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Embracing Trials - Part 3
5/24/2013

Count it All Loss

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 1 Timothy 6:10 (NKJV)

We’re looking at a devotional series titled, “Embracing Trials,” and it is based off the Scripture in James 1:2 where we are told, “Count it all joy when you face various trials.”  To do this we must realize God is allowing these trials as part of His way of shaping and transforming us to be like Christ, and to be properly prepared for Christian ministry. 

In Part 2, we looked at our second principle for embracing trials, which is, “The trials allowed by God here on earth will help us to stay humble.”  So, let’s take a look at our next principle for embracing trials. 

·      God is allowing us to go through trials to keep us from being dependent upon our earthly possessions.

Hey, let’s face it, the more stuff we possess, the more we feel as though we can tackle and handle anything.  All too often our attitudes, outlooks, and overall moods are dependent on our view of our financial safety.  If we believe we have enough resources, then we tend to feel safe.  And in the same context—if we don’t have abundance, we tend to feel vulnerable and unsafe. 

Satan’s fall was due to his pride, so this is one of the ways he seeks to get us to stumble as well.  He can accomplish this by tempting us to believe we are self-sufficient because our abilities, possessions, or that we are somehow responsible for what we have, rather than giving God the glory for these things.  When we face various trials that threaten our wealth, health, and everything we have falsely placed our security in, we can find ourselves humbly at the foot of the cross—acknowledging God, our true provider, declaring our full dependence upon Him, and praising His many blessings upon our lives. 

It isn’t just the acquisition of money or physical possessions prompting us to feel secure—it can be the knowledge we have acquired through education.  Knowledge can puff us up, and we can tend to feel safer when we feel smarter—it’s as if we can figure our way out of any predicament or trial we’re facing.  Having these things isn’t wrong—what’s wrong is when we place our focus on them and our trust in them—rather than God alone!

Q:         So if we cannot put our faith into our education, our money, our jobs, talents, our homes, or any other possession, what can we place our faith in?

Our faith should be in Jesus Christ, and in what He accomplished on our behalf upon the cross of Calvary.  The Apostle Paul knew this very well when he wrote to the Philippians about where his confidence was found, saying, “If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I have even more” (Phil. 3:4).   He then goes on to list all the accomplishments he has with regard to his learning and acquired knowledge, but then finishes with this astonishing testimony of truth and honor to God.

“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ…” Philippians 3:7-8 (NKJV)

He counted everything he possessed as rubbish, except for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord.  And this is exactly what we should say when we face trials, which result in the loss of our possessions—“It’s all rubbish—I’ve still got Christ as my Lord and Savior.”

I want to encourage you to meditate upon these truths today.

STUDY QUESTION: According to the Scriptures contained within this devotional, what should we count as loss, and where should we find our confidence?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Do you count everything loss except your knowledge of Jesus Christ?  Are you building up heavenly treasures or attempting to store up treasures here on earth?

APPLICATION: When we face a financial trial, let’s choose to count our blessings and place our total dependence upon God.  Let’s repent of putting our faith into anything else and let’s choose to become fully dependent upon God.

Father, thank You for all provision.  Thank You for the family You’ve given us, the home You’ve allowed us to have, the jobs you have allowed us to be stewards of, and everything else You’ve given to us.  Help us to see the opportunities to bring glory to You in all of these things. In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

 


Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000