Joy through the Suffering

"Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 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. 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. “ -John 16v20-22

"God wants us to choose to love him freely, even when that choice involves pain, because we are committed to him, not to our own good feelings and rewards. He wants us to cleave to him, as Job did, even when we have every reason to deny him hotly." - Philip Yancey

Pain is real. Suffering is a reality. Jesus promises us that we will have pain in this life. He promises something else to us as well though. He promises us that He is returning. He is returning to right all wrongs. To make the reality of Earth as it is in Heaven. So as followers of Christ we can turn and embrace our sufferings of many kinds. We can cry out to our Abba Father in our pain, not in despair but as children who when in pain, put all their trust into their parent because they trust fully that Mom or Dad will make things alright.

When I was a child and I bumped my head or scraped my  knee, I always wanted at least one of my parents to kiss it and make it all better. I am pretty sure this is a fairly common practice amongst the young people of at least this culture. I can look back on this with confidence that I really didn’t think my mother’s kiss would actually physically heal the scrap on my knee or make the goose egg on my head go down but I do know that her kiss was a manifestation of her love for me. And that I felt her love for me, which didn’t make the pain go away but it made the pain bearable and I knew things would be ok.

That is how it is with God. He wants us to come to Him in our pain, as Job did, not looking for an escape but for respite and for healing. Our joy and hope are made known to us when He kisses our wounds, when He whispers to us during our suffering that He loves us and He is coming to make all things new and good.

Now we will go through times of pain but we must hold to Jesus and his promise. He is coming back and He will actually heal the scrapes and bruises we have. Our joy from that can never be taken away. It is eternal as God is eternal.

This is the Hope we cling to. This is the Joy we can share with those around us.