Our walk with Christ takes time and all of our effort, it takes us making Him our first priority and humbling ourselves and being purified by the Holy Spirit. “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matthew 6:24). Picking up our cross and following the Lord takes being willing to be set apart even if that means being ridiculed or misunderstood by others.
But when you consider the short time of sacrifice and trials on this Earth compared to an eternity at the feet of the Father it is worth it. God laid this upon my heart because I often take Him for granted and assume that when I run off to mess around with Satan that it doesn’t break His heart to see me sin and turn from Him. We are His beloved; God gave us His only begotten Son and nothing this world and Satan has to offer can compare to the love of Christ. This world’s pleasures are fleeting and they will burn you, drinking, sex, dirty dancing, gossip, raunchy music etc can seem fun now but that hangover, STD, lost relationship, lustful thoughts can have long-term consequences.
Christ never promised this Christian world would be easy but James tells us that “when trouble comes your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow” (James 1:1-2). God is not focused on our fleshly comfort but our spiritual character, we go through trials and prayers are delayed because He wants us to yearn for Him alone and not the things of this world. God wants us to love Him with our entire heart, not be lukewarm with one foot in the world, but to pursue Him with everything we have in us. God’s Word will never go void and in the end it will all be worth it to hear ‘well done my good and faithful servant.’