I look at the title of this, and I cringe. Following Jesus should be fun, and easy. You would think everything in your life would get better, your bank account would be overflowing, and all your problems would go away. That didn’t happen when I made my decision to follow Him.
Matt 16:24 ESV Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
What does this mean? For me it means when I want to give up I remember the scripture Philippians 4:13 NKJV “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” When I look at my bank account that says I have .67 cents in it, I trust His word that says Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
When I get sad and depressed and I don’t want to get out of bed, and I think about my husband sleeping in his new bed, in his new apartment, I give the situation to God, and try not to do what I would have done in the past which is try to get back at him, or make him jealous. I remember when I told God that He could have my marriage, and everything I had was His. Even when my heart hurts so bad and I cry until I have a hard time breathing, and my eyes are puffy I recall Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope.”
God has a plan and a hope and a future for me, and you too.
Following Jesus means that I get to witness his goodness in situations. Everyday, I see His hand in my life, and the lives of others around me. I see His goodness when I only had a few dollars in my bank account, and the person at Chick-fil-A told me she paid for my food. I see His beauty in every sunrise, and sunset when I marvel at the beautiful golds and reds, and different shades of pink. I see His goodness when I get to pray for someone, and they have hope in their eyes, and look so much more hopeful than when I first saw them.
Every single day I have to make decisions in the little things like holding my tongue when I really want to tell someone what I REALLY think, when my alarm goes off in the morning and I have to decide, am I going to sleep in, or am I going to spend some quiet time before the kids wake up and read God’s word?
Following Jesus doesn’t mean everything in my life got easier, and I don’t struggle. But following Jesus gives me a hope that I didn’t have before. It means that His Mercies are new every morning, and forgiveness is always available for me. Following Jesus means that everyday is a surprise, and I get to see His hand in my life, and the lives of those around me, His Goodness, Grace, and Love, and that is why I wake up everyday hopeful and press on, and why I made the decision to follow Jesus.