In the middle of Paul's epistle to the Philippians he concludes:
"Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord" (Phil. 3:1).
And a little later he said: "Rejoice in the Lord always. Again
I will say, rejoice" (Phil. 4:4)!
How do we rejoice in the midst of trials, tribulations, and sufferings
(cf. 1:16, 27-30)? In part, the answer lies in counting all things
Paul said: "But what things were gain to me, these I have
counted loss for Christ. But indeed I also count all things loss
for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for
whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish,
that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness,
which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ,
the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him
and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings,
being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to
the resurrection from the dead (Phil. 3:7-11).
To have perfect peace and contentment thus rejoicing always in
the Lord, we must count all things as loss to gain Christ (Phil.
3:8). Jesus said: "If anyone desires to come after Me, let
him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever
desires to save his life will lose it, and who ever loses his life
for My sake will find it. For what is a man profited if he gains
the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give
in exchange for his soul" (Matt. 16:14-26)?
To count all the things of a worldly nature as loss, we must consider
them as rubbish (Phil. 3:8). This means that we do not put any more
importance upon worldly things than we put upon trash (though we
have a responsibility to wisely care for God's blessings). John
said: "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If
anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For
all that is in the world - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the
eyes, and the pride of life - is not of the Father but is of the
world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he
who does the will of God abides forever" (1 Jn. 2:15-17).
We must count all things of a worldly nature as loss before we
can be conformed to Christ's death (Phil. 3:10). Jesus came to earth
and gave everything, even His life on the cross (Phil. 2:5- 8).
Jesus did not please Himself on earth, but lived to please others
thus giving his life for our sins (Rom. 15:1-3; 1 Pet. 2:21-24).
If we are conformed to Christ's death, we must give ourselves over
to serve God (Rom. 6:15f) and other Christians (Rom. 12:9f; 15:1f;
Having counted all things as loss and being conformed to Christ's
death, Paul says that we (Phil. 3:10-11):
And having counted all things as loss to gain Christ, we attain
to the resurrection of the dead Phil. 3:11-14). Paul said: "Not
that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press
on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also
laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended;
but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and
reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward
the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus
Have you counted all things as loss to gain Christ? Have you conformed
to Christ's death? Are you pressing toward the goal for the prize
of eternal life?