“Those who have the New Jerusalem in their eyes must have the way to it in their hearts.” Matthew Henry’s Commentary
Consider Jesus. Consider the believers who have gone before us and how by faith they obtained such great testimony. How did they do it?
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Heb 12:1-2 NKJV).”
They let their faith drive. They took no care for what terrain faith would drive them through because their eyes were set on the place faith was taking them. The believers of old were able to endure the rough terrain, hardship, and difficulty because they were acquainted with the joy set before them.
- Get the New Jerusalem in your eyes and in your heart
Our heavenly home should be real to us. We should be able to feel it coming just over the horizon. Imagine Him coming with the clouds. “King of Kings” written on His thigh with armies of angels at His side, imagine the New Jerusalem coming down from God.
The Kingdom of our God becomes more tangible and real in our hearts the more we look at it.
We must read about it, meditate on God, and enjoy sweet communion with Him. Taste and see how good He is, lose ourselves in worship, and find ourselves in worship.
With the fullness of our God and the hope of finally uniting with Him, the one we adore in our sights, we can endure it all. That is not to say we will want to endure it all but we should know that whatever it is, we can make it through.
Jesus endured it all and He did so for the joy set before Him. The coming joy that helped Jesus endure the tough stuff, the cross, the persecution, the shame wasn’t just the streets of gold that adorn our heavenly home. In fact, one might put it this way, “He didn’t want heaven without us.”
The joy that helped Jesus endure the tough stuff was the thought of being with us. It was knowing that He would save us all with this one act forever. It was foreknowledge of the sweet communion with us to come that helped Him endure the suffering to obedience to the father.
- Don’t accept the suffering of life and the chastenings of your Father without pausing to enjoy the sweetness of His fellowship
WORSHIP. Take the time to commune with God. Worship is intimate. Drink of Him all. Commun with Him in prayer. Commun with Him in the Word, commune with Him in worship, commune with Him in other believers. Neglect one part and eventually you will feel it. This is the well of living water that we come to drink from often. This is how we endure the tough stuff.
- Love the way to Zion
“Having placed their happiness in God as their end, rejoice in all the ways that lead to him, all those means by which their graces are strengthened and their communion with him kept up. They not only walk in these ways, but they have them in their hearts, they ley them near their hearts; no care or concern, no pleasure or delight, lies nearer than this. Those who have the new Jerusalem in their eye must have the ways that lead to it in their hearts.”
Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Psalms 84
The tough stuff is one of the ways our graces are strengthened and our communion deepened. Let us not despise it. We must learn to take this pilgrimage in stride. It’s a marathon not a sprint and the Holy Spirit is the one who helps us keep pace.
- Grit your teeth and obey
I know this is a less popular one that is not often talked about but just doing it because you know that is what God wants might be a thing. And that is all that I can say about that.
- Rest in complete assurance of the reward for your sufferings
Lastly, consider this, God honored Him. God has exalted Jesus to the place of the highest authority. He sits at the right hand of the Father forever making intercession for humanity. Nothing comes to the Father but through Him.
Can we not also perceive that we will receive the reward for our suffering also. We will be honored when we have completed our course. We will see our God face to face. He will have us and we will have Him. Finally.
Now, we know that while we are enduring hardship it doesn’t always feel like some grand quest for the Kingdom, that’s why it’s important to unite ourselves with other believers who can hold us up and strengthen us when we are going through the tough stuff.