This is so obvious and so simple, I feel a little embarassed I'd forgotten it. Yet I remembered because I see it in a new light.
There is a task I've been dreading for weeks. I've procrastinating and hedging at it because it just one of those things that isn't pleasent no matter how I try to look at it. Last night it was made clear I couldn't put it off any longer.
Jump to this morning, and after prayer, a fragment of a verse from Hebrews 12 popped into my head:
...for the joy that was set before him Jesus endured the cross...
What struck me the most was that the joy was not presently with Him as He endured. It was ahead of Him, something yet to be reached. The cross was in no way something to take joy in. It was for the reward, the satisfaction of completing the atoning work for millions of souls, at the end of the suffering that He pressed on.
I realize that's how I need to view this task ahead of me. It will not be pleasant; I shouldn't try to fol myself about that. But the joy of completion will be amazing, and that is what should drive me to endure.