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Thursday, December 10th - Becoming More Joyful

When reading the Bible, I find myself in awe of the crucifixion of Jesus regardless of how many times I’ve read the passages. When seeing Jesus’ crucifixion reenacted in a movie, my heart sinks to my stomach and tears begin to flow. Even though I’m mourning the death of Jesus, I know the ultimate joy that comes with His gruesome death. This joy wasn’t only for us as sinners, but it was for Jesus too.

You’re probably wondering the same question as me, “how could Jesus have been joyful while he was being beaten, mocked, and spit upon? Let’s look in Hebrews 12: 2-3: “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.”

Jesus was able to endure the cross and conquer death because of the joy that was waiting for Him on the other side. Jesus knew that by taking on such torture, the world would be forever changed. Jesus had the joy of saving every sinner that would come to faith in Him, the joy of returning to Heaven, and the joy of knowing He’d be returning to Earth. All of His joy surpassed the temporary pain that He was enduring.

In your journal or on a piece a paper, write down a few of the biggest trials you’ve endured. Next to each trial, write how God provided joy or what joy came from those trials. Did you grow in your relationship with Christ through those difficult times? Did Christ spare you from something that would have ended up harming you? How can you now see how His hand working that you couldn’t see in the midst of affliction?

The One who suffered the greatest was the most joyful, because He knew what awaited Him. It is only God’s divine grace & love that can take the seemingly impossible situations and transform them into something that brings glory to Him and joy to us.

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