Not every problem or trouble we face in life has its roots in something spiritual. Some things happen or arise simply because we live in a world where many things are natural and part of the human experience. But for every problem, trouble or troubling situation God has an answer or solution…
In today’s brief study we explore the topic of finding joy in giving to others even when it requires a great sacrifice on our part. If you are able, read Hebrews 12:1-4
Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb. 12:2, ESV)
There are people who experience great joy giving to others. They are the people you call upon when you need to raise money for some charity. They are those who would donate their kidney or undergo painful bone marrow transplant just to help you get well. Those who would let you sack out on their couch and eat their food when you need a place to stay, until you can get on back on your feet and never ask for anything in return. The more they are giving to others the more joyous they are.
That’s the kind of person Jesus was. He enjoyed giving to others. Someone who loved to bless people, bring healing into their lives, use his power to lift heavy burdens and help others experience the freedom that had evaded them for so long. He enjoyed setting people free and experience that abundant life he promised comes only through him. Even the night before he was crucified, he could be found in the upper room washing feet. He found great joy in serving and no greater joy than going to the cross to die so we could be set free to experience eternal life; even for those who detested or did not believe in him.
Living a sacrificial life does not mean we will not experience personal pain, that we will not struggle, that we do not want what we are willing to give up or away, it just means we understand those we are sacrificing for will gain much more than we lose and that’s what can bring us joy.
For Self-Awareness, Encouragement, and Application:
Does it bring you joy to make sacrifices for others? If not, why not?
What, if anything have you sacrificed for someone else, knowing it would help or provide what was needed?
What happens when you take time to think about the sacrifice Jesus made on your behalf even though it cost him his life?
Dear Jesus, help me to have that kind of heart and spirit that does not mind making a sacrifice for others. I especially pray to have that kind of spirit and heart toward or about…