"And everyone that hath forsaken houses or brethren or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands for my name's sake shall receive a hundredfold and shall inherit everlasting life" Matt 19:29
When I decided to rededicate my life to Christ and make Him my Lord, I knew there were great unimaginable things ahead of me. I looked forward to the adventure and the wonder and the glory of walking hand in hand with the Holy Spirit. I was eager and expectant. But in all my expectations, I never counted the costs!
Jesus warned us that following Him involves sacrifice and fellowship with him comes at a cost - "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" Matt 16:24. Matt 19:29 clearly shows we will definitely forsake some things and some people for the sake of the gospel.
You deny yourself of so many things because following God requires you to be different and set apart from the rest of the world - "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins" Rev 18:4.
We are called a “Holy Priesthood” 1 Pet 2:5 therefore we cannot do things like other people. The difference is that WE ARE LED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD! And when God leads you, He takes you down some tough paths.
I am going down my tough path right now. I am making a sacrifice so painful; it’s feels as if my heart is being ripped out. I keep on looking at what I’m giving up and it seems way too much.
Then reading my bible one morning, I came across that passage that tells us how Christ called his disciples in Matt4:18-22. I immediately began to look through the four books of the Gospel for where and how Christ called the disciples and their responses. (Matt 9:9, Mark 2:14, Luke 5:27 &28) And I asked myself, what could have made these men so willingly to follow Christ without hesitating? They left their families, their source of livelihood, their lives! They just heard “Follow me” and right away, they got up and did exactly that.
I believe it was because instead of them being like me and wallowing in depression and lamenting over what they were ‘losing’, they instead looked up to Jesus and COUNTED THE GAINS!
They knew that what they stood to gain was far more, unbelievably more than anything they could ever leave for His sake. Hebrews 11:6 says “He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” He will never leave your sacrifice unrewarded.
What a change that made to me. How radically my perspective shifted at that revelation. What is ever a loss when Jesus is involved? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! It is all gain; it is all joy; it is all to my benefit! It is just as my brother said, whenever God tells you to drop what you are carrying, it’s because He wants empty arms to fill up with His own unique blessings.
I still hurt but now I don’t sorrow. Instead I look up to the Author and Finisher of my faith in eager expectation for the amazing thing He has for me. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things God hath prepared for them that love him" 1 Cor 2:9.
And I know by the time I see and understand what it is God is giving me in replacement, I will scream ‘THANK YOU, LORD’ so loudly even heaven will reverberate.
Now I do as the scripture bids me “Count it all joy” James 1:2. I do not focus on the loss anymore because there is no loss. Now I sit and watch expectantly while COUNTING MY GAINS.