The glorious joy awaiting believers eternally gives hope, joy and strength here and now, outweighing any afflictions we may experience. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:17, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory”. Nehemiah 8:10 declares “…the joy of the Lord is your strength.” David knew this and looked forward to enjoying the presence of God forever. He trusted in God and sang songs of praise when his life was in jeopardy, as he fled from Saul into the cave.
Psalm 16:11 (NJJV)
You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me!
For my soul trusts in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge,
Until these calamities have passed by.
9 I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing to You among the nations.
10 For Your mercy reaches unto the heavens,
And Your truth unto the clouds.
11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
Let Your glory be above all the earth.
Psalm 149 encourages believers to be joyful in glory, even singing aloud on their beds:
5 Let the saints be joyful in glory; let them sing aloud on their beds.
In Isaiah 61 the Lord promises to console His people, and to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy, and the garment of praise, so that they may be called “trees of righteousness”, and He will be glorified in them.
3 To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
Peter describes genuine faith that will bring “praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ”. They will rejoice with “joy inexpressible and full of glory”.
1 Peter 1 (NKJV)
7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.
Jesus Christ is God’s gift of love bringing salvation to all who believe in him:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Hebrews 1 describes Jesus’ mission in detail:
Hebrews 1 (NKJV)
God’s Supreme Revelation
1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
Hebrews 2 describes Jesus’ motivation in giving his life for us:
Hebrews 2 (NKJV)
10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying:
“I will declare Your name to My brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.”
Jesus looked forward to the joy of bringing many sons and daughters to glory. Hebrews 12 declares that Jesus endured the cross for the sake of the joy that was set before him.
1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Jude describes how the Lord himself will keep believers from stumbling and present them “faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy”.
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
Peter encouraged believers in to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ “ (2 Peter 3:8). He exhorts believers to rejoice even during fiery trials, knowing that “when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.”
1 Peter 4 (NKJV)
12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.
David Krause, email@example.com, http://compellinglove.net/,10/11/2015