Paul was truly an incredible man. His passion and zeal seemed to be unmatched in whatever it was he set his mind to do. In the verses directly before our text he speaks of his life prior to his conversion. In the eyes of the world this man was destined for greatness- he had everything he needed to be one of the greats of Israel.
However, something drastic happened. Saul seemed to be on the fast track towards being a high-ranking Pharisee; until Jesus stepped in. In Acts 9, Saul was on his way to destroy the church while Jesus was on His way to change the church forever. Jesus took a man the world thought was destined for greatness and made him great in ways the world could never imagine.
He went from being revered in the eyes of man to being, “in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.” (2 Corinthians 11:23-27)
However, this was as it should be in the eyes of Christ, and that was all that mattered to Paul. He could honestly look at all he gave up to follow Christ and say, “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ”. He was willing to give up everything and more to grow deeper in his relationship with Christ. He was willing, as he said, “That I may know him”.
One thing that I pray happens as a result of this virus is for Christians to see there are likely things in our lives we could easily sacrifice and count as “loss for Christ”. For far too long people have given excuse after excuse as to why they couldn’t serve Christ, or come to church, or even read their bible. God has certainly taken those excuses away for a significant portion of the population.
I don’t know how long this will last and I’m sure it will eventually come to an end and people will go back to their busy schedules; but for the time being use this time to take an account of your life and see if there are things that could, or should, be changed for the cause of Christ. Perhaps this is helping some see there are things that could be given up to grow deeper in their relationship with Christ; and I pray that we are all willing that we may know Him.