“…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…” (Phil 3:8-10).
More Christians go on the rocks, defeated, over the nasty little thing we call “hurt feelings” then over the so-called great crises which test the very fiber of the soul.
I have been slighted. I have not been given the place I feel I merit, or I have been treated inconsiderately, justly. My opinions and feelings have not been consulted. Self has been wounded.
As a result I have began to sink. I am being defeated, not by a monster, but buy a mere fly. And yet it is no less defeat. A “scum” covers my spirit formerly free and rejoicing. I have sunk down into the so-called “vessel of the soul.” I have become soulish.
The stream of eternal life from the throne and from the Lamb has ceased to flow in and out of my being. My step has become heavy, and my face now carries an unhappy, darkened look. I am plainly defeated. Wounded pride did it. I looked at my self and took my eyes off Jesus my Lord.
How different all would have been if my answer had been the sublime answer of death! I would immediately have said, “They crucified my Lord – this is nothing. It is my chance to go a little deeper into the fellowship of my Savior’s sufferings, being made conformable onto His death. The result will be a fuller participation of His resurrection.
“Then He said to them all, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it'” (Luke 9:23,24).
Thank you, Lord, for these things that have hurt. Bless those who have hurt me. I forgive as You forgave. I am deeply grateful for this reminder of my nothingness. I am willing to be nothing that You might be all. Amen!”
Now when our answer is the answer of the Cross, nothing can hurt us. We immediately turn everything into a blessing.
- We go up by going down.
- We triumph through death.
- We feed on the holy Cross and live.
- The kick backward was really a kick forward.
The hurt feeling is immediately seen in light of the Savior’s death which the Holy Spirit as freshly applied, and the stream of eternal life from the throne flows richer and fuller than ever. Our concern is that Christ be glorified, the rest does not matter.
“Frederick Julius Huegel (1889-1971) was born in the United States of German immigrants, and studied English literature and philosophy as he searched for the meaning of life. Huegel came to Christ after reading a book by Anglican author F. Farrar, and dedicated himself to ministry. He served as a World War I chaplain and a long-time missionary to Mexico. Huegel was a prolific writer and well-traveled speaker, focused on drawing people to the power of the cross and the victorious life in Christ.” – clcpublications.com
His books include Bone of His Bone and The Cross of Christ–The Throne of God.
 Biblical quotations added.
This article deals with the role of self-denial that is enabled by God’s grace through abiding in Christ. It is described in context in part four of this Grace Note series: “The Dimensions of the Cross.”
For more detail and defense of the distinctions between the human spirit and soul, see Man as Spirit, Soul and Body: A Study of Biblical Psychology.