Hi, this is Joel and Victoria. Thanks for listening to our podcast and thanks for supporting the ministry. If you enjoy today's message, why don't you be a blessing and share it with a friend? We appreciate you and for God's very best in your life.
And God bless you. It's always a joy to come into your homes, and if you're ever in our area, stop by and be a part of one of our services, I promise you will make you feel right at home. These are the finest people in all of Houston, Texas, right here at Lakewood. So come to your heart. Thanks for tuning in. Thank you again for coming out. And I'd like to start with something funny and heard about this minister.
He parked in a no parking zone downtown in a large city, and he left a note on the windshield, said, Officer, I've circled this block 10 times. If I don't park here, I'm going to miss my appointment and big letters. He wrote, Forgive us our trespasses, returned to his car and he found he had a ticket. Officer had written him a note. It said, Sir, I've circled this block for 10 years. If I don't give you a ticket, I could lose my job.
Big letters, he wrote, lead us not into temptation. Hold up your Bible. Say it like you mean it. This is my Bible. I am what it says I am. I have what it says I have. I can do what it says I can do today. I will be taught the word of God. I boldly confess. My mind is alert. My heart is receptive.
I will never be the same in Jesus name. God bless you. You want to talk to you today about not giving away your joy. We have opportunities every day to get upset, to go around frustrated, can't find the car keys, traffic is backed up. Or maybe somebody was rude to us or what should have taken an hour ended up taking four hours. There will always be something that can sour our day. If we're going to live in victory, we have to have the right approach to life.
I've heard it said life is ten percent. What happens to you and 90 percent how you respond. Some people are frustrated because they're trying to control the ten percent. They're not going to be happy unless everything goes their way and everybody treats them right. All their plans work out. That's the wrong approach. You can't control the traffic. What your neighbor does or how your boss treats you. All you can control is your own response. That's where the power lies, not in trying to control everybody and everything.
I hear people say I'd be happy if my spouse treated me better. I'd be happy if my boss would move to another planet. I'd be happy if I didn't have to sit in traffic every day. Joel, no. You're allowing what you can't control to sour your life. You have to change your approach the first part of the day before we get out of bed, we need to make a decision that no matter what comes our way, we are not going to get upset.
No matter what somebody says, we're not going to be offended no matter what interruption or delay. We're not going to be sour. The key is to decide ahead of time. Then when life happens, traffic is worse than normal. Your children forget their homework at school. Your wife is in one of those moods. Somebody said PMS means pretty mean sister.
When your plans don't work out, it's no big deal. You've already decided this is the day the Lord has made. You're going to live it happy, but you can't wait till you're in the heat of the battle. It's too late. You've got to decide ahead of time. Then when things come against you, you're prepared. Your mind is already made up. But too often we think, God, if you just change these people, change the circumstances, then I could be happy.
But the fact is, you could take someone with the right approach and put them in your same situation. They wouldn't be upset. It wouldn't be stress. They'd be at peace, in joy in life. Why they know God is in control, that he's directing their stamps, that all things are going to work together for their good. They've already made this decision that no matter what comes their way, they're going to live their life happy.
And if you just make this simple adjustment, then what's upsetting you now doesn't have to upset you any longer. You have the power to be happy right where you are. That's what Jesus said in John. Sixteen, twenty two. No man can take your joy. That means other people cannot make you be unhappy.
No circumstance can force you to get upset. Nothing can take your joy. You have to give it away. You're in complete control of your happiness. Somebody is rude to you.
What they're really saying is give me your joy. Somebody cut you off in traffic. Let me have your joy. Somebody ignores you, leaves you out of a meeting. They're asking for your joy. You have a choice. You can. Give it to them, go around upset, frustrated, offended, or you can make a much better decision and say no thanks, I need my joy, not going to get upset because you were rude, not going to be offended because you didn't speak to me.
