The Freedom of a Calm, Cool and Steady Life

People are born to be free; it’s a gift from God. The question is, are you willing to go through whatever it takes to be free, or do you want to stay in the mess you’re in for the rest of your life? If you want to be free, the key is to start doing what God wants you to do, one step at a time, and you’ll eventually walk out of your messes.

In 2 Timothy 4:5, Paul told Timothy to be calm, cool and steady and to keep performing the duties of his ministry. That’s good advice for all of us.

Instead of being ruled by our emotions when we’re confronted with problems, we should calm down and focus on doing what God has called us to do. If you’re upset about something, instead of letting it ruin your life, turn it into something good.

Overcome evil and anger by praying for those who hurt and abuse you. Counter feelings of selfishness by doing something good for someone else.

Whenever the enemy tries to stir up your emotions, calm down and do what God has called you to do!

Prayer Starter: Holy Spirit, help me to be calm, cool and steady, so that I can be free to do the work that You are calling me to do.

—-from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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Self-Control Applies to Every Area

There are certain messages in the Bible that apply to everything – self-control is one of them. It doesn’t matter what kind of problem we have in our lives, self-control comes into play in every area. If we don’t discipline ourselves, our emotions will rule us and our lives will be miserable.

Exercising self-control means living in moderation. Everything in life requires quality decisions and discipline to make it happen. So many of our problems are a direct result of a lack of discipline. Financial debt happens when we can’t control our spending habits, bad health follows when we can’t control our eating habits, etc.

If you are in a situation that seems overwhelming to get out of, a lot of discipline and self-control may be required. Thankfully, God has given us the Holy Spirit to live in us and help us.

If you are born again, you have the Spirit of Christ inside you – complete with the fruit of self-control. You may not have developed it, but know that it’s there. You have what it takes. Make a decision to develop self-control through your relationship with the Holy Spirit.

Prayer Starter: God, I choose a spirit of discipline and self-control. By the power of Your Spirit in me, I will do what You tell me to do and not be controlled by my feelings.

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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Processing Your Anger

All anger, regardless of its cause, has the same effect on our lives. It upsets us, causing us to feel pressure. Keeping anger locked inside and pretending it doesn’t exist can even be dangerous to our health. Most of the time we’re only hurting ourselves, and the person who angered us isn’t even aware of it.

I struggled with terrible anger until God grabbed my attention. I eventually had to find a positive way to process my anger. That was a place of new beginnings for me.
When you face your anger and decide to deal with it God’s way, you can overcome it. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to be stable and walk in the fruit of the Spirit. We have the power to forgive those who do injustices in our lives and to love the unlovely.

So we must take responsibility for our anger and learn to deal with it. Instead of keeping it all bottled up inside, seek the Lord and ask Him to help you release it. Process it and bring closure to it, and that will relieve the pressure.

Prayer Starter: Lord, I don’t want to keep my anger inside of me because that will only damage me and it’s not pleasing to You. I ask for Your help. Help me to relieve the pressure of anger in my life.

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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Forgiveness: The Key to Keeping the Devil Out of Your Life

Forgiveness helps us because it releases God to do His work in us. I’m happier and feel better physically when I’m not filled with the poison of unforgiveness. Serious diseases can develop as a result of the stress and pressure that bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness put on a person.

The Father can’t forgive our sins if we don’t forgive other people. We reap what we sow. Sow mercy, and you’ll reap mercy; sow judgment, and you’ll reap judgment. You need to forgive, by the grace of God in your life, to leave the door of your heart open to the Lord.

Unforgiveness gives the devil a foothold, which he needs to create a stronghold. When he has a stronghold, he can block the influence of the Holy Spirit. But whether or not he has the power to do that in your life is entirely up to you.

When you forgive, it keeps the enemy from getting an advantage over you and keeps your fellowship with God flowing freely. So do yourself a favor, and be quick to forgive.

Prayer Starter: God, I don’t want to give Satan a foothold or a stronghold in my life. I don’t want anything to hinder or get in the way of my fellowship with You. I release my unforgiveness so that I can fellowship freely with You

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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Making ‘Common’ Things Holy

Often we feel divided within ourselves, struggling to get finished with common life and everyday business so we can return to holy things because we feel that we are holier, or more right with God, when we are doing what we believe to be holy things.

We must have understanding how, in reality, there’s no difference between what’s common and holy, except in our minds. Everything we do is to be offered to the Lord; and if done so with a pure heart of love, it becomes holy. You can do common tasks, like go to the grocery store, and it’ll be just as holy as prayer, as long as you do it all to the glory and honor of God.

Romans 14 is an excellent chapter in the Bible to bring liberty in this area. My personal translation of verses 5-6 is that one man sees prayer and Bible study as holier than ordinary tasks, while a person who’s really free in the Lord sees them all alike (all holy), because whatever he does, he does in honor of the Lord.

Instead of only giving part of your life to God, make a choice today to make everything you do holy by offering it to Him.

