Turning Losses into Gains

One of the tremendous privileges I've had as a believer in Jesus was serving as an official chaplain for athletes competing in the Olympic Games. Ministering inside the Olympic Village was exciting, but it presented unique challenges. Many times I struggled to find the right words to say as I sat with medal contenders who, away from the glare of spectators and cameras, broke down in tears following disappointing performances.

Losing is difficult. No one wants to experience defeat, especially when we've made great sacrifices and exerted strenuous effort to excel. Ultimately, however, we can respond to loss by seeking God's wisdom and courage to proceed in a manner that brings Him glory. The bitter alternative is to blame God and go our own separate way. (Personally, I've responded both ways on different occasions and can attest, the latter is a miserable way to go.)

In 2 Chronicles 14–17, there's a gripping tale of a father and son, King Asa and King Jehoshaphat, and their respective walks with God. The father, Asa, had run a remarkable race for the Lord until the final 2 years of his 41-year-reign. Sadly, within sight of the finish line, Asa's faith faltered. At that point, even when he developed a serious foot disease, the king who had once walked with God "did not seek the Lord's help" (16:12).

King Jehoshaphat chose not to repeat his father's grievous mistakes. Instead, Jehoshaphat was "deeply committed to the ways of the Lord" all the days of his life (17:6). And "the Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the example of his father's early years" (v.3).

How about you? Will you let losses prompt you to turn your back on God, or will you choose to seek Him even in your disappointment? , Roxanne Robbins

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