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Date: 08.15.17
Why Every Challenge and Every Loss Brings Opportunity

every challenge

Have you noticed we spend many of our days simultaneously celebrating blessings but also experiencing grief? Child graduating from high school?  Praise God! Child graduating and moving out? Grief. New job offer? Yay, Jesus! New job that requires relocation? Grief. New marriage? Yay! New marriage that requires adjustment to a blended family? Happiness and sadness mingled together.

On a recent flight, I was talking to the Lord about this and specifically about a few disappointments in my personal life. As I poured out my heart to the Savior, I wrote down the following thoughts that flooded my mind. . .

Do not frame your life and its losses within the context of your finite existence on earth. Frame them within the context of an infinite eternal existence filled with everything good. Then what has disappointed you won’t pain you so. Don’t you see? You haven’t permanently lost anything. I will make all things new! Because you haven’t truly lost anything, life is only filled with opportunities.

In Me, your best life in eternity is yet to come! When you keep your eyes on Me, you will see that the trouble you experience now will be eclipsed by the wondrous joy of heaven. All you have now are opportunities to love, to make a difference for Me, and to glorify Me every moment.

As I pondered these truths days later, the thought came to mind: Every challenge and every loss brings opportunity.

If you are unemployed, you have an opportunity to glorify God by how you trust Him. You have an opportunity to spend more intimate moments with Him, to develop greater compassion for others, or to start that new business that has always interested you.

If you have lost a loved one, you have an opportunity to grow in your faith, or maybe to develop a new foundation to help others like you.

If you are part of a blended family, you have the opportunity to glorify God and make an eternal impact.

In describing the challenges that he and his companions had while spreading the gospel, Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 1:8-9:

“We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters,about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself.  Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened [so] that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. . .”

For Paul, the trouble in Asia ushered in an opportunity: “. . .  [so] that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. . .”

Every challenge and every loss brings opportunity.

Today I was speaking with a friend who told me about a problem at work. “It’s troubling,” she said. “I can see that,” I responded. Then I said, “Every difficulty brings opportunity. Is this an opportunity to take a risk to empower others? To work to change the culture? To develop perseverance? What’s your opportunity?”

What’s yours?

Posted in: Faith Life Challenges

Comments

33 thoughts on “Why Every Challenge and Every Loss Brings Opportunity

  1. Shana —

    “If you are unemployed, you have an opportunity to glorify God by how you trust Him. You have an opportunity to spend more intimate moments with Him, to develop greater compassion for others, or to start that new business that has always interested you.”

    BINGO! I was laid off for the first time on 6/1/17, and I am a full-time freelance writer again. Business and $$ are tough right now, but every day I grow closer to Jesus, thanking him for every day in my life.

    Steve

    1. Steve,

      So glad this hit the spot. Keep looking to Him and sowing seeds. You never know what He might prosper. You will look back on this time of difficulty with fondness of the sweetness between you and the Lord.

      Many blessings,
      Shana

  2. God truly does work ALL things together for our good. I lost my job 4 years ago and have had the OPPORTUNITY to serve in a part time role at an after school program for high risk kids. Shana, your writings have been a great source of hope and encouragement along this journey. Thank you! God is so good!!

    1. David,

      I am so glad that the Lord has ministered to you through what He has given me. That’s marvelous. We have a friend of our family who is on the same journey. It’s hard to see what God is doing, but indeed He has a plan and I am glad that you are keeping your eyes on Him.
      Yay for working with those kids. That’s awesome. #eternalimpact

  3. “Every challenge and every loss brings opportunity.” I am trusting God that every setback, including but not limited to every single NO from a potential employer in the nearly 6 months of unemployment I am experiencing, is a set up for something Great God has for me. I see & experience the goodness of God in my life every day. My vision nor my faith walk is based on my employment status. While I am not always enjoying my enforced almost 6 month unofficial “staycation”, I can say it has given me the luxury of exploring my role in the body of Christ, increase my gratitude for His goodness and to reestablish & nurture my relationship with God. Thanks Shana for this right on time, thought-provoking message.

  4. I have a lot of opportunity at work, at home and with a blended family. It is easy to get discouraged. However, after months of not having the right attitude I am refocused. My thoughts and actions are shifting in the right direction.
    I always enjoy reading your blog. Thank you . I remember when you took some time off. I am glad you are back.
    Blessings!

    1. Hi, Stacie.

      The good seeds you plant now in your family will sprout later, either here or in eternity. Keep a very long term perspective and remember why you do what you do and WHO you do it for. It’s to honor Him.

      Many blessings,
      Shana

  5. Your words today really made me look at things from a different perspective. Truly the Holy Spirit is guiding your words and your work. I always look forward to reading your messages. They’re short and sweet but packed with a punch. Keep up the good work, Shana.

  6. Loss of a precious son ,cannot understand this tragedy, asking WHY GOD! I feel like I am going to die because I can’t seem to move forward. Please pray for me

    1. Loretta,

      I am so very sorry. I cannot imagine the grief of what you are going through. I am saying a prayer for you right now. This may not be the right time and you may have already thought of this, but if you haven’t yet, you might consider becoming a part of a Grief Share group in your local community. They are in churches across the country.

      May God give you His peace and comfort.

