When it comes to our suffering and the suffering of others in this present world, we must keep a heavenly mindset. Paul said, “For I consider 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) The journey along the narrow way is often a hard and costly choice, but truly worth it. Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13–14)
So, brothers and sisters, let’s keep pressing on and pressing into Jesus along the narrow way. Remember the Son of God loves us so much that He endured the pain of the cross of Calvary for the joy set before Him that He may restore all things unto Himself. (Hebrews 12:2; Romans 8:19ff). Keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. The narrow way is not easy, but the reward at the end is beyond our ability to comprehend with our finite minds. So, what does it look like practically to follow Jesus in this narrow way he tells us to follow?
We can say many things, but today, we will consider three: first, it means that we are willing to be loyal to Jesus, even when it may not be the popular or comfortable choice. Abraham did this when he built an altar to YHWH in the lands of Baal. This could have cost him his life, yet he chose to put God first as we should (See Genesis 12:7-8). Remember that Jesus said, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.” (John 15:18)
Secondly, we must be willing to endure difficult times that will come, knowing that God is with us every step of the way. Paul told Timothy, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12) There is a cost for following Jesus, but the kingdom of God is well worth these costs.
Finally, we trust in His promise of eternal life and keep our eyes fixed on Him rather than being distracted by the temporary pleasures of this world. The Apostle John warns us, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:15–17)
As you and I continue our journey along the narrow way, may you be encouraged by these words from Jesus: “In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). God is with us all the way!