In this series we have looked at the things in life that can break us – trials, failures and suffering – and what God does to strengthen us in the midst of our brokenness. In these next three devotions we will focus on loss; both personal and material loss. But first we need to look at the overriding truth we see in Scripture – that out of loss comes gain.
Paul tells the Philippians the things that he placed his confidence in. His pedigree was that he was born into the right family, of the right stock, of the right tribe and was a Hebrew of Hebrews. He did nothing to achieve these things, they were simply his by birth. He goes on to share his confidence in his performance. He was the best Pharisee. He was the best in the Law. He was the best at persecuting the church (which he thought was right). He was righteous and blameless in his own eyes. These are the things he placed his trust in and relied on. These things are literally what drove him — his pedigree and his performance.
He then makes an incredible statement. He states, “What things were gain to me I have counted loss for Christ.” In other words, he had it all except the one thing that counted – Jesus Christ. He takes this statement further when he says he counts all things as loss for the excellence of knowing Christ deeply. Finally, he turns this whole truth upside down when he says that he not only considers all things loss but that he has suffered the loss of all things (power, status, position, and wealth) for the sake of gaining Christ. To state it another way, Paul counts all things loss for Christ for whom he has suffered the loss of all things.
To put this into a simple statement, Paul says to have all things and not know Christ is loss, but to lose all things and know Christ is gain. Where do you place your trust and confidence in? What would you be willing to lose to gain Christ?
The biblical truth is that out of loss comes gain. What you lose, gains you Jesus Christ. If what you have gained keeps you from knowing Christ deeply, are you willing to lose it? Paul’s ultimate goal was to know Christ. Is that your ultimate goal?