A Hard Path to Joy
by Joni Eareckson Tada
Dear Dewey,
“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.”
Hebrews 12:2-3
The path to joy is full of pitfalls, valleys and steep climbs. That’s the way it was for Jesus. But through all the hardships, He kept focused on “the joy set before him.” Jesus was able to endure His cross because He kept in mind the joy of reunion with His Father, the joy of triumph over sin, the joy of all His divine rights finally restored to Him, and perhaps most wonderful of all, the joy of being eternally surrounded by the very people for whom He bled and died. This is why Jesus Christ was able to endure the cross and scorn its shame. All for joy!
It’s very much the same for you and me. Our path to joy is full of pitfalls, too. But Christ has gone before us, imparting to us His enabling power to suffer with Him. Jesus assures us in Matthew 5:11, “Blessed [or happy and joyful] are you when others revile you and persecute you… Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.” And exactly what is our reward at the end of all our hardships? Our reward will be to enjoy God with the same joy that Jesus has in His Father. Oh happy day!
Christians have no reason to be miserable or pessimistic. There is no room for gloom and doom when you’re a believer. If your heart is troubled by pessimism or doubts, repeat several times today’s verse, especially the part, “Consider him who endured… so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” This is the secret to finding joy. Consider Him.
Lord of Joy, I delight in Your gladness today and I want to honor You by taking up my cross and joyfully following You.
Joni and Friends
Taken from Pearls of Great Price
Copyright © 2006
By Joni Eareckson Tada
Published in Print by Zondervan, Grand Rapids
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible: New International Version.
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