I’ve only moved homes four times in my life. It’s always a bittersweet feeling packing up my bags, throwing out things I no longer need, all while looking forward to a fresh start.

When I read about Israel throughout the Old Testament, I imagine they might have felt more bitter than sweet. Again, God? I’m tired of this. I just want to feel settled down.

God promised that he had a place for them. All they needed to do was trust and obey. God would fulfill his promises, just as he always had. But he never said the journey to that point would be easy. Generation after generation, the Israelites disobeyed and God’s grace remained.

Imagine being in their shoes. Many of us would be tempted to give up. Exhaustion, impatience, and frustration would eat away at our faith. We would take any opportunity to start gathering supplies and plan for that future home, even though we’d heard from our grandparents that God would provide.

Fast forward to today’s passage in the New Testament. Jesus tells the disciples what it would cost to follow him and what it would cost if they chose not to follow him. Either way, there would be a cost.

Each day we decide what is worth giving up: our souls or the world. We often find ourselves in situations like the exiles – trekking through seasons of uncertainty, of lack, of want, of unmet desires, of pain. God promised to restore. He promised we’d never thirst again. To have restoration, we need to be in Christ and be reconciled to him (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). To never thirst again, we need to take and accept what Jesus offers John 4:1-14. To find life, we need to deny our temptations, carry them to Jesus along with all our hurts, questions and doubts, and trust that he’s taking us where we need to be.

It can be excruciating to patiently wait for God’s promises of deliverance, hope and joy when you feel disheartened. If you are trusting Jesus, those promises are already yours and I pray that his Spirit will allow you to grasp the goodness he already has for you. I pray that he would open your eyes to see that the cost of letting go is worth the reward of God himself. Despite your circumstances, will you take that step? Your heavenly Father is waiting for you to come home.

Jesus, following you can be scary at first. I’m still learning what it means to deny myself, take up my cross and follow you. Help me, Holy Spirit, to follow Jesus with my whole being. Give me faith that will keep me grounded in hardship. You know my difficult circumstances, Father. If you won’t change my circumstances, I pray that you will use them to change me for your glory. I don’t want to gain the world and forfeit my soul. Help me trust you today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Song of Encouragement: You Will Be Saved by Elevation Rhythm

Tags: Trust & Obey Matthew 16 the cost of discipleship
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