June 12, 2022
Count the Cost
Following Jesus isn’t always easy. There are many views on this topic in our culture today. A typical view is the “Health, wealth, and prosperity” gospel. If we take to a view other than what the Bible presents, what will the outcome be? The result is typically a skewed gospel or very fleshly oriented way of interpreting the Bible.
“Count the cost” comes from the parable Jesus taught in Luke 14:25-33 about the price of discipleship in following Him.
What is suffering? This includes more than persecution. Suffering may be anything God uses to keep us focused on Him (Our health, dysfunctional relationships, death of loved ones, God’s discipline, God’s testing, etc.). He uses these situations to conform us to the image of His Son, provided we keep our eyes on him through each.
Don’t take following Christ to only be about suffering. There are wonderful benefits to following Jesus. Principally there is peace and joy that the Holy Spirit gives us when we walk in His way (Galatians 5:16).
Surely persecution will not be pleasant and Jesus warned if they persecuted Him, they would surely persecute His disciples as well. (John 15:20)
Does the cost include suffering?
Although not a popular concept, yes, it is the truth. Philippians 1:29-30; Hebrews 10:32-36; Romans 8:16-18; Philippians 3:7-11; 1 Peter 2:20-24, 4:16, 5:6-10
Can discipline by God be unpleasant?
Typically, we view discipline as another word for punishment. In reality, it is an action God carries out with His children to make us more like Jesus. (Hebrews 12:11-12)
How are we to view suffering as Christ’s followers?
· James makes it clear that we are to count it all joy when we go through testing by God. (James 1:2-3)
· Suffering makes us more like Christ as we endure as He did.
· Suffering provides the means for us to keep our eyes on Him.
· All true followers of Christ endure suffering (1 Peter 5:6-10)
· Jesus blesses those who endure persecution (Matthew 5:10)
Takeaway: Suffering is real for those who follow Jesus, but by enduring, God produces fruit in us as we proclaim Him and the good news to the world.