Is it really worth it to follow Christ? That was the question the rich young ruler had to face. Unfortunately, he decided that it wasn’t.
Peter too asked himself the same question. “I’ve given up everything to follow after Jesus. But is it really worth it?” And so he said,
We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us? (Matthew 19:27)
Truly I tell you…no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first. (Mark 10:29-31)
A couple of things to note here.
First, Jesus says that we will be rewarded for following him. Not just in heaven, but here. And not just rewarded, but richly rewarded. This is not to say that we will all be wealthy. But at the end of the day, when we look back on our lives, we will be able to say, “I have been blessed. It was all worth it to follow Christ.”
But there’s also one little note that Jesus added. It’s only found in Mark, but it really stands out when you read it. Jesus talks about all the blessings you will receive, but then he also warns, “You will be persecuted. Persecutions will come for following after me.”
In other words, being a Christian is not all fun and games. Yes, it is a joy. Yes, there are multiple blessings upon blessings for following Jesus. But there will be people who will dislike, and even hate us for it. Jesus was the perfect Son of God, and people still hated him. How can we expect to be exempt from the same treatment that Jesus received? As Jesus said, “No servant is greater than his master?” (John 15:20)
So let us not be surprised when hardships come because we follow Christ. Instead, let us keep our eyes on the prize, and know that whatever we may suffer in this life because we follow Christ, in the end, it truly will be worth it all.