“Therefore…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles…Let us fix our eyes on Jesus…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” Hebrews 12:1-2.
Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details in our lives, the quiet confidence that everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in all things. With this newly discovered definition so many verses now ring true when studying Scripture. Jesus’ earthly walk was set in place before His precious head lay in the manger. By the time Jesus had to face the cross, He had a settled assurance that His Father was in control of the cross…a quiet confidence that He would be reunited with God … a determined choice to praise Him from the crossbeams. He hung between two other crosses, one bearing sarcasm and cynicism, ‘Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!’ Luke 23:39, the other bearing choice and hope ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom’ Luke 23:42.
We all are situated between sarcasm and certainty when facing challenging circumstances. We have the choice to approach our difficult seasons with negativity instead of faith and hope in the future. It is up to us as to how we respond in our suffering. Do we look to our companion of sarcasm and discouragement or do with participate with Christ in praising God from the crossbeams?
We have all been given a race to run with parallel lanes that offer pain and joy. They run side by side all the way to heaven. There is a balance in running this race, with one foot in pain and the other foot in joy. We cannot allow the negativity and fear of our heart to hinder our race and entangle our joy. We can celebrate and share in the fellowship of Christ with the knowledge that at the end of the race we, too, will surround the throne of God.
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