Sometimes we forget.
I know I do. When the pressure of the days is high and the work before us seems unending, it’s easy to lose perspective on why we do what we do.
I talk a lot with the brothers and sisters around our network about counting the cost of following Jesus. This is right and good, because there is a cost to following Him. You won’t be the most popular person in your school or your job. There will be times you have to go against the world. They way of the Kingdom is narrow. All of this is true.
But counting the cost can become a thing where we discourage our own hearts. We become a Christian version of Eeyore the Donkey who only sees the weight of what was left behind. Brothers and sisters, this shouldn’t be.
Instead, counting the cost starts with recognizing the great worth of Jesus. When we truly see the fact that we have been invited into a relationship with a God who loves so extravagantly and doesn’t hold our past against us, it changes the equation. We get God! We get to live in relationship with Jesus. And when we count the worth of that relationship against the cost of following Christ, the math changes significantly.
God said to Abraham: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward,” (Genesis 15:1). Jesus compared God’s Kingdom to a treasure that a man found hidden in a field. That treasure was so valuable that when the man found it, he joyfully went and sold everything he had in order to buy the field (Matthew 13:44). This is the kind of relationship we are invited into: One where God Himself is our reward.
Jesus promises trouble for those who follow Him. We may lose all of our earthly possessions. We may be despised for resisting immorality that is trying to overtake the Earth. We may lay down our physical lives for the sake of the Gospel. But we get an invitation to be friends with God. We can’t forget that or we will grow weary and give up.
He is our reward. Not success. Not notoriety. Not friends. Not honor. Him.
He alone will satisfy.
He is our reward.