- (Courtesy of Joyce Meyer Ministries)
God has great plans for our lives, and He wants to use us to do great things for Him. But before He can put us in a position to use our gifts and talents in our fullest potential, we have to learn how to be stable, reliable and in control of our emotions.
As Christians, we need to live the life that we claim to represent so that God can use us for what He's called us to do – not just for our own sake, but for the good of those around us. This means our character should be strong in Christ and our motives for using our God-given gifts should be right and pure.
In the early days of my ministry, when I was leading a small Bible study in my home, I had a call on my life to teach the Word like I'm doing it today through our worldwide ministry. But God could not release me to use the full potential of that ability because at that time, I didn't have the spiritual maturity to go along with it.
I remember when I never knew from one day to the next whether I'd be in a good mood or have a bad day. I'd wake up some mornings expecting a good day, but then something would happen that didn't go my way and it would put me in a bad mood for the rest of the day. I let my circumstances control my emotions, and it was a miserable way to live. But the good news is we can change! We can control ourselves, with a lot of help from God, but we need to believe it for ourselves.
The first thing we need to do is stop making excuses. As born-again believers in Christ, we have the power of the Holy Spirit available to us to use self-control. And God will never tell you to do something that you can't do; the key is learning to lean on Him for the strength to do what you need to do. When we do this, we can manage our emotions.
It's also important for us to realize we are in a spiritual war. And the ones who are going to win the war are the ones who are stable. Because your enemy, Satan, comes against you in many ways, you really need to know how to stand against him.
Philippians 1:28 says, "And do not [for a moment] be frightened or intimidated in anything by your opponents and adversaries, for such [constancy and fearlessness] will be a clear sign (proof and seal) to them of [their impending] destruction, but [a sure token and evidence] of your deliverance and salvation, and that from God."
This scripture is saying that God and the devil are both watching us. And when a difficult situation comes our way, we have a choice to make: We can get upset, or we can remain at peace. See, the devil tries to set us up to make us upset. But if we stay calm, Satan knows he can't upset us. And it's also a sign to God that our trust is truly in Him.
No matter how much you say that you trust God, if you are upset all the time, you really aren't trusting Him. What God really wants is for us to look to Him for the help we need, do what we can do, and then trust Him to do what we can't do. God is good; He loves us and He will always do what He says He will do in His Word.
We have the privilege not only to believe in Christ but also to endure a little bit of suffering while we're waiting for His deliverance. It's the hard times in our lives that cause us to grow spiritually. In fact, every day that you stay steadfast while you're waiting for your breakthrough, you're growing spiritually.
Being a Christian doesn't mean you won't have problems; it means that when problems come, God can give you His grace to get through them. Your faith doesn't keep you from difficult situations – it helps you go through them with stability. Because when you're determined to do what's right, especially when it's hard, that's when you grow the most in your faith.
In Exodus 14:13-14, Moses told the Israelites, "Fear not; stand still (firm, confident, undismayed) and see the salvation of the Lord which He will work for you today. For the Egyptians you have seen today you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest."
Remember that God is always with you and He wants to fight for you. When He allows difficult situations to come your way, you can trust Him to be in control and cause everything to work out for good in the end (Romans 8:28). So no matter what happens, hold your peace, remain at rest, keep an attitude of praise and trust God to fight your battles. And remember, we already have the victory in Jesus Christ!
© 2014 Printed with permission of Joyce Meyer Ministries