The Cup of Joy
Jesus endured the cross because of the joy that was set before Him (Hebrews 12:2). During his pain He was focused on the joy that was coming, not a crown or power (those were already His), but you and I were the joy that enabled him to endure. Joy will always release heaven’s energy to us, while hopelessness will paralyze us.
When Jesus was at the Passover table He did something extraordinary (The Passover table is laden with symbolic foods eaten to remember the pain and tears of slavery and God’s deliverance). Instead of lifting the bitter herbs dipped in salt water to declare his coming cross, Jesus focused on something else – He lifted the cup of wine – the drink used to celebrate happy occasions.
Jesus instructed us to remember His death by drinking the cup of joy. He asked us to put joy before us, not sorrow. No more are we to remember the bitter herbs and tears of slavery and a broken life, but the hope of a new life.
Jesus was declaring joy and hope over us. He was saying, No more bitterness, slavery and toil, but heavens hope and joy to you. He was inviting us to continually remember and declare our hope and joy in Him.
Jesus was modeling a position for us to keep during seasons of suffering – focusing on God’s promises in front of us and not past and present pain. Joy will energize us to endure through present suffering and move into the new.
We can’t manufacture joy. It’s not an emotion that comes and goes with good and bad times, but joy is released in us when we focus on the goodness of God and the anticipation of what He has for us. Even when life has no pleasure, Holy Spirit can produce supernatural joy and hope in of us. Empty the cup of old bitter herbs and lift it to Him so that He can fill it with heaven’s wine.
Lift your cup to Him by:
1. Agree with God that He wants you to be happy. Release yourself from the self-destructive idea that sadness is godliness. When toxic thoughts come, continually reposition your mind to His goodness and love for you.
2. Relax and expect joy. You don’t have to pay for joy; it has already been purchased for you. Most of the Christian life is about learning how to receive from our God. Our hours of sweat and tears cannot bring the dew of heaven. We need to understand how to position our hearts to receive and over flow.
3. Ask Holy Spirit to fill you with hope and joy. When an ounce of hope begins to rise in your heart, grab it with anticipation and more will come. (Don let flickers of joy be doused by doubt, because joy produces of itself!)
“The joy of The Lord is your strength” Nehemiah 8:10b