Surrendering our comfort to Christ is not only what He asks us to do; Jesus warned those who wished to follow Him to expect it.
When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he instructed his disciples to cross to the other side of the lake.
Then one of the teachers of religious law said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”
But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”
Another of his disciples said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.”
But Jesus told him, “Follow me now. Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead.” (Matthew 8:18-22)
When Jesus was in his earthly ministry, he did not have a residence out in the suburbs he could retire to after 5pm each day. He did not have a personal chef who ensured he ate healthy food on a regular basis. His clothes were not the latest style.
Jesus Christ’s existence revolved around pleasing the Father, preaching repentance, and equipping His disciples.
When we choose to be a disciple, we lose all rights to ourselves. One of those rights includes surrendering our comfort to Christ.
The Rich Man Kept His Comfort
Where God leads may require us to work a lesser paying job, or perhaps no job at all. It may require us to move to another place, even a place that sounds uninviting. In one person’s case, it was wealth that needed to be surrendered.
The Bible tells the story of a rich man who desired to follow Christ (Mark 10:17-27). This man greeted Jesus by kneeling. It is possible the rich man already believed Jesus was the Messiah. He seemed most sincere and willing in his desire to follow Christ.
That is, until Jesus told him the only thing he lacked was to sell all he had and give it to the poor. The Bible tells us that the rich man went away sad because he was quite well off.
We don’t know what he was thinking exactly. Perhaps the rich man was sad because He thought being rich was an asset to Christ. Maybe it didn’t occur to the rich man that it could be the one thing standing in his way to being a true disciple.
The rich man went away physically wealthy but spiritually empty-handed because He could not do the thing Jesus asked – surrender his comfort to Christ.
Choosing Christ Over Our Comfort
To be Jesus’ disciple, we must be willing to give up whatever is required, including surrendering our comfort to Christ.
The good news is we can trust God to supply all our needs (Matthew 6:25-33), which is different than saying He will supply our earthly wants.
The reality is, while we may have to surrender our earthly comfort to Christ, He generously provides abundant spiritual comforts to equip our journey.
As we follow Christ and remain obedient to Him, we experience joy, peace, and patience along with all the other fruits of the spirit. God will provide for us in ways far more meaningful and beneficial.
As in all things, Jesus Christ leaves the decision up to us. He wants us to trust Him enough to let go of what we think we want or need for what Jesus wants to bless us with. Jesus wants us to trade our physical comfort for His spiritual comfort.
Saying Goodbye to Our Comfort
Even if He strips us of everything, we are better off trusting Him because there may be a bigger plan we are not aware of that will ultimately lead to God’s glory. We should have the attitude of Job when he literally lost everything in a day and continue to praise God (Job 1:20-21).
Job was ultimately restored in his possessions and heritage. We know that because we can read to the end of his story in the Bible.
It’s one thing to be able to read the story of Job and know that he was blessed and restored in the end. It’s another to realize that many who have surrendered their comfort to Christ have been repaid with a martyr’s death. Surrendering our comfort to Christ does not guarantee that we will have earthly comfort restored later. But our comfort in Heaven will be great.
Therefore, our best path is to continue to trust God to the very end, no matter what happens. We may find ourselves surrendering our comfort to Christ, but if we do He will grow our faith and our fervor for Him. We are always blessed by surrendering to Christ.
Jesus Christ wants His disciples to abandon all to follow Him. His promise for doing so is giving us spiritual blessings here on earth and in eternity. These will be greater than any possession or position we can ever hope to attain on our own.
More verses about surrendering our comfort to Christ:
Joshua 1:9: Isaiah 41:10; Matthew 16:24; Luke 18:28-30; 1 Timothy 6:17; Hebrews 13:5, 1 Peter 2:21