Life Is Hard So You Can Grow

daily devotionalby Rick Warren

Take on an entirely new way of life — a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces His character in you.” Ephesians 4:22-24 (MSG)

Many religions and New Age philosophies promote the old lie that we are divine or can become gods. Let me be absolutely clear: You will never become God or even a god.

That prideful lie is Satan’s oldest temptation. Satan promised Adam and Eve that if they followed his advice, “you shall be as gods” (Genesis 3:5 KJV).

This desire to be a god shows up every time we try to control our circumstances, our future, and people around us. But as creatures, we will never be the Creator. God doesn’t want you to become a god; he wants you to become godly, taking on his values, attitudes, and character. We are meant to “take on an entirely new way of life — a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces His character in you” (Ephesians 4:22-24 MSG).

God’s ultimate goal for your life on Earth is not comfort but character development. He wants you to grow up spiritually and become like Christ. Becoming like Christ does not mean losing your personality or becoming a mindless clone. God created your uniqueness, so he certainly doesn’t want to destroy it. Christ-likeness is all about transforming your character, not your personality.

God wants you to develop the kind of character described in the Beatitudes of Jesus, the fruit of the Spirit, Paul’s great chapter on love, and Peter’s list of the characteristics of an effective and productive life (Matthew 5:1-12; Galatians 5:22-23; 1 Corinthians 13; 2 Peter 1:5-8).

Every time you forget that character is one of God’s purposes for your life, you will become frustrated by your circumstances. You’ll wonder, “Why is this happening to me? Why am I having such a difficult time?” One answer is that life is supposed to be difficult! It’s what enables us to grow. Remember: Earth is not Heaven!

Many Christians misinterpret Jesus’ promise of the “abundant life” (John 10:10) to mean perfect health, a comfortable lifestyle, constant happiness, full realization of your dreams, and instant relief from problems through faith and prayer.

In a word, they expect the Christian life to be easy. They expect Heaven on Earth.

This self-absorbed perspective treats God as a genie who simply exists to serve you in your selfish pursuit of personal fulfillment. But God is not your servant, and if you fall for the idea that life is supposed to be easy, either you will become severely disillusioned or you will live in denial of reality.

Never forget that life is not about you! You exist for God’s purposes, not vice versa. Why would God provide Heaven on Earth when he’s planned the real thing for you in eternity? God gives us our time on Earth to build and strengthen our character for Heaven.

Talk About It

•    In what ways have you been trying to control your circumstances or the people around you?
•    In what ways are you living the “full life” that Jesus came to Earth to provide for you (John 10:10)?

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5 Responses to Life Is Hard So You Can Grow

  1. maid service says:

    Hi, thanks for sharing.

  2. Ceta Jaggernauth says:

    I needed to hear this. Many times we are faced with situations and blame God for not answering our prayers. The fact is He is, by preparing us to reach our full potential and becoming the person He created us to be, so we can be with Him in heaven forever.Thank You for the reality check.

  3. Mary Friday says:

    Thank for this strong and clear message. Really encouraging word. Our daily struggles should make us stronger when we trust in our Lord. I have forwarded to my friend who lost his job and has been struggling with life for the past one year. I hope this message encourages his heart as it has done to me.

  4. AmyC says:

    Thank you that our Father GOD gave His son JESUS to us for guidance in the growing of our lives. Lives need growing too! Our bodies need food to grow so as our inner man need JESUS’s words to grow. We can see there is a change in our lifestyle if only you are a reborn Christian. The problems, sickness and hardships that we are facing are the tools that help our lives to grow. Some problems are so hard that nor man or money cannot solve. But GOD is GOOD, HE is always there to help us to solve all the difficult problems.We need to talk to GOD all day and every day, the HOLY SPIRIT that dwelled in us is there to teach us to be a good man, Amen!

  5. Harolyn H Ioane says:

    when I reading this devotion message And the understanding I give all to Jesus and I don’t hold on to situation or problems of all areas I believe is the way of to better our life and fulfill with significant way to great adventure in life and hope.

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