The Gospel of Jesus has many costs. Jesus who was called the man of sorrows was a perfect man, the God-man who came to earth to suffer in order to make the perfect sacrifice, the perfect payment according to Jewish law in order to redeem Israel of its sins. This redemption must take place so that imperfect man who is far and disconnected from God himself will be able to be cleansed in the sight of a most holy God so that he might have perfect union with Him. Those things that imperfect man is supposed to pay for in eternity, Jesus paid for through his suffering and the ultimate shedding of his blood for eternity.
When I was around 13 the gospel of Jesus made sense to me for the first time. In my child-like faith I realized that God had to be real so what he did must have been real as well. 15 years later here I am. When you first put your faith in Christ as I did at a young age you really have no idea what kind of costs comes with believing. 15 years later I have been through a lot in my faith. I grew through highschool, it was tested and tried in college, I even walked away from it for about a year and a half to look back and find that it was the only thing that would truly satisfy me. I tried to get rid of it and run from it and yet it lead me into a five year long career where I shared my life with college students because I had learned so much about myself and my faith in college. I look back with fondness on the last couple of years of college because I invested my life into women in my sorority house and devoted myself to giving my life to Jesus. It gave me extreme growth and the ability to see God in action in the lives of people around me.
I know that the gospel has many costs. I’ve read the good book and acknowledge what Jesus has done for me. I experienced some of them (costs) myself. At least I had thought I experienced some of them myself, until this past year. Over the past year I have tried to stay positive and trust in God for things to get better. Honestly our hearts feel like things have only gotten worse. Our lives haven’t necessarily gotten worse it just hasn’t gotten any better. I struggle with the fact that we have been trusting the Lord for big things and it just seems like we are in the exact same place that we were a year ago. We still want to move to Memphis, I still want my husband to love his job, we still want to know where the money is going to come from to pay the bills, we still have our lists of wants and desires to take vacations and a longing to enjoy life without the stress of everything going on. We still want rest and most of all we still want to know what God is trying to teach us here.
As I paged through the Palms this morning I was continually reminded of Psalm 23 when David says, ” Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for Thou art with me.” David was was later to become the King of Isreal for a long time was on the run from King Saul who wanted to see him dead. David was a threat to Saul and so Saul was always trying to kill him. So it him me this morning, David who is the author of many of the Psalms for most of his life faced many trials, and yet David was known as the man who was after God’s own heart.
Here I am 15 years into my faith and I am seeing more and more how the gospel of God has a cost for me. I think that I and many Christians expect to get out of lives stuggles by blessings and we fail to believe that we deserve any of life’s calamaties. Unfortunatly much of life is about trials and calamaties but for the Chrisitan it is also about growth and maturity. It is about trusting even when things are difficult and acknowledging that life may have a lot of downs that it doesn’t mean that God isn’t listening. Fortunatly it is also about hope for the future and trusting God for a brighter day. It is also about resting on his promises and believeing that he will do what he has promised with things such as provide and take care of our daily needs. It’s a cost that I feel like I’m often not willing to accept. I would much rather have a cushy life where I don’t have to be broken by God. But brokeness brings humility, humility brings repentance and repentance brings dependance. Dependance is all that God wants because it brings him worship and brings life full ciricle of everything coming back to pointing to him. He made it all he crated it all, all good things come from him so doesn’t he deserve the glory?