Turning Your Sorrow Into Joy
Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. — John 16:19-22
Sometimes sorrow is so overwhelming that all we see is the sorrow. The emotional experience is so powerful that future joy seems impossible and unattainable. But notice the contrast Jesus makes. He declares that sorrow is momentary, but joy remains. And this is true because the joy the Lord gives has a lasting and ongoing effect. The only problem we have is believing this, especially when we are right in the middle of sorrow, and we cannot see the future joy. And this is exactly what Jesus is trying to tell these men who are filled with sorrow — He is shouting, "Future joy is coming!"
But again, you and I get to read this text in light of the resurrection. We know that Jesus defeated sin and death and has given us all joy.
So because we know this, something these men did not know, why in your sorrow do you hold so tightly to the sorrow?
Cast off your sorrow; it's only worldly sorrow, which is no sorrow at all. Joy has come to you and the world. Live in the joy of Jesus's resurrection. Sin and death have been defeated, and this is joy enough in this sorrowful world.
- What is holding you back from embracing the joy that Jesus's resurrection brings, even in the midst of your deepest sorrow? How can you begin to see beyond your worldly sorrow and live in the joy that Christ offers?
- Are you clinging to your sorrow instead of casting it off, as Jesus encourages? How can you practically apply the truth that sorrow is momentary, but joy remains, in your daily walk with the Lord?
DO THIS: See your joy and cast off all sorrow.
PRAY THIS: Lord Jesus, grant me the strength to cast off my worldly sorrow and embrace the everlasting joy found in Your resurrection. Help me to walk daily in this truth, that I may be a beacon of Your love and joy to others. Amen.
PLAY THIS: Death Is Defeated.
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Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.