32 But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33 sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34 For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. 35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. 37 For,
“Yet a little while,
and the coming one will come and will not delay;
38 but my righteous one shall live by faith,
and if he shrinks back,
my soul has no pleasure in him.”
39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.
– Hebrews 10:32-39
Jesus is the key that unlocks the mystery of history. He turns out to be the main reality and center of history. John tells us that the reason that Jesus is worthy to open the mystery is because he was a lamb slain and a lion who conquered. The achievement of Jesus when he triumphed when he was slain purchased us to be for God and made us kings and queens to praise Him for eternity. The upside of this achievement is that He is infinitely worthy of our worship. The universe exists to display white hot worship from millions of ransomed peoples. Our worship is the subjective echo of God’s objective worth. The immensity of His worth is reflected in the intensity of our worship and admiration. Admiration is the rarest and highest of all pleasures because God made the world and fashioned the human soul so that Jesus would be glorified and we would be satisfied in the same act. We satisfied, in the intensity of Him, and He magnified and glorified in our being, satisfied in Him. In this universe, the intensity of our Joy in the greatness of Jesus is a demonstration of the immensity of His beauty and worth. Jesus is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. This is the foundation to embrace suffering in the path of love in the cause of liberation. Liberation from the whole scope of Satan’s wicked kingdom that holds so many in bondage. If you follow the path of love in the cause of liberation, you will suffer. This foundation empowers you not to just endure, but to embrace suffering in the path of love until you are dead.
The pattern of power to embrace suffering in the path of love for the cause of liberation.
1. Your heart joyfully treasuring the promised reward. A new paradise, a new crown, a new city, a deep present satisfaction in a future glorious hope.
2. That soul satisfaction in your Christ saturated future frees you from self protecting fear.
3. That freedom from self protecting, self gratifying fear releases you to embrace suffering in fearless love.
Hebrews 10:32-39 They joyfully accepted suffering since they knew they had a better possession and an abiding one. They had an abundance of outlets for infinite joy coming their way that the loss and persecution in their present was dwarfed. They were free of their self protecting fear.
Heb. 11:24-26 Moses walked right into suffering because he thought it better to suffer for the sake of the Messiah than to own treasure of earth.
Heb. 12:1,2 The greatest act of liberation happened when Jesus died for our debt. How did the God/man have the ability to endure the suffering and embrace the cross? For the joy set before Him, He laid down His own life. He gave us indestructible hope.
Father who loves me, set Your joy before me. Help me to walk into suffering with my feet shod in Your love and my hands griping the rewards of steadfast faith and my heart beating of the joys unspeakable You set before me. Help me deal with whatever hard things come up as they come up. (Matthew 6;34) Set Your Spirit upon me as a cloak of victory because You came to heal my broken heart, to free me from captivity, to give my blinded by hate eyes sight, and set at liberty the oppressed places of my soul. (Luke 4:18) But in all the moments and minutes of my life, I overwhelmingly conquer through You who loved me. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate me from Your love poured over me in Your Son’s sacrifice. (Romans 8:37-39) Abba, lift my eyes to see Joy and my heart to breathe the warmth of Your Presence.
– John Piper