When I became a Christian in my teens I struggled a lot with cost- if Christ died for my salvation, what was my life going to look like. Acts 14:22 says, " We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God." Why is it we all want to avoid doing what is hard instead of embracing it?
We sing songs like, " All to Jesus I surrender, I surrender all..." or " Take my life and let it be, consecrated, Lord to Thee..." as believers, do we actually mean the words we sing? Are we willing to surrender all our comforts and voluntarily choose a life of servanthood and heartbreak? I beg you ( and myself) to say yes because the joy of our salvation is valuable and the obedience produces priceless blessings that can not be bought with silver or gold- but are stored in our hearts and minds of smiling children saved from loneliness and isolation. We get th joy of being the hands and feet of Jesus, that image never gets old and leaves me in awe- Jesus chooses to use me to be His Hands and His feet.
As a believer there is a cost to my faith, I am not saved by my works, but the implication is because I am saved there will be a cost to my daily life. In Matthew Jesus was asked by the rich man to give up all he had to follow Jesus and he couldn't do It, others were asked to give up family, professions, some disciples left their boats and followed Jesus, Matthew left his life as a tax collector and followed Jesus. All throughout scripted there is a cost to salvation- the laying down of our own sinful life and pleasure and following after Jesus. What will your faith cost you? Can you give up everything for Jesus? Those are foundational questions that I fear few people consider. Jesus said to consider the cost before following after him- have we considered the cost?
Praise to God for a Living Hope
I Peter 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Today I reflect on the last 3 years, I've journaled very little and struggled with how to share such emotion yet conviction about the journey of fostercare. So many see me pushing my double stroller, carrying one more and say, " you have your hands full, " I could never do what you do," and I cringe a little. I am no saint, there are days I struggle to merely get food on our table and keep kids from crying, but I refuse to sit and not obey. Jesus didn't give us an option to care for orphans- he said in James to care for orphans and widows. It's a command, not an option. Don't hear me say every Christian must foster- there are so many great ways to help orphans and widows that isn't fostering ( casa worker or respite provider to name a few). God gives us all gifts and bents- that is the beauty of the Kingdom!
Most Christians do not understand the cost of being a believer- I too struggle with wanting a more comfortable life on earth. I struggle daily with the giving up of my self, I want nicer things and some days less children! But, there is a cost to my faith and the Holy Spirit is so faithful to send me great joy amidst the storms of fostercare. The journey is so hard, the welcoming in is a celebration with the promise of a broken heart. Yet, Gods promises are all true and He provides the most beautiful picture of Himseld when we surrender all and allow the Spirit to lead us into the joy of our salvation!