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Joy in the Despicable

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:2 NIV

Photo courtesy of pixabay.Sometimes it’s hard to see. Hard to look past the things the world throws at us. Easier to comply than to fight.

Our Christian hearts grow weary as we struggle to fight against the world and its desire to force us to agree on its sinful nature. Now more than ever, finding a way to focus on Christ is important.

We can’t close our eyes to the things of this world, and, if the truth be known, we can’t battle every issue either. We are, after all, only human. Just because we cannot clearly focus on every issue does not mean we are poor Christians. It simply means we set personal boundaries and stick to them. Spend time in the Word, pray, and remember the battle is not ours to fight. God does that for us, but what is ours. . .is the command to be obedient, pray without ceasing, and be the example Christ asks.

We assume Paul is the author of Hebrews, and when he penned this letter, persecution continued. His desire to help believers stand firm and keep their eyes fixed on the Lord led to some heartfelt words: “For the joy set before him he endured the cross.” What prolific words. What joy could have possibly been reason enough for Jesus to endure the cross?

No one alive can grasp the kind of love entailed in the cross. That one man (and we call Christ a man at this point because He was flesh) would shoulder the sins of the world. Not just current sin, but sins of the past and sins of what was still to come. And He did it with “joy.” 

Imagine how difficult it was for Jesus to see. The sin of every person flashed through His mind with lightning speed. Try to take in the pain, the hurt, and the disappointment He must have felt as He took hold of this burden. Then imagine His doing so with joy. Outwardly, He was slaughtered, but inwardly He rejoiced in the success of His sacrifice. His love strengthened Him.

When you find it hard to see and hard to focus, remember that through the horrors of the cross joy emerged. Strengthen your heart. Set your example as Jesus did. Rejoice. For in the despicable shame of the cross came life.

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

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Cindy Sproles

Cindy K. Sproles is a best-selling, award-winning author. She is a speaker and a conference teacher who teaches nationwide. Cindy is the cofounder of Christian Devotions Ministries, www.christiandevotions.us, and www.inspireafire.com. She serves as a writing mentor with WRAMS (Writing Write Author Mentoring Service) and is the director of the Asheville Christian Writers Conference. Visit Cindy at www.cindysproles.com.