Is it worth it to be a Christian? Is it worth it to follow God?
I have asked these questions more times than I can count. And with these questions another one always arises: Why am I so full of doubt?
When I came to college in August of 2013 I had my own bible and a few memorized verses but those were the only things that could label me as a Christian. I did not have a developed relationship with God and in fact, I did not even understand the Gospel. Over the course of my first year, I found myself discovering what it meant to be truly broken. I came face to face with an uncomfortable amount of change, brutal heartbreak, homesickness, a lack of direction, academic inadequacies, drunkenness, shattered relationships, and even the fierce power of the law. I messed up a lot and I bore the consequences of my actions. But, through this time, God took the broken pieces and made me new again. During my spring semester of first year, I renewed my relationship with God and I truly became a follower of Christ.
The reason I share this piece of my background is because it directly precedes these questions I began to tackle. Is it worth it to be a Christian? Is it worth it to follow God? And why am I so full of doubt?
At Servants Retreat, the pastor shared a message with us that he titled, “Is It Worth It to Be a Christian?” I remember as I was sitting there I could resonate so well with this message because I was not a stranger to the question in the slightest. The pastor led us through a passage in the Bible, Psalm 73, written by a man named Asaph. Asaph was a Levite and also a distinguished worship leader. I liked to imagine that Asaph had the influence and presence of some of the notable praise leaders we have in the church nowadays. Anyways, the bottom line is that Asaph was a man who grew up praising and worshiping God. God was no stranger to him. Yet, in Psalm 73, Asaph seems to have the same underlying question, “Is it worth it to follow God?” It brought me peace to know that not only did I have these questions but the retreat pastor as well as Asaph also had these same questions during their lives.
After dedicating my life to follow Jesus, I soon realized the cost of my decision. I saw the incongruities between a life centered on Jesus and a life dwelling in this world. For example, I now was brought joy by activities that my friends could not sympathize with. I found joy in reading God’s Word as well as listening and speaking to Him through prayer. But, they merely ridiculed, mocked, or ignored me when learning about these activities. I began to ask myself, “Is it really worth it to follow Him?”
Recently, I have been searching for a post-graduation job and I came to a point where I revisited those questions of doubt. I saw some of my friends who had ridiculed, mocked, and ignored me in the past now with great academic achievements, reputable extracurricular activities, and prestigious (and lucrative) jobs. It made me frustrated because I knew that the time I spent focusing on God, they spent on their studies, clubs, and interviews. I felt like it was unfair and that God was blessing them more than me. “God, I have given you my time, money, and energy in college. Why did they get these opportunities and I did not?” But, just like every other time, God began to take my broken understanding and piece it together for me to make it new again.
God created every single person on this planet. He was there in the very beginning and He will be there in the very end. He crafted each of us personally and He knows everything about us. This is the God that we can have a relationship with! During my first year, I learned about the Gospel and its significance in creating fellowship between man and God. I learned that my own sin was what was causing there to be a gap/void between me and God. But, God loves His people so much that He sent His only Son to die for them so that they may be pardoned of their sins and Christ would take that price. Jesus died and rose so that we all could have a chance to meet God face to face and be in communion with Him for eternity.
I think it is worth it to be a Christian. I think it is worth it to follow God. Our life on earth is pretty short and although my friends may be having more objective success than me right now, I know that I have a relationship with my Creator. It is not something you can quantify and it is something you can barely qualify. But, being able to be in fellowship with God is the greatest success I can think of. God is with all of us and He loves and cares for us every single day of our lives.
I know I will have these questions from time to time throughout my life. And that’s perfectly okay. This is what Asaph says in Psalm 73:26, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
It’s worth it.