In 2003, I had a conversation with a person who was a stranger then, but a trusted friend of mine now. At the time I did not really know him. His name is Tim Smith. Tim’s family did not attend our church but his son attended our youth ministry and played on our youth basketball team. While I was chatting him up before the game he asked me if we had kids. I flippantly said “My wife would love to have kids, but I don’t make the money to start having kids.” He turned to me and said “When we had our kids we were so poor I became a regular customer at the local pawn shop. I pawned watches, rings, and guns. Whatever it took to buy diapers and baby food, that is what I did. Greg, once you look in the face of your kids you will do all of that and more with joy.” That conversation changed my life. I went home from that basketball game and told Megan, Ok I am ready, lets have kids. Twelve short years(pun intended) and about 100k$ later here comes our beautiful daughters Stella and Norah. I can tell you He was right, any sacrifice is always a joy.
Sacrifice is accompanied with joy when you get a glimpse of the prize.
When the journey seems too hard, refocus on the prize. That is what Jesus did
Hebrews 12:2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
When we as God’s people lose our joy in giving and sacrificing for the Lord, it is an indicator our focus has shifted to lesser things.