PAIN WITH A PURPOSE John 16:17-24
And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. (v22)
I asked several friends what their most difficult, painful experience in life had been. Their answers included war, divorce, surgery, and the loss of a loved one. My wife’s reply was “The birth of our first child.” It was a long and difficult labour in a lonely army hospital. But looking back, she said she considers it joyful “because the pain had a big purpose.”
Just before Jesus went to the cross, He told His followers they were about to go through a time of great pain and sorrow. The Lord compared their coming experience to that of a woman during childbirth when her anguish turns to joy after her child is born (John 16:20-21) “Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” (v22) Sorrow comes to us all along the road of life. But Jesus “for the joy set before him.. endured the cross, scorning its shame” (Heb 12:2) purchased forgiveness and freedom for all who open their hearts to Him. His painful sacrifice accomplished God’s eternal purpose of opening the way to friendship and fellowship with Him.
The joy of our Saviour out weighed His suffering, just as the joy He gives overshadows all our pain.
PRAYER LINE: Dear Father, Your precious Son Jesus chose suffering for me. Thank You for His sacrifice on my behalf. Thank You that even my pain can be a tool in Your hands to make me more like Your Son.
Suffering can be like a magnet that draws the Christian close to Christ. (ODB)