“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,” Philippians 3:8
Jesus said His followers must be willing to forsake all to follow Him (Luke 14:33), but how quick we may be to assume what we will need to forsake is merely material. Often, people focus on how we may be called to give up our riches, high-paying jobs, fancy cars, big houses, etc. But no matter how much our flesh might “suffer” at the loss of such physical things, there is perhaps nothing harder than the sacrifice we may need to make when it comes to our hearts.
Are we willing to lose family members by proclaiming our faith in Christ, to lose friends as a result of turning away from sinful behaviors, to say no to relationships that are displeasing to God, to be alone rather than engage in popular sinful social activities, to be hated by loved ones and strangers alike as a result of standing up for God’s Word, to lose our popularity and people’s love because we choose the ways of the Lord, to be rejected by many because we confess aloud our love for the Lord, to be persecuted for sharing the Gospel, and to walk the narrow road of being a committed Christ follower no matter the cost to our hearts? Will we bear the hurt that comes from loving the Lord with all our hearts in a world that is so arrogantly turned against Him?
The Lord spoke to my heart the more I follow Him, the more hatred and rejection I will face. He asked if I would follow Him anyway. I said YES. But little did I know how much ongoing, increasing hurt I would face. The material loss in becoming available to Him 24-7 in my love for Him and ministry was nothing compared with what I found my heart must endure. When I bemoaned the hurt He had warned me would come, He lovingly, firmly reminded me this was the cost He told me I would pay. Christ is worth the cost of losing all – for His name’s sake and eternity with God!
Are you willing to make this sacrifice of your heart?