Endure for Joy

Isn’t it interesting that people always use Jesus Christ as the example when they want to tell you to be joyful in all things? Someone may even say, “Jesus endured the cross with joy” ~ and I have to stop them short, because, I’m sorry but no, that’s not what Scripture says. It says that He endured it for the joy that was set before Him. That doesn’t mean He was currently enjoying the cross. It doesn’t mean that His endurance and joy overlapped, actually. Christ asked the Father three times to take the cup away from Him, because it was not easy, it was not fun, it was not happy (and if suffering isn’t easy for the Perfect Man, who could even begin to pretend to think that suffering could be even remotely so for any of us sinners?). It means that He endured because He knew that joy would be at the end of the tether. It wasn’t yet a reality, but it would be. After endurance, when His cross had been fully endured, there would be joy.

from Hebrews 2:2
“…who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross…”

What is endurance anyway?
What does it mean to endure?
–verb (used with object)
1. to hold out against; sustain without impairment or yielding; undergo.
2. to bear without resistance or with patience tolerate.
3. to admit of; allow; bear.

–verb (used without object)
4. to continue to exist; last.
5. to support adverse force or influence of any kind; suffer without yielding; suffer patiently.

That is what Christ did.
It’s what we are praying to do, too.
We pray that we will endure, and that God will bring joy after the enduring is complete. Once He has helped us to endure the cross that is set before us, we trust Him to bring joy.
We don’t know what the remainder of our earthly years will hold. How much joy, how much happiness, how much fulfillment. But we are confident of the joy set before us in Heaven, just like Christ was. We are confident in the Resurrection. We are confident that our covenant children will be reunited with us, even as we are united with Christ by death and resurrection.There will be joy!!!
I don’t know when.
I don’t know how.
It isn’t yet; I do know that.
But one way or another, eventually, once we have endured our crosses ordained by the Father… there will be great joy.

12 Replies to “Endure for Joy”

  1. Thank you for this blog, and for this post in particular. I, too, have been enduring the pain of miscarriage; my husband and I have lost 3 children in the past year, the most recent, Emily Hope, just 3 weeks ago. I found your site today, while looking for resources for Christians struggling through the crucible of grief, and though I have only begun to delve into what you have posted here, your thoughtful insights have already been a source of great blessing for me.

    May God bless you and your family as you carry forward.

  2. Ardenne; you are so welcome, and I just pray that the Lord would offer you encouragement. (((hugs))) If you’d ever like to converse, please let me know; I can send you an email. I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet babies, and especially right now as you endure the grief of losing precious Emily Hope. It’s just devastating!
    Also, please be warned that I do talk about my living child & motherhood here on this blog, and I know sometimes that can be particularly difficult to read (or even skim over). If you are looking for specific encouragement about grief and losses, please click on a category on the right side of the blog page; either on one of my lost babies’ names, or on “grief” or “faith” perhaps. Although maybe “quotes” and “poetry” would also speak to you on a given day.
    The Lord be with you and protect your body & heart as you seek to glorify Him, even in this valley of the shadow of death.
    I will pray for you today.

  3. Thank you for this post.
    I honestly cringe when I think of other’s perceptions that to be a Christian means you go through everything with joy, or that Christ’s life was one full of joy at all moments, even those last moments of suffering. For joy, yes. With joy, not always. I really liked the breakdown of “endure” too, in Heaven we will be home, we will always be joyful. Here on earth, sometimes like is more about enduring, running the race set before us:

    Heb 12:1 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,

  4. Thank you, Melissa!

    I have been greatly blessed with three living children, as well as my three awaiting us in Heaven — so I actually enjoy that part of your blog as much as the rest. But thank you for your sensitivity; it’s very much appreciated.

    You and your family are in our prayers, as well. And yes, I’d very much enjoy chatting with you at some point, if your toddler gives you time to email. My youngest living child is 2, like your Gabriel, so I know exactly how iffy that can be some days!

  5. Amen to this blog, Melissa. You are so right. Are you still reading Isaiah? I find that helps me picture and focus on the ‘joy set before’ us in eternal Glory. Hugs to your heart, sweet friend.

  6. What can I say but “Amen”? It’s so true… Jesus endured the cross for us but it wasn’t “with a smile” on his face. He sufferer and was in pain. It was for future Joy.

  7. Beautiful truth. It seems to me that sometimes Christians exhort one another to live in a certain way because… that’s how it works for them, or because their mother always said such and such, or because it makes them uncomfortable to see it otherwise. I find it difficult to understand how mature adult Christians can dismiss death or less-talked-of matters that cause suffering in this life, simply because they’re scared. Scared to acknowledge that the pain is out there. Because in that case, the pain is within them as well, for they are a part of the body of Christ. We cannot heal as His church until we recognize our wounds, both individually and as a whole, and treat them. Healing is one of the least joyful transitions in the world. We can only pray that it may be peaceful.

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