As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. Luke 23:26

Simon was made to carry Jesus’ cross. He wasn’t asked. Jesus watched as someone else carried His burden, and it was the cost of His obedience in giving eternal life to us that cost Simon. He watched as Simon was forced to take on a load that wasn’t his own. It wasn’t just “for the greater good”. It was for the salvation of all humanity.

Oswald Chambers, in My Utmost for His Highest, said, “If we obey God, it is going to cost other people more than it costs us, and that is where the sting comes. However, if we obey God, He will look after those who have been pressed into the consequences of our obedience. We have simply to obey and to leave all consequences to Him.”

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Following Jesus isn’t easy. Sometimes it is hard – emotionally, financially, physically. It is especially hard when our obedience to the Lord costs us the close relationship of a family member or romantic interest. Oh, we could easily change the circumstances if we would just give in and be with that person or agree with ungodly actions, but that would not please Our Lord. At that moment, we have to make a choice – follow Christ or give in to the ways of the world to save the relationship. The choice to follow Christ is not easy for them, and it is hard for us emotionally. We may have to let them go through a terrible storm financially or emotionally and stand back and watch to allow God to work.

However, in following Christ, deep down, there is a “peace that surpasses all understanding” Phil. 4:7. Our job is not to take control of our own strength (which usually fails), but to let God be God. In the end, He will work all things for our good, and we will be rewarded for obeying His Word and following Him, even in circumstances that hurt us or others around us.

From ministry friend Pam Rehbein.