Last week, we discussed how it costs to bare your cross. Baring your cross essentially means to deny any and everything that can be exalted before Christ. This includes family, friends, and your own flesh. In Luke 14: 27-28, Jesus explains that whoever does not bare their cross and does not follow Him is not worthy to be called a disciple. Jesus also asks us to consider the cost of baring our cross, as it does come with a price.
However, whenever we pay a costs, we expect something in return. We only grazed the surface of the benefits of baring the cross last week. Thus, I'd like to present to you in greater detail the benefits of baring your cross. Although the benefits listed here are not encompassing of all the benefits Christ has to offer, it will give you a feel of what you should expect in return should you pay the costs to bare the cross.
1.) Heavenly Peace
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7, KJV)
When we go before Christ in prayer and thanksgiving, He is able to give us peace that transcends logic. Only God can offer unexplainable peace in a chaotic world.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind
(2 Timothy 1:7, KJV)
God gives us power rather than fear. Per Romans 8:11, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is the same power that is within us. Let that sink in. Power that resurrected the dead lies within you if you bare your cross... now, that's power!
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14:26, KJV)
When you are baptized into Christ, the gift of the Holy Ghost is given unto us. We are not only given comfort, but we are given a holy comfort. This Comforter also is a teacher. Thus, the Holy Ghost serves as a 2 for 1 (benefits within benefits!)
4.) Exaltation Through Humility
For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted (Luke 14:11, KJV)
God exalts us to various positions and areas in our lives only after we humble ourselves to Him. However, if we chose to exalt ourselves, we will be brought low.
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6, KJV)
If we have faith and continually seek the Lord, He will reward us. This is not a possibility, this is a promise. We will reward those who pay the costs to bare the cross.
6.) Fruits of the Spirit
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23, KJV)
More benefits within benefits! Besides peace, God will give us 8 benefits within just this one benefit. I've only worked a handful of jobs, but I've never heard of a job offering 8 benefits within 1 of many.
7.) Eternal Life
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God
( 1 John 5:13, KJV)
Last but not least, when our time on earth is complete, we will inherit eternal life. The worries of the world including sickness, pain, and death will no longer be a concern. We will live in paradise with the creator of the universe if we pay the costs of the cross and stay the course.
Again, this is a very short list of the benefits from baring the cross. It is in no way all-inclusive. But you must understand that God is a just God. He is gracious and loving. If He is requiring a costs to bare your cross, trust that the benefits will far exceed the costs. Yet, if the costs prove to be too much, think of what the Apostle Paul stated in Romans 8:18:
"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."
The sufferings that Paul endured included imprisonment and ultimately his death. But this did not cause him to think the costs of the cross was too great. He remained a disciple of Christ because he knew that the benefits far outweighed the costs. In fact, all the early disciples who followed Christ after His death faced persecution for their beliefs. But they stayed the course because they witnessed first hand the power and deity of Christ.
For the disciples, walking with Christ and baring their crosses was an honor with exceedingly great benefits. The same is true for us today. Mull these things over and conduct a cost-benefit analysis to determine if the benefits are worth the costs. But please consider that if the disciples deemed the costs of the cross worthy of sufferings and death, then the benefits must exceed life itself. I'd argue that benefits greater than life are worth the costs.