By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. (Hebrews 11:24-26, NKJV)
Would you voluntarily trade ease, comfort and power for guaranteed affliction?
If so, what would be your motive and rationale?
Part of faith is believing in things not seen. That is an essential component of godly living (no way around it) and contrasts sharply with weighing priorities and choices based only on material and secular considerations. Furthermore, by definition, all sane self-sacrifice (secular or religious) must be based on the logic encapsulated in the formula of the greater good. Otherwise, it is rightfully deemed crazy.
Heroes are heroes and fools are fools precisely because their heroics or foolishness are judged according to these basic human standards.
Moses was no fool.
His parents - his mother, Jochebed, especially, since she was cleverly established as his "nursemaid" in the household of Pharaoh - clearly imbued him with the knowledge of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob so much so that when he became of age, [he] refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.
His reasoning was simple: forgo ephemeral pleasure now for eternal blessing later. More importantly, it was faith-based.
Faith, not in himself, or the Fates, or man, but in God's promise of redemption through Christ. He may not have known all the details, particularly at this particular decision point, but he knew enough, and believed enough, to choose suffering over pleasure.
For that, he is eternally honored.
Note that we are given hints that his decision was not made grudgingly or fearfully, but willingly and fervently. He did not grit his teeth in resignation, bow his head and walk reluctantly into the flames of persecution. No, he was bold and conspicuous, esteeming the reproach of Christ.
Focus on that word, esteeming. In this context, it refers to a subjective judgment of worth - a rational conclusion based on known but not necessarily provable data. It was conscious and volitional, not reflexive or rote, and it involved risk exactly because it could have been wrong. But he did it anyway. Therein lies the quality of Moses' faith.
He took a monumental chance in this life, and for it he was rewarded with 80 years of temporal earthly difficulty, yet not once are we told that he regretted his initial leap of faith. He may have wished at times that his own actions would have been wiser subsequent to his momentous initial choice, but that first step was never in doubt.
One final thought here. Notice what he esteemed so greatly - the reproach of Christ. In comparison to all that Egypt had to offer, even the suffering for Christ's sake was immeasurably better - greater riches than the treasures in Egypt.
This is what Jesus meant when he asked, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? (Mark 8:36, NKJV). Moses was in a position to do just that, in effect gain the whole world through his position in Pharaoh's household, but by faith, his chose to gain his own soul instead.
Only the eyes of faith can make this distinction and take this action. Heroic acts founded in the world are one thing, self-sacrifice on behalf of others that are seen and known by sight.
Heroism based on faith in Christ is another thing entirely, a thing worthy of greater riches than can be conceived.
Do not be deceived by the bribery offered by the world and the world system. The coin of earthly pleasure is nothing in comparison to the treasures laid up for the faithful in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.