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John 16 : 16 - 33 "THE GIFT OF JOY TO OFFSET PAIN AND SORROW"
Day 243 – John 16
THE GIFT OF JOY TO OFFSET PAIN AND SORROW
Once again, Jesus brought up the subject of joy. Joy was His gift to offset the sorrow and pain He knew that they would experience. The subject of removal of pain was out of the question. However, the joy that He offered would be more than sufficient to offset the sorrow that they were already experiencing in their hearts. Let us recall what Jesus said earlier.
“These things I have spoken to you that My joy
may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”
Let us now consider the next word on the subject of joy.
“Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again
and your heart will rejoice, and your joy
no one will take from you.”
The features of the joy that Jesus promised may be listed as follows:-
1. It will be a Divine gift of joy that comes from Jesus Himself.
2. It will be a joy that will remain in the heart.
3. It will be a joy that will be full.
4. It will be a joy that will offset sorrow.
5. It will be a joy that no one could take away because it is given by Jesus.
THE GIFT OF JOY MENTIONED IN THE PSALMS
The Book of Psalms made mention of the theme of “joy” again and again. Let us consider some of these texts. They will help us understand the kind of joy that Jesus promised to give to His Disciples.
In Psalm 4, the Psalmist described how he felt “distress”. He cried out to the Lord in heartfelt prayer. The Lord heard and gave to him, among other things, a special sense of joy.
“You have put gladness in my heart,
More than in the season that their grain
and wine increased.”
The joy that the Psalmist felt in his heart could be compared to that of a happy farmer who had a bumper crop! The joy that God gave was far greater!
In another moving Psalm, David wrote about how he struggled with his sorrow.
“How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart daily?
Consider and hear me, O Lord my God…
“But I have trusted in Your mercy;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.”
Psalm 13:2, 3, 5-6
The majority of the Psalms carried the theme of joy. Life could be very hard at times. One could not ask God to remove problems. However, if there is a good and strong relationship with God, the believer could ask for and receive the gift of joy. There is great power in the joy that God gave. The believer is made stronger, and he copes better with life because of the joy that God had given to him in his heart.
JOY THAT IS DIRECTLY LINKED TO JESUS
A person may find joy from a number of sources. He may find joy from family, friends or even food! When Jesus spoke of the gift of joy that He was going to give to His Disciples, this gift was one that was directly linked to Himself.
“I will see you again and your heart will rejoice,
and your joy no one will take away from you.”
The source of sorrow was the thought of the death of their beloved Teacher and Friend. How could the Disciples not feel sorrow at the thought of the death of Jesus? They just could not think beyond the factor called “death”.
Nothing could remove the sorrow unless they saw Jesus again! No family member, no friend, nothing and no one could substitute for Jesus! This was the depth of the sorrow that the Disciples were feeling.
Jesus promised His Disciples that they would see Him again! And when they saw Him again, then the sorrow they felt so heavily would be dispelled! Their friendship, their fellowship with their beloved Master would be restored fully. And when that happened, so would their joy be completely restored!
This was a special kind of joy indeed. It was directly linked to Jesus Himself. The bond of love between Jesus and His Disciples was so deep that no one would be able to comfort them except the Risen Christ!
THE SHADOWS CAST BY SORROW
Jesus knew that His words did not make much of an impact on His Disciples at that point of time. They had drunk deep from their cup of sorrow. For the moment, they must walk in the shadows cast by sorrow.
However, the shadows would not be able to overwhelm them. They may feel sorrow, but they would not need to feel despair! His words would sustain them. His love, His Presence would all play an important role to keep them from being overwhelmed by sorrow. Soon their joy would be full again – when Jesus rose from the dead.