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Joni and Friends Blog

Living for Joy

“…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Hebrews 12:2-3

I wake up each morning with eternity in my crosshairs. I have my sights on heaven. It’s what keeps me going. True, over fifty years of living in a wheelchair is incredibly challenging—especially at my age. But I’m a little like Jesus who, as today’s Scripture tells us, for the joy set before Him endured His cross. So, should I not endure mine? Especially when I consider the joy that is awaiting me, the happiness that my response to my wheelchair is accruing for me.

Look, friend, the Bible says your afflictions are winning for you a rich reward in heaven (2 Corinthians 4:17). That means every time you muster a godly response to your trials, your eternal joy becomes weightier, bigger, happier, and much more glorious. The old Puritan Thomas Manton once wrote that a man’s “greatest care should be for that place where he lives longest.”* So join me in setting your sights on heaven and living for joy.

Father, give me a clearer idea of how grand and glorious heavenly joy really is. Show me Your gladness so I might better bear my sadness; reveal to me Your happiness so I might embrace my hardships; infuse into my heart Your joy so I can take up my cross daily and smile.

*Thomas Manton, The Complete Works of Thomas Manton, vol. 6 (London: Nisbet, 1872), 182.



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