Sunday, September 3, 2023

What Do We Really Lose?

What Do We Really Lose?
by David Brenneman 

We are in this life that we live for a purpose...but is it what you really think it is?  What do you really get by giving up what you cannot keep to get what you cannot lose?

Many times in my own life God's removed things from me, either by His hand or by putting situations in play that require me to let go.  

We are stewards of what we have and what we're given.  We who are in Christ are aliens, visitors, guests, non-citizens of this world.  

Do we want a full and satisfied life? Sure! Who doesn't?  What about a place to live? A nice home?  Again, sure! 

Do these things happen for everyone?  The truth is that it's not going to happen for everyone.  

For Christians our life is hidden with Christ in God.  Colossians 3:3. 

The risks of having a very full life can actually be dangerous.  In our day and age we have countless videos of countless people who have struck it rich...who are the most miserable people in the world. 

We have more than enough evidence to show that possessions do not make the man or woman what they can be nor does it show their heart.

We were forced to make extremely difficult decisions when we moved.  If you ever saw the show "Hoarders", and no weren't that bad, making tough choices is central to its concept.  A pitch pile, a keep pile and a donate pile.  Our experience was very accelerated.  We had to cut down very quickly to be ready to move.  

Proverbs 3:5-6 applied well.  Leaning not on your own understanding.  Trusting in God as to what to let go of n what to keep. 

Even now, it's a lesson learned.  Lesson? A lesson on losing your things?  As it has been said, you bring nothing into this world, you will take nothing out of it but you.  There are no U-Haul's attached to caskets. 

Your stuff isn't important to Jesus as it is to you.

You are important to Jesus. 
You were why He came, lived a sinless life and died a horrific death on a cross. 
You, not your stuff.

All the stuff everyone sees will be someday consumed by fire.  We live in an industrialized world alright, one that cares not about making anything last.  Restoration businesses are expensive. 

What are we here for then?  We are here to first come to Christ for salvation, then to grow in Christ as a true child of God.  To share that with others so they can find that free gift themselves.  Jesus came to seek and save the lost. He didn't come to open stores to supply everything everyone would ever want.  

It was His love for you that He often allows things in your life.  Things that cause you pain as well as joy.  

"All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness."
Hebrews 12:11

Our personal happiness is not the first consideration in the life of a Believer by the Spirit.  His job is a multifold job.  Protect the Word of God, draw people to a life in Christ, and grow Believer's in Christ to be conformed to the likeness of Christ Jesus. To intercede on our behalf with groans too deep for words when we don't know how to pray. 

Notice it isn't to be our personal ATM.
Notice it isn't to be our personal Butler. 
Notice it isn't to be our personal Genie.

When loss hits us it feels personal. That we doubt our ability to be successful in caring for ourselves or our families.  It's a challenge to not lean on our own understanding.  Separating our feelings from the situation is difficult.  Trust in the Lord is what must come first. Loss causes us to reevaluate.  Many times that's the potential root cause.  The path we are on isn't what God has in mind for us.  It's what WE want but again our lives in this here this now are according to His plan and purpose, not ours.  We COULD have been born in the 1800's or the 16th century but we weren't.  We are here for a Godly purpose.  It may not look at all attractive from the physical side of life.  But spiritually speaking it may produce the desired crown of gold to give Jesus someday that makes it all worth it.

We indeed are to work hard at life, providing for ourselves and others. Being generous with what God's blessed us with.  Striving to please Him in all that we do as the hymn writer said. 

Honestly I am very grateful for what all we have left behind.  In their time they served the purpose we needed them for.  God's storehouses are always full.  He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly beyond all that we can ask or think.  Able yes. But only the right way to consider it is that while the ability is there, praying with right motives is required of us.  

Jesus said to be anxious for nothing. Read it for yourself. 

"Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows." Matthew 10:29-31

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7.

Indeed it's natural to grieve the loss of things as well as people.  But don't keep it to yourself. Take those thoughts to Jesus in prayer.  Ask Him to guide your steps because He knows best.  Ask Him to grant you clarity of thought.  Ask for His hand to lead you to what's next.  Lean not on your own understanding and in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. 

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. Lockman Foundation.

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