      Shana

  7. Thank you for your encouraging & timely message. I have a work situation in which a job offer/promotion was only offered to me and my coworker. Two people from our corporate office came to interview us to help them decide which of us two would be better suited for this job. if this offer goes to my coworker, without a doubt, I will be disappointed and will need this message to encourage myself. Big thanks!

  8. Thank you for that true and mighty word. I am and have been climbing an uphill battle for the last 2
    .5 years. I pray that I will continue to see you in all this as my opportunity tp grow stronger in You.

    1. You are welcome, Dee! Most often things don’t make sense until we are looking at them on the back end. I am certain your struggle will make more sense in the future as God illumines your path.
      Many blessings to you,
      Shana

  9. Awesome message, needed to hear this today, especially learning how to use “Every difficulty to bring an opportunity”. Never look at my difficulties like that.

  10. I discovered your Why Every Challenge and Every Loss Brings Opportunity – ShanaSchutte.com | Beyond Imagination With Shana Schutte page and noticed you could have a lot more traffic. I have found that the key to running a website is making sure the visitors you are getting are interested in your subject matter. We can send you targeted traffic and we let you try it for free. Get over 1,000 targeted visitors per day to your website. Start your free trial: http://gd.is/y/nfhpq Unsubscribe here: http://gd.is/y/mun53

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  • Shana —

    “If you are unemployed, you have an opportunity to glorify God by how you trust Him. You have an opportunity to spend more intimate moments with Him, to develop greater compassion for others, or to start that new business that has always interested you.”

    BINGO! I was laid off for the first time on 6/1/17, and I am a full-time freelance writer again. Business and $$ are tough right now, but every day I grow closer to Jesus, thanking him for every day in my life.

    Steve

    • Steve,

      So glad this hit the spot. Keep looking to Him and sowing seeds. You never know what He might prosper. You will look back on this time of difficulty with fondness of the sweetness between you and the Lord.

      Many blessings,
      Shana

  • God truly does work ALL things together for our good. I lost my job 4 years ago and have had the OPPORTUNITY to serve in a part time role at an after school program for high risk kids. Shana, your writings have been a great source of hope and encouragement along this journey. Thank you! God is so good!!

    • David,

      I am so glad that the Lord has ministered to you through what He has given me. That’s marvelous. We have a friend of our family who is on the same journey. It’s hard to see what God is doing, but indeed He has a plan and I am glad that you are keeping your eyes on Him.
      Yay for working with those kids. That’s awesome. #eternalimpact

  • “Every challenge and every loss brings opportunity.” I am trusting God that every setback, including but not limited to every single NO from a potential employer in the nearly 6 months of unemployment I am experiencing, is a set up for something Great God has for me. I see & experience the goodness of God in my life every day. My vision nor my faith walk is based on my employment status. While I am not always enjoying my enforced almost 6 month unofficial “staycation”, I can say it has given me the luxury of exploring my role in the body of Christ, increase my gratitude for His goodness and to reestablish & nurture my relationship with God. Thanks Shana for this right on time, thought-provoking message.

  • I have a lot of opportunity at work, at home and with a blended family. It is easy to get discouraged. However, after months of not having the right attitude I am refocused. My thoughts and actions are shifting in the right direction.
    I always enjoy reading your blog. Thank you . I remember when you took some time off. I am glad you are back.
    Blessings!

    • Hi, Stacie.

      The good seeds you plant now in your family will sprout later, either here or in eternity. Keep a very long term perspective and remember why you do what you do and WHO you do it for. It’s to honor Him.

      Many blessings,
      Shana

  • Your words today really made me look at things from a different perspective. Truly the Holy Spirit is guiding your words and your work. I always look forward to reading your messages. They’re short and sweet but packed with a punch. Keep up the good work, Shana.

  • Loss of a precious son ,cannot understand this tragedy, asking WHY GOD! I feel like I am going to die because I can’t seem to move forward. Please pray for me

    • Loretta,

      I am so very sorry. I cannot imagine the grief of what you are going through. I am saying a prayer for you right now. This may not be the right time and you may have already thought of this, but if you haven’t yet, you might consider becoming a part of a Grief Share group in your local community. They are in churches across the country.

      May God give you His peace and comfort.

      Shana

  • Thank you for your encouraging & timely message. I have a work situation in which a job offer/promotion was only offered to me and my coworker. Two people from our corporate office came to interview us to help them decide which of us two would be better suited for this job. if this offer goes to my coworker, without a doubt, I will be disappointed and will need this message to encourage myself. Big thanks!

  • Thank you for that true and mighty word. I am and have been climbing an uphill battle for the last 2
    .5 years. I pray that I will continue to see you in all this as my opportunity tp grow stronger in You.

    • You are welcome, Dee! Most often things don’t make sense until we are looking at them on the back end. I am certain your struggle will make more sense in the future as God illumines your path.
      Many blessings to you,
      Shana

  • Awesome message, needed to hear this today, especially learning how to use “Every difficulty to bring an opportunity”. Never look at my difficulties like that.

  • I discovered your Why Every Challenge and Every Loss Brings Opportunity – ShanaSchutte.com | Beyond Imagination With Shana Schutte page and noticed you could have a lot more traffic. I have found that the key to running a website is making sure the visitors you are getting are interested in your subject matter. We can send you targeted traffic and we let you try it for free. Get over 1,000 targeted visitors per day to your website. Start your free trial: http://gd.is/y/nfhpq Unsubscribe here: http://gd.is/y/mun53