Paul wrote to the Ephesians, "I... do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know... what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe..." (Eph. 1:17-19). That is the cry of my heart for you, as well: that you would know Him, and that in knowing Him, you would finally find the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe. The exceeding greatness of His power... What is it that His power exceeds for us who know Him? In part, it exceeds all other loves to which our hearts would join themselves.
For most, God serves a purpose. He exists to bring to them or to preserve for them what their hearts truly love deep within: a son or daughter, a husband or wife, comfort, convenience, health, reputation, ambitions or possessions, a life of ease, blessings, prosperity, or even ministry. Who knows the relationships or the things that a person values supremely, deep within, until they are taken away? The loss of such things is a tragedy far too great for those with a nice utility God. When tragedy strikes, the inevitable question cried from a broken heart is, "Why? Why did you fail your job God? Why did you allow me the loss of my greatest treasure? Nothing could ever compensate for my great loss, so what are you doing, God? You failed me! Why, God, why?"
For those to whom God has given the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, God is no longer a "utility God" meant to provide or preserve their treasure, but is instead the greatest treasure Himself, the treasure for which they would gladly surrender all. For those who have come to know Him, through revelation (there is no other way to know God), they have found a power great enough to bring the human heart to the surrender of all that it holds most dear, if only they might know Him more fully.
What was it that caused Paul to suffer the loss of all things and to count them as refuse? It was the longing within his heart that He might gain Christ. Those who have never known loss have never truly gained Christ, for the two just go hand in hand. To some, loss is forced upon them by what the world terms "tragedy." To others, loss is gladly embraced by a heart captured by the wonder and beauty of Christ. To those who have seen Jesus, there is no loss too great. There is no request denied. There are no "off limits" signs hung upon the walls of their hearts. Everything is counted as loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus.
What is the only power that can exceed the power of human attachment; of human love; of any love for any treasure to which the heart of man can affix itself? Only the power of knowing Him in reality. Only the revelation of He who is the greatest treasure in the universe. Only those who have seen and known Him in truth can ever say from deep within, "What ever you desire to take from me, you go right ahead... only that I may know you more fully."
What differs between the one who cries, "Why?" or shakes a fist at God, and the one who gladly counts all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus? It is simply this: one has truly seen Jesus, and the other has not. Seeing Jesus; knowing Jesus - within that resides the exceeding greatness of His power.