1996-08-09 - When Loss Is Gain
Sometimes, we have to lose what we think is valuable, to gain what truly is valuable. As the martyred missionary to the Aucas, Jim Elliot, said "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." Although God often abundantly blesses us here on earth, our truest blessings are above:
Heb 11:26 (NIV) He (Moses) regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. What we gain are eternal rewards.
Sometimes God asks us to give up a part of our personality, or our habits, or perhaps old friends: 2 Cor 5:15-17 (NIV) And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! What we gain, is the peaceful life that comes from obedience to Him, and sometimes new friends!
Sometimes He asks us to give up a lifestyle, to simplify so we can concentrate on our commission from Him: Mat 10:9-10 (NIV) Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; 10 take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep. But what we gain, is the reward of the fulfillment that comes from having our contentment in serving Him.
Sometimes He asks us to give up one job for another one. Mat 4:18-19 (NIV) As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." What we gain, are the contentment and joy that comes from being a part of His plan for the world, and of using our gifts as they were meant to be used. He has given us all gifts, and we will be yearning and restless until we are using them as He wants us to....
Sometimes He asks us to give up a burden we have been carrying: Mat 11:29-30 (NIV) Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." What we gain, is His peace. Sometimes this verse astounds me. Think about it: If the burden we are carrying seems overwhelming, it is *not* from Him. His burden is *light.* If our burden seems too much for us to bear, we are either carrying something He doesn't want us to, or not handling it like He wants us to....And we need to pray that He will give us discernment in this.
Sometimes He asks us to give up our earthly lives, like Jim Elliot. Acts 21:13 (NIV) Then Paul answered, "Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus." What we gain, are Heavenly rewards.
Dear Lord, please help us to see losses and gains more from Your perspective, and live accordingly. In Jesus' name amen.
: ) Jan