Pain: The Path To Joy

Wednesday: Fifth Week of Lent
John 16:16-33

What was the best part of today? What was the worst part?

In the Gospels Jesus frequently told the disciples exactly what was going to happen. They frequently didn’t get it—even when events began to unfold just as He had said. This never ceases to amaze me because we are pretty much the same today.

The reading highlights one of those stubbornly hard-to-grasp truths: pain is often the path to joy. And it takes “a little while” (16:16).

Jesus was deeply acquainted with this reality. The Bible refers to Him as both Man of Sorrows (Isaiah 53:3) and fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11). Joy and pain are side by side, embodied in our Saviour.

Jesus was about to go through agony to arrive at hope, joy, and life that had never been seen before. Not for Himself (He already had it)—but for us. His pain would pass onto us the unstoppable life He Himself was already filled with.

But first, there was a valley of pain to walk through. There was no other way.

It’s often the same for us.

Sometimes our moments of deepest hurt, trial, and trouble bring out beauty, hope, and redemption in a way nothing else ever could—when journeyed with the Father.

The joy Jesus promises in this passage is greater than the pain that precedes it. It is bigger, deeper, and wider. The world of sorrow will be overcome. The final word is not pain, but joy.

It just takes a little while. And it takes a Saviour in the middle of it.

What pain is currently in your life, waiting for redemption in the hands of the Father? How can you more deeply trust Him with it today?

 

Mandy Kasper is Associate Pastor at New Hope Church Niagara in St. Catharines, ON.

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