I'm going to be frustrated because you cut me off in traffic. I've already made up my mind. I'm will live this day happy. I'll give you mercy. I'll give you understand. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. But one thing I will not give you is my joy. While back, I was in a parking lot driving around and around looking for a parking spot. Finally, this couple came out of the store and headed toward their car.
I had to guess which aisle I thought they were going to be on and just so happened to turned down the right one. They were parked at the very first spot closest to the store. Of course, I thought, thank you, Lord, for your favor. I was waiting there, but when they backed out, a car came from the main road and pulled it didn't go in the wrong direction and got that spot. You had been waiting the whole time.
My first inclination was to hold my horn, give them a piece of my mind. But then I remembered I'm a pastor of a church and I had to do what I'm asking you to do. I thought, no, I've already made up my mind. I'm not going to get upset today. I'll give them the parking spot, but I'm not going to give them my joy. When you're tempted to be upset, somebody does. You're wrong. You need to ask yourself, is this worth me giving up my joy over?
They've already done me wrong. Am I going to make it worse by letting them sour my whole day? And some people wonder why they're not happy. It's because they gave away joy when they couldn't find their car keys and gave away joy when they heard they had to work late, gave away more joy when they found out somebody was talking about them. It's not their circumstances that are keeping them from being happy. It's the fact that they keep giving away their joy.
And Putin's life is way too short to let these interruptions and irritations to keep us from being happy. We're never going to get away from them. You can't just pray them away. It's a part of life and it's very freeing when you learn this principle. I don't have to give away my joy. There's nothing people can say, nothing they can do. No circumstance can keep me from living this day.
Happy now take inventory of your life. What are you allowing to upset you? What's causing you to be stressed it what it is and then make the decision to change your approach. A lot of times it's a small thing that we're making a big deal out of. Keep the right perspective. Is it really worth losing your joy because you couldn't find the remote control to the television or your spouse didn't pick up his clothes like you ask him to? Your child forgot his lunch.
You had to run back to the school. You're going to be inconvenienced for fifteen minutes. That's a small thing. Don't give up your joy over there. Love this story. My brother Paul told he and his wife Jennifer have four beautiful children in a few years back. They were all under the age of seven. If you have small children, you know how hectic and stressful that can be. One of Paul's pet peeves is he always likes to be on time.
He does not want to be late. And one day they had this important event to go to. And Paul started way early, an hour before helping to get the kids dressed and ready to go. But when it came time to leave, everything that could go wrong did one of the children spilled something on their dress. They had to turn around, go back and change. Then the dog got out. He had to chase him down. He got a phone call.
I had to deal with something else. He could feel his blood pressure rising higher and higher just before he lost his cool. You went in the den, sat on the couch and said to himself, you know, it's not really that big a deal to be five minutes late to Chuck E. Cheese. Don't make a big deal out of something that's not a big deal, and that's not the only dumb thing he's done either. But I wonder how many, you know, listen now.
I wonder how many things last week we let upset us that were small things. How many times did we get stressed over something that in the big picture didn't really matter? You didn't get news that you have a major illness. You just found out you had to work late one night or your ballgame was canceled or there was a detour and you had to take the long way home. There are enough big issues in life to deal with. Make sure you're not giving away your joy over something, Small says.
In Proverbs, a relaxed attitude will lengthen your life. But when we're uptight, everything's going to be perfect. Got to go our way on our schedule. If not, we're going to get all stressed out. That not only sours our day, but it could be shortening our life. Learn to relax, go with the flow, know that God is directing your steps. Don't fight against everything that doesn't go your way one time, Victoria. Now we're at Disneyland with our children.
It was ten o'clock at night. We'd been at the park all day long and as we were leaving, Victoria wanted to go into the gift shop with our son Jonathan and pick up a few souvenirs. I was carrying our daughter Alexandra. She was two years old and she was asleep on my shoulder. And I was hot, tired, been walking around all day. I said, Victoria, no, I don't want to stop at this gift shop.
