I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to be able to fly to Colorado and be a part of a discipleship school, not just once but three times now. I’m still here for a few more days but I thought I would be fun to share with you some of the things God has been pressing and working on in my life this past week. Since earlier this year, God has started an amazing transformation in me personally and every day He has been growing my love and desire to know Him on a deeper level.
Before coming here again, I had made a pre- decided yes to have an open heart for whatever the Lord may have in store for these two weeks. And I just want to say that when you go into a place or situation, knowing there’s an opportunity for growth in the Lord and a chance to renew your life with Christ, always take that opportunity and say, “Yes, Lord, I’m willing to have my mind changed, I’m ready for whatever You have in store for me. May I have an open heart and listening ears for any conviction You may stir within me.”
In each time I’ve been here I’ve come away with either a specific word or phrase that stood out to me most, summarizing the entire week. The phrase that strongly stands out to me this month is a question that was asked in a documentary we watched called The Insanity of God.
Is Jesus worth it?
Following Jesus is not an easy thing to do. It’s not something we do that will end all our problems. In Matthew 16:24 it says, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” When I read that verse I find myself inspired and desire to live like that, but aspiring it rather than putting it into practice seems so much easier. And so I ask myself the question, Is Jesus worth it? Is Jesus worth denying myself and giving up everything I have?
One of the verses I’ve come across recently is in Matthew 10:39, “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” When I choose to deny myself for the sake of Christ, is when I begin to find my true fulfillment and true identity. It’s not one based on the world and it’s ever changing character but in Christ Himself who is never changing. I choose to live the narrow way of the cross and even though it’s the more difficult way, It’s the most rewarding way as it draws me to Christ and fulfills my purpose.
There is so much joy and satisfaction when I follow after Christ! The joys and pleasures of this world are so shallow and circumstantial they don’t even compare to what Jesus has to offer.
Joy, true joy that is found in Jesus is not based on circumstance, which means that even in our suffering, even when we face persecution, we can have the joy of the Lord.
In Matthew 5:10-12 it says, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, an be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
Romans 8:17-18 says, “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Suffering for Christ is a privilege. Not only are we heirs to God but one day we will be resurrected with Him and live in eternity together!
What I have been reminded so often as I’m here is the reminder that our sufferings in this world are temporary and can’t come close to what is waiting for us in Heaven one day. Yes, I’m going to have to give up all my earthly desires, and yes I will have to choose to become uncomfortable,
but if Jesus could humbly give up His comfort upon the throne and die for me, then why shouldn’t I give up my life and die for Him?
When I chose to follow Jesus, I didn’t sign up for an easy life. In following Christ I have to completely rely and have faith in Him. A faith that no matter the circumstance, even if I’m persecuted, suffering or as a sheep among wolves, my Shepherd has overcome! My hope is not in this world but that which will one day be resurrected together forever.
When I accepted Jesus to be my Savior, I devoted my whole life to Him. I have been bought with a price and this life I now live is not my own but the Father’s. I don’t have the right to expect anything from the Lord because this life I live is now His, to do with what He pleases. When you follow Jesus Christ we lose our life for Him, in the same way He gave up His life for ours. Is Jesus worth it? Is Jesus worth all the suffering and persecution I might face? I can tell you true of heart that I can boldly say, yes. Jesus is worth it!
“God’s consolation is greater than the difficulty we are walking through.“- Eric Ludy