be.

you have to put your foot down and say, “this is the day that the Lord has made”; I’m not going to live sour, defeated, depressed, let what people do or don’t do, say or don’t say, what I have or not have, keep me from being happy. I’ve made up my mind; I’m going to enjoy this day. it dishonors God to go through the day upset, frustrated, bitter; God gave you breath to be here. He could have chosen anyone, but He chose you. one way we honor God is by being happy, living grateful, having a good attitude, seeing the best in life.

are you letting insignificant things steal your joy: traffic, negative comments, you can’t find something? keep it in perspective; that’s not worth losing your joy over. don’t let the small, insignificant things keep you some from seeing the gift of this day. in the scripture:

Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NIV)
17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

he was saying, “everything’s come against me: I’ve had bad breaks, my business is down, my income is low, surely that’s a reason to be discouraged, go around sour.” his attitude was, “no, I’m not giving away my joy; I’m going to rejoice in the God of my salvation.” salvation means deliverance; when you stay full of joy, despite what comes against you, God is saying, salvation, turn-arounds, healing, increase, victory is coming. I’m asking you to keep your joy.

life is going to throw us some curves: there will be disappointments, things that are not fair. that’s when you have to say, “yet will I rejoice in the Lord.” we should make this decision every morning; “I will be joyful today.” decide ahead of time that you’re going to enjoy the day. when somebody dumps a load on you, when they’re rude, keep your lid on. you’re tempted to get upset; remind yourself, you have the power to remain calm. if you’ll do this, you’re not only going to enjoy your life more, you’re going to be free from unnecessary frustration, bitterness, anger. you’re going to rise higher, live happier, and reach the fullness of your destiny.

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