In Matt; 10:34-42 Jesus is telling us what to expect, as we follow Him, in this life and how we will be rewarded in the next. In verse 39 He says, " Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."
Often I go looking for ways to find my own life and fill my own pleasures when Jesus is clearly telling me right here that the only was I can have Him, is to lose myself. The only way we can gain Heaven is to live a life of denying ourselves and follow Him.
I don't think most of us get up in the morning and think, "How can I give more of myself away today?" or "I will delight in suffering for Jesus today".
Doesn't this mean that if we really love God we will love Him even is we lose everything? Isn't that a true test of our affection for Him? If we are willing to lose all we have in this life, for His sake, only to gain Him, this is a true test of our love for Him.
Think about your loves; work, kids, position, home, toys, friends, security, favorite food. (I put those in that order because I think for most men they would not be willing to give up their work or position and for women it would be kids and home.) Would you be just as glad in God if these things were taken away from you? Would you delight in Him as much or even more if these were gone?
The rich young ruler went away sad because he had a lot of money he didn't want to give up, and I think often we look at this and say it is terrible that he wouldn't trade his money for Christ, but what is it that keeps us from following Christ? Is it one of those things I listed? Is it something else.
Hudson Taylor, very early on, had a very close friend that he thought would be the one he was to marry, yet she didn't want to go to China, especially as a missionary. She wanted to stay and be Mrs. Dr. Taylor, in her comfortable surroundings. What if Hudson has not followed Christ's call for him and caved to the pressure of love? What would China, as a mission field, look like today?
Christ often calls us to do hard things; to follow after the unseen, by faith. This is not easy, to live a life of self denial, but it is what God calls each of us to do in this life, so we can have treasures in Heaven.
Hudson, after a day of mourning, confidently knew that this is what God called him to do, and knew that his highest joy would come from following hard after Christ and all that that entailed.
What is God calling you to give up today, that He might give you more joy tomorrow?