So many difficult seasons have brought this verse to the forefront of my life. Circumstances that make me have to face once again what I am willing to count as worth a life of surrender.... and so once again... I am sitting here pondering the verse, Phil 3:8……I count all things loss….I have suffered the loss of all things…..that I may gain Christ. To my understanding gaining more of Christ is simply continuing, in even the worst of circumstances, to believe that God still plans only for my good and walking out that trust in Him.
I have always thought of the “loss of all things” as being what I was willing to give up. House, car, job, selfish ambitions. What was I willing to give….to count as loss, in order to gain more of Christ? Would I be willing to leave hearth and home and travel to the wilds of Africa and count all things loss so that I might gain more of Christ?
Well the fact of the matter is, at this point, that would be easier. Simple, really. Because today as I ponder this verse once more… my perspective has changed. I am no longer thinking what I might give up but rather, “What might be taken from me.” Am I willing to count what is taken from me against my will to be worth the loss in order to gain Christ? What about betrayal that wounds you so deeply you can hardly breathe, let alone have a coherent thought? Am I willing to count those things worth the price of gaining Christ?
Lamentations chapter 3 tells about drinking the drink of bitterness against your will. Feeling as though circumstances have been thrust upon you…….and here is the fact of the matter…. some circumstances, some loss, suffering, a dark night of the soul are things we have to face simply because of the choices that others make. When this happens we have a choice to make….. will we let the circumstance work in our life so that we might gain Christ?
For me my answer is yes. Really what choice do I have. When hard trials come that create a wound, we have two options. We can let the wound remain and fester….or we can count it. We can say, “Yes I have been wounded…something has been taken from me…I have been betrayed….. I HAVE SUFFERED LOSS…..but I must make a decision in this moment to, “count all things lost as rubbish that I may gain Christ.”
While this is not an easy choice to have to make, it is very clearly the only choice. What would be better? The drink of bitterness is not a drink that I enjoy… and while I also do not enjoy this current pain…I believe the promise that sorrow lasts for the night but joy WILL come in the morning. So again, here in this moment, I chose to gain Christ.
Whether we like it or not, we are all faced with this decision countless times in our life, to choose the gain of Christ, a deeper walk in relationship with Him and the fellowship of His sufferings. We will also continue to face this decision throughout our lifetimes. It will not come dressed in the same wrapping every time. Sometimes it comes as a sifting in your own life that you must face. Other times it comes as a sifting in the life of someone close to you and you have to face that as well, whether you like it or not……but chose…… chose to gain Christ.