The Secret to Having a Great Life

The Key to Overcoming Past Hurts and Finding Fulfillment

Joyce Meyer

If you’ve heard my testimony, you know I experienced abuse from my father throughout my childhood—mental, emotional, and sexual abuse. Then, for years after I left that situation, I continued to live with a constant sense of guilt and condemnation that caused me to be a miserable person. I was usually angry about something and very difficult to get along with.

But eventually, God helped me to overcome the hurts and wounds from the past and He miraculously restored my soul. It’s been a long journey getting to where I am today (and it hasn’t been easy), but I can honestly say it’s been worth it. God has done such an amazing work in my life that I literally don’t know how to tell it all!

I want you to see a scripture that has been life-changing for me over the years in my journey to wholeness. It’s Psalm 27:4, and it says: One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek, inquire for, and [insistently] require: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life…(AMPC).

I can truly say the greatest lesson I’ve ever learned is the importance of keeping God first in my life. Please notice that Psalm 27:4 is talking about seeking God, and not just the blessings He can give us. Now, there is nothing wrong with us asking Him for the things we want and need, but they should not be our focus.

God loves us, and He wants to show His love to us. But He wants to have a personal relationship with us that goes deeper than us just coming to Him when we want something.

I’ll be honest, for years I only really sought God when I was desperate and had an emergency. I’ll never forget one day as I was crying out for His help, He clearly spoke to my heart and said, “Joyce, if you would seek me like you are desperate all of the time, you wouldn’t have so many desperate circumstances.”

That got my attention! The truth is, we’re really desperate for God all of the time, whether we realize it or not. I’ve discovered that when we have God Himself, we have everything we will ever need. It’s all about learning to seek God’s face—seeking Him for His presence and Who He is—and not simply for what He can do for us.

What Are You Seeking?

The word seek means to crave, pursue, or go after something with all of your might—it means to require something as a vital necessity in your life. The question is, “What are you seeking? What do you consider to be a vital necessity?” In other words, what do you think you absolutely have to have in life?

Most of us start our relationship with God when our lives are in a mess, and we come to Him because we recognize that He’s the only One Who can help us get out of it. When I got serious about my relationship with God and started studying His Word, I had so many issues that I couldn’t even count them all. At times, I wondered if I would ever be able to get free.

I know what it’s like to hurt so badly that I didn’t think I could go forward any longer unless something changed. I think we all come to this place at one time or another. We think, God, if I don’t get a breakthrough in my life, I don’t think I will make it!

In these moments when things seem impossible and we can’t see a way out, what we really need is more of God. It’s time to run to Him and say, “God, I don’t know what to do, and I can’t go on unless I have more of You.”

This may sound strange but coming to a place of complete dependence on God is one of the greatest places you can ever be. Because when you have nowhere else to turn and you’re crying out to God for help, that’s when you receive the best gift of all—more of Him.

Place God at the Top of Your List

I believe an easy way to determine if God is first in your life is to ask yourself this simple question: “Is God first in my time?” I encourage you to take a few moments right now to think about how you spend your time. Where is God on your “to do” list? If everything else is crowding Him out, then it means He’s not your first priority.

I remember years ago when I was so frustrated and overwhelmed by everything I “had” to do. It seemed I didn’t have enough hours in the day to get everything done and spend my time with the Lord.

As I prayed for His help, I realized I was trying to work Him into my schedule, rather than working my schedule around Him. But once my time with Him became my first priority, then everything else became more manageable and enjoyable.

It’s so common for Christians to view prayer or reading the Bible as obligations—things we have to do. But spending time with God is the greatest privilege we will ever have. Every moment we spend seeking Him is worth it. Spending time with Him brings us peace, joy, stability, guidance, and everything we need to live an enjoyable, fulfilling life.

This statement may surprise you, but each of one of us can be as close to God as we want to be—it’s really up to us! The Lord loves us and constantly desires to spend time with us. His will is for us to have a personal, intimate relationship with Him. But He won’t force it on us—we have a part to play.

I encourage you to begin making God a priority in your day. Take some time to read His Word, talk to Him in prayer, or even simply sit quietly in His presence. If possible, take at least a few minutes in the morning to focus on Him before you get caught up in the busyness of your day.

I love Matthew 6:33. It says, Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need (NLT).

We so often go about it backward—we get so focused on our own needs and everything that needs to be fixed in our own lives. But God’s ways are not our ways! The Lord says when we seek after Him and make Him our priority, then He will take care of the rest and provide us with everything we need.

I’ve learned from experience the secret to having a great life, and it all begins with putting God first. Because when we seek and pursue a relationship with Him, He not only gives us more of Himself, but we open the door for Him to bless our lives in ways we could never imagine.