The Cost Of Following Christ

I have been thinking about the cost of following Christ. I had written this post last year on the prosperity gospel and what I feel about it.

My prayer is that we will understand that following Christ does not guarantee us a pain free life. But that we will have a hope and a joy on this journey.

*******************************************************************************

There’s a gospel being preached saying if you follow Christ, life will be good. If you give money, you will have more money given back to you. Suffering will not be a part of your life.

It’s called the “prosperity gospel” or sometimes it’s called the “name it and claim it.”

Simply put, this “prosperity gospel” teaches that God wants believers to be physically healthy, materially wealthy, and personally happy.

The Cost Of Following Christ
I don’t think God is against those things, but we do live in a fallen world and life is not always perfect.

Try preaching the “prosperity gospel” to the families of the 21 coptic christians who were beheaded by ISIS for their faith in Christ or to the Kenyan College where christian students were also killed for their faith.

No where in scripture does it say if we follow Christ, life will be free from pain and suffering. Quite the contrary.

Scripture tells us over and over again that following Christ is not always easy.

I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. Philippians 3:10

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1Peter 5:10

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:11

Does that mean that our whole life will be full of suffering and pain?

Absolutely not! Scripture also says in John 10:10, I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Life is full of joy, laughter, pain, love, and suffering. The key is to cling to the Light (Jesus). With him we have hope through every season.

This song reminds us that we are to follow Him in the good, in the storms, when the wicked prosper or even in our want. Let’s be faithful to Him!

 

What season of life are you in today? If it’s a season of suffering, remember, this too shall pass!

Have a blessed day!

For more Beauty For the Heart posts go here.

If you would like to receive my posts in your inbox, you can sign up to receive my daily emails and you’ll never miss a thing. I’m also on FacebookPinterest and my favorite one, Instagram.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

31 Comments

  1. “There is a blessing and a burden for every season. Enjoy the blessing.”

    Cyndi, Your article immediately made me think of the above quote/verse. Guess what? It comes from a sermon I recently heard by a nationally popular pastor who might be accused of preaching a “prosperity gospel”. Or “Name it and claim it gospel”. I haven’t heard those terms used before. I do believe we as Christians must guard against judging other Christians. There are many different beliefs and ways to worship in our church’s. Whenever someone would criticize another person or faith, my daddy would always say, in the sweetest way, “That’s what judgement day is for”. I can’t recall him ever critizing others, especially fellow believers. Sisters, let’s guard against passing judgement on others Christian beliefs, and let’s walk this journey together in a positive way. We are all learning and growing as we go.

  2. Thank you Cyndi for sharing this message today. Jesus said,”In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 6:33. I think this verse confirms what you said- we will have troubles, but we can still have joy when we know Jesus has overcome the world. Thank you so much for your thoughtful blog that blesses me every day.

    1. May, just want you to know that I’m praying for you and whatever trial you may be facing today! As one who has been through much myself, let me encourage you that our Ever-loving Father has everything under His ultimate control, even when we just can’t humanly see it. He will bring you through this in HIS time.

  3. Loved it!! Needed to read this, just further enhance my faith in God!
    …and think i found my new tattoo…! 😁🙏🏼
    Have a great, blessed Sunday-Cyndi

  4. Thanks Cyndi! My life has been kind of a wreck since I first began attending church 3 years ago. I hear people all the time say, in an excited voice, “the Lord has changed my life!”. Well, He’ s changed mine too. Job losses, illnesses, uncertanties. Day after day of thinking He wants better for me. Right? Maybe, but I know for sure He wants me to BE better. To be more like Him. And that is hard. To learn contentment in Him rather than my circumstances. To trust that this is doing a great work In Me. To have the faith to keep walking through the dark night believing that some day there will be light.

  5. Thank you Cyndi! Loved this post! I know that because God allows us to be completely human, our lives are not going to be easy. But, I also know that because of Him, I can get through every situation put before me. It’s not always easy though. In the really tough times is when I lean on Him even more since I can’t get through it on my own.

