How can a Christian deal with loss? Guest contributor Nancy Guthrie shares how faith can give us perspective when we are experiencing grief and loss.
I think sometimes we think that because we are Christians that somehow loss should hurt less. But the reality of being a human in this world, a human living in a very broken world, is that we experience loss. And it hurts. If the question is, “How do we deal with loss?”, then the first reality is that we hurt deeply. Sometimes I think we think, “If I really have faith, then maybe I should not feel this loss so deeply, should not experience it so significantly.”
Faith Gives Us Hope
Faith does not make loss hurt less. Faith does, however, give us perspective about loss. Faith gives us hope in the midst of loss. As we go to the Scriptures in the midst of loss, I think perhaps one of the most important scriptural truths that we come to can be found in 2 Corinthians 7.Faith does not make loss hurt less. Faith does, however, give us perspective about loss.
Here, Paul has this thorn in the flesh. We don’t know exactly what this thorn was, but whatever it is, it is bringing him unrelenting agony. We see Paul pray; he pleads, he begs God to take it away, and he hears Jesus speak to him. What is it Jesus says? Jesus does not say, “I’m going to take it away.” Instead, he says, “My grace is sufficient.” He’s saying to Paul, “I am going to give you the grace you need in the form, the timing, and the quantity in which you need it, so that you are enabled to endure faithfully the pain that I am not going to take away”.
Jesus is Sufficient in Our Loss
I used to think that that sounded like a very religious sounding promise that would not mean very much, and I do not think so anymore. That is everything we would want in the midst of loss. When we feel a deep aching emptiness because of the loss, we hear Jesus saying to us, “My grace is sufficient. I am going to be enough for you. I’m going to provide everything you need to endure the pain that I’m not going to take away.”