This Week’s Outline

Coming Off a Loss
Psalm 46:1-11
8/20/17 BAC
Rev. Brian T. Smeal; pastor@brookvillealliancechurch.com

 

HOW TO HANDLE A LOSS

Grieve appropriately

  • You do not suffer losses alone
    • Psalm 34:18 – The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (NASB)
  • You do not suffer losses forever
    • Psalm 30:5b – “Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.” (NASB)
  • We do not suffer losses uniformly
  • Do not give disappointment the power to define you!

Achieve a healthy perspective

  • Loss will shake you, but it need not break you
  • A healthy perspective is both an achievement, and a frame of mind
    • Psalm 118:24 – This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
  • You work toward a healthy perspective, and you choose to have a healthy perspective.
    • 1 Peter 1:13 – Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
    • 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 –So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Retrieve valuable insights

  • Do not subscribe to victim mentality
    • Romans 12:12 – Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
    • Romans 5:3-4 – “…we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,and endurance produces character, and character produces hope”
    • Genesis 50 – Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery and told his father that he had been attacked by a wild animal and killed
  • Ultimately, the greatest insight you can have is to trust in the Lord
    • Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Believe in God’s plan

3 POINTS ABOUT GOD IN PSALM 46

  • God is nearby (Jeremiah 23:23)
    • Mentioned 3 times in Psalm 46 – verses 1, 7, and 11
    • Hebrews 13:5 – Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
  • God is aware
    • 2 Corinthians 1:8-9 – For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers,[a] of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself.9 Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.
  • God is Bigger
    • Romans 8:31-32 – What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
  • Believe in His plan . . . even when you don’t agree with it
    • Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (NIV)
    • Romans 8:28 – And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His (NASB)
  • Pray!
    • Psalm 55:22 – Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. (NKJV)
    • Philippians 4:6-7 – do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Perceive your own strengths

  • We do not endure sorrow or experience loss because we are weak
    • Nor is there any strength in not grieving or expressing hurt or disappointment
      • Rather, we find our strength in Jesus Christ
        • Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (NKJV)
        • Psalm 27:14 – Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord. (NASB)
  • The greater your strength, the greater the loss you are capable of encountering
    • No matter how you assess your strengths, there are many people out there who would be thrilled to have them.
      • Do not overlook your strengths just because you’re used to them

Receive help from others

  • Loss happens, and neither you nor I are fully equipped to absorb and learn from every loss that we encounter
  • We also receive help from God
      • Isaiah 40:28-31 – Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.  29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles;  they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

 

  • When you have suffered a setback in your life, don’t feel that you’ve got to go it alone
    • 1 John 5:4-5 – For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

Relieve the burdens of others

Luke 21:1-4 – And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury. 2 And He saw a poor widow putting in two small copper coins. 3 And He said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them; 4 for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on.”

There is good reason to help others

  1. Helping others helps others – and that’s a good thing
    1. Philippians 2:4 – Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
  1. Helping others distracts you from your situation
  2. Helping others makes you feel good
    1. John 15:13 – “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”
  1. Helping others issues a statement of unity
    1. Nehemiah – Jews who returned to Jerusalem banded together to rebuild the wall
    2. Matthew 16:181 – Jesus declares that the very gates of hell will not prevail against His church.
  2. Helping others pleases God
    1. Galatians 6:2 – “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

How quickly, and how high you bounce back after a loss, is largely determined by how prepared you are for setbacks to occur

  • Setbacks are inevitable; preparation for setbacks is an option that we hardly have the option of declining

Other helpful verses

Ephesians 5:19b-20 –  “…addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,”

Psalm 31, 102, 109 – cries to God

Isaiah 43:1-2 – “But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
    he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
    I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
    and the flame shall not consume you.”

John 16:33 – “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

1 John 4:4 – “…he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

Romans 8:3-7 – “For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin,[a] he condemned sin in the flesh,in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.”

Colossians 3:15 – “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”

DIG IN

Here are just a few simple conversation starters to help you personalize and apply this morning’s message!

  1. What strengths do you possess that help you bounce back after a loss? What strengths do you see in others in your life group or accountability partner(s)?  Why haven’t you told them what strengths you see in them?
  2. Describe a time you have subscribed to “victim mentality.” How might you have responded differently, specifically, in a healthier and more productive manner?
  3. Which of the “3 points” about God from Psalm 46 do you most appreciate about Him? Why?
  4. When have you tried to navigate a loss or setback on your own? What does it look like to lean on your ‘support system?’
  5. What are you doing now, to prepare for the setbacks that will undoubtedly come your way?