Our Best Response in the Face of Loss

 A counterintuitive example from Job.

Jonatán Becerra

Part of the human condition is dealing with loss. Living in a post-Edenic fallen world, chaos, entropy, and just plain evil reigns (for a time).

If you haven't experienced loss, you will. The question, really, is how will you respond?

Maybe you're a better person than I am, but I doubt I'll have the faith to respond as Job did when he lost just about everything. In rapid succession Job lost his oxen, donkeys, sheep, camels, and all of his servants to raiders and natural disaster. Last, "a great wind" came and blew down the house of Job's eldest son, killing all of his children who were enjoying one of their infamous feasts at the time.

How did Job react?

He worshiped God:

Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” 
Job 1:20-21

While "blessed be the name of the Lord" seems like a simple statement, in this context it packs quite a bit of meaning. By responding in this manner Job acknowledged several truths:

1. God is sovereign.
2. God is benevolent.
3. God is worthy of praise and fear regardless of our situation.
4. Faith isn't dependent on material blessings from God.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to say that I'd be able to respond in such a godly manner in the face of terrible loss, but who can know for sure how one will react in such circumstances? Quite frankly--although a naïve proposition--I hope I never I have to find out.

All we can do in times of plenty is work our best to strengthen our faith in preparation for these moments. Don't wait until life gets tragic to be diligent in prayer, reading the word, serving and other important spiritual disciplines. The time to act is now. As the saying goes, the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, but the second best time is today.

It's like a farmer who works hard during the growing season to raise food. When the winter comes, he has grain and corn to feed his family. Winter is not the time to start planting.

Those without a strong foundation of faith will struggle during the winters of life. Some will blame God. Some will abandon God. But those with a strong faith are more likely to say, "Blessed be the name of the Lord."

My prayer for you and for me is that we will fall in that latter category. That we will have such a strong faith and such an intimate relationship with God that we can respond to tragedy, as Job did, with praise.

How was Job able to do it?

Like we examined last time, Job's relationship with God wasn't conditional on material factors as Satan assumed. Instead of external factors, Job committed to the almighty in response to his omnipotence. He loved God for who he is, not for the actions that pleased him.

Let's pause for a moment and acknowledge that Job did question God as we will see later, but he did so in a reverent manner rather than with accusations and anger as so many of us respond.

God's okay with us asking why, we just might not always get the answer. Some mysteries are beyond our understanding.

Furthermore we must recognize that God can use any tragedy, any loss, any misfortune for his glory and for our benefit.  Through loss he can teach us to rely more on him. In tragedy he can make us stronger. Through financial distress he can bless us.

This is the essence of Paul's message to the Romans in chapter 8. He wrote that "for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose" (Rom. 8:28). Don't get caught up on that last part. If you're still sucking wind, God is calling you to carry out his will. It's up to you to pick up that mantle and move forward.

So don't get blindsided by loss; it's coming. Such is the reality of a fallen world. Instead prepare yourselves by doing the hard work of tilling the soil, sowing the seed, and working the harvest. In so doing, you'll be better prepared when the winters of life rear their heads.

One of the best ways to grow in your faith is to establish or strengthen a habit of quiet time with God. Spending time with someone is the best way to cultivate a relationship, and that axiom applies to our relationship with God too.

If you've ever struggled with consistency in your prayer life or just want to enhance your quiet time, you might be interested in my free guide called, How to Establish a Habit of Daily Quiet Time with God. You'll learn the steps I took to build a strong habit in my life that has lasted well over a decade. When once I struggled with consistency, now my time with God is automatic.

If you're interested, you can get your own copy for free. Just enter your email address below, and I'll send it your way:


  1. Great article Andy. I hope that if or when I am in Job’s situation I will be strong enough to act as he did. It is a testament to his strong faith and love for God that he was able to endure this.

    1. Me too! Praise in the midst of grief is probably only possible by the grace of God. Thanks for the comment.