Saturday, September 12, 2009

Joy Challenge - Day 18 - The Joy Set Before Us


In the book of Hebrews we are given a glimpse of joy through the eyes of Jesus.

"fixing our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Hebrews 12:2

It is a verse of encouragement. The previous verse says:
"...let us run with endurance the race that is set before us."

I am not a theologian, so I can only humbly offer what this says to me. It is a picture of joy whose underpinning is great hope - confident hope. It is one I can embrace when I am going through difficult circumstances and joy seems an impossible dream.

Jesus, who knew from the very moment of creation what He would have to endure, counted it all joy - the terrible physical torture, the shame, the rejection, the weight of the sin of mankind, and separation from His Father - a thing so terrible we cannot even begin to imagine the suffering. How was that possible? What was this joy ?

Did He look ahead in time and see the faces of each one who would some day accept Him as Lord and Savior? Did He love us so much that He could actually feel joy as He walked steadfastly toward Jerusalem and betrayal and death? Did the idea of making a way back to the Father for those of us who would some day walk this earth fill His heart and mind? I believe the answer to all of those questions is yes.

What does that mean for me when I face difficulties I don't feel strong enough to bear - when life seems unjust and unfair - when heaven seems silent? What is the joy set before me? Is it knowing that everything the Father has promised is true; that He will be with me and help me no matter what the circumstances? Is it knowing that He has a plan for my life that is for my ultimate good? Is it knowing that there is not one thing that can happen to me that Jesus hasn't experienced Himself? Is it knowing that because of what Jesus endured I will spend eternity in heaven with Him?

For me, the answer to all those questions is yes. It may not be the "dancing around gaily" sort of joy. Rather it is a deep-seated knowing that I can trust Him with everyone and everything that is most precious to me. It is like a steady stream that flows from the heart of the Father to mine bringing peace, hope and JOY!

Blessings,
Linda

8 comments:

Teena said...

Thank you Linda. We have been reading Hind's Feet and it is speaking volumes to me. I know lots of new christians read it but I am an old christian 30 yrs~ anyway.... w/ my dh not walking with the Lord.... and our circumstances being difficult to say the least I could really identify with Much-Afraid when she had to go through the desert....

anyway.... God is faithful and His grace is sufficient.

blessings,
Teena

christy rose said...

"a deep-seated knowing that I can trust Him with everyone and everything that is most precious to me." I truly do understand this kind of joy. Thank you Jesus!

Anonymous said...

This was so encouraging to me this morning. Thank you, Linda. This type of joy is such a blessing. It really does carry me through those difficult times. It is sure and steady because it is based on solid truth.

Susanne said...

Very encouraging post Linda. And just what I needed to be reminded of!

kelli said...

I loved this...what does it mean..."when heaven seems silent?" Such an ache fills us then.

Beautiful words and thoughts, Linda!!

Laure said...

a very strong post, Linda.

and joy that is "a deep-seated knowing" is an enduring joy ... not subject to ear tickling or feelings that are a mile wide and an inch deep.

beautiful.

Abba's Girl said...

I choose joy and I choose to keep my eyes on Jesus...not the world, not my circumstances but on our Messiah...your post is water to a parched soul...

grammy said...

Very encouraging words (o: