It’s worth it
When people become Christians, they can believe that everything will go well for them and they’ll live an easy life. But Jesus never promised that. In fact, He said: ‘Take up [your] cross and follow me’. Taking up our cross suggests surrender and a willingness to put to death the parts of our character and behaviour which don’t line up with following God. Following Jesus means sacrificing things and denying ourselves. We’re promised blessing, but it doesn’t mean we’ll get everything we want. We have to surrender our hopes and dreams; sometimes we have to surrender our relationships and lifestyles. We have to give Him our time and gifts. It can all sound pretty challenging, and when hard times come we might even wonder whether it’s all really worth it. But we have to think about the amazing reward that is waiting for us at the end. We have the promise of eternal life because Jesus took up His cross and followed God’s plan. And we know that our reward will be in heaven. The Bible says: ‘For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done’ (Matthew 16:27 NIV). But there aren’t just eternal benefits to wholeheartedly following Jesus; we’re privileged to have a deep and close relationship with Him. He listens to us when we call. He gives us strength when we feel weak. He walks alongside us through everything we face. Jesus told a story of people who said they would follow Him but had things they needed to sort first (take a look at Luke 9:57-62). Are we prepared to leave things behind, surrender, and follow Him for the rest of our lives?
Are you feeling close to giving up on your faith because following seems too hard? Take some time to ask God to remind you of the blessing of eternal life, and for the strength to keep going in your faith.
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