Your Sorrow Will Be Turned to Joy

Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.

John 16:20, ESV


Just before Jesus was crucified, He prepared His closest friends so that they might not be caught off guard by His death. He also revealed that while the things that were about to happen to Him would bring them sorrow, eventually it would be turned to joy.


I think this is one of the great secrets of the Bible and, therefore, one of the great secrets to life.


We all experience times that will bring sorrow. There is nothing wrong or unnatural about grief when we are parted from our loved ones by death. When a precious relationship is lost (at least temporarily) through death, it should cause us sorrow. What kind of a relationship would it have been if it did not? We will also experience sorrow when we see the innocent suffering because of sin. One of the reasons that sin is sin is because of the harm it does to others, especially to the innocent.


Having acknowledged that we will have sorrow in this life, we should also be quick to understand Jesus' promise that sorrow will eventually turn into joy. It is true that this process can take more time than we would like, but part of our trust in God is based on His promises of the things that are yet unseen. Sorrow will turn to joy, and for that great gift we are thankful.


There is something else that we should understand: Joy is not for those who are outside of Christ, for it is a fruit of the Spirit. Consider Paul's inspired words as he wrote to the churches in Galatia:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control...

Galatians 5:22-23, ESV


One of the things that can alert us to the possibility that we are either not in Christ or that we are in danger of falling away from Him if we are Christians, is the lack of joy in our lives. While we have already noted that there will be times of sorrow, one of the fruits of the Spirit is joy, so our sorrow should be temporary, not an ongoing part of life. Also, joy will never be available for those outside of Christ. While those who walk on the worldly side of this existence may feel moments of happiness and contentment, it is nothing compared to the peace and comfort that go hand in hand with the joy that is in Christ.


It is certain that we will have down times - this is a fact of life. But aren't we grateful for the joy that God floods our life with when we are walking with He and Christ on a daily basis. One more thought: Beyond this life, will be the eternal joy of Heaven!