“By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.” -Hebrews 11:24-27
Being raised as the son of Pharoah, Moses had everything he could possibly want. He had wealth, a good education, high standing and comfort. He would not have been in need of anything. Yet he left it. He had an encounter with God and it caused him to turn his back on all the wealth of this world. Moses had everything but he also came to realize that all that he had was temporary. He came to realize that the Savior was far better than any riches he had possessed before. Not only was God better, but He is eternal. Moses could have chosen to ignore God as many do today. He could have lived life free of the burdens he ended up carrying as a result of following God’s call. God used him in astounding ways and we look at Moses’ story today as one of the greatest miracles in all of scripture. But for Moses it wasn’t easy. He faced ridicule, he faced doubt, he faced rebellion by the very people he was leading to freedom. He spent years and years in the wilderness far removed from all of his previous comforts. Yet he CHOSE to be mistreated. He CHOSE the reproach of Christ over wealth and riches. How? He looked to the reward. He believed and trusted that God was his reward. “He endures as seeing Him who is invisible.” What would happen if we really believed that all we have in life is temporary? We know in our minds that life won’t last forever. But what if we really grasped it each time that next temptation came? The pleasures of this world and of sin can be incredibly enticing. Yet what if we lived as if we saw Him who was invisible? We may suffer if we refuse the things of this world. If and when we do, let us remember all those believers who have gone before us in the same manner (see all of Hebrews 11). We are not alone. Today there are many other brothers and sisters in the faith being persecuted a thousand times worse than we will ever know. In other countries our brothers and sisters have chosen to cast off the pleasures of this world which are temporary and to be horribly mistreated for the name of Christ. They are thrown in jails, beaten, starved and abused in many ways. Yet they trust that their reward is not here on this earth. Their reward is the eternity they will spend with the God who has saved them from their sin and has lavished His love on them. Let us also remember the abuse that Christ suffered. Rejected by His own, forsaken by His own and betrayed by His own. The God of this universe died at the hands of His own creation. At any minute He could have summoned as many angels as He wanted and He could have saved Himself. He didn’t. He suffered for you. He bled for you. He died for you. God broke himself for you. He was then raised for you so that you do not have to be held captive in death but can have eternal life with Him. If you reject the pleasures of this world, it will very likely lead to hardship because this world is the opposite of God’s Kingdom. Draw strength from the hope others have found in Christ, and draw strength from Christ Himself, knowing that He sympathizes with you and will help you. He is your reward. Mourning may last for the night, but joy WILL come in the morning. Your hope will be realized fully on that glorious day when you see Jesus face to face. On that day you will not regret a single pleasure you gave up. Hold on to Jesus Christ and keep the faith.