Joy beyond Tomorrow
I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. John 16:20
Anticipating his impending death only a few hours away, Jesus speaks to his disciples these words of comfort. Perhaps he also spoke them for himself. His heart was heavy with the burden of responsibility he carried on behalf of the Father to bring eternal hope to the world, and, simultaneously, as a man, to face the pain and shame of the cross. He was grieving. And he knew that soon his disciples would grieve as their hope and faith lay shattered in the shadow of the cross.
But Jesus also knew there was joy beyond tomorrow! The cross of grief was to be the ultimate means for the inauguration of God’s Joy—joy for Jesus himself as he realized the completion of his task and purpose in bringing the Good News to all people; joy for his disciples as they were re-united with their friend and their Messiah; joy for all people of all ages who would choose to receive Eternal Life.
I wonder why we do not live more fully in the joy that Jesus promises. I think at times there is a sense in which the pain of this world comes to us somewhat as the staggering grief of Jesus’ crucifixion came to his disciples. We easily lose focus and sink into dismay. But, in contrast to the disciples, we know the end of the story! Jesus is Lord—today, tomorrow, and always! Take time today to focus on Him, and experience the joy that awaits the Believing Heart.