What Joy is Before You?

“looking only at Jesus, the originator and perfecter of the 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

I was struck by this verse today. I was struck by it because I realized that in face of uncertainty and difficulty there is a way to endure. That way is through realizing that there is something much greater ahead for me. That no problem, no obstacle, no struggle is greater than the love and hope I have in Jesus.
I needed to hear this again because unless I repeat it, I forget it. My hope becomes a trinket, a good luck charm. But in reminding myself firstly what God has done in and through Jesus, I can remember and see that there is so much more ahead of me. Jesus endured his suffering and shame, not because he had greater will or strength. Rather it was his dependence upon his father, and the knowledge that his plans and his ways are better. He took joy in carrying out his father’s will. In what God had planned for him.
What is God’s will? To buy back and restore his creation. To buy back and restore me. To buy back and restore you. The joy set before Jesus was the restoration of you and me. That what he was enduring was the pinnacle act in God’s plan to bring us into relationship with himself.
So what difference does this make? For me, it is in getting my heart set upon the joy that lies before me. In fixing my eyes upon the hope and knowledge that God is restoring me. That I will one day along with all my brothers and sisters in Jesus stand before him and know peace, know joy and what it is means to be his child. If we can set our lives upon this joy that lies before us we can endure, we can scorn shame, we can find hope. We will find life that is rooted deeply in Jesus and the work he has done, and is still doing, to present us before his father as holy, blameless, free and restored. My prayer is that you can catch a glimpse of the joy that God has in store for you. If you want or need prayer I would love to pray for you or with you, send an email to chris@gpchurchofchrist.com.