Josh McDowell Daily Devotional

Turning Losses Into Gains

Youth Devo — 9-Jul

Bible Reading: Romans 8:26-30

We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

PEOPLE SAY love stinks. Well, loneliness stinks worse.

You might wonder if anything good can come from losing a relationship. Sure, you get reminded that Jesus never leaves you. But is there anything else to learn? Try hard to think about these four pluses when your life seems like a pile of minuses:

  1. You learn that losses are a fact of life you have to deal with. When you realize you can’t escape change, you learn how to cope in a positive way. If you don’t, your next loss will further bang up your unhealed heart. And you find out that God truly can use your losses to help you grow.
  2. You learn that grief is a normal feeling when you lose a family member or friend. You might think you only grieve when someone dies-and grief sure fits there. But grief also happens when separation slices off a special friend. It’s still a painful loss. Grief is natural. You just need to learn how to let the grieving process happen in a healthy way. Sometimes grief will throw you into such an emotional spin that you can’t think straight. Sometimes you might come to warped conclusions like “God is punishing me!” or “I must be a bad person for this to happen to me.” One way to kick that wrong thinking out of your head is to find someone to offer you support and advice while you’re hurting and uncer­tain. Look for someone compassionate, wise, and patient -a church leader, a family member, or an older Christian friend.
  3. You learn the wisdom of having several Christian friends, not just one or two. If you only have one friend, you’re left alone and lonely if that rela­tionship ends. Having more friends means you have others who can fill that gap. Making friends outside your age group-like having solid friend­ships with a couple of older adults-means you gain support and input from people who see things from a different perspective.
  4. You learn that God can turn each loss into a gain. It’s possible that a pain­ful situation will take you somewhere better. Some questions to ponder: Do you depend too much on that one friend? Have you been looking to that person to meet needs only God can meet? Is there someone new that you need to reach out to?

REFLECT: What can you learn from any of the changing friendships in your life?

PRAY: Ask God to help you look on the positive side of each negative situation.