Try Harder or Trust More?
By Rick Warren
— August 11, 2012
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.” (Matthew 11:28-29a MSG)
Most of us would like to live a life of extraordinary quality that is not only fulfilling but also carries significance beyond ourselves. That’s most likely one of the reasons you became a Christian, and it is exactly the kind of life Jesus promises if we will follow him.
So why isn’t it happening? Why, instead of the abundant life, do so many of us end up living lives of quiet desperation? We go to church; we read the Bible; we pray; we try to be good people and to serve others. Yet, our life with Jesus doesn’t seem to be much more than an add-on to our increasingly complex lives.
So we try harder to live the abundant life. We work harder, pray harder, study harder, and keep trying to figure out what we’re doing wrong. Isn’t that what Jesus wants us to do?
All the while, he keeps asking, in a sense, “Are you tired of this yet?” Matthew 11:28-29 says, “Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace” (MSG).
Jesus calls us away from the “hows” and “whys” of our lives into the rhythms of his grace, standing before us as the Son of God Incarnate, Jesus, God’s Word in the flesh. The answer to our frustrations is “who,” not “what” or “how.”
When we try to relate to Jesus on the level of “what” or “how,” we end up in the never-ending cycle of trying harder to fit into an equation that God never meant for us to solve.
Instead of trying harder, we need to trust more.
Talk About It
We trust Jesus wants us to know the Word (he is the Word), and so we open the Bible expecting to hear from God in a specific and intimate way, setting aside any misconception that the Bible is only a book of wisdom we must try harder to understand. How will your Bible study be transformed knowing it is a living, dynamic text that will speak to you specifically?
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 the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional ©2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.