In an effort to be diligent in my practice of studying the bible, I am using the SOAP method. After I read a verse that speaks to me, I write it down (S). I make observations about what I notice from the verse (O). I then write about how to apply it to my life (A) and finally end my time writing a prayer (P). I felt led to share with you the SOAP journal I did for this verse from Hebrews 12:2 and used the Amplified version of the bible because it helps me to understand the context better.
S: “Looking away [from all that will distract us] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”-Hebrews 12:2
O: What sticks out most to me in this verse is the phrase “for the joy.” How could anyone find joy in the pain of being crucified? It’s nothing I would choose to do. Just the phrase sounds ridiculous in my mind, but oh how the ways of God are not ours. God longed for us to have a connection to Him. Jesus is the bridge that makes that relationship possible. Even though I don’t understand why He chooses things that make little or no sense at times, I am grateful for what His death gave to the world.
A: Jesus did what He had been asked to do by God the Father. He did it knowing that the end result would bring us into a much better place, where we have a part in receiving the good things God intends for us: eternal life, grace to believe that no matter what we do His love for us will never change, promises for healing and restoration, an inheritance that surpasses anything we could imagine here on earth. He ignored the humiliation and disgrace that came with death so that I might live. What a beautiful Savior!
P: Lord God, I am awestruck at the beauty of Your love for me. I am amazed that You would lower Yourself this way because I am worth so much to You. Thank You for being my sacrifice so I didn’t have to walk through life on my own. I bless You Lord for Your goodness and merciful love poured out on me. Help me today to respond with the same attitude that You had in going to the cross, that I would choose to do what You ask of me, even if its difficult to go through. I know that You have been working for my good before I was born. I choose to trust You and believe in Your promises, that You are for me, not against me, that You love me with an unfailing love. Thank You for the cross and the torment You endured so that I might live forever with You my king. Amen.