Men’s Devotional | 2022 - Day 9
Loss and Stress
By Al Leite
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”Matthew 6:33-34
A t any age or stage of our lives, we all experience many emotional moments such as happiness, joy, or being overwhelmed by good feelings. However, what do we do when we experience the other side of those feelings?
For the past two years, the world has experienced so much loss and stress for various reasons, whether physical, financial, emotional, or spiritual. Those moments in our life, which sometimes become seasons, will require a specific mindset and the right attitudes, actions, and decisions to help us stay on or return to the right track.
Let me share a specific season in my life when loss and stress were a daily experience. Years ago, we experienced a season when we did not have jobs or even a church community. During this time, my brother-in-law was murdered in my home country, Brazil. Then, my wife lost a baby through miscarriage, which was painful physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
One day I didn’t want to leave my bedroom or open my eyes because I was overwhelmed with my thoughts of loss and stress. Without a doubt, we knew one person in the holy scripture that experienced the feelings and emotions that we experienced—Job.
I always looked up to Job for encouragement and hope in stressful moments. I believe his faith in God and attitude before God are two things that, together, produce the effective choices to overcome those types of situations and put us back on the right track in life.
As I am sharing this experience with you, I am relearning the lessons that God taught me during that season which continue to help me. The idea of doing things will always be easier than actually doing things that need to be done. However, I encourage you to consider these thoughts during a moment or season of loss and stress.
First, consider your faith. Instead of putting faith in yourself, a thing, or human knowledge, place your faith in the Almighty God who created the heavens and the earth. My friend, June Hunt, says that we should not put our trust in someone or something that can be taken away. Because being a child of God does not give us the power to fix or know everything. It does give us the ability to rest in His sovereignty and trust that He will use any situation for our ultimate good and His ultimate glory.
Second, consider your attitude. Our mindset determines our actions and decisions, which demonstrates where our faith is. One thing that can help us with a good attitude is a good plan. Your plan should include prayer, scripture reading, and maintaining personal accountability with godly people. Having these three things as part of your forward-thinking attitude will reflect where you have put your faith.
Early on in my walk with God, I learned Matthew 6:33-34. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
These verses continuously come to my mind and heart, and the Holy Spirit has allowed them to take root in my soul. By casting all my cares on God, He cares for me and my needs, including my need to overcome loss and stress.
Faith and attitude are the elements that help my perspective during difficult situations in my life. Today, I look back on that season of loss and stress and see one of the positive results was becoming much closer to our God. Pain puts us in the spotlight to decide to look to God for our solutions. Without a doubt, because of God’s grace, mercy, and love, His strength allows us to overcome those moments or seasons in our life.
Al Leite has been married to his wife, Rachel, for almost 20 years. God has blessed them with four children; Hava, Levi, Daniel, and Boaz. Al was a civil engineer in Brazil and moved to the U.S. in 2002. Today, he is a seminary student at Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary, where he aims to obtain a Master of Divinity with a concentration in Biblical Counseling. For over a decade, their family has served in various ministries at First Baptist Dallas. He even serves as a journeyman electrician. He is thankful to God for all the professional skills and opportunities to serve the community through counseling and discipleship.