The Cost of Discipleship
“This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to you, Baruch: You have said, ‘I am overwhelmed with trouble! Haven’t I had enough pain already? And now the Lord has added more! I am worn out from sighing and can find no rest.’ (Jeremiah 45:2-3 NLT)
Baruch was the young scribe that wrote and read to the people Jeremiah’s prophecies. Like Jeremiah, he got a lot of persecution for the prophet’s words. The Lord responded to the scribe’s pain with truth and loving kindness. Baruch found out there is always a cost in following God.
Young disciples often become discouraged when they find out that serving God is not all fun and games. Discipleship, often involves God crossing our will with his. The Lord’s response to Baruch came in the form of correction and encouragement. “Are you seeking great things for yourself? Don’t do it! I will bring great disaster upon all these people, but I will give you your life as a reward wherever you go. I, the Lord, have spoken!” (V.5) If we have our eyes focused on the things of this world, be it fame or fortune, we become impatient when difficulties arise. We can develop a spiritualized entitlement mentality. When trouble comes, we lose heart and our passion wanes. When desire diminishes, we can never fulfill our calling.
Attitude is a big part of dealing with adversity. It appears that Baruch had come to the point of blaming God for his predicament (“And now the Lord has added more! V.3). Our response when God crosses our will with his determines when discipleship starts and ends. Discipleship has a cost but also a prize. “I will give you your life as a reward wherever you go” (v.5).
By Ken Barnes