Prayer Starter: God, I want my entire life to be holy, not just one section of it. I offer all of my everyday activities to You. I live my life to honor You.

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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Be Frank With God

Did you know that admitting your hopelessness to God can be a statement of faith? Trusting God yet feeling despair at the same time, David wrote, “I believed, so I said, “I am completely ruined!'” (Psalm 116:10 NCV)

This sounds like a contradiction: I trust God, but I’m wiped out! David’s frankness actually reveals deep faith: First, he believed in God. Second, he believed God would listen to his prayer. Third, he believed God would let him say what he felt and still love him.

Focus on who God is – his unchanging nature. Regardless of circumstances and how you feel, hang on to God’s unchanging character. Remind yourself what you know to be eternally true about God: he is good, he loves you, he is with you, he knows what you’re going through, he cares, and he has a good plan for your life. Raymond Edman said, “Never doubt in the dark what God told you in the light.”

Trust God to keep his promises. During times of spiritual dryness you must patiently rely on the promises of God, not your emotions, and realize that he is taking you to a deeper level of maturity.

—from Rick Warren’s daily devotional

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From Seedtime to Harvest

Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us that there is a season for everything. We don’t all live in the same season at the same time. You should never be jealous of someone who is enjoying harvest while you’re still in the planting season. Remember, they had to go through a season of planting just as you are.

Seedtime represents learning the will of God. Each time I choose God’s will instead of my own, I’m planting a good seed that will eventually bring a harvest in my life.

Between seedtime and harvest comes a time of waiting. Roots shoot down, digging their way through the ground. It takes time for this to happen, and it takes place underground. Above the ground, you can’t tell anything is happening.

After we plant seeds of obedience, we feel like nothing is happening, but all kinds of things are happening inside where we can’t see. And like the seed that finally bursts through the ground with a beautiful green shoot, our seeds of obedience will finally break forth into a beautiful manifestation of God in our lives.

Prayer Starter: Lord, because seedtime is necessary for harvest time, I won’t get discouraged while I’m waiting and feeling like nothing’s happening. I will continue to obey and trust You, knowing that You will bring me into my harvest at just the right time.

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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The Danger of Jealousy

Anger caused by jealousy is one of the first negative emotions mentioned in the Bible. Genesis 4 tells us that Cain killed his brother Abel because he was jealous to the point of being angry. Although this is one of the more extreme results of jealousy, it reminds us of how dangerous jealousy can be.

In today’s society many people feel their status is dependent on their job or position in the church. Because of this mindset, they’re afraid someone else may get promoted ahead of them. Jealousy causes them to try to be important in the eyes of man.
If you have this problem, understand that God has you where you are for a reason. He knows what’s in your future, and He may have you in training for it right now.

Don’t despise the days of small beginnings. Our rewards come from obeying the specific callings He’s placed on our lives, not from jealously trying to achieve things that you think will impress people. Don’t let jealousy grow in you. Trust God to place you where you need to be.

Prayer Starter: God, jealousy is dangerous and I don’t want to have any part of it. My status isn’t dependent on worldly positions and recognition. All I need is You.

from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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Facing the Truth Brings a Happier Life

Nobody can be set free from a problem until they’re willing to admit they have one. An alcoholic, drug addict or anyone who’s lost control of their life is doomed to suffer until they’re able to say, “I’ve got a problem, and I need help with it.”

Even though our problems may have been brought upon us because of something done against our will, we have no excuse for allowing the problem to persist, grow and even take control over our entire life. Our past experiences may have made us the way we are, but we don’t have to stay that way. We can take the initiative by taking positive steps to change things, and we can ask for God’s help.

Whatever your problem may be, you must face the truth and assume some personal responsibility. The Bible says we must evaluate ourselves. That might seem daunting, but Jesus Christ is in you and can help you through any past problems and issues.
Face the truth, it can be the beginning of a happier life!

Prayer Starter: Holy Spirit, I don’t want to live in denial and fear of my problems. I choose to evaluate myself and get to the bottom of these issues because I know that You can help me work through them to have a happier life.

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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Hope: The Happy Anticipation of Good Things

I define hope as “the happy anticipation of good things.” When we anticipate the goodness of God in our lives, it opens the door to greater happiness. So are you aggressively hoping for something good to happen to you?

As long as we live, you and I are always going to be heading somewhere. God created us to be goal-oriented visionaries. Without a vision, we become bored and hopeless. And “hope deferred makes the heart sick,” according to Proverbs 13:12, “but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.”

God wants us to live by His hope so that we can enjoy life.

You’re not going to be happy if you don’t have hope. The more hope you have in God, the happier you become. Hope believes everything is going to turn out all right, hope is positive! To enjoy life you must maintain a good, hopeful attitude. God is positive, and He wants positive things to happen to each of us, so fill yourself with His hope today and live with the happy anticipation of good things.

Prayer Starter: God, I make the choice today to happily anticipate Your goodness in my life. And as my hope increases, I know that my joy will increase too. Lord, I put my hope in You!

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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