“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23
Faithfulness to Christ will lead to hardship. Joseph surely knew his faithfulness would be costly. When he refused Potiphar’s wife, his faithfulness landed him in prison (Gen. 39:20).
If you choose the path of sexual purity before marriage, it will not be easy. Some people will wonder what’s wrong with you. You may find yourself losing the affection of someone who wanted what you would not give.
Similarly, if you choose the path of faithfulness in a marriage to an ungrateful or unresponsive spouse, it will be difficult. There may be times when you find yourself thinking your life could be very different.
But there is something else here, another part that you cannot imagine. When you are faithful, God will also bring good from your faithfulness.
It was through Joseph’s faithfulness that he ended up in prison. Consider the chain of events that follow from this. It was in prison that he met Pharaoh’s cupbearer. And it was through the cupbearer that he was introduced to Pharaoh. And it was through Pharaoh that he became the prime minister who provided food for his people. And it was through this provision that his family was saved during a famine. And it was through the lineage of Judah that Jesus Christ was born into the world. Joseph could not have imagined how God would use his faithfulness.
Throw a stone into a lake when the water is completely still. One stone produces a ripple, a series of rings, and you can hardly believe how far they go. That’s how it will be with your faithfulness. How will God weave this strand of your faithfulness into the tapestry of His gracious work in the lives of others?
What might be the effect on your son or daughter of your standing strong and being faithful? Your friend, co-worker, or neighbor? Your brother or sister in Christ?