    Have a blessed day!

  6. Beautiful. Thank you for your inspiring words.

    Do you have a favorite song about forgiveness or about God’s grace? We will be talking about grace and forgiveness in our church class tonight and I’d like to play the kids something while they come in.

  7. Thanks for this post! It made for a very interesting breakfast conversation with my family. My husband reminded me of Jobs trials. God has definitely changed my life, and given me strength to go through some pretty difficult trials, but through them, I’m leaning & growing closer to Him. I’m so glad I found Christ at 45 years old!!! I’m now fifty, and love how he meets you right where your at! Blessings, Marti

  8. Cyndi,
    I’ve been following your blog for about six months. I look forward everyday to open your email. I often think about responding but never have until today. I needed your message so desperately today. As Christian parent, our hearts are broken. Our daughter has a troubled marriage and has decided through difficult words to hear she through with us and is going along with her spouses way if life because if her two children. We miss her and our two grandsons dearly. Nothing we say helps so we are moving on with tears.
    Thanks so much for your messages. You are a beautiful person inside and out.

    1. Thank you, Cyndi for once again speaking solid, biblical truth. To believe our faith is an insurance policy for all rosy and wonderful things in life is not to believe the bible. Many verses state what you said. It is true that suffering is part of our Christian life, just as it was part of Christ’s. Also, we are called to be discerning and to be most careful of false doctrine. Thank you for always stating truth and backing it with scripture.

      Donna, I don’t need to know you to imagine the hurt you are dealing with and I, too, will pray that hearts will be changed and eyes opened! Don’t give up, keep on praying and waiting. I pray for peace for you and your husband, too, mm

  9. Thank you so much… really needed this today. I have stopped asking God why… I am learning to Trust God and do Good… All of us have challenges in our lives… I am reading the Bible more each day… Praying More… Trusting more… You are such a Blessing to Me…

  10. Thank you for being bold and sharing about the prosperity gospel. Many are mislead. Thx for standing firm to the truth of Gods word. God bless you Cyndi 😉

  11. I just want to share how my heart is bursting with joy today after waiting and praying for YEARS for my brother to come back to Christ! He did today and his wife and daughter were baptized as well! This has been my number one prayer for so long and I just wanted to share so others won’t give up hope in their prayers!!! God is so good!!

    1. So happy for you. I’m praying a similar prayer for my son that he will find Jesus again and know that he has never left his side. My son has not been listening, hearing, or looking for Christ recently. I appreciate all prayers for his return. I’m so happy for your family.

  12. We are instructed to follow God’s word and His word does not support the prosperity doctrines. It is so sad that so many are being led astray by this.

    I have had people tell me they don’t believe in Christianity because they tried that prosperity doctrine and it didn’t work. I just kindly told them that we are to follow Jesus and His word – not the teaching of men. If the Bible doesn’t support it then it’s false.

    Thank you for your words today and for following Christ’s truth.

    God bless all.

  13. Love these encouraging words! It’s so true. We have been extra blessed to live in a country that had a Christian heritage, but that is now quickly degrading as the times are changing and persecution for our faith will be imminent. We will soon get the privilege to suffer for Christ as so many before us.

    xx-Shannon

  14. Thank you for posting this. After my breast cancer diagnosis in August, I have been up close and personal with suffering. The blessings that come through suffering are overwhelming. (Not that I would ever choose it voluntarily) Timothy Keller writes about suffering in a recent book and says that most other cultures see suffering as a means to an end. They see it as a way to become a better person or to reach a higher life stage whereas we, Americans see it as an interruption. We see suffering as a roadblock to getting what we want in life. Our culture focuses on the pursuit of happiness and finding work that we love. I wrote about this on my blog a few weeks ago. http://amyadair.me ~ I love your blog!

