By “counting the cost” we mean two things:
1. The one-time reckoning of what you’re going to lose if you decide to follow Jesus (namely your life!).
Jesus said, “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:27)
2. The continual reckoning of what you’re losing as you follow Jesus.
We may lose our comforts; we may lose our credibility…
Jesus said, “It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul (“ruler of demons”), how much more will they malign the members of his household!” (Matthew 10:25)
Jesus told a parable of a man finding treasure hidden in a field. In joy over the newly found treasure, the man sold all that he had to buy that field (Matthew 13:44). The man lost things (his house, his land, his stuff) in exchange for something much, much better. He joyfully counted the cost.
Jesus is the true, eternally-lasting, all-satisfying treasure.