When Loss Leads to Gain
In this amazing paragraph in Paul’s letter to the Philippians we have already read that Paul has “suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish that he may gain Christ”. It’s interesting that he puts the “gaining” of Christ in the context of losing all the other things. There is another important statement that Paul makes in verses 10-11. Here is what he writes: “10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” Notice the word “that”. The word “that” connects us back to Paul’s statement that he has suffered the loss of all things. If you read the entire paragraph, starting at verse 7, the connection is clear. Is Paul telling us that we cannot really know Jesus and the power of His resurrection as long as we possess the things of this world? I think so. But what I am quite confident of is that if we prioritize the things of this world over the things of Christ, we will never experience the power of His resurrection. This presents us with an important choice. What do we pursue in this life? Do we pursue the things of this world which have benefits, often making us comfortable in this life or do we pursue the things of Christ, allowing Him to take away what this world has to offer? Is our “insulated” brand of Christianity one that also insulates us from the power and presence of Christ in the most meaningful way? I have a sentence that I often mull over in my mind from time to time. It is this: “Can Jesus really be all that I need until He is all that I have?” I believe that the creature comforts of this life move us away from following Christ and experiencing all that He has…but I like the creature comforts. I don’t desire putting myself in “harm’s way”…and I believe that I often do not. Paul’s life clearly showed that in following Jesus he paid a price. He lost a lot. But his loss led to great gain. I think the same would be true for me. Would you pray for me and perhaps yourself that in the little things and big things we would be willing to suffer loss of the things of this world to experience the power and resurrection of Jesus Christ?