She said, Come on, George, it's going to take me a minute. Said, All right. And I went out, sat on the bench at the entryway to Disneyland. Just so happened, that was a big clock up in front of me. I waited five minutes, ten minutes, fifteen minutes. Twenty minutes. You know how when you're waiting, things seem to take a lot longer than it really is. And the longer I waited, the more frustrated I got.
I not only gave away my joy, I gave away my peace, my strength, everything I had. I was hot. And Allison was making me more hot as I was holding her. And what was my big problem? I had a major accident, lost my job. Now I just had to wait an extra half hour at Disneyland. I got up, went in the gift shop, said Victoria. That's it. I've had it. I'm going to the car.
Just meet me there. She said, No, no, wait. We're just about to check out. I said, no, no, I'm tired, Victor. I'm going to go to the car. I knew I should have waited for, but I just too irritated when we're upset, stressed, frustrated. We don't make good decisions. Now, I got on the train I'm still carrying Alexandra took the fifteen minute ride to the parking lot. The only problem was I couldn't remember where we had parked.
We were driving a white rental car. Do you know how many white rental cars there are at Disneyland in the summer? I bet there's ten thousand. I went up and down hour after hour after hour. So tired, totally sweating. Finally I had to do what no grown man likes to do. I had to go to the train station, say I can't find my car. Muswell said I'm a loser. It was an older man there and he was very friendly, said, don't worry about it, I'll help you.
Did you park in the Mickey and Friends parking lot or did you park in the Lion King parking lot? Said, I have no idea. He said, Well, did you see Mickey Mouse when you drove in or did you see Simba? I said, I don't know who Simba is. He said, Do you know who Donald Duck is? Long story short, I parked on the other side of Disneyland. I had to get back on the tram, go back to where I started, catch another tram.
An hour later, I showed up at the car. Little Jonathan was about five. He came running out. Daddy, Daddy, where have you been? I thought I'll never tail. I learned my lesson. Number one, be patient number two, Victoria Sharp, as much as she wants to show. Number three, don't give away your joy. Jesus, said John, fourteen twenty seven. Stop allowing yourself to be upset and agitated. Notice it's a choice.
He didn't say I'll take away everything that will cause stress and frustration. He said it'll still be there. But if you have the right approach, it doesn't have to upset you. We all have to deal with not only delays inconveniences, but we have to deal with people that are hard to get along with, people that are rude, inconsiderate, annoying. Sometimes it's not a stranger, somebody that's closer to you. One lady told how one of her husband's relatives was very opinionated.
He was always making these sarcastic, demeaning remarks toward her. And this couple had just been married for a little while. And every time they went to a family get together, invariably he would say something that offended her. It would get her upset and end up ruining the whole trip. And this happened like clockwork again and again. Got to where she dreaded going to these family events. Finally, she said to her husband, you've got to do something about this man.
He's your relative. And she expected her husband say something like, you're right, honey, nobody should talk to you like that. I'm going to go in there and straighten him out. But he did just the opposite. He said, Honey, I love you, but I can't control this man. He has every right to have his opinion. He can say what he wants to, but you have every right to not let it offend you. She couldn't understand why her husband wouldn't get in there and straighten it out.
This happened time and time again. She kept getting upset. Every time he'd walk into one room, this man, she would walk into another. If this man came inside, she'd make sure she went outside. Her whole focus was centered on avoiding this man. One day it was like a light turned on. She realized she was giving away her joy. She was letting this one person who has issues of his own to keep her from being who she was meant to be.
Now, you may have somebody in your life like this, and if you don't make this adjustment, you'll go the next twenty years, allowing them to upset you, change your approach. Every time you let them irritate you, all that's doing is empowering them. The next time they do something that would normally get on your nerves. Don't give away your joy when they're rude. Keep a smile on your face. If they ignore you, leave you out.
