On the west coast of Canada, where I live, the days are growing shorter. Darkness seems to hold on longer in the mornings and creeps in sooner at the end of the day. It is also colder and rainier at this time of the year. Fortunately, this season does not last forever, and I always look forward to spring!

Joy shines like the sun in the midst of the dark clouds of misery, looking beyond the present crisis or suffering to what is ahead, to a future reward for persevering through difficulty. Joy knows something that others do not, that a better day is coming, and that the trials we’ve endured will somehow be worth it.

There is an old hymn that comes to mind which seems to exemplify this type of joy: It will be worth it all, when we see Jesus, Our trials will seem so small when we see Christ, One look at his dear face, all sorrows will erase, So bravely run the race, ‘til we see Christ!

Whatever you are going through right now, Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith, stands ready to help you “endure” the cross you must bear, and to “despise” whatever shame engulfs you.

Know that heaven is coming, and we are only on this earth for a season. Heaven is our true home. As many of us “go home” for the holiday season this year, may we be reminded that there will be a future homecoming for all of us that will be even more joyful.

Jesus, thank you for setting an example that encourages all of your children to run the race with perseverance and a joyful heart, knowing that whatever suffering and discouragement is experienced here on this earth will not last forever. Please give your children perseverance in running the race until they see Christ! Amen.

Go Deeper — Do you get up before dawn, or drive home after dark in the winter? Instead of concentrating on the darkness, anticipate the light that you know will eventually come. Let that assurance remind you of The Light of the World who has come to bring joy.

Tags: Joy Hebrews 12
Photo Credit: Tim Mossholder