Jesus IS the reward

The older I get, the simpler it gets. It’s really not about what happens or doesn’t happen (although it still appears that way and too often feels that way). It’s all about the Lord.

If, as Nehemiah said, “the joy of the LORD is our strength”, shouldn’t He be it? Shouldn’t He be my delight to wake up to each day? The purpose underlying every 5 and 10 minute event that I string together to make a day? The strongest reason why I want to be in heaven? My ultimate reward isn’t “getting there”; my ultimate reward is Jesus. He’s the prize. He’s my joy.

But the older I get, the more I realize how easily off-target I can stray. Too often I am not delighting in Him, but grumbling or fretting or distracting myself at feeble attempts to meet my own needs with temporary, created things.

Instead, I want to rejoice in the Lord with more regularity, and not just because He said to, but because He satisfies me more fully than anything else in the world.


“The ultimate ground of our rejoicing can never be our circumstances, even though we as Christians recognize that our circumstances are providentially arranged. If our joy derives primarily from our circumstances, then when our circumstances change, we will be miserable. Our delight must be in the Lord himself. That is what enables us to live with joy above our circumstances.

...Whatever the mysteries of evil and sorrow, they do have the salutary effect of helping believers to shift the ground of their joy from created things to the Creator, from the temporary to the eternal, from jingoism to Jesus, from consumption to God.”
~ D. A. Carson
Basics for Believers: An Exposition of Philippians

Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him!
~ Philippians 4:4 (The Message)

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