The Joy Set Before Us
| "for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame..."(Hebrews 12:2)
There is unending joy lying ahead of us, and this joy for which we are ready and willing to sacrifice everything is the hope of spending eternity in the presence of our glorious Lord Jesus. Just as the Lord endured the cross and despised the shame because of the joy of our salvation that was set before Him, we are also empowered to take up our cross daily and follow Him because we behold His beauty and the glory that was promised to those who overcome. Yes, He is our great prize and the most fulfilling reward we could ever receive! As we seek His face and follow Him with unmoved faith and dedication in spite of all trials, sorrows, suffering and adversities of life, we discover an extraordinary truth. Not only that there is eternal joy set as a prize before our eyes, there is sweet, unexplained joy that begins in our journey. As we seek God's presence and rely on His renewed mercies and grace for us through the heat of trials’ fire and the turmoil of life’s storms, this joy grows within us and contaminates all aspects of our existence, shining forth a radiant and sweet light that belong to God’s children only.
Indeed, there is no real life and no real joy apart from the Lord who is the source of all good and perfect things. No matter where we are in our spiritual life, the focus remains always to seek His face. We should not let anything hinder the joy of His presence in us, so we need to expose ourselves to the voice of His Spirit, let our thoughts and hearts open and become vulnerable in front of His holy eyes that search even the unknown depths of our souls. We must never grow content with a mere form of godliness or a shallow spirituality. The joy of the Spirit accompanies us upon our journey only as we become emptied of ourselves so that God may fill us with Himself instead. Joy blossoms when we no longer care about the desires of the flesh but are instead eager to follow the urges of God's Spirit in our hearts. It is our responsibility and our moral duty to surrender to the Spirit of God and allow Him to lead us, teach us, comfort us and correct us every day, in every step that we take.
No other thing can satisfy and fill the hunger and longing of our souls. And no other thing can surpass the beauty of living in the presence of God, contemplating His face each day, and shining His perfect love and beauty into a dark, confused and hopeless world. Indeed, the life of complete submission under the hand of God is the way towards a life and journey of abundant joy, inexhaustible strength, unending love and peace beyond understanding. May this be the only state in which we live!