“He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.” Hebrews 11:26
American society is wealth and prosperity focused. Men and women alike dedicate themselves to climbing the corporate ladder in an attempt to attain the level of financial and societal accomplishment that they perceive as “success”. In fact, Webster’s dictionary defines success as “the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence”. In a society that embraces this definition of success, even considering the reproach of Christ is not only unappealing, it is ridiculous.
But for those of us who have been born of the Spirit, sharing the reproach of Christ becomes desirable as we seek to be like our Master in all things. This One who left the glory of heaven to become one of us, Who suffered the ultimate reproach for us – yes, we will choose to be identified with Him and share in His sufferings.
There is a secret known only to those who follow the way of the cross. It is not a secret that we have been told. It is one that we have lived. And it is this – though the cost of following Christ means the loss of all things, though it means the scorn of others, though it means trial after trial that seemingly would crush us to pieces – there is a holy sweetness in the crushing as we see the character of Christ being formed in us. Oh, how we will gladly be hated for His sake, for as we surrender ourselves to Him in the midst of the vilest cruelty, the greatness of His love poured out in us far outweighs the depth of the hatred displayed towards us.
Hebrews 13:13 “Therefore let us go to Him outside the camp and bear the reproach He endured.”
As we separate ourselves from the empty pleasures the world chases after, let us remember that we do this not as some outward show of piety, but for a purpose – so that we can go to Him. Suffering in and of itself holds no value, but when we suffer for His sake, we have the hope of a reward that is greater wealth than all the riches this world could offer.
So let us look away from the distractions this world flaunts before our eyes and fix our gaze firmly upon the greatest treasure – the Lord Jesus Christ.