By Bob Zoellner

One of the best ways to stay excited about life and to keep a healthy outlook is to know and fulfill one’s purpose.

For the Christian, it’s all about living out our faith in a way that is pleasing and honoring to God. In fact, Hebrews 11:6 says that “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

The rest of Hebrews 11 highlights some heroes of the faith who lived out their purpose, even in the midst of harsh realities; ones who were looking forward to “a better country, a heavenly one.” They had a healthy perspective on life.

As the narrative moves on to Hebrews 12, we are encouraged by these examples to run the race (of life) with perseverance, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, who is the author and perfecter of our faith. Jesus, who “for the joy set before him endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2), encourages us to not grow weary and lose heart (Hebrews 12:3).

Why do we need that encouragement?

Because life is hard, even on the good days. But in spite of life’s difficulties, we can still live in joy. The joy of the Lord truly is our strength (see Nehemiah 8:10). Joy transcends circumstances.

If we keep the Lord’s commands and remain in his love through our obedience, Jesus tells us that “my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete,” (John 15:11).

We realize that life here is just a mist or “vapor,” according to James 4:14. Our time on earth is not all there is. Even a long life here is incredibly short compared to eternity. A big part of the joy we enjoy is the anticipation of “returning home.”

As believers, we are called “Christ’s ambassadors” in 2 Corinthians 5:20. An ambassador is one who lives in a place not his own, representing his home country, his people, his culture. And longing for the day he can return to where he truly belongs.

As Christ’s ambassadors, we are ministers of reconciliation, representing Christ to the world (see 2 Corinthians 5:11-21). Our mindset is on heavenly things, our focus on eternity. That is where our treasure is. That is where our home is. That is where our heart is (Matthew 6:19-21).

That is how we find joy in the journey.

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