Loss vs. Gain

Devotional

Material Loss

In the last devotion we looked at personal loss like the loss of a loved one. In this devotion we are looking at material loss – the things we have in life that we can lose. Here, again God provides. He provides perspective. He provides purpose. and He provides perfectly. Let’s look at God’s provisions in this type of loss.

At the time of Christ’s crucifixion, Matthew records two contrasting perspectives to Christ’s death and resurrection. The first is the group of soldiers who guarded Jesus’ tomb. They, no doubt, were witnesses to the miraculous events of the seal breaking and the stone rolling away. What an incredible testimony to the truth of Jesus’ resurrection the soldiers could have given. However, scripture says, that the chief priests and elders offered money to the soldiers to lie about what they had witnessed. Instead of the truth of the resurrection, they lied and said that the disciples stole the body. This is contrasted with the centurion who stated at Jesus' crucifixion, “Truly this was the Son of God." The soldiers gained wealth, which was spent. The soldiers traded their reputation and character for wealth. The Centurion gained nothing of earthly value but is still remembered today as a man of character and truth. God gives us a right perspective about material loss and eternal gain.

But He also gives us a purpose. Timothy writes in his first letter that we are to be rich in good works, ready to give and willing to share. The world tells us to be rich in the material things, but the Scriptures teach us to be rich in good works for they are the true treasure. This purpose has an eternal value that cannot be lost. The things of this earth are not eternal and will rust and fade. Which riches should we pursue? Those of the temporary or those of the eternal?

Finally, we are given an incredible promise in Paul’s letter to the Philippians. He tells them that God supplies all of their needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus. Did you catch that? In loss, God provides perfectly through His Son, Jesus. Even in loss, which is part of life, God provides above and beyond. In fact, he provides all. Are we open-handed or close-fisted to the gifts of God?

For more Strong at the Broken Places resources – podcasts and free downloadable Study Guide – visit gsot.edu/strong. The Grace Center for Spiritual Development at Grace School of Theology provides non-degree studies, live online bible study opportunities, and resources like this devotional.