Testing Comes Before Blessing
By Rick Warren
“I will refine them like silver and purify them like gold. They will call on my name, and I will answer them.” Zechariah 13:9 (NLT)
Some prayers are answered immediately, but others take weeks, months, or even years. You probably know this all too well! But there’s good news: While you’re praying for God’s answer, you're going to learn some things that you can't learn any other way.
In the waiting, there is blessing. One of the blessings is that you learn more about yourself when you don't instantly get everything you want.
For two of the most important prayers I've ever prayed, God took 13 years to answer one of them and 25 years for the other. But he answered! They were the most important prayers in my life at that time. Why did it take so long? Because while I was working on the prayer, God was working on me.
When you’re going through fire, do you ever wonder why you have to go through it? It's for testing and purification. As you pray about something over and over again, you face tests that reveal more about you.
God says in Zechariah 13:9, "I will refine them like silver and purify them like gold" (NLT).
You test gold by putting it in a big vat and heating it until it gets so hot that all the impurities are burned off. How do metalsmiths know when gold and silver are pure? When they can see their reflection in them.
God can see his reflection in you when all the impurities have burned out of your life—after you've been through the fire. He says that, after he’s done the testing and purification, “They will call on my name, and I will answer them” (Zechariah 13:9 NLT).
Answered prayer comes after the test. Before every blessing, there is a testing. God tests you with stress before he trusts you with success. These are the principles of persistent prayer.
God is going to test you before he blesses you. And in that test, you're going to learn a lot about yourself. If you give up praying, you're never going to learn the lessons that help you become more like Jesus.
Keep praying with persistence each day. And remember that after the testing, the blessing will come.
For more Daily Hope with Rick Warren, please visit pastorrick.com!
Fill Your Home with Joy and Hope this Christmas!
With Christmas right around the corner, we want to help you spend the holidays worshipping instead of worrying. Slowing down and reconnecting with God. And expressing gratitude for the true meaning of the season.
That’s why Pastor Rick and his wife Kay created the Daily Hope Advent devotional booklet with a companion calendar. This 2-part resource is the perfect way to prepare your heart for the real celebration.
Praise God for the gift of Jesus and build joyful anticipation as Christmas draws near with the 24-day devotional booklet, featuring a special family activity each Sunday. And enjoy the beautiful, custom artwork of the Advent calendar, with a special door for every day of December that opens to reveal a hidden image and encouraging Bible verse.
We’ll send you the Advent devotional booklet and calendar as thanks for your gift below to help share the gift of Jesus with more people through Daily Hope. Be sure to request yours today so that you can start using it on December 1!
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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