– C.S. Lewis
My Own Loss and Gain
I had a good job working for the state of Kansas for a foster care agency. I loved the job and the staff and really enjoyed working with children, but trying to run two ministries, pastor a church, and write for a Christian ministry’s website was just too much. I finally decided that I couldn’t do it all, so I turned in my notice, even though this job was such a financial blessing to me. What I lost as a blessing became an even greater blessing where I could do what I loved to do anyway and do it for, hopefully, the glory of God. It did come in an unexpected way and at an unexpected time, but it was nothing unexpected by God.
Paul’s Loss Was His Gain
Paul had it made before he was saved. He was of “the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ” (Phil 3:5-7). This was no small thing for Paul, but what he gained was in the value that surpassed everything on earth (Phil 3:8). He had lifelong security in both standing in the community and in his work, but compared to Christ, his loss of this blessing was surpassed by the far, far better riches found in Christ.
One Man’s Loss Is His Gain
Our church has a prison ministry, and one young man that I wrote to for over five years was finally getting released. The irony is that he lost his home, his car, his job, and really his family by committing a crime and ending up in prison. What a loss, right? Not so fast. This young man was saved in prison and became a powerful witness for Christ behind bars. He completed a Bible course for pastors, and when he got out, he was ordained as our associate pastor. What seemed like a lost blessing–his job, his belongings, and his freedom–ended up as the greatest blessing he would ever receive. He was saved in prison. If not for this prison experience, he may never have humbled himself and cried out to God, so his loss was the greatest blessing anyone could ever receive, and that was Christ.
What About You?
Can you tell us how much of a blessing you received when you lost another? When the Lord blesses you, He won’t add sorrow to it (Prov 10:22). The Lord gives the power to get wealth (Duet 8:18) and will bless those who are of a generous spirit. The blessings could come as children or provisions (Duet 28:11). Are we willing to let one blessing go in order to receive a greater one? Daniel and his companions refused the blessings of the king’s delicacies but ended being more blessed than those who sat at the king’s table (Dan 1:15). C.S. Lewis is right: When we lose one blessing, another greater blessing is unexpectedly given in its place.
Is anything in this world, or in this universe as precious as Christ? Can you see why Paul considered everything as rubbish compared to knowing Christ, and he is exactly right. When you lose a blessing, just remember that the Lord gives and the Lord takes away; even so, blessed by the name of the Lord.