The fact is everything in this world is temporary. You were not made to live here forever. You will live forever in eternity. That means in this life you will suffer loss; financial losses, loss of a loved one, loss of a job, possibly loss of a marriage, and health losses. How do you recover and rebuild momentum after a loss?
When these situations come in life the typical question is to ask, “Why?” Why is this happening? Why is this going on? This is not a good question because you will never get a satisfactory answer. Not everything that happens on this planet is God’s will, because a lot of people choose not to do God’s will. “Why” is not a good question. A better question is , “What?” And it’s corrally, “How?” What am I going to do next? How am I going to benefit from this? How can I benefit my family and others because of this? What is the next step?
Let me give you seven steps you can take to get back on your feet after you have lost everything:
- Release your grief. Don’t resist, rehearse, repress, or reduce the situation. What you do is release your grief to God. Listen to the wisdom of the Psalmist, “But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I prayed to my God for help.” Psalm 18:6 You should do as the Psalmist did.
- Resist bitterness. This is more horrible to go through than the disaster itself. Why? Because you hold onto the hurt over and over again. It’s wise to choose to get better, not bitter. Hebrews 12:15 says, “Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.”
- Re-evaluate. This is a good time to ask, “Where does God want me to go now?” Disasters often define what we value most in life. It helps us realize that possesions and material things are temporary. Remember, “We brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it.” 1 Timothy 6:7
- Receive help from others. God never intendeded for you to go through loss alone. You need to let others help you. You don’t need a hundred friends, but 4 or 5 friends that will see you through thick and thin is a BIG help! If you are going to rebuild after a loss you must let others help. You can’t do it by yourself. Romans 12:5 says, “We all belong to each other.”
- Rely on the Lord. You receive help from others but you rely on the Lord. You need five qualities to rebuild your life: peace, hope, wisdom, courage, and strength. Where do you think you are going to find these five qualities? Wal-Mart? Lowes? A liquor store? No way! These qualities come from God. You get them by trusting in Jesus. “Come back to God Almighty and he’ll rebuild your life.” Job 22:23
- Refuse to be discouraged. God’s purpose for your life is greater than the problems you are going through. But you may feel you have no other options. What do you do then? Stand firm. Jesus said, “By standing firm you will gain life.” Luke 21:19 When there is nothing left to do just stand and the Lord will see you through.
- Reach Out to Others. God has wired you in such a way that when you help others He helps you. When you start helping others He heals you. Don’t put off doing this ’til later. No procrastination here. You start helping other people and that’s part of the healing process after a loss. The Bible says, “Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
The loss you suffer is only temporary, but what you gain from will last the rest of your life. The choice of what you gain, bitterness or becoming better, is your decision.
(Based on a message by Rick Warren)