Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 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.
I know... it's a common passage. We've all read it before. But for some reason- when I read it this time- it hit me. Like a mac truck.
"Who for the JOY set before him ENDURED the cross"
For the JOY? Does it say Joy? I have to tell you- with the CROSS before me... I don't see Joy? And I can't see past the cross because HELLO... it's a cross!!! And yet Jesus saw the cross, saw the right hand of the Father just past the cross... saw restoration, eternity, obedience... HE SAW JOY!!!! "
"...who for the JOY set before him ENDURED the cross."
And then I heard it... almost clearly- this question...
"What joy is currently set before me that first requires the sacrifice of ENDURANCE??"
Ugh... endurance. Not a strong point for me. I love to bow out long before the finish line. I tend to give up at the first sign of struggle or inconvenience. Endurance?
But then I look to Jesus and know that He saw the cross... He saw it- but more importantly He saw the will of the Lord. He knew He was called for a purpose and He trusted that the will of His father was best.
I too want to see "my" cross but with perspective. I want to know the JOY set before me, HIM (His will) ...offers me strength to ENDURE. And I want to choose to do just that. Endure for the Joy set before me. And so I'll ask you the same....
What joy is set before you that first requires endurance??