“You too now have sorrow; but I will see you again; and your heart will rejoice, and no one takes your joy away from you. And in that day you will ask Me no question. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you shall ask the Father for anything, He will give it to you in My name. Until now, you have asked for nothing in My name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be made full.”
It had been a three-year struggle following the Master. In these hours before His arrest, trial, betrayal, and crucifixion, Jesus endeavors to encourage His disciples. They were alone with Him now. It would not be long before He would be taken from them. I wonder if they understood His encouraging words. I wonder if we understand them now.
There are three things that sort of leap out to me, as I read these words. They are stark realities about which we should be enlightened and encouraged.
The reality of sorrow: Whether personally or in relation to those around us, we find ourselves perpetually in a struggle with “the world, the flesh, and the devil.” We see loved ones struggling with health issues, financial setbacks, family dysfunction, and work-related challenges. We ask ourselves, “Will life ever be free from trials and troubles?” Somehow we know the answer is NO. After all, didn’t Jesus say, “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Like it or not, from waking in the morning to dropping off to sleep at night, we live in a world of personal, filial, and whole-world experiences that sometimes overwhelm us with sorrow. Christ’s disciples would soon experience this, when they observed their Master hanging on a gibbet on Golgotha. [Read more…]