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A loss can either deepen your faith, or cheapen your faith.
When we go through a significant loss, we can either lose our faith or choose our faith.
John Mark decided to lose his faith and leave it behind.
But there are other options. God wants us to learn lessons from our losses and deepen our faith in Him during these difficult times.
ďNot that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.Ē Ė Philippians 4:11-13 (NLT)
Paul had learned whether he was facing a time of loss or a time of abundance how to live with faith in God.
Notice this was something Paul had to learn.
3. In Times of Loss Find Hope In Jesusí Cross.
I often hear people talk about recovering from a loss.
Iím not a fan of that language. I personally donít believe that people ever really recover from major losses.
Itís like Jesusí cross. When Jesus was crucified, he didnít recover. Crucifixion is not something you bounce back from.
When Jesus was crucified, he lost his life. And He did not recover. On the contrary. He perished. He left this world. He lost.
Jesus did not recover from the cross, He was resurrected.
In other words, it took an act of God to restore life back to Jesus.
Jesus did not recover on His own. God had to intervene and restore life back into Jesus.
And You and I are no different. We think we can bounce back and recover from anything.
No, we canít. Weíre just as helpless as Jesus was to pull ourselves out of the situation weíre in.
We need God to come and raise us out.
You donít recover from your losses, you get restored, by God.
I donít recover from my losses, I get restored by God.
When I lose a loved one. Iím helpless to bring them back. But hallelujah, it takes an Act of God to resurrect the both of us and reunite us in heaven.
When I go through a divorce, it takes an act of God to restore me to a place where I can laugh and love and have joy again.
The cross where Jesus died was Godís way of restoring us to Himself.
Just like I canít recover myself from a major loss, Iím just as helpless to save myself. So Jesus came and died on the cross to save me, rescue me, restore me to a place of forgiveness and love with Almighty God.
What Iím saying is that when you are going through a loss, donít just try to be optimistic, find Hope. Real Hope.
Thereís a difference between optimism and hope. Optimism says, ďWhen I go through a loss, Iíll bounce back. A better day is ahead.Ē
Hope says, ďWhen I go through loss, God will restore me in my loss.Ē
Optimism says, ďThings are going to get better.Ē
Hope says, ďThings are already better because Godís in the house.Ē
The cross is God restoring us to Himself.
Sin is not something