“Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy.
How much time do you think you spend grumbling and complaining about the circumstances in life? We probably do that way more than we should. Have you ever noticed how that grumbling and complaining never really makes you feel any better and will often just make things worse? Well, the disciples get a lesson from Jesus about the best way to live through less than great circumstances. They, too, found themselves questioning (probably grumbling) about Jesus’ statements. Instead of going to Jesus with their concerns, they just kept it to themselves.
Jesus intervened, however, in their griping session and said told them to change their conversation. They were going to go through some difficult times – like child birth. Great advice right? He started by telling them it will be hard. They will experience grief and sorrow. But, if they can stay the course, the joy will come in the end. Jesus challenged them to change their focus from their present grief to their future hope.
As followers of Christ we need to recognize that our joy doesn’t come from a peaceful and pain free life. Our joy comes from the hope we have in the future we have been promised. Jesus uses a woman giving birth as an illustration. That is a very uncomfortable and, at times, painful process. But, when it is over the new mom doesn’t think about the pain, she thinks about the joy and love of her new child. Women can make it through child birth not by focusing on their current pain, but on the baby that comes at the end.
In this life we will have some trying and difficult times. But, even in the midst of them we can still have joy. Not because the trying times go away, but because we know that they will only last a little while. Soon, we will see Jesus. Soon our grief will be turned into joy. As Psalm 30:5 says, “Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning!” Let’s make sure we spend less time grumbling and more time celebrating what lies ahead – the best is yet to come!
Pastor Matt Huff leads Portland Central Nazarene Church. He loves being in ministry and seeing lives transformed by the power of Christ.