If I Love God, Why These Problems?
By Rick Warren
— March 5, 2011
My dear children, you come from God and belong to God. You have already won a big victory over those false teachers, for the Spirit in you is far stronger than anything in the world. 1 John 4:4 (MSG)
"Jesus' goal is not to condemn us for our distrust; rather, it is to expose our faulty beliefs so we will abandon them and move deeper into our relationship with him."
Our lives in Christ are meant to be extraordinary, incredible, meaningful and purposeful but never trouble-free. God keeps you in the pressure-cooker of life so others can see how a life connected to Jesus confronts problems in a very different way than a life that is disconnected from Jesus.
We are empowered by the Holy Spirit and that gives us the ability to respond to hardship like people from the kingdom of heaven -- not like people seemingly abandoned by God or in rebellion to God or unaware of God or unrepentant before God.
When we think God is not involved in our circumstances, we respond with problems with defensiveness, blame, shame, anger, hatred, pride, fear and self-centeredness. Anybody can do that. Anybody not connected to Jesus.
Jesus will have none of that and so he pushes us to a choice: Do you trust that I am involved in your circumstances or not?
When we respond from our human nature, instead of submitting to the divine nature working within us, we expose a deep, inner distrust of Jesus. Our actions show we believe him incapable of understanding the stress and danger of life (a bold belief considering Jesus died hanging on the cross).
On the other hand, when we respond from the truth that we are connected to Jesus, we prove that we believe he that is within us is greater than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
Jesus’ goal is not to condemn us for our distrust; rather, it is to expose our faulty beliefs so we will abandon them and move deeper into our relationship with him.
This devotional is by Jon Walker, editor of the Daily Hope Devotionals and author of Costly Grace. Rick Warren says, “I believe Costly Grace may be one of the most important books published during this time of economic uncertainty and world turmoil.”
To learn how Jesus responded to difficult people, consider Tom Holladay’s teaching in The Relationship Principles of Jesus.
Are you following with Pastor Rick on the Daniel Plan? He’s lost 21 pounds so far. Learn how you can develop a healthier lifestyle to prepare you for living out your purpose at http://saddleback.com/thedanielplan/.