What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. Philippians 3:8-9 (EHV).
Imagine losing everything and being satisfied with that. Imagine viewing EVERYTHING in the world as trash compared to the unseen, un-measurable, intangible called ‘faith in Jesus Christ.’ Imagine being powerful and famous and well-to-do and turning away from that into lifelong poverty and being happy about it.
Enter the Apostle Paul. That’s where he was.
Yesterday, I was doing dishes with my three-year-old granddaughter. Yes, it makes the job harder. Yes, she makes a mess everywhere. Yes, it’s a huge inconvenience. No, I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything. The memories of doing things together? That’s the good stuff.
A few years ago we sold our dream house. It was a house on a small farm, in the woods, with a pond and a big workshop, and space to have lots of fun with fireworks and skeet shooting and chickens and all that’s good about country living. I loved having it, but things changed and I lost my job and we couldn’t pay for it. So we sold and moved back to the city. And it’s ok because God is still in charge. That’s the good stuff, too.
I’ve known success. Three great kids; four wonderful grandchildren. A long and happy marriage. Homes, cars, great jobs. Published books; sending this blog to thousands of people weekly. You know what? I’d give it all up in a second to have faith in Christ.
Just like the Apostle Paul. Just like him because he was right: everything is a loss – even the good stuff – compared to a grain of faith in Jesus. The house, the job, the grandkids, the success: they’re only for here and now (well, maybe not the grandkids). They’re all fleeting; they will all pass away. What will never pass away is Christ. Faith in Him is the ticket to forever. Faith in Him is the difference between ordinary and extraordinary Faith in Him can stand up to evil and stand down the storm.
Faith in Jesus is the good stuff.
Jeremiah said that our greatest gift is to boast of knowing the Lord. That He has plans for us to prosper us (here and in heaven). That He will save us in the worst of times. And in those times, when we turn to Him, we get to realize that everything here is nothing compared to Him. Paul knew this; so, now, do we.
For further reading: Psalm 73:25, Jeremiah 9:23-24, Jeremiah 29:11, Jeremiah 33:16, John 17:3, Romans 10:5, Philippians 3:10.
Lord Jesus, nothing compares to you. I give up all for You.