I have learned that focusing more on our losses in the past will cause us to lose sight of spiritual gains that can replace those losses in the future.
I firmly believe that gains and losses are a necessary part of life. I also believe that when practicing Christians lose, God has a plan and way of restoring or replacing what we lost with something better and more valuable. Usually, it requires an attitude adjustment on our part before we can even attempt to make sense out of what we have experienced in terms of loss. For example, a company layoff opens the door for entrepreneur ventures or promotions with higher pay raise.
Additionally, if we do not assess the gains as being more valuable than what we lost, at least from God’s perspective, we may never realize that it was part of God’s plan. We certainly will not appreciate the goodness and sovereignty of God. Why? We are too focused on our loss! We tend to cry as if we are hopeless while looking backward rather than forward to the possibilities of having better and being greater in God’s grace.
Could it be that making carnal analyses is an issue for us? Since our thoughts are not like God’s, what we consider as losses may be what God considers as gains or vice versa. The problem with our carnal analysis is that we calculate from a worldly system of operation and thoughts based on past personal experiences and present unpleasant circumstances. If we itemize our losses and gains from a worldly perspective rather than a Kingdom view, we can be easily deceived into believing God is not trustworthy. That’s a lie from the father of lies—Satan!
God is for us!
From the beginning, He has always wanted the best for us. Unfortunately, our small thinking makes us itemize our gains and losses from a faulty and unstable perspective rather than align with God’s way of operation. No, it does not mean our losses are unimportant. No, it does not mean what we lost is insignificant to God. However, it does mean that God sees beyond the here and now. Remember, God’s thoughts and ways are so much higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). So often what is valuable to us, based on our limited knowledge and understanding, has no real value in the Kingdom of God and is useless in the fulfillment of our God given purpose. For example, Apostle Paul came to a point in his life when he made an analysis of his gains and losses. He itemized using the same value system as God. Paraphrasing, he said in Philippians 3:7-11, what were his assets (gains) he wrote them off as a loss. Why? The most valuable gain to Paul was having and knowing Christ in the power of His resurrection, and participation in his sufferings. Sufferings? No one wants to suffer. Right? Surely suffering is reckoned as ‘loss’. Apparently, Paul viewed all the suffering he endured for the sake of Christ as gain! That was Paul’s mindset. What about us in this “get and have it all” culture? What are we willing to lose in order to gain for Christ’s sake?
Unfortunately, many Christians fall apart and panic when they experience loss of materials items. No one should deny the truth that it hurts to lose stuff. It hurts to lose anything considered as valuable. However, just as our personal values differ so much the more does materialistic values. They depreciate over time. But with God, our gains have eternal value that never depreciates.
I believe that one of the most hurtful and painful losses in this life is the death of a loved one. We call it loss of life; however, if we think from God’s perspective, it is gain—eternal gain, if they were followers of Jesus Christ. And I speak from experience, through all my losses, God has always comforted, restored, renewed and helped me to refocus on the most valuable asset of all—my relationship with Him.
Nevertheless, as painful as it may be to lose, we can trust God to work all things together for our good if we love Him and are the called according to His purpose. What can we gain spiritually that replaces natural losses?
Here is a short list:
1) A more constant and consistent prayer life
2) Deeper trust and dependency on Christ to sustain us.
3) Increased faith that looks to God for provisions.
4) Better stewardship practices.
5) A more effective witness to the faithfulness and peace of God during life’s storm.
6) Greater commitment to the work of ministry and helping others in need.
7) A faithful witness in leading others to received Jesus Christ into their heart.
In essence, God gives you so much more in place of what you lost when you trust Him as your Source.
Beloved, remember it is so easy to focus more on our losses in the past that we lose sight of any spiritual gain in the future. Also, like Apostle Paul, we have not been perfected yet, but let’s press forward and grab hold of what God desires for us.
Let’s press in to get to that place where God is calling us to reach in Christ Jesus.
Let’s not focus on our past losses, and what we have left behind so much that we miss what God wants to do our lives now and what He has destined for our future.
Yes, Lord, is our greatest response to God! It is our permissive submission to God that says we will keep pressing forward in faith, be obedient to His Word, trust Him to be our God because we know that even if we lose in this life, we are still victorious and are destined to gain more than we can ever lose.
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