Problems Prepare You for Eternity
By Rick Warren
“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold — though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world” (1 Peter 1:6-7 NLT).
We need more than positive thinking to survive in this world. We need hope.
There are five reasons we can have hope through Christ found in 1 Peter 1. I’ve given you the first four in the last few days’ devotionals.
1. God chose us before we chose him.
2. God always treats us with grace and mercy.
3. God has secured our future.
4. God’s power will protect us.
Finally, we can have hope because God is preparing us for eternity.
He’s using everything in our lives — the good, the bad and the ugly — to do so. Once you understand this, life begins to make sense. You stop saying, “Lord, why is this happening?” because you know why: He’s preparing you for eternity.
The Bible says, “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold — though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world” (1 Peter 1:6-7 NLT).
Those verses describe three truths about problems that are the same today as they were in in Peter’s day.
● Problems are necessary. They are an indispensable part of preparing you for Heaven.
● They are varied.You’ll experience trials of all different shapes, sizes, and levels of intensity.
● They are temporary. They won’t last forever.
But God is using those trials for his purposes. This passage also describes three results of trials in your life.
● They test your faith. You build muscles by testing them. The same is true with your faith.
● They purify your motives. God is much more interested in your character than your comfort. He’ll use trials to refine your character.
● They prepare you for your rewards. The trials you’re going through now don’t compare to the rewards of Heaven.
Sure, the troubles you’re experiencing now aren’t fun. But the Bible makes it clear they are good for you. They’ll make your faith stronger and your character godlier, and they’ll get you ready for future rewards.
That’s why you can have hope no matter what’s going on in your life right now.
Talk It Over
How have you seen God use troubles to make your faith stronger?
How can understanding the truths from today’s devotional help you live full of hope?
With whom can you share the message of this devotional?
For more Daily Hope with Rick Warren, please visit pastorrick.com!
Put Jesus at the center of your Christmas!
Many people step into the Christmas season run down and worn out. And by the time January rolls around, they’re so exhausted that they’ve completely missed the real reason for the season.
But there’s really no better time to recalibrate your heart toward Jesus than during the holidays. And Pastor Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose of Christmas, can help you fill your Christmas with more of God’s love and peace by making Christ the center of your life.
This resource shows you . . .
• What Christmas means for your salvation
• How to surrender to God’s will
• Practical steps to overcome discouragement
• Why we celebrate Christmas at all
• How Christmas can be a time to make peace with others
The Purpose of Christmas is our way to thank you for your gift below to help more people learn, love, and live the Word – so request your copy when you give!
From all of us at Daily Hope, may you experience God’s peace and joy this holiday season!
This devotional © 2017 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
You can listen to Rick Warren on OnePlace.com.