We are wrapping up our “GO” message series this week. In his recent sermon, Pastor Mark challenged us to take small steps from comfort toward discomfort as we move out to serve Christ in the world. (You can listen to previous sermons on our YouTube page – youtube.com/PeachtreeCityUMC).
I appreciate the image of small steps from the familiar into the unfamiliar. After all, how do you climb a mountain? One step at a time. But why? Why venture out from comfort and safety? Why walk a harder path than an easier path? It’s a simple three-letter word: “joy”.
One of my favorite verses from Scripture is Hebrews 12:2: “For the joy set before him, he endured the cross.” The writer of Hebrews goes on to say that on the other side of the cross, Jesus “sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” In other words, the path to his rightful place and highest happiness went through a difficult experience.
Taking those small steps into discomfort can be challenging. It’s true whether those steps lead you down the street or to another country. But joy is the reward for those who follow Christ out of the familiar.
It’s unlikely that our steps will lead us to a physical cross, but they may lead us to a spiritual one. They may lead us to befriend someone who is very different from us. They may lead us to new experiences that challenge our senses. They may lead us to new places where real discomfort is normal. But joy is the reward for those who follow Christ to new friends, new experiences, and new places.
So “GO” take those steps! Joy waits for you.