When God Doesn’t Take the Pain Away
By Rick Warren
"Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, 'My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.' So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me . . . For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (NLT)
I was born with a brain disorder that, among other things, makes public speaking painful. Essentially, my brain runs extremely hot and fast, and it causes all kinds of problems in my body. For 50 years, I've asked God every day to heal it. And he has said to me every time, "My grace is all you need." God has used the most physically painful thing in my life to shape me and make me depend on him.
The things that I’ve prayed about the most, God has chosen not to remove. But, like Job, I say, "Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him" (Job 13:15 NIV).
Even the Apostle Paul did not get answers to all of his prayers. In fact, he had what he called a “thorn in the flesh”—a lifelong problem that caused great pain in his life.
Two Corinthians 12:8-10 says, "Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, 'My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.' So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me … For when I am weak, then I am strong" (NLT).
If God never says “yes” to another prayer in my life, I still owe him the rest of my life, and you do too. He has a better plan, a bigger perspective, and a greater purpose.
What have you been praying about that hasn't happened? Maybe you want to be married, have a baby, or get that promotion at work. Maybe you’ve asked God to give you something, or maybe you’ve asked him to take away something, like a chronic illness. Maybe you’ve gone through something that makes you feel like it’s the end of the story.
This chapter will pass, but your story is not over. Whatever you’ve been waiting on, you can trust that God is working for your good. Even when he doesn’t take away your pain, God will give you his grace and power to walk through it.
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“Perhaps the most important role you can play in the life of a child is teaching them to trust God through prayer. It’s the key to living with hope.” —Pastor Rick
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Filled with thoughtful insights from Pastor Rick as well as stunning illustrations from award-winning artist, Richard Jesse Watson, this book brings the poetic scripture from the King James Version alive for readers young and old. It’s sure to become a meaningful bedtime ritual, a treasured memory, and by God’s grace, a legacy that bears good fruit for generations to come.
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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