We view our slight, short-lived troubles in the light of eternity. We see our difficulties as the substance that produces for us an eternal, weighty glory far beyond all comparison. (2 Corinthians 4:17 TPT)
Everyone feels good when they win at something. Winning will develop your confidence that God’s hand is upon you and encourage momentum in your life. But the balance to our wins are our setbacks. Your capacity does not grow through wins alone – you need the setbacks to develop your character and perseverance. When you overcome through times of loss, you become a bigger person.
James 1:2-4 reminds us, “… when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! 3 For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things. 4 And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking. (TPT)
EASIER IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER
There are many positive things in life that would never happen without a prior setback. Setbacks provoke a sense of loss, but when you understand that God uses setbacks to set you up for progress, your capacity will grow. For example, someone may be blindsided with unexpected retrenchment after years of working for a company. There is a palpable sense of loss, but the loss has created a previously unavailable opportunity, or necessity, to start working for themselves or pursue a passion that ends up as a successful enterprise.
The distance between expectation and reality is disappointment; and the degree your expectation falls short of reality will be the degree of disappointment you experience. Perhaps you thought you’d be married by now, or working for yourself, or out of debt or further along... Whatever the unmet expectation, disappointment invariably ensues, and the devil will try to use disappointment to sabotage you. But often the issue is that our expectations aren’t met in the way we thought they would or should be.
What is important to remember is that God sees the end from the beginning and your disappointment often hides the grace of God at work, positioning you for blessing and fulfilment. Sometimes this will mean actively choosing to trust His goodness toward you as you navigate life’s setbacks.
Father, You see my life from beginning to end. Your plans for me are good; to prosper me and strengthen me. I know that this doesn’t mean I am exempt from challenges, disappointment or setbacks, but that You are with me through them all, using them to bring about Your plans in my life. Holy Spirit teach me how to lean on your grace through the wins and losses in my life.