Don't Give Up When Times Get Tough
“That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NLT).
Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do we have to suffer? Why is life so difficult sometimes?
As difficult as it is to understand, God can use your pain for his purpose. Don’t be surprised if he is using tough times in your life to test your faithfulness.
Faithful people keep on keeping on when other people choose to give up. Faithful people are diligent and determined. They are persistent. They change their perspective and focus on God’s promises in his Word.
In 2 Corinthians 4, Paul says you need to get the right perspective when you’re going through a problem. If you want to persist, don’t look at the temporary problem. Look at the long-term reward. Don’t look at the temporary pain; look at the long-term gain. Don’t look at it with the short-term view, “What’s happening to me right now?” Instead, look at the character that you are building because you haven’t given up. You’re hanging in there.
God is more interested in what you are becoming than what you accomplish.
If you are facing difficult times right now, I challenge you to write this verse on a 3x5 card and memorize it: “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up” (Galatians 6:9 NLT).
I pray it will encourage you to keep going. God is working in you and for you, at just the right time and in just the right ways. You will be rewarded for your faithfulness!
Talk It Over
What is the long-term gain for those who are faithful to God and his Word?
Are you encouraged knowing that God is still working in your suffering? Why or why not?
What are some other promises from the Bible that can help you persist in tough times?
This devotional © 2019 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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