Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
John 16:16-22 (NIV)
The Disciples’ Grief Will Turn to Joy
16 Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.” 17 At this, some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18 They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying.” 19 Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’? 20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.
Later in the Gospel, Jesus gives an example of how Christian joy is different than worldly happiness. Here he is telling his disciples about how he will soon be leaving them, to return to the Father. This will understandably lead to grief. But this is not a hopeless grief, but rather like a woman delivering a baby. As you face challenges and grief, ask God to give you the light to see how your current struggles will lead to a joy so great that you forget your current pain.