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8-Great Principles For Embracing Trials-Part 3

8 Principles For Embracing Trials-Part 3
Count it All Loss

"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." John 15:5 (NKJV)

We're looking at a devotional series titled, "8-Principles for embracing trials," and it is based off the Scripture in James 1:2 where we are commanded to, "Count it all joy when you face various trials."  To be able to "Count it all joy," 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 our second principle for embracing trials, which is, "God is humbling us."  So, let's take a look at our third principle for embracing trials.  

3.      "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.  When we have an abundance of money in the bank, we don't worry when the washer goes out, or the roof needs replacing.   Many people, who once lived lavishly and somewhat wastefully, are being tested today.  A once robust economy painted a picture of strength, success, and stability, is now smoldering and millions of jobs thought to be secure have been lost.

All too often our attitudes, outlooks, and overall moods are dependent on our view of 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.  

Q:    Why do we put so much priority on acquiring possessions and money to feel secure?

A:    Because we are being tempted to live for this earthly life, rather than Kingdom life.

Jesus addressed this very subject in the Book of Matthew.

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21 (NKJV)

The temptation of focusing on the acquisition of money was so serious, the Apostle Paul wrote to warn Timothy about it as well.

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. 1Timothy 6:10 (NKJV)

We need to note here, Paul isn't saying, "Money is evil."  He's saying its a tool, pure and simple - it's the love for it, which brings about the evil.  

It isn't just the acquisition of money or physical possessions prompting people to feel secure - it can be the knowledge their education has provided for them.  People tend to feel safer when they feel smarter - it's as if they can figure their way out of any predicament or trial they're facing.  When we have an abundance of knowledge, we tend to pridefully think we can solve any problem.

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?

A:    Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul knew this very well when he wrote to the Philippians about having confidence in what is done in the flesh. He said, if anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I have even more.  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."

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn with respect to money and abilities by the Scriptures contained within this devotional?

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

APPLICATION: When you face a financial trial, count your blessings and place your total dependence upon God.  Repent of putting your faith into anything else and become fully dependent upon God.

Father, Thank You for all provision.  Thank You for the family You've given me, the home You've allowed my to have, the business you have allowed me to be steward of, and everything else You've given to me.  Help me 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