Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV
During His 33 years on earth, Jesus clearly lived with a vision that was eternal. He endured the horrific torture of the cross and the unimaginable weight of crushing sorrow of bearing the punishment of our sins “for the joy that was set before Him.”
Do you and I live for the joy that is set before us?
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. – 2 Cor. 4:16-18 NIV
- The joy set before you in cruel betrayal . . . redemption, healing, wholeness.
- The joy set before you in crushing blows of failure . . . seeing how the hand of Almighty God recreated the shattered pieces and redeemed them into a mosaic of beauty.
- The joy set before you in heartache and loss . . . your tears will be wiped away and there will be no more crying, sorrow, or pain (Rev 21:4).
- The joy set before you when you’ve been overlooked, abused and tossed aside . . . heaven has no nobodies or second-class citizens.
- The joy set before you when you’ve been harshly discriminated against . . . in heaven there is only acceptance and love.
- The joy set before you when your investment in others all seems for naught because words that have been said and rumors that have been spread . . . in eternity all redeemed for nothing you do on this earth for Almighty God is a waste of time or effort (1 Cor 15:58)
- The joy set before you when you yourself have squandered what you have been so generously been given . . . the joy of seeing your Father’s face who has forgiven you and the outstretched hand of your Savior who loves you and whose nail scars and stripes paid for every one of our sinful, selfish, and short-sighted mistakes.