Daily Reading: (John 16:20):
“Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.”
One of the things that are so important to ask is, “what will turn their grief to joy?” The context of John 16:20 is that Jesus had just told His disciples in verses 2-3:“They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me.”
When we break this down, they would no longer be allowed to worship with their family and their community in the synagogue because of their faith in Jesus, and even more, many followers of Jesus will be put to death for their faith. But there’s more. “but now I am going to Him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things” (John 16:5-6).
So, Jesus is also going to be crucified, but in His Resurrection, the answer to their grief will be found.
Jesus says in John 16:12: “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.” Whenever God gives us a Word that would contain fearful events, He cannot leave us in that place of fear because 2 Timothy 1:7 says “God has not given us a spirit of fear.” Jesus is not giving to give the disciples a spirit of fear, even with this fearful news. “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you” (John 16:7). Jesus, after sharing the troubling things to come says I have an answer for your troubles, I am sending you the Holy Spirit.Jesus will also conclude with another good Word for them too
“Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete” (John 16:20-24).
Because we live in a fallen world, the promise is that you will have trouble, and you will have grief. It is unavoidable. Jesus said as much when you keep reading in John 16:33. “In this world you will have trouble.” But I am not going to leave you with fear. “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” How did Jesus overcome the world? Through His death and Resurrection. The reason Jesus shared all of this trouble, is so that when trouble comes, we might not be caught off guard and become fearful and stay stuck in grief. Instead, when trouble comes, we might take heart, and receive His peace (John 16:33).
John 16:22-24 is the secret of having your grief turned to joy. “Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” The Resurrection is coming and the Resurrection will cause us to rejoice, and turn our grief into joy.
People confuse joy with happiness all the time. Happiness is external, dependent upon factors outside of us, that happens to us. I could go and clean your entire garage for you and cause happiness for you. And then a storm could come and a tree falls on your garage and then your happiness is gone. Happiness comes quite often as a result of things outside of our control. Joy is different, joy is internal. Joy cannot be taken from you by what happens to you. We feel great joy whenever we worship God our Father, we feel great joy when we remember the Resurrection and all that Jesus has done for us. The Resurrection is what turned the disciple’s grief into joy. When a loved one dies, we grieve. But what can give us joy in such sorrow? The promise of the Resurrection. Death has been swallowed up by the Resurrection. We’ll be reunited with our loved ones again who know the Lord. “With great power the apostles continued to testify to the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all” (Acts 4:33).
Because of the Resurrection, things will change for the disciples and what is available for us as we pray.
“Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete” (John 16:23-24).
Whenever you encountered something that has caused you to fear or grieve, think about the Resurrection and allow God to turn it for you where you have joy.
Time spent with God will put our minds on the victory we have in Jesus. The riches of His glory to meet every single one of our needs. Our inner man will be filled with joy and will be expressed through praise because our despair, and our grief has been turned as we turn our gaze onto the finished work of Jesus Christ. The new way to pray that Jesus says begins with addressing God as “Father”. Jesus came to reveal changes to the way that we relate to God and this was only possible through His sacrificial substitutionary death for us. God wants us to see Him as our Father, that we belong to Him, and we are His beloved child.