I have to remind us of this today because joy seems far off. I’ve read posts about choosing joy and thankfulness, scripture that says to count suffering as joy. If I think of joy as a feeling, those things are impossible. Because you know what? This pandemic doesn’t make me feel joyful. I’m not happy to be isolated, are you? I’m not happy that my loved one died from the virus, are you? We are grieving right now and grief doesn’t feel like joy. But here’s Jesus’s promise to his disciples and you and I…
“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,” (John 16:21 ESV).
The disciples couldn’t fathom that Jesus, their most important person, would die. And even more so, they had no concept of him coming back to life. Jesus was preparing their hearts that they would be crushed, but to keep hope because God will not let us stay crushed. Death will never be the end of the story when Jesus is involved.
I’m looking at you. What is it in your life that feels dead, that looks dead, that perhaps is dead. Your marriage? Your dreams? Your joy? Or even a loved one. Hold onto the promise of Jesus. The hope of Jesus. He can resurrect anything and anyone who is surrendered to Him. He can and will turn our grief to joy, real joy as he restores our hardest days. We may have to wait til heaven to experience it, but on that day grief will die and joy will live.
“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 16:22)
When you can’t face the day, keep saying Jesus’s words, his promise. You will have sorrow now. But you will see Jesus and your heart will rejoice. And no one will take away his joy from you. That is the hope that we have when we face pandemics, unexpected losses, and hurts. Ultimately joy is ours because Jesus is ours. And no one can take Him away from you. So grieve with confidence, my friend.
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Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him. Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers.
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