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When Setbacks Come, Focus on the Big Picture 
By Rick Warren

“I was born with nothing, and I will die with nothing. The Lord gave, and now he has taken away. May his name be praised!” Job 1:21 (GNT) 

When you hit a setback, it’s okay to tell God you’re mad, you’re sad, or you’re depressed. It’s okay to express all your emotions to God.

Just don’t get bitter.

Bitterness is like saying you don’t trust God when troubles hit. It’s like a poison that will tear your life apart if you let it.

Job endured all kinds of problems. He lost his family, his fortune, and his health. But instead of becoming bitter, he kept his focus on the big picture. He understood that God was still in control even though everything in his life seemed to be falling apart.

Job said, “I was born with nothing, and I will die with nothing. The Lord gave, and now he has taken away. May his name be praised!” (Job 1:21 GNT).

I was in the room when each of my three children was born. They didn’t come with anything. They didn’t have toys, a resume, a wardrobe, or a cell phone. I’ve also preached enough funerals to know that no one drives a trailer of possessions to the graveside.

You come with nothing. You leave with nothing.

When setbacks come your way—and they most certainly will—you must focus on the fact that God has your big picture in mind. 

Many things will change in your life. Your faith will be tested and tried. Like Job, you haven’t been promised a perfect life. You likely won’t get an explanation when setbacks come. But you can choose to trust God anyway. 

No matter what setbacks you face, you can trust that . . .

  • God will never stop loving you.
  • God has a plan for your life.
  • God cares about every detail of your life.
  • God is in control of things even when you don’t understand it.
  • God will protect you.

Regardless of any setback, those five truths make up the big picture of your life. When everything else falls apart, you can base your life on them.

You won’t get bitter if you keep your eyes on a big picture like that.

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

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