The words of that old hymnal ring out, a timeless anthem, a declaration of determination. “I have decided to follow Jesus no turning back, no turning back. The cross before me, the world behind me, no turning back, no turning back. Thou none be with me, still I will follow, no turning back, no turning back.”
The bible never says that being a Christian is easy. In fact it says that many will hate us and persecute us for His name sake (Matthew 5:11), that we will have to fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12), and that we must pick up our cross daily and follow Him (Luke 9:23). Our cross represents (as it does for Christ) our sacrifice, our suffering, our burdens, our obedience, and our selflessness. Scripture also says that the servant is not greater then the master and if Christ Himself had to endure hardships and suffering then how much more can we expect to have to face them ourselves. (Matthew 10:24-25) However He did not leave us hopeless, saying:
“In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
Hardships, heartaches, and suffering will come in our lives but they will never compare to the suffering that Christ endured on our behalf, nor to the rewards we will receive for faithfully enduring it. To abandon the call of Christ for fear of, or for relief from personal hardships is selfishness and shows a lack of both love and faith. Stand fast in the faith and remember that He has promised, “he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” – Matthew 24:13
“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.” – Romans 8:18
Father help us daily to lay our pride and selfishness down so that we may be able to pick up our cross and follow after you with our whole hearts, our whole obedience, and our whole faith. Give us Your strength for we can not do it in our own. Forgive us if ever we have looked back at the world behind us searching for an easier road. We commit this day to keep our eyes, minds, and emotions fixed on You, pursuing You with out whole hearts. Let our hearts pant after you like the deer pants for the water, no turning back, no turning back.
“And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” – Luke 9:62