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The Right Question to Ask When You’re in Pain
By Rick Warren

“This is the reason why we never collapse . . . These little troubles (which are really so transitory) are winning for us a permanent, glorious and solid reward out of all proportion to our pain.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-17 (Phillips)

When life becomes really hard, most people will eventually ask, “Why is this happening to me?”

But that’s the wrong question to ask when things get dark. Instead, try asking, “God, what’s your purpose in this?”

The Bible says in 1 Peter 1:6-7, “You are temporarily harassed by all kinds of trials and temptations. This is no accident—it happens to prove your faith, which is infinitely more valuable than gold” (Phillips).

Nothing comes into your life accidentally. God does not cause evil. But he can bring good from every single thing, even from evil. Trials reveal your character, your maturity, your security, your values, and your faith.  

One of the major figures in the Bible is the apostle Paul. He devoted his entire life to serving God. But, in many ways, Paul’s life was worse than you can imagine. He was stoned, shipwrecked, beaten, left for dead, imprisoned, whipped, and robbed, and he went thirsty and hungry.

But he was never bitter. Instead of asking, “Why me?” he looked for and trusted God’s purpose. He learned to trust God in his problems, even when he didn’t understand.

What is the secret to his persistence? “This is the reason why we never collapse . . . These little troubles (which are really so transitory) are winning for us a permanent, glorious and solid reward out of all proportion to our pain” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17 Phillips).

Like Paul, you can hold on to hope because God has a purpose and even a reward that exceeds your pain. 

When Jesus died on the cross, his followers thought it was a senseless tragedy. They thought God had made a mistake! But what they couldn’t see was God still on his throne, carrying out a bigger purpose.

After Jesus’ resurrection, he appeared to the disciples and said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20:21 NIV).

Just moments before, they could see no reason for their pain. But here Jesus was, telling them that God was giving them a new assignment that was part of a grand purpose.

God’s purpose for your life is always greater than your problems. Trust him. He loves to turn crucifixions into resurrections. He specializes in hopeless situations.

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Encourage a Graduate in Your Life

Graduation time is here, and chances are there’s a young person in your life who could use some encouragement, along with a little guidance.

Set them up for success with Pastor Rick’s The Purpose Driven Life: Selected Thoughts and Scriptures for the Graduate.

Filled with inspirational Scripture, biblical wisdom from Pastor Rick, and beautiful imagery, this unique, hardcover gift book provides a priceless reminder of the bountiful life God has planned for your graduate—and it will empower them to seek his unique plan and purpose for their life.

We’d love to send you a copy of this special resource as thanks for your gift today to help Daily Hope take the transforming power of Jesus into more lives around the world.

So request your copy below—and set a young graduate on the path to all God has for their life!

*The USA IRS code permits you to deduct the amount of your financial gift to Daily Hope that exceeds the fair market value of materials you received from Daily Hope.

This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

You can listen to Rick Warren on OnePlace.com.