...sorrowful, yet always rejoicing... 2 Corinthians 6:10
Are you familiar with this holy tension? So was Jesus during His life on earth and as he hung on the cross.
So we fix our eyes on Jesus...who for the joy set before him endured the cross scorning it's shame... Hebrews 12:2
Have you come to realize that suffering is inevitable and used by God for our growth? So it was with Jesus.
...Jesus was perfected through suffering... Hebrews 2:10
...Jesus learned obedience through suffering... Hebrews 5:7-9
That is to say His perfection was proven through his denial of his human desires (flesh) in perfect obedience to the Law to please God and secure our salvation.
...if we follow Jesus, we too have a cross to carry... Matthew 16:24
Enduring our cross (suffering) proves our adoption by God. Suffering tests our faith in order to grow it.
...if we do not undergo discipline, we are not true sons... Hebrews 12:7-8
...consider it pure joy when you endure trials...which perfect your faith... James 1:2-4
Have you experienced opposition from malicious people and you feel like giving up? Jesus did too.
...consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men so you will not grow weary and lose heart... Hebrews 12:3
So when you are weary of the tension, when your heart is aching from a loss, or your gut is reeling from rejection by your fellow man...remember it's all part of the process on this journey. We are in training.
Our response to our trials and suffering is where our faith is proven. Will we respond the way our human nature wants to? (retaliate, hold a grudge, give up?) Or will we respond in a way that pleases God? (humbly loving our enemies, forgiving, pressing on)
...that we may share in his holiness...producing a harvest of peace and righteousness for those who have been trained by it... Hebrews 12:10-11
I have failed several tests on my journey. I have been depressed, fearful and anxious. Thankfully, God doesn't give up on us when we fail, He understands since Jesus sympathizes with our weaknesses.
Because Jesus endured His cross, we can go to Him for cleansing, healing and strength.... Hebrews 4:15-16
I believe that is part of the JOY that He looked to when He was enduring the cross.