“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary
and lose heart.” (Heb 12:2-3 NIV)
What motivates you to do hard things? When have you allowed future joy to get you through
present pain? For Jesus and for us, this is our modus operandi – the secret of a powerful
Not only do we need to focus off our present sufferings and onto the “incomparable riches of glory” and eternal fellowship with our Creator and Savior, we also need to be open to joy here and now. Even in the midst of great difficulty, joy is available to those who see the big picture and place their lives in God’s hands.
What fills your heart with joy? From where do you get the confidence, faith, peace, and hope that opens your soul to joy? Is it possible to be content when you don’t have everything you want? How can you move into a place of wholeness and worship even when your body is broken or your mind is mournful?
The psalm says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” When Jesus was enduring the cross and its shame, his desire was to please his Dad and he knew that the joyful celebration when he reconnected with the Father would be the greatest moment ever!
When we truly delight in doing God’s will and in being his child, our hearts will be full of joy. No circumstance, no loss, no illness, no suffering, no problem can defeat the eternal power of joy. And only when our hearts have been redeemed and refitted can they contain this indescribable joy – the Joy of Knowing Jesus. When we experience the amazing love of Christ – truly absorb the cleansing life-giving blood he shed – his joy becomes our joy, and no force in the universe can wring it loose.
The power of joy flows to us from the heart of Jesus; and his joy overflows from our hearts to a thirsty world. There is enough of His joy to empower each of us to be all he created us to be. What great strength and joy there is in Christ’s transforming love! He is even now empowering you through his gift of joy. Can you feel it? Will you embrace it as your strength to carry on?
Empowering joy brought Jesus to this earth, to the cross, through the grave, and back to the Father where he waits to celebrate with you and me.