Risk and Reward

Centered, Day 4

By Jason Brown, from the book Centered: Trading Your Plans for a Life That Matters

Our God is an awesome God. He can do anything. He is with us. 

Most Christians believe this with all their hearts. We know we worship an Almighty Ruler, the Maker of heaven and earth. We say He loves us and is involved in our lives. We say we depend on Him for everything. 

But do we ever put it to the test? When I was in the NFL, I worshipped God with my lips but put my real trust in my bank account. We love God if it doesn’t cost us too much. We put our trust in Him as long as we’ve got backup plans in place. 

But when we don’t risk, we don’t reap the rewards, either. 

After Jesus told me to “pour it all down the drain,” and I did, I wanted to go deeper in my rela­tionship with God. So in a period of calm and comfort, I prayed a new prayer. 

“God, You’re amazing,” I said. “You’ve done some amazing things in my life. You’ve just begun writing a beautiful testi­mony in my life. Make my life something that when people look at me, when people hear my story, they can’t help but see You through it all.” 

Then I said something I hadn’t planned on praying. Maybe I knew that for peo­ple to see God in my life, they’d need to see, to feel, how much I trusted Him to take care of me, in good times and bad. I wanted to emulate the heroes in the Bible—those people who were so close to the Almighty that they relied on Him as they would a flesh-and-blood father. 

With that in mind, I added, “God, I want You to take me to a place where I de­pend on You. Where I lean on You for everything. Where I cry out to You, God.”

Be careful what you pray for.

When you follow God—truly follow Him, body and soul—you may find, as I have, that God really is with us and that He’s an awesome God indeed. To trust Him leaves you vulnerable. The rains may come. But you know what? You feel the warmth of God’s love on your face too. And sometimes those showers you feel? They’re the showers of blessings.

What do you find difficult to entrust to God? What, if anything, prevents you from praying Jason’s prayer? 

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.

Matthew 16:24‭-‬27

In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.

Luke 14:33

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Romans 5:1‭-‬5

Centered: Trading Your Plans for a Life That Matters
By Jason Brown with Paul Asay / WaterBrook Press

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