Serving Jesus with a joyful heart is one of my greatest passions in life. I have come to realize though, that having a joyful heart is not always a given. There are times when serving Jesus can bring much pain, criticism, and ultimate rejection. Of course, this is exactly what Jesus experienced while living among us, as he demonstrated his sacrificial love toward all mankind. The following passage of Scripture is a vital reminder of this.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:1-3). Praise His Holy Name.
For me, this puts everything into perspective. Jesus, being fully man and fully God, contemplated the pain and suffering he would experience long before he went to the cross. And yet, the love Jesus has for the Father, and for sinful man, gave Him the power to persevere under the most severe circumstances (death on the cross), in order to redeem the human race from eternal death and hell.
When I begin to consider the scorn and severe suffering Jesus endured for me, my temporary trials and testing of my faith grow dim in comparison.
I believe God helps us to persevere in our faith as we serve Him with a joyful heart in our everyday activities. For instance, our church is preparing for Vacation Bible School. And as the children’s ministries director, I decided that we needed to distribute flyers in our area, inviting children to our VBS. Prior to this effort, a good number of our church family gathered together to work on decorations and props for our event. Included in this group, was my 9-year-old granddaughter, Ella. Afterwards I encouraged everyone to take some VBS flyers to hand out in their neighborhoods.
The following week, I received a text from Ella’s mom, (my daughter, Janée), telling me that Ella had went door-to-door in their neighborhood, delivering the VBS flyers. Joy filled my heart. This past weekend I planned to meet some people at the church to distribute the flyers in our church neighborhood. My daughter, her husband, Seth, and their two youngest children showed up at the church and off we went to distribute VBS flyers.
Do you know how blessed I am, in realizing that my daughter and her family are living out the same passion that I have…..to serve Jesus with a joyful heart. We don’t have to look too far, to experience joy in serving Jesus. God is good…..all the time!
Parents and Grandparents, you can realize this joy as well. Faithfully serve Jesus daily, during the good times and not so good. Our children and grandchildren are watching!
Recommended to Men — A new blog site for dads written by my son-in-law, Seth. http://www.daretodad.blogspot.com