Wouldn’t you like to think that becoming a Christian and living the Christian life will make your life better? Doesn’t Scripture promise that God will bless faith and obedience . . . that it will go well with us and actually extend our lives on this earth? How then can Jesus tell us to carry our crosses? Wasn’t that supposed to be his nasty job?
He actually said it various times: “Whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27). “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?” (Luke 9:23-25). Really, Jesus?
Yes. The one who bore the cross for us invites us to be ready and willing to pick up our own if and when we need to. Our own comfort and our wealth and pleasant environment can become idols, idols so compelling and seductive that to keep our position we just might sacrifice our faith and our worship of God as our number one.
I personally have to work on this more. I would much rather pick up my golf clubs or my vacation luggage or some NFL tickets than a cross. But there will be times when accepting a hardship for Jesus’ sake is the highest form of worship.