How does this phrase sit with you? “What God takes from us, ’tis gain to lose”. This is strong meat! When life deals a blow to our circumstances or emotions, our comfort zones are disturbed. Do I blame the devil or believe that ultimately God is in control of my life and He permits, in His wisdom, what He could prevent in His power?
Romans 8:28 declares: “And we know that ALL things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose”. This is a tough trial of your faith when you are suffering, but nevertheless, God is faithful and is able to minister grace and strength in the darkest testing times. The Lord declared to the apostle Paul in his affliction: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness”, 2 Corinthians 12:9. Here lies the opportunity to prove God, to find the sufficiency of grace His word declares is available to each of us, but so often, we refuse to come to Him to find it in the trial. Instead we ask God to change our circumstances, when He permitted them to change us!
Consider the word gain. The world may define it as to obtain, or secure, something wanted, or desired. As disciples of Jesus we have a different outlook on gain. Have we yet been tested in deep waters that we can declare like Job: “….the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord”, Job 1:21. In divine permission, can I agree that what God takes from us, ’tis gain to lose?…….or am I striving to cling on to what I don’t want to lose? When God gets hold of a person, our world is turned upside down. We are no longer governed by sense knowledge, our natural understanding. It has no place in the kingdom of God. Here we discover that our heavenly Father wants us to constantly surrender our independence and strengths, and become totally dependent on Him for everything. The irony is that He has made all His fullness available to us through the resurrected life of His wonderful Son, Jesus Christ, yet still, in our stubborness and independence, we strive to do things our way independently, believing we are so right when we are so wrong! We refuse to walk in our inheritance, all that is available to us in Christ. Surrender is a daily choice, humility is an obligation to walk this way. Why would I refuse? Pride! God resists the proud, (1 Peter 5:5). If I don’t believe it then I will prove it and suffer all the accompanying pain of resisting surrender. The blessings of surrender far outway the pain of resistance to obeying Jesus’ call: “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”, Matthew 11:28.
The apostle Paul was brought to the place where he proved God and found it was gain to lose. 2 Corinthians 6 is the chapter where he exhorts us not to have received the grace of God in vain. God’s grace administered to us has divine purpose, it is not just to make us feel good. It is a timely reminder to remember that we live our lives to an audience of One, (quote by Anne Graham Lotz). Seeing things from God’s perspective in the kingdom of God, Paul could declare joyfully: “As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing, as poor, yet making many rich, as having nothing, yet possessing all things”, 2 Corinthians 6: 10. His purse was full of coins of another realm!
Proverbs 10:22 “The blessing of the Lord makes rich and adds no sorrow”. If this is not your experience as yet, take heart, God is wanting you to prove His abundant provision in every area of your life, that you may arrive at the place when you can truthfully declare to Him, “Lord Jesus, You are more than enough!”……..for if you have received Him, then you have everything you will ever need.
Matthew 6:33 Jesus declared: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you”.
We live to give. We are stewards of all God has given us, nothing belongs to us ultimately. 1 Corinthians 4:2 “It is required in stewards that a man be found faithful”. The issue of stewardship is major. We are stewards of our time, love, finance, possessions, relationships and are required to move as the Lord directs us in order to be faithful.
Our Father wants to lead us to the place where we will be fully leaning on him, our independence surrendered. Here we will find the fullness of His sufficiency made available to our every need. He is Almighty God, the great I AM.
This tongue and interpretation was delivered in our Gathering Sunday morning:
“Come up to the mountain, come up to the mountain top and view as I see. The landscape is immense, the landscape is glorious. This is what I have called you to. I want to plant your feet where I dwell, it is so much higher. There is so much more to see, much more to experience. Come up higher with Me”.
Philippians 1:21 “For me to live is Christ, to die is GAIN”.
Photo by Catalin Pop on Unsplash