For The Joy

"Keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish, who endured the cross for the joy set before Him." Hebrews 12:2

Disappointments are a part of life. Disappointments can be crushing, paralyzing. They can feel like death. To many, they are death. No one can escape them, and sometimes, oftentimes, they seem to be the lot of those who are His. Maybe they're your lot right now.

Hebrews 12:2 speaks of the Lord Christ enduring the cross in order to lay hold of the joy, the joy of bringing life and freedom to all who would believe upon Him, that was set before Him. The meaning of the Greek word for endure is to be in a place much longer than had been expected. Many are, maybe you are, in a place of hardship, loss, pain, defeat, sorrow, disappointment, much longer than you ever expected you would, or could be. The weight of the cross you bear, and all the sorrow that goes with it, is beyond anything you ever expected to encounter. You never thought it could be this way. You may be in the midst of the most crushing disappointment. Maybe you're even disappointed in Jesus Christ Himself. You may feel yourself to be in the darkness, but darkness is never darkness to the One who is Eternal Light Himself. In the pain, the disappointment, He calls us to, by His grace, endure. Endure for the joy that is also set before us. The joy that through faith is within us. This place is not the final place. He calls us, leads us onward.

Romans 5 tells us that we can rejoice in the midst of the deepest problems and trials because He is at work to bring glory to Himself and good to us. He calls us to live in a confident expectation of His salvation and deliverance, a living hope....and that "this hope will not disappoint us."

In my life, I have known deep sorrow and loss. I have experienced crushing disappointments. I have known what it is to feel disappointed in Him, to be in a place of suffering far longer than I ever thought possible. He did not leave me there....ever. He did not reject me even when I was tempted to reject Him. In the place of seeming hopelessness, He instilled hope. And while there have been events in life that have disappointed and wounded me, He has not left me there, and the hope He has given while there seemed to be no hope, has not either. He never will. If we'll endure, if we'll hold to Him in hope....even if by the most slender of threads, He will not disappoint us.

I am thankful for so much this Thanksgiving. For the love of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. For the saving grace that they have brought me. I am also thankful beyond words for the hope that does not disappoint. Hope that enables me to endure, with joy, all that I may walk through. Thank you Father. Thank you Jesus. May we each, press on, and all for the joy set before us.

Blessings,
Pastor O

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