01 06 2019 THE CERTAINTY OF LOSS

Loss is an unavoidable reality in this sinful world. However, this was never God’s plan His plan was for us to live a perfect unadulterated life and He wants to and has made all the provisions to restore us back to that perfect life without loss.

We are looking at temporary loss against eternal restoration.

What are some losses Adam and Eve experienced after they disobeyed God?

Lost innocence

Lost immortality

Lost face to face communication  with God

Lost Eden

Loss of Health

Loss of family tragically

How can we face life with hope  without being overwhelmed by the certainty of impending loss?

Matthew 28:20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Genesis 28:15 Look, I am with you, and I will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

John 14:16 “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;

Adam and Eve faced their losses with hope.  So can we for the promises of hope are always an aye in Christ. 

Loss of health

Job 2:1–8  Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord.  The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.”  The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man fearing God and turning away from evil. And he still holds fast his integrity, although you incited Me against him to ruin him without cause.”  Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. However, put forth Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh; he will curse You to Your face.” So the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your power, only spare his life.”

Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took a potsherd to scrape himself while he was sitting among the ashes.

Is all sickness the result of a direct attack of Satan?   

Satan is the cause of all sickness and suffering.  Many people tend to blame themselves saying that because they have done something that they are suffering an illness. That may not always be the case because the Bible is very clear that Job was a ‘blameless and upright man’.

Loss of health is very challenging because we like to be independent individuals.  Here is Job a man who is quite secure and does not need to depend on others.  But when he comes to this health situation in life, he does not give up because he knows whom he has believed and he is safe in His care.

Sometimes the loss of physical health could have an impact on your spiritual health where you could even start doubting God.  But Job says

“And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:”

Sometimes we make deliberate choices to take what Satan puts in our path and he tells us your body is not the temple of God you can do what you want to do inspite of knowing that what you are choosing to do is not what and how God intended it to be and then we have to face the repercussions of it.

We need to be absolutely sure that if there is anything bad it is not of God.  God sometimes allows things to happen in our lives to strengthen us and He knows where to set the boundaries and draw the line as He did the in the case of Job.  Another important lesson after the trial of sickness Job was blessed.  So we always have something to hold onto if not in this life in the assurance of eternal life.  We can say “though he slay me yet will I trust God.” 

Why did Jesus spend more time healing than preaching?

What lessons can we learn from the healing miracles of Jesus? Mark 5:22–24, 35–43; Matthew 15:22–28; Luke 4:38–39;

John 4:46–54 So Jesus came again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine. And there was a certain [a]nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum. 47 When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and implored Him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.”

49 The nobleman said to Him, “Sir, come down before my child dies!”

50 Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your son lives.” So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way. 51 And as he was now going down, his servants met him and told him, saying, “Your son lives!”

52 Then he inquired of them the hour when he got better. And they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 53 So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, “Your son lives.” And he himself believed, and his whole household.

54 This again is the second sign Jesus did when He had come out of Judea into Galilee.

Here is a rich man a man of position who had all the resources to send him to the best physicians but yet he stepped out in faith.  Many a time people regard faith as something for poor people. People who have no other resources so they then depend on faith.  But here is a man who was otherwise and he still knows where the complete healing will come from.  We may see all the health professionals but we should never lose sight that the final healing comes from God.

e) What practical insights do you gain from James 5:14–17?

James 5:14-17 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.  [a]Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, [b]fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.  Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months.

God is not primarily keen on the physical healing but on the spiritual healing.  The disciples when Jesus sent them were also asked to anoint the sick.  The Oil representing Holy Spirit also signifies that the Holy Spirit heals us both spiritually and physically.  The act of anointing is not reserved only for physical healing it is equally applicable or even more applicable for spiritual healing.

f)  Loss of Freedom

Loss of trust a) What are some events in the life of a family that can cause a breakdown in trust? b) What lessons can we learn from the experience of Peter?

Matthew 26:69–75;  69 Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, “You also were with Jesus of Galilee.”

70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are saying.”

71 And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth.”

72 But again he denied with an oath, “I do not know the Man!”

73 And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, “Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you.”

74 Then he began to [a]curse and [b]swear, saying, “I do not know the Man!”

Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So he went out and wept bitterly.

Loss of freedom

What are some activities that can cause a person to lose his or her freedom?

Romans 6:16-18  Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were [a]delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

John 8:34–36  Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

I would definitely be better off as a slave under God but note what Jesus says I will not call you a slave but I will call you a son and daughter. Being a slave to righteousness assures you of a joyful and happy life.

The loss of freedom due to addiction some of us will never understand.  Addiction in whatever form does something physiologically to our bodies and speaking to people who have gone through it, we will never understand what it is to get up in the morning craving for something that we will harm us but we are so addicted to it that naturally turn towards it.  Those who are slaves to this must realize that their only true freedom comes from Christ He has promised freedom He will give us that freedom.

Medically speaking one will say a recovered or recovering addict is always in recovery but there is testimony after testimony also of people who have been set free by God to the extent that they do not either have a desire or inclination towards what they have been freed from.

The unfortunate is that when we think that person deserves what he got.  He chose to go down that road now he is reaping his just reward.

The Christian must always live in the knowledge that his heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. In its subtlest form, Christian addiction can manifest itself in addiction

To theology

To doing good works as a means of salvation

To you and your views being always right

The list can go one.  One should be more concerned with knowing the truth ABOUT God rather than getting to know Him personally; or in addiction to Christian work rather than to Christ Himself. Remember the words of Jesus to Martha, ‘You are concerned about many things, but Mary has chosen the better part – to sit at My feet and learn of Me’.

Jude 1:24  Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,

What conditions are necessary in order to rebuild trust?   

Luke 22:31-34

31 [d]And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

33 But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.”

34 Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.”

Matthew 26:69-75 

Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, “You also were with Jesus of Galilee.”

But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are saying.”

And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth.”

But again he denied with an oath, “I do not know the Man!”

And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, “Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you.”

Then he began to curse and swear, saying, “I do not know the Man!”

Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So he went out and wept bitterly.

John 21:15–19

15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of [a]Jonah, do you love Me more than these?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I ]love You.”

He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”

16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of [c]Jonah, do you love Me?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I [d]love You.”

He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”

17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of [e]Jonah, do you [f]love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”

And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”

Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep. Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.” 19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”

Peter must have felt terrible after the denial and then in his feeling of sorrow and regret for what he had done.  He remembers the promise

when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

This inspires Peter to know that inspite of what he had done Jesus knew he would come back and that Jesus would trust him again.

We cannot rebuild trust and relationships without Christ because our tendency is you hurt me, you cheated me and I am done with you.

If you have not rebuilt a broken relationship it is either because you don’t want to rebuild the relationship, you don’t trust God with rebuilding the relationship or the other person /s do not want the relationship restored.  Though in your heart you have no more animosity or anger towards the person.

The promise of eternal restoration of all that we have lost on this earth

Revelation 21:1–5

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, [a]John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

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