We should never allow our pain to make us cold and insensitive to God.
How do we look beyond the pain though? By responding to hurt the way our Father tells us to.
We imitate Jesus. What did Jesus do in the middle of the most painful moment of His life?
He looked ahead to the promise of God.
Hebrews 12:2b, “…who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Let’s look at what the word “despise” really means. It means to think lightly of, to not care for, to neglect. It is the opposite of caring about something or supporting something.
So, to despise the shame of our past means that we think lightly of it. We neglect it, and we stop supporting it.
Too many times we allow shame to define us.
We turn it into the biggest part of our identity. Instead of despising it, we exalt it. Instead of neglecting it, we focus on it. We continue supporting it.
When we choose to despise the shame, we strip it of its power over us. It is no longer our identity. It doesn’t hang over us like a black cloud.
That is what Jesus did on the cross; He despised the shame and focused on the joy set before Him.
That is why He isn’t just Jesus of Nazareth who died on a cross. He is Jesus Christ, the risen savior.
We have faith in God because He always has joy set before us.
If we’re too focused on the circumstance we’ll get stuck in it and miss the joy.
Notice that joy was set before Jesus. It was out in front of Him. Jesus did not have a mindset that His best days were behind Him. He didn’t hang on the cross thinking about all the people that He raised from the dead. Jesus wasn’t reminiscing about the miracles or the times of prayer. He was looking forward to what would come after the Cross.
Jesus made a choice to look beyond the pain of His present situation to see what God had in store for Him.
It’s a conscious choice to look at Jesus in the middle of the pain. This is how we keep a sensitive heart toward our heavenly Father in the midst of adverse circumstances. We put our faith in the promises of God. We believe in the promise of joy.
This will cause us to stop identifying with the shame of our past and to know that we are complete in Christ. (Colossians 2:10). We won’t just be old sinners, saved by grace. We’ll be kings and priests, seated with Christ in heavenly places. (Revelation 5:10, Ephesians 2:6).