– John Hagee
The Joy Set Before Us
How did Jesus endure so much suffering and yet keep His focus on the kingdom while keeping His joy? It was because of what He saw before Him. The author of Hebrews writes that we all should be “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” (Heb 12:2). If you live with the end in mind, it will help to renew your mind and fix it on the coming kingdom of God (Rev 21:1-2).
The Glory That’s Coming
The Apostle Paul may have suffered more than all the other apostles as he recalls that he endured “far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure” (2nd Cor 11:23-27), but he could still say, “The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever” (2nd Cor 11:30). That’s praise God in the storm!
Praise in the Storm
How could the Apostle Paul endure so much suffering for Jesus’ sake? He knew that “that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Rom 8:18). Imagine the day that he finally saw Jesus Christ in the kingdom? That is what awaits us too, so the suffering that’s our lot today will not compare with the glory that is coming, so focus on that and not so much the present toils, troubles, and tribulations.
I hope this can help you in this life to look forward to the amazing joy that is coming someday; to see what that glory is we can only imagine, but it is coming; and that is what we eagerly wait for, but in waiting, “we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (Rom 8:22-23).