Rick Warren: Don't Give Up, Nothing Worthwhile Is Ever Easy

Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in California in an Easter message video posted on March 13, 2016.
Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in California in an Easter message video posted on March 13, 2016. | (Photo: Pastor Rick Warren Facebook video screencap)

Saddleback Church pastor and best-selling author Rick Warren urges Christians to guard against falling prey to Satan's trap of procrastination and discouragement, which only leads to people delaying or giving up on their mission in life.

In his daily devotional on Thursday, the author of The Purpose-Driven Life encouraged believers not to give up in a message based on Galatians 6:9.

"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," reads the verse.

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Warren added that Christians "need to resist discouragement" because when believers become "discouraged, we work against our own faith."

"There are many things that work to keep us from completing our life missions. Over the years, I've debated whether the worst enemy is procrastination or discouragement," Warren said.

"Do you ever get tired of doing what's right? I think we all do. Sometimes it seems easier to do the wrong thing than the right thing."

Warren added that even if one gets discouraged, "don't give up without a fight. Nothing worthwhile ever happens without endurance and energy."

"When an artist creates a sculpture, he has to keep chipping away. He doesn't hit the chisel with the hammer once, and suddenly all the excess stone falls away revealing a beautiful masterpiece. He keeps hitting it and hitting it, chipping away at the stone," Warren continued.

"And that's true of life, too. Nothing really worthwhile ever comes easy in life. You keep hitting it and going after it, and little by little your life becomes a masterpiece of God's grace."

Warren's comments on not becoming discouraged come not long after the Saddleback pastor wrote a devotional centered on enacting positive change in oneself.

On Sunday, Warren wrote that God understands that changes, especially spiritual ones, occur gradually rather than all at once.

"When God helps you grow spiritually, he doesn't just snap his fingers so that it happens instantly. He does it incrementally. When God wants to make a mushroom, he takes six hours, but when he wants to make an oak tree, he takes 60 years," wrote Warren earlier this week.

"The Holy Spirit will make changes in your life far beyond anything you thought possible, but they're not going to happen overnight."

Warren stressed the need to be "intentional" about changing oneself to be more Christlike, noting that it involves as Ephesians puts it, putting on "your new nature."

"This is how we become more like Jesus. We throw off the old things and the old ways that keep us from getting to know Christ and becoming like him, and we put on our new selves with the help of the Holy Spirit. We let God do his work in us — no matter how long it takes," he said.

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