Do I dare?

{This is the first post by new All4God contributor Emma Swift}
To follow Jesus is to bear the burden of your generation; to fully love like he does is to suffer the sorrow and pain of those around us. This is a massive challenge especially for those of us who have grown up with pretty easy lives in our middle class towns. When we jump on board the crazy bandwagon that is Jesus’ Way it takes us down Joys and Sorrows that we may otherwise have missed out on. The biggest challenge is allowing God to replace our heart with his. It is laying down the things we think are important, or what we have been brought up to care about, and allowing him to let us experience his heart. This is so tough.
It comes with two sides. Firstly we learn what it means to love, and that means God’s love. We begin to understand how God sees everyone as his precious children. It allows us to lay down the views that we have of people and even our closest friends. Those that we love but are always aware of their faults and things about them that annoys us. Seeing people through God’s heart means we can really love them, unconditionally, passionately. Loving them like they are the most precious person in the world and not as the broken mess that we all are. So much of the time we love people on our own terms. Our expression of love depends on who they are, how we’re feeling or how much we think we are suffering, how they are acting, or how much we think they deserve. Grace is not based on love that is deserved – that is what makes it so mindblowing. If you really want to bring God’s kingdom to earth and to see his glory revealed love people way more than you think they deserve. See them through God’s heart and then you will see how beautiful they really are. This is why Jesus’ way is so radical and why his love changes people.
The second side is the hard part. Love hurts, it pierces to the soul. Because of this broken world we live in, love on earth is not perfect and hurt usually comes from it. Loving people is a risk, taking on God’s heart is a risk, because you begin to care for those things and people that he cares about and along with that comes pain. You experience God’s pain as he looks at the suffering in the world. When we love we voluntarily take on other peoples pain and suffering and that is hard. The big question is how much do you protect yourself from hurting? I know for me, something I did nearly all my life, was guard my heart closely. I hated feeling pain, I never wanting to feel sorrow or hurt. But because of that I never really loved. To love is to bear the joy and sorrow that comes with it. As Christians we should be the people in the world that suffer the most grief but also the most joy. Whenever we love radically we experience the joy of God’s grace and a glimpse of his kingdom.
Is your relationship with Jesus a rollercoaster of emotion or is it pretty much a straight line? How much do you give of yourself to the world and the people God loves so dearly and how often do you have an imaginary emotional wall up so you don’t get too sad or too affected by the hurt that comes when you care? Will you care for those who suffer, will you care for those who are indifferent, who slander you, who believe they are better than you? Can you love like the servant Jesus became and set your pride aside?
Do I dare to bear the burden of a generation?
The pains and expectations,
the failure of the heroes
the hopes and dreams of shiny eyes,
now trodden by the world.
Do I dare to bear your burden?
The burden you don’t even know,
the burden you can’t even see,
as you scoff at my Saviour
Do I dare to bear your burden?
To allow the weight of Satan to bear down on my prayers
To cry your tears, the Lord’s tears for you?
To have my heart ache for you
and exhaust myself in love for you
Do I dare to bear your burden?
The burden that Jesus carried for me,
to be the servant he was
to cry as he did for he world he loved
Do I dare to bear your burden?
To walk not one but two mile with it
to bring His kingdom here
To be a radical for Jesus
To trust my heart to him
Do I dare to bear your burden?
When you spit in my face
and degrade me so,
and I feel the pain of loving
Do I dare to bear your burden?
To take on God’s heart
and the wounds that come with it
To understand grace
And to be alive in his love
Do I dare to bear your burden?

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