Play It Down and Pray It Up

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 (NIV)

Is there pain in getting in shape? Yes. Is there a profit to it? Yes. Is there pain in doing the right thing in your marriage? Yes. Is there profit to it? Yes. Is there pain in having a daily quiet time and being disciplined? Yes. Does it have profit and benefit? Yes.

To endure short-term pain in a situation, you need to look at the long-term reward.

“He (Jesus) was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy he knew would be his afterwards; and now he sits in the place of honor by the throne of God” (variation on Hebrews 12:2b LB).

Why did Jesus go to the cross? Because he knew the joy that would be his afterward – the joy of seeing all of us saved. He was willing to go through the pain of the cross because he could look past it to the reward that followed.

When you are going through any kind of problem, any kind of pain, play it down and pray it up. Take it to God in prayer as you keep in mind whatever it is isn’t the end of the world.

Take a moment and read 2 Corinthians 11:24-30. Paul was beaten and stoned, survived a shipwreck, faced robbers, floods, deserts, and stormy seas, went without food and water, and lacked sleep and clothing to keep him warm. Yet, in spite of all these things he endured during his ministry, he was still able to say, “We do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17 NIV).

Everything that Paul endured for the gospel he called “light and momentary troubles.” He knew it was all a matter of perspective. He minimized the pain and maximized the profit.

Today’s verse from Galatians says that “at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” There is always a delay between when you plant the seed and when you eat the fruit. What we often want is to plant the seed in a prayer and expect the harvest of an answer immediately. But that’s not how it works.

Whatever season you find yourself in right now, the planting season or the growing season that requires waiting, know that the harvest will come if you don’t give up. Just look past the current pain to the eternal gain that awaits you.

Take a look at this new curriculum from Saddleback Resources: Raising Your Kids without Raising Your Blood Pressure

This devotional is copyrighted 2011 by Rick Warren. Used by permission.

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