In the End, Joy Remains
"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." Romans 8:18
Jesus does not replace.
In our current culture our tendency is to rush towards the replacing. If something is broken, buy a new one. Why repair when we can just purchase one fresh out of a box?
Indeed, the bible shares the contrast of the old self and new self. The old is removed but the new is created by God by “renewing” you.
Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24
Have you ever wondered why God didn’t just start from scratch? It is because He is interested in transforming us. Taking all things from sorrow to joy. This is why we should delight in suffering because of what it leads to. Jesus does not replace our suffering with joy. He turns it into joy. The same element that caused us grief now gives us joy. It is because we now see it in light of the glory of the cross.
It is important to recognize the distinction between the two. The desire to remove unwanted suffering, tribulation, or painful relationships exhibits a self focused on preserving comfort. However one focused on an eternal perspective will experience joy in all things.
Romans 8 reminds us that the new self Christ has created for us, is headed for the fullness of joy. All the falsehood is being stripped away creating us worthy of His presence. As we experience hardship and tough moments may we be reminded that we were those things to God and yet He did not discard us but transforms us.