God is more interested in your character than your comfort

Jan. 27
January 27, 2009
Anthony Roland Sigur Jr.
January 29, 2009
Jan. 27
January 27, 2009
Anthony Roland Sigur Jr.
January 29, 2009

Rick Warren gave the invocation at President Obama’s inauguration. He has written the following edited meditation.

“People ask me, ‘What is the purpose of life?’ I respond: Life is preparation for eternity.

“God did not make us to last forever. God wants us to be with him in Heaven. One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body – but not the end of me.

“I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act, the dress rehearsal.

“God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity. We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life is not going to make sense.

“Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you are just coming out of one or you are getting ready to go into another one. The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort. God is more interested in making your life holy than he is in making your life happy.

“We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that is not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ’s likeness.

“This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer. I used to think that life was hills and valleys – you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I do not believe that anymore.

“Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it is like two rails on a railroad track. You always have something good and something bad in your life.

“No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs our attention. No matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good for which can be thankful.

“You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems. If you focus on your problems, you are going into self-centeredness – ‘my problem, my issues, my pain.’

“However, the easiest way to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.

“We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her. It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to him and to people.

“You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life. Sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder.

“We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity? Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God’s purposes (for my life)?

“When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I do not get anything else done today, I want to know and love you more.

“God did not put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He is more interested in what I am than what I do. That is why we’re called human beings, not human doings.

“In happy moments, praise God, in difficult moments, seek God, in quiet moments, worship God, in painful moments, trust God, in every moment, thank God. May God’s blessings be with you today!”