“No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” Romans 8:37 (NLT)
I’ve experienced a lot of losses in my life, different kinds too. Some losses hurt more than others… Some losses could have been avoided if I would have simply been obedient to the voice of God… Some losses just came with time; as people changed, things just happened, you know… That kind of stuff.
Well, before I knew what I know now, I felt like I was always losing when I would experience a loss of any kind… Anytime I lost someone (a “friend”) or something (a material possession or anything I felt like would help me to achieve my dreams and goals or made me somebody), it would really hurt… I felt like a piece of me went missing with whatever/whomever I lost. It felt like the end of me; the end of my world.
I would become depressed and stop everything I ever started… I’d always consider the idea of just giving up on all my dreams and give up on trying to show myself to be friendly with people so that I could avoid losing again… After every loss, I felt like I could not take another one. You’d think that after experiencing so many losses it would eventually get easier to take the pain, but it didn’t get easier at all.
But one day; I realized that every time I thought I couldn’t take another loss, I did and I survived and I kept going forward with my hopes and dreams.
I kept going forward because God inspired me, every time… I couldn’t give up, because He wouldn’t let me.
He showed me that the desires I have in my heart and the dreams I long to achieve, didn’t come from me just wanting that for myself, but He gave me those dreams and desires. And because He was the one who gave me those dreams and desires, He would have to be the one who seen me to the finish line of it all.
And with this verse in mind, I have been encouraged: “I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6 (NLT)
Another thing that I’ve learned is that every loss that I’ve ever experienced and will ever experience, has only made room and will only make room for God to pour more into my life. Every loss just makes way for Him…
Knowing that helps me to take my focus off of the loss and put it on what the gain(s) is/are. And if a gain doesn’t come out of the loss right away, I know that I can trust God to be working on things behind the scenes and in His perfect timing, it will all come together (Romans 8:28).
The hard part of taking a loss, for me personally, is trying not to look back on what could have been and what I could have done to prevent certain things from happening… It’s only hard for me not to look back because I know I could have been a lot more careful in a few of areas. So, I deal with a lot of regrets from time to time.
But even though I wrestle with regrets, I press on anyhow. I have hope in the future before me (Jeremiah 29:11-14). I know that God is up to bigger and better things…
And on top of that, Paul encourages me with this: “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith — that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own.
But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:7-14 (ESV)
With that being said, my past and present sufferings (in any form) is nothing compared to what lies ahead of me (Romans 8:18). I know that God is not finished with me because I’m still here and Jesus hasn’t come back yet. So I press forward regardless of what I wrestle with… I refuse to be held down.
It is not easy to forget about some losses, but like Paul said; “One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
So I will definitely continue to strive to forget about what’s behind me and when all is said and done, I’ll be where God wants me to be.
Also, reading that passage (Philippians 3:7-14) made me realize how much closer I’ve gotten to the Lord through everything and how much more I’ve gotten to know Him. Every loss (eventually) pushed me towards Him (made me get in His word and find comfort and peace and strength). So because I experienced those losses, I know Him better.
There’s a purpose behind every loss that you and I have taken or may ever experience in the future. None of it is in vain. He gives and takes away for reasons that we won’t understand until He reveals it all to us.
And sometimes, He might not reveal His reasons to us right away. But He leaves it up to us to trust Him and believe that He knows best (knows what He’s doing).
Understand this; I won’t act like I’m looking forward to taking more losses, or that embracing them is easy, but I can say that every time I feel like I’m losing and I press on anyhow, I find myself more and more in Christ where my victory is… same for you. Your victory is in Christ.
“I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”
For the sake of knowing Christ, I’m learning to embrace all my losses and cling to Him. Because in all and through all, getting closer to Him is the ultimate gain, no matter what loss I might take.
There’s nothing worth comparing to knowing Christ more and living in His glory… That’s what I live for.
I’m sharing my heart and personal experiences with you all, in hopes that, you too, might be encouraged to strive to forget about what’s behind you and press on towards what’s ahead of you. God has much more better things in store for me and you than what we can imagine, and what lies behind us cannot compare to the glory that will be revealed when all is said and done (Romans 8:18).
You might feel like you’re losing right now, but you’re not losing. And if you’re tired of feeling like you’re losing, then find yourself in Christ. Because in Him there is no losing, there is only victory.
“Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 10:39 (ESV)