Don't go call all your friends and talk about it when you stay on the high road. Keep your joy, keep your peace. You're not fueling it anymore. In other words, you're taking away their power. But as long as they know they can push this button and you'll get upset this button, it'll ruin the rest of your day. They'll continue to do it, says in Psalms. God has given us the power to remain calm in times of adversity that say the people may not change, the circumstances may not change, but you have the power to stay calm.
You don't have to give away your joy. I call to order a pizza one time. The first thing they always ask for is your phone number. The young lady answered the phone and I said very politely, Hello? And I went on to give her my phone number. You would have thought I'd just committed a major crime. She practically screamed in my ear, Sir, I am not ready for your phone number. And when I am ready, I will ask you for your phone number.
I thought, Lady, I'll give you my phone number. Whenever I feel like giving you my phone, I thought I'll call you two o'clock in the morning, give you my phone number. Forty seven different times I could feel myself tempted to be aggravated, upset, irritated. I had to ask myself, am I going to give her my joy? Was I going to let this young lady that I'd never seen, never met, didn't want to meet, calls me to get sour ruin the rest of my evening?
Or was I going to say no thanks? I need my joy. I've already decided I'm not going to get upset. I know I have the power to stay calm in a time of adversity. I kept my joy. I saw it as a challenge as mean and rude as she was to me. I was going to be that kind and friendly back to her.
The Scripture says we overcome evil with good. When somebody is rude, inconsiderate, too often we sink down to their level. We're rude, inconsiderate back to them. But the way to really overcome is to do just the opposite. You've heard the phrase. Kill them with kindness. That's what I tried to do, I thought of anything that I could possibly compliment her own. I had to use my imagination.
I said, I sure appreciate you answering the phone so quickly and taking my order, being so efficient. You guys make the best pizzas. You're always on time, on and on. I win by the time I was done. She is my best friend. She was throwing in hot wings and Dr. Pepper. Don't give away your joy, Paul told Timothy in the scripture, stay calm, cool and steady, some of you are letting things upset you way too easily.
Traffic, weather, grumpy salesperson, inconsiderate receptionist, family member that talks down to you. Draw the line in the sand and say, that's it. This is a new day. I'm not giving away my joy anymore. I'm to stay calm, cool and steady. A friend of mine is a man named David Polly.
He's written a book called The Law of the Garbage Truck. He told how he was in New York City in a taxi cab headed toward a meeting when a car pulled out in front of them. The taxi driver had to slam on his brakes, swerve to the left, missed the other car only by inches. The driver of the other car, it was his fault. But he put his head out the window and started screaming, yelling, had his fist in the air.
So angry, so upset, frustrated. This taxi cab driver, he just smiled, waved at him real big and drove on. Didn't give it the time of day. David, sitting in the back seat was so impressed. He said, wow, that man almost totaled your car cintas both to the hospital. I can't believe you didn't yell back at him. How could you stay so calm? The taxi driver had a very insightful answer. He said, I found most people are like garbage trucks.
They go around full of frustration, full of resentment, full of anger. As their garbage piles up, they need someplace to dump it. Sometimes they'll dump it on you. You can't take it personally, doesn't have anything to do with you. Just smile, wave and wish them well. Here's the key. Successful people don't let garbage trucks ruin their day. Somebody dumps a load on you. Don't get upset. If you make that mistake, you'll take their garbage and most likely dump it on somebody else.
No, keep your lid on. These days, we need to have a steel lid. A lot of people dumping poison, anger, resentment, criticism. We can't stop them from dumping it. But if we'll keep our lid on tight, it doesn't have to affect us. Years ago, I was at an electronics store to buy some parts for our television cameras. The parts were in the back and the staff members had to go get them for you.
And I was standing at the counter. There was a man behind it on the telephone. Nobody else was there to wait on me. So I just stood there and waited and waited. This man could see that I needed help, but he wasn't the least bit interested in hurrying. After about fifteen minutes, he hung up the phone. I was standing right in front of him, not three feet away, but he never looked up. He started reading something.
