24Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25″For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26″For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?27″For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds. 28″Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”
Moments after Peter makes an attempt at rebuking Christ for prophesying His own death, we are given this glimpse into the cost of being a disciple of Jesus. As some of you know in the recent months I have begun a new career with a third-party logistics company. It has been a very neat experiencing getting to see this “world” of how freight moves around the country. I have also had the opportunity to meet some wonderful people of all walks of life who present their uniqueness quite vibrantly. However, I have also had the opportunity to experience first-hand this “gaining the whole world and forfeiting the soul.”
Let me be clear, there are wonderful, generous people where I work. There are believers and there are non-believers. Overall, my workplace has a vast mixture much like any other company. Yet, because of the nature of this business and the money that is constantly in motion, I am also presented with very distinct models to garnish insights from.
There are those, like any other company, who are so enamored by money that it is all they think about, all they base success on, and ultimately, all they are living for. It is evident by the way they swindle, connive, backstab, and manipulate in order to place themselves ever so more in the next tier of “success.” I too have found myself checking the reports more often than I should and giving to much credence to where I fall in comparison to others. What then shall I do, quit?
The reality is that I have bills to pay. I also must count trials as joy. That being said, I don’t “need” this job any more than I “need” to eat my next meal. How much weight am I giving to the sovereignty of God and His ability to care for me? Therefore, if it where between this job and God there would be no contest—God wins. However, I believe God has purposefully put me in the position that I am in (because He ordained it so). It is a good trial. A good test of my faith. And I must say, overall, I am successful. I am successful because of my mindset. I wake up each morning thankful to see the sunrise, thankful to go to a job in the first place, and thankful to meet so many different people and have opportunity to minister. I pick up my cross each morning and before I even begin the day I am giving up my life.
I don’t “need” things. I don’t “need” to be this or that. What I need I already have, the faithful love of a transcendent God who measures out goodness in abundance and who is also so immanent that He indwells me. By comparison all else is found so wanting. So, I have already traded what I cannot keep to gain what I cannot lose. And bear in mind none of this is of something good in me, rather, it is the good and richness of the one who dwells within me that enables me to conform to His image.
My prayer for you, reader, is that in the coming days, weeks, months, and years, will have more and more opportunities to go through trials and moments of stretching so that you will continue to persevere and conform. I pray God’s Word will richly bless you and that as these trials come that the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. Amen.
So I ask you, what trial are you facing? How is it affecting you? How do you pick up your cross?
Please, leave any comments you may have down below. You can also find me on Twitter and Facebook. God bless!