Monday, January 21, 2013

What is the Joy set before me?

Hebrews 12:1-3
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and
sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.   
Most of my friends claim Christ as their Savior.  Something has been hurting my heart about this lately, actually it has been hurting for a few years now and I wish I had the words to express it.  Christians seem…..angry.  Where is our joy? Times are hard, persecution is happening, life seems unfair……where is the joy?
If your heart is full of anger at other people or circumstances, a self righteous judgment of this world, an indignation at the way you are treated, worry, fear, depression, and dislike of the world around you, if you feel hopeless – there is some good news.  You don’t have to carry this anymore.  You can lay it down and it will be just fine without you working for it anymore.

God knew there would be days like this. He knew you would feel hopeless, helpless and abandoned.  He loves you so much that he sent His Son to live in this hopeless, helpless world.  His Son lived days like today.  He walked the streets of your problems.  He knew there was no way out for you.  So, rather than judge you, rather than, in his righteous anger, completely destroy you, and every other sinful person on earth, he surrendered.  He gave up His desires, and He gave His life to set you free.  Just as He surrendered we too can surrender.  We can surrender this burden we have decided to carry.  Put down this burden, resolve not to pick it up again, and surrender your will, your life, your stress, your worry, your guilt, your hurts to Christ.  This surrender will completely change your life. 

Maybe this isn’t a new concept to you.  You have heard a message close to this your whole life.  Consider this, if you are overcome with the bad news of today – put your trust in the Good News again.   Jesus didn’t just die so that you could go to heaven, he died so that you could LIVE here on earth too!  There will be bad days – but your heart – if you belong to Jesus – should SING praises to the King of Kings, even on the darkest days, because this isn’t all there is.  He doesn’t just want to save you for today, He wants to save you every day.  He wants to pour love into your life, fill your spirit with joy, and your mind with peace that passes understanding.  What a friend we have in Jesus! 

I have had some pretty bad days in my life – take my word for it – but I have NEVER been without Hope in my Savior.  I have never known a time of abandonment, even when I felt dejected and alone, I knew my Savior was there.  I have lost loved ones, I have been through disaster, I have seen my fair share of hard times, so I do not lightly say that the JOY of the Lord is my strength. 

If you are reading this, and you consider yourself a Christian, and you have a knowledge of this, but you have never experienced this sort of peace joy calm and rock solid steady knowing it is all going to ok in the midst of life’s storms – I pray that you will fervently seek the Lord, it is not possible to know Him, and not know this to your core.

It is this knowledge that keeps me steady, I am not perfect by any measure, but I know that God is always with me.  He is in the beat of my heart, the fingers that type this message, He is the tears that I cry, HE is there, always and forever.  That is the Joy set before me, Hallelujah and Amen!

No comments: