When I first began road to home, I did not realize how many bumps, turns and twist that would come along the way. The above statement I have found to be true. You really do not know how strong you are until troubles come into your life, especially when you make the decision to follow Christ. Friends and family leave you. They talk about you. This hurts. So, what does it really mean to be a follower of Christ?
In Matthew 16:24-25, Jesus tells us what it will mean and take to follow Him, ”
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it”. Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:12,
“Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution”.
What did Jesus mean in Matthew 16:24-25 when he said, “take up your cross and follow me”? I believe he was saying there are many things we like and love that we will have to give up. This includes our friends and family. But most of all it is ourselves that we have to give up. We are now living our life for Christ not for ourselves. The family and friends who do not understand our new way of living and do not want to be a part of our lives any longer, we can not hold on to those relationships. We have to give them up and turn them over to God. God is the only one who can change their hearts. We do not stop loving them, but we simply can not have them in our lives.
This is the hardest thing I had to do. Deciding to let go of a family member(s) or friend(s) is not easy to do. You definitely can not do it by yourself. It takes the strength of Jesus Christ to see you through. Letting go of the people you love is not easy. But, with Christ it is a lot easier.
When you find yourself suffering for Christ. When you find yourself being persecuted, mistreated, and talked about for following Christ, remember this will not break you. Hurt you yes, but break you no. The one thing you have to remember, is that the road that Christ traveled was not easy. The road we travel with Him will not be easy. But, Christ made it through and so shall we. We must simply keep our eyes straight ahead on Christ and let Him guide our path.
By His Grace,
(all scripture quoted is from the New Living Translation)