Crosses and Losses

You’ve heard the phrase…  “crosses to bear.”
Got any?

You know– little daily disappointments or huge past regrets that we just can’t seem to let go of. Decisions gone bad either by us or for us. Personal shortcomings, losses, disadvantages… physical, financial or emotional.
Yep, I’ve got some.
They infiltrate our hearts and minds as unwelcomed, uninvited guests… squatters… and we are powerless to evict them from the premises. They consume us with great deliberation… arousing any of the many negative emotions… discontentment, anger, pride and bitterness.
Relentlessly they follow us around, clouding our view of what is truly most important… our relationship with God.
Fact: We cannot truly know God when our hearts and souls are caught up in the crosses and losses of our lives.
Paul tells us
“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, 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 and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”
–Philippians 3: 7-10 NIV
J.I. Packer in his book “Knowing God” states…

“When Paul says he counts the things he lost rubbish, or dung (KJV), he means not merely that he does not think of them as having any value, but also that he does not live with them constantly on his mind: what normal person spends his time nostalgically dreaming of manure? Yet this, in effect, is what many of us do. It shows how little we have in the way of true knowledge of God.”
So, true.
First, to actually think that our losses are anything comparable to the “Cross” seems almost blasphemous to me. There is no loss that any one of us could experience that would hold a candle to what Christ endured on the cross for our sake.
Second, my losses are little and insignificant—nothing, compared to what I gain in Christ—everything.
So much time is spent thinking about all the “what-ifs in life.” We blame ourselves, others and even God for not having the life we dreamed… forgetting what we actually deserve: nothing.
Last, we have the choice to either dwell on what is lost over what is gained. And, what an important choice this is! We can only get so far in our journey of loving and knowing God if we make the wrong one.
I want freedom from the chains of losses to gain intimacy with God. When I look at it like this it’s an easy, no-questions-asked choice, right?!
Ah, but old habits do die hard. Habits like these are embedded into our flesh and they will never go away completely. However, if they are consistently managed they can be mortified… not in our strength of course, but by the Spirit within us.
J.I. Packer also poses the question… 

“Can we say, simply, honestly, not because we feel that as evangelicals we ought to, but because it is a plain matter of fact, that we have known God, and that because we have known God the unpleasantness we have had, or the pleasantness we have not had, through being Christians does not matter to us?”
I can’t, but I want to.

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7 Responses

04.18.11

I want to be at the place where I can say all that matters is my relationship with God. I want to be there, but I'm not there yet.

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I found myself praying that God help it not matter to me anymore… it makes me long for home as Matthew West would put it. All the stuff we deal with here that we wont have to when were home…it will be so nice! Loves

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04.18.11

Great post and I do remember the saying crosses to bear. Oh do I have my share of crosses to bear. best thing for me is always to give them to God, and let Him deal with it. But even in that I have to do my share other wise I won't grow in God and though it is difficult at times I know I don't face it alone.

Welcome back from Spring Break, I hope you had a great time and maybe one day this week you will share with us what you did.

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Wonderful post Heidi, and welcome back! You made the statement :

"So much time is spent thinking about all the “what-ifs in life.” We blame ourselves, others and even God for not having the life we dreamed… forgetting what we actually deserve: nothing."

and immediately it brought to mind a conversation I had with Jonathan the other day while he was listening to the Newsboys song "Real Good Thing". The chorus goes :

when we don't get what we deserve
it's a real good thing (real good thing)
when we get what we don't deserve
it's a real good thing (a real good thing)

Jonathan asked me how it can be a good thing to not get what we deserve, and yet get what we don't deserve… I explained to him that we're all sinners being granted what God chooses to Bless us with; Getting what we don't deserve. And if we got what we truly deserve, it wouldn't be a good thing. 😉 We're in His Grace, and Blessed beyond words for it.

Great post, and wonderful to see you back!

Have a Blessed Day!

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04.18.11

First, welcome back! I missed you guys 🙂

Great post. I love Paul's perspective and strive to have it yet will often miss the mark completely. We get so caught up in the here and now but we are called to have our eyes on eternity. Our future glory with Him and our relationship with Christ now should be what matters most in all our choices and decisions. Thanks

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04.18.11

I love this "cannot truly know God when our hearts and souls are caught up in the crosses and losses of our lives." "I want freedom from the chains of losses to gain intimacy with God." Yes…freedom from the chains that weigh me down and interrupt my divine intimacy with my Savior. Great words of encouragement today!!

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On this subject I really liked "The Knowledge of the Holy" by Tozer. Yes, the more we know Him the less importance we will place on everything else in life.

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