The pain of joy

“I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. He who vindicates me is near. Who then will bring charges against me? Let us face each other! Who is my accuser? Let him confront me! It is the Sovereign LORD who helps me.”

Isaiah 50:6-9

Without a doubt Isaiah is speaking about Christ in these verses.

The question is….how was Jesus able to endure such treatment and yet be confident that ultimately He would not be put to shame?

The answer in a word is…joy!

For “the joy set before him, He endured the cross.”

The joy that motivated Jesus was the fact that by His suffering His people would be redeemed.

Today many of us are unable to bear our persecution because we do not believe we have any joy set before us.

But by being united to Christ we should be able to bear the pain and suffering on our journey…be it self inflicted or completely unjustified…with the knowledge that God will never allow us to be put to shame!

So if we have woken up today weary of our cross…or even frightened of our cross…let us take up our cross…strengthen by the knowledge that those who persecute us “know not what they do”…but we know that we are following the sinless Christ to a time of untold joy.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I thank You for the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, our sinless servant. I know I often complain about even the smallest bit of suffering…may the reminder of this good news bring strength to me as I pursue joy in the midst of my daily pain and suffering. This I ask in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen!

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