For the Joy Set Before Us

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” Heb. 12:1-3.

The joy was set before our Lord. It is also set before us. For this reason we do not swing aimlessly and run zig-zag all over the path but we fix our eyes on Him and press forward.

Is should not be surprising that we too, who desire to be like Him will, in our race for the prize of our high calling in Christ Jesus suffer setbacks and shame and many trials. In fact if you do not, I should wonder what track you are on. It is not an easy nor light thing that you should be called a son of God. It is through much endurance that we arrive in Him. Yet we must suffer.

It is the very continual dying to our self through the denial of the pleasures of this world and happinesses that is working in us to teach us the lessons that make a son of God. When we are serving self to gain what we want and what makes us feel good we are in opposition to this working of God. God is not a fiendish monster that he wants us to suffer, yet there is no other way for us to learn obedience. We, in the operation of our flesh and self, do not naturally seek nor desire Him. When we are full of fleshly lusts and feeding them continually we have strength to fight against the Spirit’s work. When, on the other hand, we are done with fighting and we have no more will to seek our own we lay down and submit to His Love and His discipline that develops in us the character of Christ. This laying down comes after we have suffered in the flesh.

“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” 1 Peter 4:12-13.

Joy comes in the morning. Now we must endure the night of death to our Self that brings with it the sanctification of our soul.