The fear of loss

Psalm 84:11 “No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.”

One of the arguments for unbelief – for resisting becoming a Christian – is the belief that one will “miss out” on something.  The thoughts can go like this: “I won’t be able to have this or that,” or “I won’t be able to do this or that.” And there can be fears about what people might think of us or whether we might lose friends or be rejected by some family member – including a spouse (and these things can and do happen)!  In some countries, a person can face imprisonment, loss of employment, torture, and even death when he or she becomes a Christian.  In the face of these realities, what is a person to think?

Well, in the face of such losses, the verse above is a powerful promise, but one must, of course, have trust in the Promise-Maker to be faithful to His promise.  This, indeed, is what faith is.  Jesus assured us that “there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life (Mark 10:29-30).”  With these words Jesus assures us that while we might indeed lose some things if we follow Him, any loss will be replaced by that which is much, much better.  Elsewhere Jesus promised that “For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away (Matthew 13:12),” i.e., whoever has (Him) will be given more and more throughout eternity, for “eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him (I Corinthians 2:9).” 

On the other hand, whatever a person is clinging to as that thing that he or she is unwilling to give up in exchange for a relationship with Christ they will ultimately lose in the end.  Indeed, Christ has warned us “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?For what can a man give in return for his soul (Mark 8:36-37)?” 

It’s a choice we must all face – Christ or something or someone else.  In the words of the Christian martyr Jim Elliott “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”  Jim Elliott knows the truth of these words now, and we will all know the truth of them soon.

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