Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. — John 16:20
Read John 16:16-24
Jesus spent His last evening before the cross comforting His disciples.
Jesus understood that it’s easier to endure a season of trial if there’s an end in sight, so He spent time talking to His followers about the future. At this point, Jesus was just hours from the cross. Still, He reassured His disciples that the time of their suffering would come to an end and would be replaced with joy. In every sense, Jesus was preparing these men for what was about to transpire.
Although Jesus encouraged His disciples, He didn’t sugarcoat what was about to happen. The disciples were about to enter a time of suffering.
He told them they would weep and mourn and warned there would be others who would celebrate His death (John 16:20). Undoubtedly, the world’s gloating would intensify their pain. However, Christ’s enemies wouldn’t celebrate for long. About the time the disciples’ grief turned to joy, the world’s celebration over Christ’s death would turn to dismay.
Jesus compared what was coming to a woman giving birth. The pains of childbirth are agonizing but must be experienced. But after a woman gives birth to a child, she is so overjoyed with the baby that she quickly forgets the suffering caused by the labor (John 16:21). In the same way, the disciples would experience intense grief, but when the reality of the risen Christ was manifested to them, their joy would be so intense their suffering would seem minimal. Jesus said,
So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. — John 16:22
For Christians, all suffering has an expiration date. No matter how dark our days may seem, the Bible teaches that all grief will come to an end and will be replaced with eternal peace and glad- ness. In the book of Revelation, the apostle John wrote,
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. — Revelation 21:4
Father, I thank You that because of Jesus a time is coming when all trials and suffering will come to an end Until that day, empower me to persevere through my trials and anticipate the joy and peace that awaits all believers in Jesus Christ.
Do you anticipate the day when all suffering will come to an end? Do you look forward to the eternal joy and peace that will be experienced by all believers in Jesus Christ? How does knowing all suffering has an expiration date encourage you in this season?
Excerpted with permission from 10 Minutes in the Word: John, copyright Zondervan.
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Are you hurting right now? Does it feel endless? If so, be reminded that Jesus brought an ending date for pain. He promised it would not last forever! Re-read the questions above. Come share your answers to the question of suffering turning to joy on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily