Fight for JOY
Suffering is inevitable; being a victim is a choice. You are called to ‘fight the good fight’ which is to cling to the truth of the cross in the midst of life’s chaos. Hearing the word of the cross, and preaching it to ourselves, is our central strategy in our fight for joy. Nothing works without this. Here is where we start. And here is where we stay.
We never outgrow the gospel. The further we distance ourselves from it the more trapped in this world we become. In the cross we see the glory of Christ more clearly than anywhere else. Here is where we must linger; here is where joy is won.
And here in the cross is where every enemy of joy is overcome:
- Divine wrath, as He becomes a curse for us;
- Real guilt, as He becomes forgiveness for us;
- Law-breaking, as He becomes righteousness for us;
- Estrangement from God, as He becomes reconciliation for us;
- Slavery to Satan, as He becomes redemption for us;
- Bondage to sin, as He becomes liberation for us;
- Pangs of conscience, as He becomes cleansing for us;
- Death, as He becomes the resurrection for us;
- Hell, as He becomes eternal life for us.
Through the cross God purchased and secured every possible blessing that could ever be needed to make us happy forever. “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32). The answer to that question is not uncertain. God will—signed in blood—give us all things with Christ, because of the cross. That is, he will give us all things that are eternally good for us. We must preach this to ourselves every day, because Satan is constantly preaching the opposite.
Everything we need to be satisfied in God and thereby remain filled with joy, the cross has made certain. It cannot fail. Though life is dappled with pain and sorrows and grief often unbearable fight for joy by clinging to the depth of truth in the cross. Though I may never fully understand suffering, I pray that today, I may misunderstand it a little less.