Start the new year with some inspiring words from world renowned speaker and author Joyce Meyer


God’s Word, the Bible, has helped me overcome many problems and has changed my life and the lives of millions of other people. Jesus is the Word made flesh who came to dwell on earth, among us (John 1:14). He came to save us from our sins and to give us an abundant life filled with every blessing we can imagine (Matthew 1:21; John 10:10). 

I always knew Jesus died to save me from my sins, but I was not aware that He also died for me to have an abundant life, a life I could enjoy. God’s Word does many things for us if we study it, believe it, and apply it to our lives. People are destroyed because they lack knowledge (Hosea 4:6). I have studied God’s Word for more than forty years, and it has been the best investment of time I could have made. 

Just reading God’s Word it doesn’t make us free; we must apply it and do what it instructs us to do

I am amazed at what I did not know in my early years as a Christian and therefore could not apply to my life. I went to church each week in those days, but I did not study God’s Word for myself. Spending time on our own studying God’s Word is necessary for us to grow in our faith. Hearing others teach God’s Word is important too, but studying it for ourselves is what plants it deeply in our hearts. I had a lot of dysfunctional behaviour in my life due to being sexually abused by my father and abandoned to the abuse by my mother, but God has healed my wounded soul through the power of His Word. Perhaps you have also been hurt in various ways. No matter what has caused your pain or how deep the wounds may be, I can assure you that God will also heal you and teach you how to be an overcomer in life if you ask Him to and apply His Word to your life. 

John 8:31–32 says that if we continue in God’s Word, we will know the truth and the truth will make us free. However, just reading it doesn’t make us free; we must apply it and do what it instructs us to do. One good example is the subject of forgiving those who have hurt us. Jesus says we must forgive our enemies, pray for them, and bless them (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27–28). This seems to be unfair, and it is difficult emotionally, so most people simply don’t do it. Someone who has hurt you may not deserve your forgiveness, but you deserve peace. Forgiving them will give you peace. 

Many people are filled with bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness, which opens a door for their enemy, Satan, to enter their lives and bring destruction. They may be familiar with the Word, but because they are not willing to apply it, it won’t bring the freedom and healing that they need. God always shows us what to do, and He gives us the strength and courage to do it. However, we still have to act on it. He will not force us to do things His way, because He has given us free will. My prayer is that as you see in this book all the wonderful things God’s Word promises to do for you, you will want to study it and apply it to your life. If you do, I can promise you that you will never be sorry. “For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” 1 John 5:4–5.


God’s Word brings stability, fruitfulness, and prosperity 

“And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity]” Psalm 1:3, AMPC.

To understand Psalm 1:3, we need to know Psalm 1:2, where the psalmist writes about someone who is blessed, saying: “But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night” (AMPC). A person who desires, delights in, meditates on, and studies God’s Word is characterised by stability, fruitfulness, and prosperity. 

Stability A tree firmly planted will not be affected by the storms of nature. Dave and I have a huge, old, deeply rooted oak tree in our backyard, and although we have endured many storms in the years we have lived here, that tree has not sustained any damage other than a few broken branches. Other trees have been destroyed, uprooted, and blown away by the storms, but not the firmly planted oak tree. Isaiah 61:3 says that those of us who belong to God will become “trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified” (NKJV). God wants us to be firmly planted in His Word and not to be affected by the storms of life. 

Not all storms are in the forecast, meaning we cannot foresee all the difficult situations we may encounter in life. We all face unexpected circumstances that are unpleasant, and the way we handle those things reveals a lot about our character and maturity. God wants you to be firmly planted in His Word. We make a big mistake if we think every day will be just as we plan it to be. A few weeks ago, I was having a peaceful day, and suddenly someone heard something that made them angry. I ended up in the path of the anger and got drawn into the situation without wanting to be. It took about two days of my life to get that particular storm calmed, and it wasn’t even my storm! The situation was frustrating, and I was tempted to stay angry with the person who didn’t control their temper, but then God reminded me that I teach others to forgive quickly and I needed to do the same. (Ouch! I don’t like it when God preaches my own sermons to me.) I immediately started praying, asking God to help me obey Him and forgive swiftly. 

Because my emotions were stirred up, I knew I needed God’s help. He did help me, and I was able to forgive, let go of the situation, and move on with my life as if nothing had happened. How do you handle the storms of life? Do you do what God’s Word says to do, regardless of how you feel? Or do you become emotional and unstable? God is always available to help you handle life’s storms in a godly way. All you need to do is ask. 

Fruitfulness Meditating on God’s Word brings fruitfulness, and that is an important thing. Today, people are very busy, but that doesn’t mean they are busy doing what will bear good fruit for God (meaning to make a positive difference in the world and to bring honor to Him). God has not called us to be busy, but He has called us to be fruitful. Jesus says that if we abide in Him, we will bear “much fruit” (John 15:5, NKJV). To abide means to live, dwell, and remain in. Meditating on God’s Word is part of the abiding lifestyle. We cannot have only a forty-five-minute visit with Jesus on Sunday morning during a church service and not think of Him until the next Sunday, yet expect to live a fruitful life. Abiding in Christ in our lifestyle means we include Him in everything we do and acknowledge Him in all things. We talk to Him, think about Him, and think about His Word throughout each day. It also means that God’s Word rules, and when a decision needs to be made, we make the one that agrees with His Word. There are two words that can never go together in the life of a Christian: “No, Lord!” If He is our Lord, then our answer must always be yes. It can never be no. 

Prosperity It is important for us to remember that the word prosperity refers to more than financial abundance. It is a word that describes wholeness and conveys a sense of thriving in every area of our lives. Certainly, people can prosper financially, but we can also prosper in our relationships, in the way we enjoy and use the gifts and talents God has given us, and in life’s intangible qualities, such as love, joy, peace, and a sense of purpose. 

Abiding in God and His Word brings stability, fruitfulness, and prosperity into our lives. When people see these blessings in our lives, our witness for Christ is strengthened, because people see the goodness of God and desire to have the life He offers.

This is an extract from Joyce’s new book, Overcoming Every Problem: 40 promises from God’s word to strengthen you through life’s challenges (Hodder & Stoughton). Available now.