Two quotes that I’ve heard countless times in church are, “Being a Jesus follower is hard” and “Doing what God asks of you will be a sacrifice.” I believe these statements are true. There is another part of the equation though.
Obedience will not always be preceded by emotion, but non-the-less it is the basis for many actions, including generosity and meaningful prayer. If emotion has no part, these things quickly become simply religious exercises. I think a lot of Christians disconnect from their emotions.
On one hand, compassion can overflow to the point of wanting to beg every person you meet to believe in Jesus. That would qualify us as crazy.
Another reason we can abandon emotions is because they can, and will, lead us wrong. If we shut them down, there’s no chance of them controlling our actions.
God wired us to feel emotion for a reason, though. If we numb ourselves to them, we take away part of what it means to be human. Even more than taking away from our humanness though, a lack of emotion subtracts from our relationships. Every relationship is effected when we don’t feel, including our relationship with God.
When God asks us to do something hard or to make a sacrifice, it’s for our ultimate happiness. Love is the motivation for the direction/ command. For us to see this in the moment, God has to open the eyes of our heart. This connects us not only to what God is doing and leading us to do, but also allows us to feel the heart of God.
So yes, being a Jesus follower is hard. But when the eyes of our heart are open we will feel God’s love and encouragement as we take each step.