If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. (Mark 8:34)
Everything worthwhile in life has a price, a sacrifice we must perform to achieve it. Just as we have seen in this scripture, you must be ready to carry your cross if you must experience the blessings of God.
“The cross that the Lord calls us to carry may assume many different shapes. I may have to be content with mundane tasks in a limited area of service, when I may believe my abilities are suited for much greater work. I may be required to continually cultivate the same ﬁeld year after year, even though it yields no harvest whatsoever.
I may be asked of God to nurture kind and loving thoughts about the very person who has wronged me and to speak gently to him, take his side when others oppose him, and bestow sympathy and comfort to him. I may have to openly testify of my Master before those who do not want to be reminded of Him or His claims.
And I may be called to walk through this world with a bright, smiling face while my heart is breaking. Yes, there are many crosses, and every one of them is heavy and painful. And it is unlikely that I would seek out even one of them on my own.
Yet Jesus is never as near to me as when I lift my cross, lay it submissively on my shoulder, and welcome it with a patient and uncomplaining spirit. He draws close to me in order to mature my wisdom, deepen my peace, increase my courage, and supplement my power.
All this He does so that through the very experience that is so painful and distressing to me, I will be of greater use to others.” – James Reimann