Gain from Your Loss

“What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the
surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have
lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ…”
  (Philippians 3:8)

One of the most difficult lessons in life is how to accept loss.  And it’s an ongoing process since our lives
constantly change and we’re forced to confront the harsh realities of a world
that’s far from perfect.  

Whether you are single or married, a business executive, or
stay-at-home mom, you have most likely faced the same moment we all have when
your world was shaken to its very foundation.  The marriage that seemed unbreakable.  The parent who exercised every day.  The business that succeeded beyond your
wildest dreams. Suddenly a divorce,
disease, or bankruptcy created seismic waves that resulted in enormous
collateral damage.  The Psalmist asked, “When
the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?”

During these times our faith can be shaken to the center of our
being.  On one hand, trials and painful
losses may force us to depend on God for comfort, for peace, for His love and
mercy.  But on the other, we may become
angry and resistant to Him because we can’t imagine why He would allow such a
tragedy in the first place.  

It’s hard to understand that our freedom of choice comes with one
of the steepest price tags imaginable, the sorrow and anguish of an imperfect
world.  But God never forsakes us.  His heart breaks at our suffering and He knows
more than anyone what it means to lose a child, to be rejected by His people, or
betrayed by a friend.  In fact, look at
what Jesus says, “I have told you these things, so that in me
you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have
overcome the world.”
(John 16:33) Jesus said problems are a natural
part of life, but they don’t have to break us.

How can our lives withstand the impact of such news and provide a
lasting foundation?  The only way to do
this is to intentionally strengthen our foundation each day, turning to the
Master Builder for instruction and guidance in building our lives.

Jesus uses a common-sense truth to demonstrate our need for a
supernatural foundation that can endure any disaster we encounter, “Therefore
everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a
wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose,
and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it
had its foundation on the rock.”
(Matthew 7:24-25)

According to Jesus, the secret is not how much of the Bible you
know; it’s how much you live out His truth on a daily basis.  Scripture reveals the secret of putting God’s
Word into practice and establishing an indestructible foundation.

First, you need a solid center in your life.  In Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus reveals this solid
center in the Great Commandment. “…Love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your mind…This is the first and greatest
commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”  
It is so easy in marriage to look
to your spouse to be the source of your happiness, to meet your deepest needs
for fulfillment and purpose and meaning. But no human is equipped to sustain
someone else at that level.

When you look to your mate to meet needs only God can fulfill, you
put too much pressure on that person and on the relationship. The good news is
that it’s never too late to ask God to be the center of your life and to build
upon His truth as your certain foundation.  Proverbs 3:6 says, “…in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will
make your paths straight.”

Another primary practice for fortifying your foundation is having a
community that cares, a human support system.  You need a team of people around you who love
you for who you are and not for what you do.  You need some friends in your life who will still
be there after everyone else walks out.  How
do you know who your friends are?  When
you go through a tough time, they are right there with you.

God designed a way to meet this need we all have for community, the
church.  You need a support system
because no one can make it in life all alone. “Two are better than one, because they have a
good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But
pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up…Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
4:9-10, 12)  God designed us to live in
community, joyfully offering help when others need it and gracefully accepting
help when we are in need.

As long as your heart beats, you will have problems.  But I can tell you this, Jesus Christ will
walk through every problem with you, and He will never let you down.  Look what David said in Psalm 94, “Unless
the LORD had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death. When
I said, “My foot is slipping,” your love, O LORD, supported me. When
anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.”

don’t know what challenges you are facing in your life right now, but God does.
 He understands how you feel.  He cries with you in your heartache, and He
has the power to turn your life around.  

He turned the deepest loss of His own Son on
the cross into your greatest gain. 

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