The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. (2 Tim. 4:18)

BETTY TOOK A FEARLESS INVENTORY of everything she lost when her husband of twenty-nine years abandoned her for his younger secretary. She lost her sense of identity as a wife, her constant companion, friends and family members who sided with her husband, financial security for the future, dreams of retirement, half of the furniture, and one of their two dogs.

As Betty looked at this list, her first reactions were a mix of anger, fear, and shame. Over time, those feelings mellowed into sadness. As that cloud slowly lifted, Betty came to a place of accepting those losses, and she found the ability to forgive her husband and his mistress. She asked God to be merciful to them when they gave an account of their actions to Him on the day of judgment.

Paul was no stranger to significant losses in his life. He was abandoned by people he had come to trust. People said things about him that were false. The very companions who should have had his back were plunging “daggers” into his back instead.

Even so, Paul remained steadfast in the tasks God had assigned to him. Anyone who is faithful to Christ is going to suffer significant losses on His behalf. Only if we face those losses fearlessly, and grieve them appropriately, will we find the freedom to forgive and carry on for Christ.

Ask God to enable you to forgive those who have created significant losses in your life.

Doug Schmidt is a freelance writer and editor and is on staff with his church as a small-