December 14 – For the Joy Set Before Him
We’re almost halfway through the month. How are you holding up? Are you feeling frazzled or has it been smooth sailing so far? I sensed today I needed to write about joy. Maybe it’s because I had such a crummy night with my kiddos last night? I feel a pulling towards the subject, and so, I will follow the Holy Spirit’s advice and talk about joy.
As soon as the topic was laid on my heart, Hebrews 12:2 came to my mind…
…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.
How quickly, as the world seems to be whirling in preparation around us, do we forget our joy? Remember on December 1st I asked you to put on hope? Well, I feel like we also need a reminder to put on joy. “…everlasting joy will crown their heads…” (Isaiah 35:10) Put on your crown of joy today, child of the King.
But, where do we find this joy?
1 Peter 1:8-9 tells us that it is found in the truth that we already carry:
Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Though we have not seen Jesus, we believe in Him and we love Him. That’s it! That is why His joy is our strength. That is why no one can take our joy from us. If we believe in Him and love Him…we can rejoice with inexpressible, glorious joy, knowing that the outcome of our faith is an eternity spent with Him.
Things are going wrong? Plans unraveled? Relationships unsteady? Jobs uncertain? Money is tight?
We can still have joy, because our joy is not dependent on our circumstances. It is dependent on our truth, and our truth is the joy set before us – the hope we have in Jesus and the hope we have in Heaven.
For the joy set before us, we endure our circumstances, knowing they aren’t the last word.
The hope of the righteous brings joy,
but the expectation of the wicked will perish.
– Proverbs 10:28
For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross…
For the joy set before God the Father, He endured the pain of sending His only Son to us as a baby in a manger…
For the joy of eternity with Him, He sent His Son to die…
For the joy set before us, we celebrate Christmas.
Put on your crown of joy today. It’s an early Christmas gift from your Heavenly Father.
Klover House Christmas:
If you had to pick one thing that brought you joy at Christmas, what would it be? I tried thinking about that today, and I had a hard time settling on just one thing. I love when we drive through Oglebay in our pajamas, sipping hot chocolate and eating cookies in the car, aka the garbage mobile (and all the moms of many messy children said, “Amen.”) I love opening the cards we receive and looking at them with my kids. We then hang them in the kitchen, and I love looking at them throughout the day. I love making sugar cookies with my daughters, mom, and nieces. I love wrapping presents with my hubby on the living room floor, even though he can’t stand it. I love hanging out with my husband and kids by the tree on Christmas Eve. I love Christmas morning breakfast with my in-laws. There are soooo many things that I love about Christmas, but you know what they all have in common?
Christmas is about people. It’s the one time of the year in which we intentionally carve out time for others. So, today, I am going to keep carving out time for my people. When other things start to stress me out and try to steal my focus and my joy, I am going to remind myself that the people I love are what I most value during this time of year and that they should be my focus. And wouldn’t it be something if that intentional devotion stretched itself past December 25th and found its way into the all of the other seasons of the year?