It’s not always clear how the “reward” of faith works. Does God bring earthly blessing and prosperity on those who are faithful? Or does our godly integrity result in suffering and persecution in this life? What are the true costs and rewards of faithful following of Jesus?

(Sometimes we might do everything right, and still pay a cultural cost—the loss of a job, network, or influence—maybe even being thrown into a furnace! As Christ showed, a victorious life of faith might look like failure to the outside world, and yet be the salvation of the world. We can learn to separate the earthly outcome (good or bad) from our faithful efforts. God’s ultimate outcome will always, ultimately, prevail. And with a right perspective on God’s highest good for us, we can bear even the most costly consequences for our faith in the present moment. )

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