Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “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 and for the gospel will save it.
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Living to glorify Christ will cost. In Mark 8:34 Jesus says, "if anyone would come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."
If our goal is to make much of Jesus, and if a life that makes much of Jesus is a life of sacrificial love, then we are called to risk for Christ.
On the other side of each risk, God's love will triumph. This is what empowers us to take risks for the sake of Christ. Not heroism or adventure. Not courage or self-reliance. Not the need to earn God's favor. Just trust in Jesus.
If Jesus calls us to it, it is better to risk and trust that God will work in all things to help us glorify Him. It is good to risk for Christ. It is right to serve the people of God. These are the things which will lead to fuller joy.