A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 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. 23 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.
We are always concerned about how long a trial is going to last and wondering why we have to go through it. Are these not the questions we inevitably ask whenever we have trouble–
How long? But when Jesus answers the troubled disciples, He ignores the whole matter of time. His answer stresses the process and the result that is certain to follow. Jesus isn’t concerned with the
How long? but with the
How? and the
What? He makes clear to them that a period of sorrow is inevitable. He cannot spare them from it. There will be a time when they will weep and lament and be in sorrow and when the world around will be rejoicing.
But, He says,
your sorrow will be turned into joy. How long it takes is not significant; the inevitable result is the important thing.
That is a very important lesson to learn. I’ve been saying to the Lord,
How long do I have to go through this? And the Lord’s emphasis is strictly upon what is coming at the end, the joy that is certain. To illustrate this, our Lord used the beautiful figure of childbirth. When a baby is being dedicated, the face of the mother is a picture of joy. What causes the joy? The baby. Yet a few weeks earlier that same mother was in anguish and pain. And what was causing the pain? The baby. In other words, the same thing that caused the sorrow would later be the cause of the joy.
That is different from what we usually think. Most of us assume that our sorrow is going to be replaced by joy. But the promise of Jesus is that the very thing that caused sorrow is also going to be the cause of joy. That is a revelation of one of the great principles that marks authentic Christianity, one of the ways by which our Lord works in our life. He takes the very thing that causes us heartache and sorrow and turns it into a cause of joy. Hallelujah!
Scripture of the day: You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Pastor Peter Okereke Jr.
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