[Jesus said] “Now is the time of your grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”
Joy Victorious Over Feelings
Consider how many people in the Bible lost their joy between the Thursday when Jesus spoke these words and the following Sunday morning, the day of Jesus’ resurrection.
Think of Peter after the rooster crowed, running outside, and weeping bitterly over his sin. Think of Mary Magdalene on Easter morning, soaking Jesus’ tomb with her tears, blinded by so much sorrow that she didn’t even recognize Jesus when he was standing right next to her in the garden. Think of the other disciples, too scared or ashamed to stay with Jesus; too afraid of Jesus’ enemies to do anything but lock themselves away in a room and hope that no one would find them.
As you read through these moments of personal grief and pain, do you ever wonder why the Bible includes all of them? Do you ever wonder why God wanted us to know about these different people in their lowest moments?
There is one likely explanation.
God includes all these stories of personal pain because he wants you to be able to find yourself in his Word. He knew there would be times when you would feel like Peter, very guilty about something. Or like Mary when your heart is breaking because you lost someone you loved. He knew there would be times you would be paralyzed by fear or overwhelmed by guilt. God knew.
And he wanted you to know that, despite those powerful and painful feelings, “no one will take away your joy.” The joy of Jesus’ disciples did not at all depend on how well they reacted to Jesus’ suffering and death. It depended entirely on the fact that Jesus earned complete forgiveness for them by his death and on the certainty of his resurrection—just as it does for you.
No one will take away your joy: for Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.
Lord Jesus, guide my emotions by the certainty of your completed work as my Savior. Amen.