Luke 9:21-27 And He strictly warned and commanded them to tell this to no one, 22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.” 23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. 25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? 26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the kingdom of God.”
In this scripture we see that Jesus was about to take up His own cross, and that He was going to suffer. He was telling His disciples of this personally. They did not have to read it in a book, but they heard it with their own ears coming straight out of the mouth of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. We know they heard what He spoke, but did they understand what He was saying? He did not just tell them that He was going to suffer but that those that choose to follow Him would also have to take up their own cross.
Today you can go into a church or home and see some beautifully decorated cross. The cross Christ would be crucified on was far from beautiful. It was used not to just kill the one hung on it but to cause great suffering. You will read in James how we are to count it all joy when we face various trials and tribulations. Jesus told us that we would be hated and suffer not because of ourselves but because the world hated Him and he is in us. So we have been given authority but at the same time this authority does not promise that we would not suffer.
James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
John 15:17-19 This is My command to you: Love one another. 18If the world hates you, understand that it hated Me first. 19If you were of the world, it would love you as its own. Instead, the world hates you, because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.…
Romans 8:17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
John 16:33 I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take courage; I have overcome the world!”
Acts 14:22 strengthening the souls of the disciples and encouraging them to continue in the faith. “We must endure many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.
We endure any trial or suffering and take up our cross not for our own sake but for the sake of the lives we can bring Jesus to. I know my personal life has had it’s fill of suffering and pain, but I have not suffered alone. Jesus has been with me through it all. How can I know this? I would not have made it this far without Him. What is more important is that those who have been able to see Him working in my life through the times of trials. This is my witness, it is not what I have done but what He does for me every day, and that He can be seen in my life. His love never fails me. I may hurt and have difficulties to put it in a nutshell, which in comparison to all that God has done for me really is the size of that nutshell. The life in this world is temporary, but our life with Him is eternal. So no matter what storms may rage I choose to take up my cross and trust in the One whom I choose to follow and know that He alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life. The pains a woman endures during labor lasts for a moment, but the joy and love she has when her child is placed in her arms is forever. The pain of taking up your cross is temporary but the love of the One who you have chosen to follow is forever.