Day 93: Rejoice in Losing
We had landed in Atlanta within the last hour. Our trip to Italy had been wonderful. While waiting for my ride I was sitting outside the international airport in Atlanta chatting with a girl who had just arrived back from India. We were both super tired from our long flights. She shared with me some of the cities she had toured in the country of India and some of the sights she had seen like the Taj Mahal. Then she stopped abruptly, made a comment about the poverty in India, and mumbled something about how very rich we are in America.
Though I am by no means rich by the standards of the rich and famous in America, I do feel richly blessed by God! Since I have been so richly blessed, I love to keep a praise journal. Each day I write down 10 things or ways God has blessed me within the last 24 hours.
The day after I arrived safely home, it dawned on me that I only wrote down the things that made me feel good, comfortable, or like I had gained in some way. I was not thanking God for any of the bad circumstances and trials that had come my way. I was ignoring my losses and the eternal blessings that come from them. Honestly, I felt that I might have just been trying to keep things positive. You know, trying to focus on the good. That’s a good thing right? But what about in everything give thanks?!?
So I decided for a few days to only thank God for the bad things, the things that I did not feel so good about. The circumstances that were uncomfortable. The losses that came my way within the last 24 hours. What blessings I found!
The first thing I thanked God for was getting the flu on my way home from Italy. As I wrote in my journal I realized there had been an airline attendant, a hotel manager and my loving husband who had watched over me and who took very good care of me. I felt very loved by them at the time. I continued to write my list of 10 bad things (yes, there were 10) and realized there were blessings from God in each and every one.
That leads us to our verse for today. The key verse is James 1:11, but we will start with verse 9 so we have the full context.
Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. James 1:9-11
The rich are to rejoice that they are made low. This means abased or humbled by the circumstances of life. As we do, we become aware that all of the comfort and blessings of each day could be gone in a moment. These rich blessings will one day fade as the flower of the field. What we do with eternity in mind is that which truly matters.
So rejoice in losing! Thank God today for the good, the bad and the ugly. We have a good God Who is working all these things together for our good!
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it. Mark 8:35
“Lose” from the Greek word “Apollymi” means “to destroy fully.” It is translated “perisheth” in our verse, James 1:11, for today.