#JOYSETBEFOREME… An Explanation for My Social Media Identity

Welcome to my new blog, joysetbeforeme.com

Over the last few months I have decided to unify the entirety of my social media identity under the name joysetbeforeme, or #joysetbeforeme. I enjoy social media and the level of connectedness that it brings. Not that it provides great depth to our connectedness, but it does provide avenues for connectedness that would not happen otherwise. Lately, I’ve been feeling used by social media, so I took a step back and:

  1. Evaluated whether or not I was using it usefully.
  2. Considered whether or not using it usefully was possible for me.
  3. And if it were possible, what it would look like for me to use it usefully.

Outside of facebook, twitter was my first social media profile and I decided on the name joysetbeforeme because I had been captured by the picture of Hebrews 12:2. #joysetbeforeme  illustrates best my posture towards life, and unifies most of the serious things that I would like to say.

Hebrews 12:1-2

“1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 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.”

These verses have absolutely made me enamored with the joy of Jesus, and made me curious about the object of His joy that makes him endure.

If Jesus has something that has captured His attention and gives Him joy, leading Him to endure the cross, then I want to know about that which brings Him joy.  .

We look to Jesus as the founder and perfecter of our faith. The Christian life is one of looking upon Jesus as the object of our faith and the example of what to do in this life.

And perhaps my favorite illustrated paradigm is found in these verses.

He had joy set before Him AND He endured the cross. It could be said; the cross did not stop His joy. The cross did not deter Him from pursuing His joy. The cross, great suffering could not make Him lose focus of His JOY. Jesus was so fixed on His joy that He proceeded to go through the greatest suffering in history. (Don’t argue with me. Jesus didn’t just bear physical torment, but He received the outpouring of the wrath of God. No other human has borne that much). Furthermore, it could be said that His joy did not exclude the scope of embracing the cross, lest we think that he was not happy to pay the price that we could not pay. Yes, He despised the shame, but He did not regret the measure of cost to purchase the object of His joy. His joy encompassed every measure taken to redeem His Bride.

According to this passage He did not have to find His joy when hardship came. He was not hard pressed to make the best of it. He was not scrambling to find happiness in the midst of suffering. The nature of His joy was stronger than the nature of His suffering. It was tested for sure. It was real, He lived and felt as all humans have. But greater were the explosive internal revolutions fueled by His joy than the external pressures that were used for His suffering.

To clarify, His joy was not solely fueled by internal revolutions. These verses make us believe that there was something outside of Him that produced joy in Him.

The joy was set before HIM. There was a prize that He was pursuing. An external entity had captured His attention and yielded in Him good internal combustion that could not be penetrated by any other external force. His focus fueled His joy. Something captivating must have caught His attention. The love of His Father for Him and His love for His Father is eternally unbreakable, and He decided to direct the flow of that love towards an imperfect, undeserving Bride. What He saw was a recipient that would be the canvas for the essence of love.

The best news in the universe is that the love that God had in His heart – He demonstrated. And you and I are the recipients of the outpouring of the greatest reservoir of love. Not only was it the greatest reservoir – it is intrinsically the best love. In other words, His love is not just the greatest quantity and therefore inescapable, but it is the greatest quality, and it is irresistible.

His love has captivated me.

The fact that Jesus is determined to love me has become my focus. The more I see His joy, the more clearly there becomes a joy set before me.

And so, (anticlimactic, back to explanation transition) I want my life to reflect that the love of Jesus for me has become the object of my attention and has become why I live and why I persevere in this life.

My prayer is that as I consider the joy that Jesus has, it would become my joy to share of His joy. An effort to unify all of my social media accounts is an effort to be clear about that pursuit.

May Jesus’ joy be in you, and may your joy be full (John 15:11)

For the #joysetbeforeme,

Peter

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