Meditating on Joy: December 23

200486793-001By Becky Ahlberg

Wednesday, December 23

Read Hebrews 12:1-3. 

“For the joy set before him he endured . . .” (v. 2).

Is there a more graphic reminder of the purpose with which Jesus came among us? The long view was essential to his ability to endure his humanity experience.

It is true for all of us. Planning, sacrifice, blood, sweat, and tears are a part of every worthwhile endeavor. Why? For the joy set before us. Examples: pregnancy, labor and delivery, raising kids, training for a race, getting your education, building a career, making disciples, caring for elderly parents, bringing redemption to broken relationships—fill in the blank with your endurance experience. It’s fixing our eyes on the goal that propels us to finish and to avoid the things that “so easily entangle” us.

Joy doesn’t come because every obstacle is removed from our pathway or when things are easy. Real joy comes when we stretch ourselves beyond what we thought we could do and accomplish more than we thought possible. What daunting task is facing you this Christmas? Can you identify the joy set before you? If not, maybe you need to spend some time finding it.

And be grateful that Jesus believed his considerable sacrifice worth the joy set before him. It wouldn’t be Christmas without it!

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