Devotionals by Pastor Rick Warren
God Gives the Bitter Ingredients Purpose
By Rick Warren
“We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 (NLT)
Most people don’t know that I am a “master” cake builder (my family, at least, thinks I am).
Years ago, I decided to learn how to bake cakes. I figured that, if I wanted to eat them, I ought to know how to make them. One of my favorite creations was one of the more difficult cakes to make: a German chocolate cake made from scratch for my wife’s birthday.
Making cakes has made me appreciate that the individual ingredients for a cake don’t taste good at all on their own. Some of them are quite bitter. If you eat flour by itself, it doesn’t taste good. If you eat baking powder or raw egg or oil by itself, you’ll be grossed out. Even the vanilla by itself doesn’t taste good—none of the ingredients do! But if you mix them all together and bake it, it’s delicious.
One of the greatest promises of the Bible is in Romans 8:28: “We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (NLT).
Notice that verse does not say that everything is good. A quick look at the news headlines proves that isn’t true. And it doesn’t say this promise is for everyone—just those who love God. The way God works all things together for good is kind of like baking a cake.
In your life and in the world, there will be elements that are bitter and unpleasant. You might think, “That doesn’t taste good. I don’t like that change in my life. I don’t like what’s happening in the world today.”
When you’re in a season of rapid and relentless change, and some of the elements don’t taste good, determine that you will not become bitter by seeing only the negative in your circumstances. Because even when you can’t see it, you can trust that God takes it all—the good and the bitter—and uses it for his good plan.
You can’t see it now, but you will taste its sweetness in heaven one day.
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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