  15. Thanks SO much, Cyndi !!! It gets discouraging when you hear of how people treat God like a “Genie in in the bottle”. It takes those seasons of suffering to really build those spiritual muscles and be” schooled” on leaning fully on Christ. I am currently doing Priscilla Shirer’s study on The Armor Of God. Wow…once we all began this at our Ladies Monday Night Bible Study ,the enemy sat up & took notice! The attacks have been coming right and left to us all. So very grateful for the solid Truth of the Word of God which reminds us “that no weapon formed against us shall prosper”!!! Now THAT is the type of prosperity worth talking about !!!! Prospering in our faith…LOVE what you do and your Godly heart !!!!

  16. Thank you so much for your comments. I totally agree with you about the “prosperity gospel.” God loves me unconditionally already proven through the gift of His Son. No one should expect more. Hope for eternal life is our greatest reward. Thank you for your posts. I love what you do. Keep up the good work.

  17. Re: The Cost Of Following Christ

    Thank you Cyndi that was just wonderful! You are so right! . . . .Otherwise, we just turn God into one more idol to get what we didn’t get from the other idols. God wants us to love Him, not His blessings. I always ask myself, do I really, r-e-a-l-l-y love and want Christ or do I just want Eternal Life and Happiness? I think the good news of the gospel is that life is REALLY hard and we don’t get satisfaction and certainty BUT Christ will hold our hearts through it and somehow when we can deeply love, even after being deeply hurt, that gives everything meaning. So, instead of God being that which fills the gap at the core of our being, the God testified to in the Scriptures exposes the gap for what it is, —obliterates it, and invites us to participate in an utterly different form of life, one that brings us beyond slavery to ALL idols. Our culture of consumerism has turned God into a product to be marketed, something that will satisfy, rather than God as one who cannot be marketed, and has come not to satisfy us, but to free us from our need for satisfaction. Jesus is not another product in the vending machine that will render us complete, remove our suffering, and reveal the answers. In fact, that is taught against everywhere in early Christianity. . . . Jesus shows us an incendiary approach to faith that invites us to joyfully embrace our brokenness, resolutely face our unknowing, and courageously accept the difficulties of our existence. Only then, at least this is what I see, do I see Jesus showing that we can truly rob life and even death of its sting and enter into the fullness of God.

  18. Re: The Cost Of Following Christ

    Thank you Cyndi, that was just wonderful! You are so right! . . . .otherwise, we just turn God into one more idol to get what we didn’t get from the other idols. God wants us to love Him, not His blessings. I always ask myself, do I really, r-e-a-l-l-y love and want Christ or do I just want Eternal Life and Happiness? I think the good news of the gospel is that life is REALLY hard and we don’t get satisfaction and certainty BUT Christ will hold our hearts through it and somehow when we can deeply love, even after being deeply hurt, that gives everything meaning. So, instead of God being that which fills the gap at the core of our being, the God testified to in the Scriptures exposes the gap for what it is, —obliterates it, and invites us to participate in an utterly different form of life, one that brings us beyond slavery to ALL idols. . . .Our culture of consumerism has turned God into a product to be marketed, something that will satisfy, rather than God as one who cannot be marketed, and has come not to satisfy us, but to free us from our need for satisfaction. Jesus is not another product in the vending machine that will render us complete, remove our suffering, and reveal the answers. In fact, that is taught against everywhere in early Christianity. . . . Jesus shows us an incendiary approach to faith that invites us to joyfully embrace our brokenness, resolutely face our unknowing, and courageously accept the difficulties of our existence. Only then, at least this is what I see, do I see Jesus showing that we can truly rob life and even death of its sting and enter into the fullness of God.

  19. I couldn’t agree more. Thank you for sharing this! Just take a look at all of Jesus’ disciples.. how many of them suffered greatly claiming the gospel, even to the point of death. The answer is many. Jesus loved them with all His heart and they still suffered. There is a battle on earth between Heaven and hell. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12. Jesus will never leave us nor forsake us, no matter what storm we face. Praise Him in the storm! I love your blog! xo