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Your Pain Can Make You More Like Christ
By Rick Warren

"Even though Jesus was God's Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered." Hebrews 5:8 (NLT)

Every pain in your life is an opportunity to grow in character. How do you learn love when you feel unloved? How do you learn joy in the middle of grief? How do you learn peace when everything's in chaos? How do you learn patience when you're not feeling patient?

You learn those qualities, with God’s grace, when you are going through pain. You have to decide if you’re going to let the pain be a stepping stone to maturity or a stumbling block to spiritual growth.

Once you make a decision to follow Jesus, God's number one purpose in your life is to make you more like Christ. If you’re a part of God's family, then he wants you to grow up! He helps you do that by taking you through everything Jesus went through. There were times when Jesus was lonely, frustrated, misunderstood, criticized, and in pain.

But the Bible says, "Even though Jesus was God's Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him" (Hebrews 5:8-9 NLT).

If Jesus was made perfect through suffering, then you are matured the same way.

There are some things you learn only through pain. In that sense, pain becomes a gift if you let it draw you closer to God in worship, closer to others in fellowship, and deeper in discipleship.

When Paul wrote to the Corinthian church, he recognized all the ways they had grown through their pain. He says in 2 Corinthians 7:11, "Isn't it wonderful all the ways in which this distress has goaded you closer to God? You’re more alive, more concerned, more sensitive, more reverent, more human, more passionate, more responsible" (The Message).

Those seven qualities of Christlikeness are developed in you too when you ask God to use your pain to build your character. If you’ll do that, the pain won’t leave you where it found you—it will transform you!

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Discover God’s Unique Purpose for You!

God has a unique purpose for your life—a mission only you can accomplish. And we want to help you discover it with the SHAPE Bible study.

This six-session video and workbook Bible study, written by Pastor Rick and taught by Erik Rees, will help you discover the unique ways God takes your spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality, and experiences and uses them all for his glory.

The SHAPE Bible study is our thanks for your gift to help more people embrace their God-given purpose through Daily Hope, so request your copy below when you give.

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

You can listen to Rick Warren on OnePlace.com.