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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If you’ve ever noticed that the more grateful someone is, the happier they are, it’s not a coincidence. Experts have discovered that gratitude reduces stress and leads to greater life satisfaction and overall happiness. It makes you healthier than any other emotion!
The Bible agrees—and God has a lot to say about developing an attitude of gratitude in your life. That’s why Pastor Rick developed a brand-new Bible study called The Power of Gratitude.
Through this innovative new study, you’ll discover how to defeat discouragement, conquer complaining, stay in God’s will, and experience his blessings—as you develop a lifelong habit of expressing your gratitude to God.
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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