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
To say we were exhausted feels like an understatement. Earlier this week on our way back home from Florida we spent the night in Dothan, AL. We had AM responsibilities in Tuscaloosa so we go up at 4:30 am to travel home. We worked all day on Backpack responsibilities as the next day would yield its way to 3 distributions of school supplies. We ended the day at midnight(ish). The next morning Pam and I were to meet at 7 am with a men’s small group to talk about Backpack ministries and find a place for the men to connect.
So, when the alarm went off at 5:30a.m. and then 6, I was not ready to get up. Everything in me wanted to keep sleeping for a little while longer. Then Hebrews 12:2 popped into my mind. For the joy set before Jesus, he endured the cross, I had two questions. What was His joy? What could be my joy to bring about endurance for all of the stuff that needed to happen today physically and emotionally?
For Jesus? It’s incredibly humbling, but He was thinking about Pam and I…and the rest of the world…but I am sharing my thoughts. Jesus knew already the events of this day. He knew the strength we would need. He knew how much we needed the emotional encouragement that the men would bring to us. He knew the enduring source of strength which would come from His abiding presence. Jesus endured, thinking about spending eternity with those who believed in Him. Pam and I were included in HIs joy. The point is…Future relational gathering of God’s family created joy to push through death on the cross with its shame and scorn. He was thinking of me and you.
I asked Pam what could or should be OUR joy motivation for the day to get out of bed? Some thoughts came to mind.
- Seeing the joy on the little children’s faces as they chose their backpacks and supplies.
- Watching our volunteers experience the fruit of a lot of labor
- Fulfilling our commitments – a good name is more to be desired than great riches
- Encouraging men on another possible way on the “how” to love the city
- Watching God work as we take the next step in following His lead – It’s the only step we have control over. Whatever is accomplished, He is making the way
Fixing your gaze on Jesus already puts the size of the situation you are facing in its place. It’s under His feet. Ask Him to show you the joy of heaven…no more tears, sickness, or death. NO MORE.
One more thought. When it seems overwhelming, enlist the prayers of some friends. I’m talking about the friends who pray for you right then and later. Hearing a prayer voiced over you, sticks with you.The body of Christ strengthens one another. Let the other parts do their work by encouraging in prayer.
On this Fear Not Friday, I am aware that many people fail by not enduring to the joy. We shirk our responsibilities. We fail to make the phone calls. We avoid having the hard conversations. We skip important meetings. We sidestep people and their problems. We don’t muster up enough strength to do the right thing which needs to be done. Whether it is fear, intimidation, or lack of integrity, we need JOY of connecting with Jesus to help push us through to the other side wherever that may take us. Jesus knows our failures and keeps walking with us to make things right. Following His lead, will take you through endurance. His joy is available to you now, today, right at this moment. Give Him thanks and praise.
Have a blessed day, it is the only one you are living in.
Blessings, Love y’all