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Lenten Devotional – Day 27 – Tribulation’s Joy

Scripture: Hebrews 12:2

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

As I write, my daughter Karissa is in her seventh month of pregnancy.  Undergoing labor is on the horizon. Labor, women say, is their hardest physical activity – ever! Yet, they deem labor worth it for the joy awaiting them. They would do it again for the seven and a half pounds of pure beauty and joy they
hold in their arms!

Jesus compared his death to a woman’s labor. Yes, there’s tribulation.  Once the child is born, her painful memory vanishes. Likewise, Jesus’s painful departure gives way to his return conveying to his disciples irremovable joy.

That joy results from Christian tribulation is a deep, universal principle.  Our Lord exemplified it. Scripture says Jesus “for the sake of the joy that was
set before him endured the cross…” Jesus stood his ground before the cross’s ordeal. He held out against its humiliation. England’s Prime Minister Winston Churchill resolutely held out against the continuous Nazi bombing raids, saying, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

The joy that made enduring the cross worth it was Jesus’s profound sense of happiness in obtaining eternal salvation by his own blood. By his atoning
sacrifice any repenting sinner with saving faith might now have fellowship with God. As his disciple, you’ll have tribulation. To you Jesus says, “I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice.”

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, help me trust you though “weeping may linger for the night, joy comes with the morning.”

– H. O. Tom Thomas – Forest, Virginia

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