Scripture Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. (Matthew 16:24) Observation Following Jesus is a call to carry the cross, whatever the cross is going to be for us. Why must we carry the cross (the sufferings we are to bear) as His disciple? Can't following Jesus be a life of goodness, joy and without problems? Instead, the more committed we are to following Jesus, the more it seems that trouble would befall us. Application 1. The promise of an abundant life is not a promise of life without problems. It is a life filled with joy and hope in spite of troubles, knowing that what we are going through is temporary. Our hope is not in this present life but the life to come. 2. Faith in Jesus helps us to overcome all of this life's problems and makes us victorious, more than conquerors in Him! Prayer Dear Lord Jesus, help me to know that the cross I am to carry is not burdensome, as you have said, "my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Help us to know that You are helping us carry the cross as you did at Calvary. Set our eyes on the eternal home you have prepared for us, where there shall be no more crying or weeping but only joy and happiness. In your name, Amen.