Put Down the Chocolate and Pick Up Your Bible_711
By Rick Warren
— March 9, 2012
“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4 NIV)
Are you down in the dumps? Need a mood elevator?
Put down the piece of chocolate cake. Don’t have a pity party. Pick up your Bible instead.
You need a Word break.
God gave us the Bible to encourage us. One way you can think of the Bible is as a mood elevator.
The Bible says in Romans 15:4, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope” (NIV).
Everything in Scripture is written for our encouragement. That’s a big statement — but it’s true! Even the tough parts of God’s Word are there to ultimately encourage our lives in the right direction.
That’s why we need to spend time alone with God every single day. Whether it’s your daily devotional, your quiet time, or your personal inspiration time, you need to be getting alone with God, reading his Word, and talking to him.
The Bible says in Psalm 119:114: “You're my place of quiet retreat; I wait for your Word to renew me” (MSG).
If you’re discouraged and have lost hope, I can tell you one thing about your life without ever meeting you: You’re not spending time in God’s Word. If you were, you wouldn’t be discouraged. The more you read God’s Word when you’re down, the more he lifts you up.
So the next time you feel discouraged, don’t come home and turn on the television. Instead, open up your Bible and read it. Listen to Dr. Luke instead of Dr. Phil.
God’s Word has the power to change your life. It has God’s power in it. Nothing else does. The Bible will give you the “real stuff” — true encouragement.
Talk About It
- What are some of the things that you turn to when you feel discouraged? Do those things really offer you encouragement or give you hope?
- We can fit anything into our schedules if it’s really important to us. Have you carved out a time in your day for “quiet retreat” so that God can renew you?
Rick Warren on Muslims, Evangelism, and Missions
Pastor Rick often says, “You never win your enemies to Christ, only your friends.” He's gone past the limits some believers are willing to broach in order to form friendships and love a world in need of Jesus. Because this part of Pastor Rick’s ministry is sometimes misunderstood, we offer this interview where he clearly explains his beliefs and the biblical foundation for reaching out to those who do not believe in Christ, even if it means going places where the Gospel is never preached.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.