"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perserverance." James 1:2-3
Joy? Really? These verses about trials and excruciating pain are all about joy? Really, God?
I divide joy into two categories - moments of joy and ultimate joy.
Moments of joy come at just the right time. Sometimes anticipated, sometimes out of the blue. Sometimes in the form of a fun activity (have you seen my face whitewater rafting down the Colorado?) and sometimes caused by another (my conversation with sweet Chloe Melissa the other evening about her first dance class - you would have thought this almost 4-year-old had just won the lottery!)
These moments of joy add such vibrant colors to life. They come in all shapes and sizes and are just enough to keep me pressing on. Joy, yes joy.
And then there is ultimate joy. This joy often cannot be seen this side of heaven. It is too large to be contained on this earth. It is the joy described in the verses above.
It is the joy that led Jesus to the cross.
It is joy that led His followers though many trials and pain.
And, it is my joy.
My joy to keep me pressing on and pressing into the Lord.
My joy, as much as I want Tony here with me, to rejoice that he is in heaven.
My joy, no matter what this life throws at me, to keep living for the life yet to come.
How else do we keep going in a world so broken and so full of pain, a world that is not our final dwelling place? Moments of joy, as nice and refreshing as they are, are simply not enough.
Not a moment of joy
every moment of the day
for every day of my life
could ever be enough.
Our souls are made to long for more. Our souls are made to long for eternity. Our souls are made to long for ultimate joy.
Dearly loved, and longing for joy,