What Do I Do When My World Falls Apart?
By Rick Warren
“The thought of my pain, my homelessness, is bitter poison. I think of it constantly, and my spirit is depressed. Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing: The Lord’s unfailing love and mercy still continue, fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise. The Lord is all I have, and so in him I put my hope” (Lamentations 3:19-24 TEV).
When your world is falling apart, it’s so easy to focus on the pain, the problems, the pressure, and the difficulties. It’s the natural response. But the biblical response is to turn your focus to God’s love.
Even if you’re mad at God, you need to remind yourself how much he loves you. Focus on his unconditional love. Remember that you can’t make God stop loving you. You can complain, yell at him, and scream at him, but he will still love you forever.
You can see this biblical approach in Jeremiah’s life in Lamentations 3:19-26. Jeremiah starts out focused on his pain: “The thought of my pain, my homelessness, is bitter poison. I think of it constantly, and my spirit is depressed” (v. 19-20 TEV). He was consumed by the devastation around him. It filled his thoughts and made him bitter and depressed.
If you want to change your life, you have to change your thoughts. So that’s what Jeremiah did. We see the mental switch in the next few verses: “Yet hope returns when I remember this one thing: The Lord’s unfailing love and mercy still continue, fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise. The Lord is all I have, and so in him I put my hope.”
You don’t know God is all you need until God is all you’ve got. But that’s all you need, because God will take care of you.
We make foolish mistakes when we start doubting God’s love. We start to think, “I know better than God, and I’m going to start choosing to do things my way rather than following God’s way.” Or we think God is a cosmic killjoy who looks for ways to make our lives miserable.
We need to change our thinking. We need to remember, “The Lord is merciful and will not reject us forever. He may bring us sorrow, but his love for us is sure and strong. He takes no pleasure in causing us grief or pain” (Lamentations 3:31-33).
God loves you. He is not the strict parent that you couldn’t please. He is not the imperfect parent with weaknesses and faults who messed up. He is God — the eternal, all-knowing, infallible God who created you to love you and will never leave you.
So when you feel like you’ve lost everything, stop focusing on what’s lost and start focusing on what’s left: God and his love for you.
Talk It Over
- What are some of the promises and truths you can claim about God’s feelings for you?
- Why do you think God allows us to experience loss and pain?
- Does our experience change anything about God?
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This devotional © 2017 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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