The Joy Set Before Him

“When the time was come that he should be received up.” Matthew 18:8

There were a great many painful steps to take before our Lord could reach this blessed hour and be received up to glory. The immediate future was full of struggle, loss, and pain. On yonder heights His eye saw the radiance of heaven, with its opening gates and its welcome home; but before His feet could enter the shining portal there was a broad battle-plain to pass through, and it was full of enemies. There were days of toil and nights of loneliness. At last He must pass through Gethsemane’s gloom, and all that via dolorosa which led to Calvary. He must die and go into the grave. All this before He could be received up.

But He did not think of any of these painful steps. He did not let His eye rest on the shadows that lay in the valley, but lifted it up to the mountain-top beyond, where the splendours of heaven blazed. Keeping His thoughts away forward on the glories that were to be His when He had ended the journey, He forgot the toils and the tears and fainted not.

This is a wonderful secret which all of us ought to learn, — not to think so much about the toil and hardness of the way, but to look beyond to the brightness of the end. No matter how rough the road is if it only brings us home at last. Many of us go worrying all through this life, keeping our eyes always downcast on the path we are treading. We see all the troubles, the difficulties and discouragements, but we never raise our eyes to see the joys and the blessings that are waiting for us. We ought to learn this life-secret which made Christ forget the shame and sorrow of His cross and see only the glory beyond. Learn to look up toward heaven. Think of its joys, its blessedness, until earth’s trials shall melt away in the brightness, and its griefs and losses be forgotten in the hopes of glory.