I waited patiently. Another four, five, six minutes. Finally, I said very politely, Excuse me, sir, would you mind getting this part from me? He looked up like I had totally offended him. I gave him the piece of paper with the part number on it, and he looked at it for maybe three seconds and basically threw it back at me, said, as rude as can be, we don't even carry that part here.
Well, I bought that part there many times before. And again, I said very kindly, sir, I believe I purchased it here before. Would you mind at least taking a look at his face? Got real red. Looked like he's about to explode. He used several curse words. He said, Son, I'm telling you, we don't sell it here now. Don't ever ask me for it again. I smiled, said have a nice day.
Didn't mean it, but at least I said it. He dumped his garbage, but I thought, I'm not going to let that ruin my day. I know the secret. I've got my little I'm not going to let it affect me. I've already decided I'm not going to get upset. You have to be aware of the garbage trucks in life. When somebody dumps a load on, you don't take it personally. It's not about you. It's about all the trash they've accumulated, all the issues they're not dealing with.
You just happen to be the one. They dump it on the key. Keep your lid on tight. Don't let it bother you. Jesus, put it this way. Happy are the meek. They will inherit the kingdom of God. We hear that word meek and a lot of times we think it means weak. We're supposed to let people run all over us. Insecure, timid. No, meekness is not weakness. It's strength under control. It's like a wild horse that's been tamed.
The horse is just as strong, just as powerful. He can run just as fast. The only difference is now you can go up and pet him. You can ride him. His strength is under control. When you're a meat person, you don't try to argue with people, prove to them who you are. If somebody is rude to you, sure, you could be rude back to them, but your strength is under control. I could have told that man what I thought of him, what he should do and where he should go.
But you're not going to be happy if you're trying to straighten everybody out, paying back an insult with another insult, thinking I'm not going to let you get the best of me. No, when you're meat, you don't let things bother you.
You don't respond to every critic. You don't get drawn into battles that don't matter. You have the power, the ability. You could easily show them what you're made of, but your strength is under control. When you live like that, God says you'll be happy. It's like this man I heard about. He was at a small country diner eating a hamburger. This motorcycle gang walked in. These guys were big, tough, mean. One of the bikers just to show who was in charge, walked over and knocked the man's hamburger on the ground, picked up his water, poured it on top of the man's head, said very sarcastically, I'm so sorry.
It was just an accident. The man calmly picked up his napkin, wipe the water off of his face, walked out of the restaurant. The biker looked at the waiter, shook his head, said not much of a man, is he? The waiter said no. And he's not much of a driver either. He just ran over a dozen choppers driving out of here. That strength under control, but throughout life, there will always be something that will try to take our joy.
If it's not a grumpy salesperson, it's a family member aggravating you. Traffic's backed up, your flight got delayed. Your spouse is taken too long. Don't go the next 20 years, allowing the same people and same circumstances to frustrate you, change your approach. What's upsetting you now doesn't have to upset you anymore. Keep your lid on. Stay calm, cool and steady. A relaxed attitude is going to lengthen your life. And the next time you're tempted to be upset, ask yourself, is this really worth me giving up my joy over?
If you make this decision to not give away your joy to live each day happy, God promises you'll be strong, you'll have better relationships, you'll accomplish more. And I believe and declare you will enjoy the abundant life God has in store.
I mean, do you receive it today? We never like to close our broadcast without giving you an opportunity to meet Jesus, the Lord of your life.
Would you pray with me? Just say, Lord Jesus, I'll repent of my sins, come into my heart. I'll make you my Lord and Savior friends. If you prayed that simple prayer, we believe you got born again. Get in a good Bible based church. Keep God first place. He's going to take you places that you've never dreamed up.
Thank you for listening to the Toulouse podcast. Help us continue to share the message of hope with those all over the world. Visit Joel Osteen, dotcom slash give hope to give again today. Thanks so much for listening to today's message. I hope you subscribe so you can receive the latest podcast to keep you inspired all through the week. We're praying for you. I know God's best is still ahead. We'll see you next time.