“Jesus…raises us up into new life, born entirely from above and sustained alone from heavenly sources. The Christian life is not self-improving, but it is wholly supernatural and divine.” – A.B. Simpson (*quote, not Scripture)
Jesus’ earthly life was no walk in the park. Of course it had joyous moments, but the defining event of His life – His crucifixion – was extremely torturous. “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like on from whom people hide their faces He was despised, and we held Him in low esteem.” (Isaiah 53:3) Because of the earthly rejection and physical pain He endured, Jesus is well acquainted with our struggles as humans.
He took on the grief, sorrow, and pain (not to mention the incredible humiliation!) of the cross, for the eternal joy His sacrifice would bring to those who are His own. He also instructs us to count the trials we face as joyous (not temporary happiness, but lasting joy), because they are for the advancement of our faith in Him. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4)