Thursday, August 21, 2008

faith, sight, and the joy set before us

Just now I was listening to David Powlison's message from the Sovereign Grace WorshipGod08 conference a couple of weeks ago.

Powlison was saying that the Psalms, while a true depiction of human experience, depict more than anything the life and suffering of Christ. All the agonizing cries for help, the experiences of betrayal, the feeling of separation from God -- these are things that Christ experienced more fully than any other human in history.

I was mulling that in conjunction with Romans 12:1-2 and presenting our bodies a living sacrifice, thinking that Jesus fully and truly presented Himself a living sacrifice -- accomplishing in the process the greatest good the world has ever known. But the cross wasn't the first time He presented Himself a living sacrifice. Throughout Jesus' whole earthly life, He gave His all to the Father. All the "small" sins I allow to creep in, He didn't. All my indulgences in procrastination, bitterness, unforgiveness, impatience -- Jesus turned away from each of these temptations.

He gave all. ALL. Every day, every hour, every minute, every second. Every hunger, every desire, every ambition, every thought. ALL.

I would like to say that at this point I thought something holy and good, but what I actually thought is "that would be no fun."

Then this hit me:

. . . looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross . . . (Heb. 12:2)

Jesus, the only human ever to enter earthly life already knowing fully the joy that was set before Him, was also the only human ever to fully surrender His earthly will to His Father's.

So, for the inevitable next time a voice in my head whispers "is it worth it?" -- is there anywhere else I could possibly look for a more definite answer?

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