When Setbacks Come, Focus on the Big Picture

“I was born with nothing, and I will die with nothing. The Lord gave, and now he has taken away. May his name be praised!”

Job 1:21 (GNT)

When you hit a setback, it’s okay to tell God you’re mad, you’re sad, or you’re depressed. It’s okay to express all your emotions to God.

Just don’t get bitter.

Bitterness is like saying you don’t trust God when troubles hit. It’s like a poison that will tear your life apart if you let it.

Job endured all kinds of problems. He lost his family, his fortune, and his health. But instead of becoming bitter, he kept his focus on the big picture. He understood that God was still in control even though everything in his life seemed to be falling apart.

Job said, “I was born with nothing, and I will die with nothing. The Lord gave, and now he has taken away. May his name be praised!” (Job 1:21 GNT).

I was in the room when each of my three children was born. They didn’t come with anything. They didn’t have toys, a resume, a wardrobe, or a cell phone. I’ve also preached enough funerals to know that no one drives a trailer of possessions to the graveside.

You come with nothing. You leave with nothing.

When setbacks come your way—and they most certainly will—you must focus on the fact that God has your big picture in mind.

Many things will change in your life. Your faith will be tested and tried. Like Job, you haven’t been promised a perfect life. You likely won’t get an explanation when setbacks come. But you can choose to trust God anyway.

No matter what setbacks you face, you can trust that . . . 

   God will never stop loving you.

   God has a plan for your life.

   God cares about every detail of your life.

   God is in control of things even when you don’t understand it.

   God will protect you.

Regardless of any setback, those five truths make up the big picture of your life. When everything else falls apart, you can base your life on them.

You won’t get bitter if you keep your eyes on a big picture like that.

Talk It Over

  • How have you battled bitterness when you’ve faced setbacks?

  • How does understanding the big-picture truths about your life change the way you understand setbacks?

  • Who can you share the message of this devotional with this week?

Will you follow Jesus today?

God proved his goodness through his Son, Jesus Christ. The Bible says, “For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 CSB).

Are you ready to trust God to fulfill his promise of eternal life? If so, pray this simple prayer: "Dear God, I believe Jesus Christ is your Son. I confess I have sinned, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe that Jesus died to take away my sins and that you raised him to life. I want to trust Jesus as my Savior and follow him as Lord from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen."

If you just prayed to accept Jesus, please email me at [email protected] and let me know about it. I’d like to send you some free materials to help you start your journey with Jesus.

Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.