Recently, we had the opportunity to interview Joyce Meyer for the August edition of Daystar’s monthly newsletter. Only part of the interview was included in the newsletter, but you can read the rest of it right here!
When you were a teenager, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I didn’t really have much of a childhood growing up because of the abuse I went through all those years. When I was a teenager, I didn’t get to do a lot of the things that other kids my age were doing because my dad was very controlling and he wouldn’t allow me to go to school activities, like games and dances. So I didn’t have positive expectations for my future or really dream about what I could do with my life. I was just trying to survive until I could get out on my own.
The amazing thing is that in spite of all of the hurt, anger and negativity that was oppressing me mentally and emotionally, deep down I still believed I could do something great if I had the chance. I know now that God was working in my heart through all those years I was growing up because He loved me and always had a great plan for my life. And because I eventually made a serious commitment to study the Word and grow in my relationship with Him, I was able to discover His call on my life to teach the Word and help hurting people experience God’s love, healing and restoration, too.
Briefly tell us about how you came to Christ.
My parents didn’t go to church, but when I was nine years old, I went with my cousin and her family while I was visiting them. I had heard about Jesus and somehow knew I wanted to be saved. So I was determined to go forward and accept Christ as my Savior that day. But when the service was over, the preacher didn’t ask people to come forward if they wanted to be saved. I was so upset but I took my cousin by the hand and drug her with me to the front of the church and begged the pastor to “save me.” That’s when I prayed and accepted Jesus as my Savior, but I didn’t learn how to grow spiritually and develop a personal relationship with Him until years later.
What was one significant thing that changed in your life after you got saved?
I remember having this determination that someday, I would do something great. It would rise up in my heart at times when I was told I would never be anyone or do anything. I battled a mindset that I would only have a second-rate life for a long time because of the abuse and shame I felt from it. But God was in my heart, and that’s where the determination came from to hope I could be more and do more than that.
God’s perfect, unconditional love and faithfulness are what brought me through all of the healing, restoration and breakthroughs I desperately needed so I could become what He created me to be!
Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
My husband, Dave, has been a strong example consistently of what it means to really love God, to be led by the Holy Spirit and to love others. When we got married, I was a mess because I was filled with anger, bitterness and pain from my past. I was negative and had the attitude “If I don’t expect anything good to happen, I won’t be disappointed when nothing good happens.”
I was so hard to live with, but Dave kept praying and seeking God and he was able to demonstrate God’s love and peace in his daily life. At first, it just made me mad that he wouldn’t be negative and join me in my complaining and worrying about things like finances and other situations we dealt with. But eventually, I came to the place where I was so desperate to have real peace in my life that I realized Dave wasn’t the problem—God needed to change me! It wasn’t easy and it took longer than I wanted it to, but that’s when I started experiencing the total healing and restoration I needed in my mind and emotions.
What is one of your most interesting hobbies?
I don’t really have many hobbies but one of my favorite things to do is spend time with my family. We have fun together, and building those relationships is very important to me.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Never give up! My greatest testimony is, “I’m still here!” I’ve discovered the key to getting my breakthroughs and moving forward with God is simply being determined to keep going, doing what I know He wants me to do each day. Whenever we trust God and do our part, He will always do what we cannot do. And the truth is, in Christ, we can do whatever we need to do.
What is the last book you read?
Trusting God by Jerry Bridges. Books like this are a great way to supplement my own Bible study time. It’s helpful to hear other insights people have gained from their relationships with God and Bible study.
As a mother, how were you able to balance raising your children with running a ministry?
I didn’t always manage my time and priorities the best way, and in the beginning of our ministry, I was a workaholic for a while. But God taught me through the years how to use wisdom to establish the priorities He was calling me to and keep my focus on them. I had to learn how to say “no” when I needed to and not feel guilty about it, when to take time to rest, and when to work.
Keeping your priorities straight is not a one-time thing; it’s something I have to do every day. And I couldn’t do it without God’s direction and the help He gives me through my family and the wonderful staff we have working with us.
How has Daystar, and Christian television in general, impacted your ministry?
We are very grateful for the opportunities we have to partner with television networks like Daystar to share the Gospel with people around the world. While I love teaching the Word at conferences where we often have thousands attend, it’s exciting to know we can reach millions of people through the broadcast. In fact, we currently have a potential audience of 4.5 billion people through the Enjoying Everyday Life program. That’s amazing to me!
Our goal is to share the Gospel and teach the Word to as many people as we can so they can know Christ and have the life He died to give them. Modern media is a great way to do this.
What is your favorite thing about being in ministry?
God has done so much in my life, and my desire is to help others who are hurting to receive His love and get the healing they need—mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I know the Word works and total restoration is possible in Christ because I’ve experienced it myself.
God is the Source of real love, joy, peace, wisdom and everything else we all need to be the people He has created us to be. When I see people get this revelation…when their eyes are opened to the truth of the Word and they really know who Jesus is and that He loves them, it’s awesome. And I know it’s not me making it happen—it’s the Holy Spirit working through me. It’s what happens when we share Christ and love people!