I’m sure you’ve heard it before, “following God is going to cost you something!” Heck yea it is and it may not just cost you something but it may cost you everything. Taking up your cross and following Christ may cause friends to disappear, may cause your boo to disappear, it may cause heartache and heartbreak, and it may cause people to talk bad about you and even dislike you. Say what?! Yes trust me you’ll experience one if not all of these things lol. Crazy right?! Nope, not at all, it comes with the territory. If & when you experience these things remember you’re in good company. Jesus had to be persecuted, betrayed, and mocked so what makes us different?! There are no easy ways out when we give our life to Christ. We’re either in it to win it or we’re not…the concept is quite simple.
1) Forfeit the world and its pleasures—> The world has a pattern unlike Christ and the two contradict each other, we can’t be in Christ and still seeking the satisfaction of the world and its things. We have to give up our will for God’s will and seek him in every decision and aspect of our lives, we can’t be self-serving but we must serve God in every area of our life.
Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
2) Persecution—> This world consists of hardships and just because we have accepted Christ does not exempt us from going through anything. God does not save us so we won’t go through hardships but in fact he saves us to let us know he will protect us. If he saved us from all things we wouldn’t need to call on him and place our trust in him. Hardships come to grow our faith and cause us to seek God in ALL things.
John 15:19 If you belonged to the world, the world would treat you with affection and would love you as its own. But because you are not of the world [no longer one with it], but I have chosen (selected) you out of the world, the world hates (detests) you.
3) Our sufferings cause our faith to grow—> Trouble don’t last always but it does come to make us stronger. Our faith can’t be sharpened without trials. Faith is like the heartbeat of our relationship with Christ. In order to grow in relationship we have to grow in faith and faith comes with trials. Hardship comes to develop our patience and unswerving endurance and endurance develops maturity in character. We should rejoice when trouble comes! If trouble isn’t coming our way then we need to re-examine our relationship…
1 Peter 1:6-7 [You should] be exceedingly glad on this account, though now for a little while you may be distressed by trials and suffer temptations, So that [the genuineness] of your faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. [This proving of your faith is intended] to redound to [your] praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed.
4) Suffering brings glory to God—> In our suffering Christ is revealed in us. If we can’t suffer with Christ, we can’t reign with Christ. We are insulted for the kingdom’s sake.
2 Corinthians 4:15-17 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
5) The devil is coming—> Satan comes to attack to see if what we say is really what we believe. We are tested by the adversary to see if our faith is TRUE or if it’s just lip service. Our fight is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and the rulers of darkness and wickedness in high places. Put up a good fight! We already have the victory, that should mean something!!
2 Timothy 4:18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
6) Our sin will be revealed—> What’s done in the dark will come to the light because God rebukes those he loves. He’s not going to allow you to stay in your mess. We must turn away from our sinful nature and pursue God. God often times will allow you to get it right without being exposed but when you ignore him that’s when his judgement and wrath will take place. You don’t want to be judged by God so the best thing to do is get it right.
Hebrews 12:5-6 And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”
Following Christ may be somewhat scary especially when you count up the cost of doing so, but in the end it’ll be all worth it. All the things you go through along this Christian walk is not in vain. Everything is ultimately going to work out for us and may be beneficial to someone else along the way. The benefits of following Christ definitely outweigh the costs. Just remember no cross, no crown ;).