The Twentieth Day of Advent
“I tell you the truth, 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. In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” John 16:20-24 (NIV)
The Greek word:”chara”, the root of our English word “joy” means “to be exceedingly glad.” In our society, all too often we equate happiness with joy, and yet, they are so different in source and meaning! Happiness is temporal, fleeting and based on circumstances and other people. True joy is a permanent possession and gift from God derived from our faith, trust and relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus shared with His disciples that events would soon occur that would make them very sad, his crucifixion, and those who hated Him would rejoice. Then he compared their anguish to that of a woman in childbirth, yet when she gives birth to new life, so would Jesus’ resurrection in three days give new life for the world. This joy of new life did not replace their sadness, but it grew out of their sadness.
So it is in our life. We experience trials and challenges in our life’s journey, yet as we persevere in faith, trusting God despite our circumstances, our sorrow is transformed to joy that can never be taken from us.
“Thank you, Lord, for this wondrous gift of Joy. May our daily prayer always be that Your Will Be Done as we trust You and experience that joy in all situations. Amen.”