John 16:20, 22 “Your grief will be turned into joy…You have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.”
Deep heart sorrow can be so crushing that one may feel that joy and well-being are gone forever from life. This kind of sadness soaks into the fiber of the soul, leaving a person overwhelmed and disarmed. It is like a monster that consumes our heart and focus.
Jesus knew that this kind of anguish was coming for the disciples, and He prepared them for it. Yes, these followers of Christ would suffer the loss of hope in the death of Jesus. Their world would be turned upside down with dejection and despondency. All their dreams, hopes, and vision would be gone when Jesus died on the cross.
But Jesus makes a glorious announcement and applied to it a promise of extraordinary proportions. Jesus announces that death will not destroy Him, but rather, death would be the womb out of which His resurrection life would be born. When Jesus rose from the dead He became the Lord of life, giving life (abundant and eternal) to those who would believe in Him. And because all of this would be true, then the grief that once gripped the hearts of Christ’s disciples would be dismissed, and joy would take its place.
With this statement, Jesus assures the followers of Christ that this world’s sorrow and sadness cannot compete with Christ’s joy absorbed in the Christian’s soul. The joy we have in Christ is described in several ways: 1) Our joy in Christ is victorious over grief; 2) Our joy in Christ comes from Christ’s resurrection victory and life; 3) Our joy in Christ goes deep inside of us to the place of the human heart; and 4) No one will be able to take away the joy of the believer, because this joy is anchored in Christ.
Dear Christian Friend, the joy you have is the joy that can only be found in Christ. Do not substitute anything for this joy! Your joy in Christ is so substantial and so powerful that no one will be able to take this joy away from you. No circumstance or situation can drain the joy you have in Him. Your joy in Christ serves you by undergirding you in every struggle and hardship. There is nothing in this life that can conquer the joy of Christ. Even on the cross, the Bible says that Jesus had joy. The Bible states in Hebrews 12:2, “For the joy set before Him” Jesus “endured the cross, despising the shame.” We can be in the midst of pain, sorrow, grief, doubt, and loss, but we can still have the joy of Christ. The joy of Christ will feel differently in different circumstances, but the joy will not leave. When you are tried and hurt, go to Christ in prayer, remembering His promise, “Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full (John 16:24).”
Prayer: Dear Lord, I hurt so much sometimes that it feels like I cannot go on! But I thank You for the joy I have in Christ. My victorious Savior gives me all that I need in His resurrection life. I look to You this day in the promise of Christ that I may come to know and enjoy His grace and mercy to meet me at the deepest point of my need. I love You and thank You for the joy You give to me in my sweet Savior.