We are not going to get very far in our devotion to the interests of the Lord Jesus in this world without discovering that it is going to mean sacrifice; suffering unto sacrifice. It is going to cost. It may cost something in the matter of position, recognition; the best things may not be allowed to come our way. We may not be given an open door into certain circles; those circles may be closed to us. There may be many whose friendship we would like to have, but which friendship will be withheld from us. In many ways we may have to suffer loss, suffer unto sacrifice if the interests of the Lord Jesus are going to be pursued and furthered through us. I doubt whether it is possible for the real interests of the Lord Jesus to be served without sacrifice on our part. I do not think it is possible, and it may be that you and I at the close of our course here will look back and see many things that might have been ours, positions, and acceptances, and rewards, but which we have never come into, never possessed. We have to let them go for Jesus’ sake, and we may at that time bear the brand of the Lord Jesus in this connection. Why? Why this? Why that? Why has it meant this? Why has it cost that? Why have I never got where some have got? That is the brand of the Lord Jesus, the mark of Jesus.
There are gains hidden from view which will more than compensate for that. This man, who wrote these words, wrote in another place, “Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal: but the things which are not seen are eternal”. But the things seen do hold us so much, don’t they? It is so difficult to get our eyes away from things seen; that is, the things that are manifest, things that can be taken account of, they are so present to view. The losses, the sufferings, the trials, the difficulties, the adversities, these are things seen. Things not seen — what are they, after all? Well, so far as we are concerned, the things that are not seen are promises. That is what it amounts to. They are real in God, but to us they are nothing more than promises. We have not got them, they are not seen. For present practical purposes they are only promises, yet far more exceeding and eternal, far more excellent, a weight of glory exceeding and eternal, a weight of glory. That is there unseen, while we bear the marks of loss here, loss of what we might have had, could have had. It was there for us, but, because of the interests of the Lord Jesus, it had to be let go. The marks of the Lord Jesus – faithfulness unto sacrifice, the unpopular way with all that it costs.
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