“All the world is nothing to Him in comparison with believers.
They are His garden; the rest of the world, wilderness. Cant. 4:12, ‘A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.’
They are His inheritance; the rest, His enemies, of no regard with him. So Isa. 43:3-4, “I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.”
The reason of this dealing of Christ with His church, in parting with all others for them, is, because He loves her. She is precious and honourable in His sight; thence He puts this great esteem upon her.
Indeed, He disposeth of all nations and their interests according as is for the good of believers. Amos 9:9, in all the siftings of the nations, the eye of God is upon the house of Israel; not a grain of them shall perish.
Look to heaven; angels are appointed to minister for them, Heb. 1:14.
Look into the world; the nations in general are either blessed for their sakes, or destroyed on their account,—preserved to try them, or rejected for their cruelty towards them; and will receive from Christ their final doom according to their deportment towards these despised ones.
On this account are the pillars of the earth borne up, and patience is exercised towards the perishing world.
In a word, there is not the meanest, the weakest, the poorest believer on the earth, but Christ prizeth him more than all the world besides.
Were our hearts filled much with thoughts hereof, it would tend much to our consolation.
To answer this, believers also value Jesus Christ; they have an esteem of Him above all the world, and all things in the world.
You have been in part acquainted with this before, in the account that was given of their delight in Him, and inquiry after Him.
They say of Him in their hearts continually, as David, “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and none upon earth I desire beside thee.” Ps. 73:25.
Neither heaven nor earth will yield them an object any way comparable to him, that they can delight in.”
–John Owen, The Works of John Owen, Volume 2: Communion With God (ed. William H. Goold; Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1850-53/1997), 2: 136-137.