…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of [our] faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross… Hebrews 12:2 NIV
I love this verse. It conveys a directive from heaven about where our focus and attention should be at all times: on Jesus. Then the writer shares the way this command applies to our lives by highlighting the example Jesus set for us. We fix our eyes on Jesus to learn from how He lived, and we find that He endured the cross because of the joy set before Him.
In other words, looking to the joy beyond our trials is what carries us through present trouble. What sustained Jesus was the joy of fulfilling His Father’s will: the redemption of fallen mankind and the hope of restored relationship between man and God. That joy, that driving force, that thing is what propelled Jesus through all kinds of trials. We are to follow in His example and have a joy—our own thatthing—set before us to propel us forward.
If we don’t have vision beyond our current trials, we’re at risk of quitting or giving up. Many of us understand this truth as it applies to our personal lives. But how many of us apply this principle to our marriages? Do you and your spouse have a that thing that drives you through the trials you face in marriage?
Many marriages fail simply because there’s nothing to fight for. The goal of staying together is noble, but it’s often not enough.
We were all created to do something specific as individuals, but there’s a special joy in accomplishing a common goal together. This is not to say that you don’t still have an individual purpose once you get married. You do, and so does your spouse. In fact, marriage provides a place for each individual to flourish so husband and wife can both fulfill their God-given destinies.
But having a vision—a joy, a that thing—for your marriage is about recognizing that God wants you to impact lives together as a couple. You have a destiny. Your spouse has a destiny. And so does your marriage. Ask yourselves, What legacy will our marriage leave on the earth?
PROLOGUE is a series of free messages on marriage by members of the Messenger International team. This series is being shared in celebration of the release of John and Lisa’s new message, The Story of Marriage.