From Sorrow to Joy

Welcome brothers and sisters. I believe is one of my most meaningful and challenging messages I have delivered to the Saints.

 

John 16 and 17 exhibits the heart of Jesus Christ, the perfect sacrifice, just before Jesus ventured forth towards the pillars of the cross and calvary. This contemplation portrays our Savior giving His last message to His beloved disciples just before His death and crucifixion. This is part of God’s mastery, the moment of history when the veil was torn and where Jesus paved the way for salvation through the cross alone. Hence my title sadness will be turned into joy - which is what the disciples endured until Jesus rose for the dead, providing immense joy.

 

John 16:19–33

 (NKJV)

19 Now Jesus knew that they desired to ask Him, and He said to them, “Are you inquiring among yourselves about what I said, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’? 20 Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. 21 A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22 Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.

 

Everything Jesus went through was to enact the Father’s plan of redemption for mankind. However, Jesus had to assure his disciples that what he was enacting in sorrow will reap great joy at the resurrection. Yes, Satan will proclaim victory with Jesus on the cross and the World will be ecstatic but this was all part of the bigger picture - the Father’s plan.

 

This passage in John gives remarkable encouragement to us as the Saints of God. When things are looking grim, when people are wearing you out, when people tease and mock and carry on - yes they will think they are good but it will all turn around. There is only one right way that we, the people of God can endure tough moments - that is through the cross. When we understand that persecution will come, by taking up our cross we glorify God. By not defending ourselves, we give God a great chance to work it all out.

 

How did Jesus respond to Pilate with all the Jewish accusations - he was silent. What a marvelous thing. Jesus let judgment fall upon them. In fact his very own people are the ones crying out to crucify Him. But Jesus had a plan to reach the Gentiles. He has a plan for you and me.

 

Jn 16:23-24

23 “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

 

We are so privileged to be chosen children of God. We do not for one moment belong to the World. How difficult is it to understand that we are a Royal people, a chosen priesthood, a chosen generation. We see the World through God’s eyes. We recognize His incredible creation. We have the Holy Spirit within.

 

We are promised trials and tribulation, but when we endure, our mourning will be turned to gladness. See every riches, every thing belongs to God. It gives him much joy for Him to make us Stewards of His wealth. If we are in need, we go to the Father and we ask in Jesus name. When we do that, God will respond and our joy may be full.

 

Jn 16:25-28

25 “These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; 27 for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God. 28 I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father.”

 

Jesus often used analogies and figurative language as that was a most clever way of reaching the people God intended to reach. Parables presented a picture, often to hide God’s Kingdom from the self righteous Jewish leaders. Sometimes, the Sadducees and Pharisees knew that his parables were directed to them and made them angry. However, Jesus was able to interpret the parables for those he loved.

 

Jesus always gave us the focus that our love for Him was reciprocal for the Father loves us. If we do not love the Son, the love of the Father is not with us. Jesus is the way to the Father. Jesus constantly stated that if the religious leaders were of God, they would love Him as He is who the Father has sent. However, because they did not acknowledge the time of the Messiah’s visitation, then the love of God has gone cold, insinuating that their father was the devil. That is not the only time that God’s supposed people have been ostracized.  For the Jewish leaders throughout the old testament persecuted and killed the prophets. However, a greater prophet is here now - the son of man, the son of God.

 

29 His disciples said to Him, “See, now You are speaking plainly, and using no figure of speech! 30 Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God.”

31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32 Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. 33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

 

Peter in particular stated boldly and impetuously that he would not leave Jesus even if that meant to death. Yet not long after, he is found weeping for resenting Christ in His hour of trial. At least Peter followed him - the others scattered.

 

However, the Father was with Jesus and never did Jesus doubt what He was doing. The moment of history had arrived when Jesus would endure through the greatest ,moment in history, when Jesus would plummet hell and rise again in resurrected form before ascending to the Father back to glory to rule and reign forever. We will be tested with tribulation but we can celebrate that Jesus is with us and he has overcome the world. We are called to do just that Saints.

 

Christ Prays for Himself

Jn 17

 

Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, 2 as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 4 I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. 5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

 

Notice that this is a special prayer of Jesus for his dear disciples. This is the moment Jesus was waiting for. This is the moment of history where Jesus would be crucified then glorified by the Father. Yes, Jesus was apprehensive and wished there was a better way. However, there was no other way under which men could be saved other than the ultimate sacrifice made by Jesus on the cross. By being resurrected, this was the biggest game changer in all of history. The pinnacle of Jesus testimony was in His resurrection. Knowing that this was what he was destined for, Jesus was able to ensure the depths of accusations made by His own Jewish people. And oh how Jesus wept and wished He could be received by His people. He mourned that they would repent of their insidious sin in destroying the one that gave them their life, the creator that put together the entire masterpiece of the vast galaxies. Yet His own people could not comprehend that this was the day of God’s visitation.

 

Christ Prays for His Disciples

6 “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7 Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. 8 For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.

 

The Father had great pleasure in choosing us His own people from out of the Kingdom of Darkness into His glorified Light. By becoming part of God’s family, we have been given enablement to be obedient to His nature and His Word through the Holy Spirit. Once we become one of Christ’s little ones, a disciple, we recognize that everything Jesus did proved He was the Messiah with the full power of the God Head, capable of fulfilling the law and the prophets in that He would take on the sin of the World, obedient to death, conquering Satan and stripping Satan of His rights passed to Him in the Garden of Eden due to Adam’s sin. But we have a greater second Adam in Jesus Christ, who can forgive us of our sin and reconcile us back to the Father.

 

How do we know we are His? We believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God who God raised from the dead and provided us with Eternal life. We become disciples when we repent, believe and turn away from our sin and are baptised into His glorious Kingdom. God demands a changed life and we are accepted as His sheep.

 

9 “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10 And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.

 

Between the trinity, Jesus truly stands equal with the Father and the Spirit. But Jesus says He is glorified in us. We give Him glory when we live out a Spirit Filled Life. Jesus intercedes for us, longing for us to tap into His Heavenly resources, pursuing our part in our Pilgrim’s journey with Him. He longs to see us through this journey on Earth, that we would listen to His still quiet voice and live the life we were born to live. There is no greater purpose under Heaven other than to glorify our great maker for the Kingdom of God. The Father has given us over to the son and when Christ comes back for His Church, Jesus will hand us over to the Father. We are truly His if we obey His commandments and there is no greater commandment other than to love God and to love people - our neighbor. We are truly one with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus is one with the Father and the Father is one in Jesus, just as we belong with the God - we are all as one. This is precious scripture before Jesus goes on the road of the Cross. We no longer live for the World but live eternally with Christ in His Kingdom.

 

12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.

 

The LORD has been very faithful to us. From the moment he saw the disciples in the flesh, he said he needed to go from them so that they would receive the helper - the Holy Spirit. There is not one person that the Father gave Jesus who perished. This of course was with the exception of Judas who was the son of perdition. Jesus actually said that it would be better for Judas that He was never born but annihilated. We do not belong to the World with the Prince of the World activated. Instead the World hates us because we are pilgrims going on to Heaven, where our true home and treasure belongs.

 

Satan, the god of this age, despises God’s people because of where they live from in the Kingdom of Heaven. He now knows that He can never return to what He had as chief worshiper as an Arch Angel. Yet Lucifer, closer in worship to any other had to be kicked out of the third Heaven and banished to Earth. He became the god of this World from that movement in the garden, being instrumental in bringing humanity down into hell with him by blinding the depth of the gospel from permeating into men’s hearts. Should mankind receive the gospel, Satan then brings great temptation and affliction to ensure they fall away with the riches of this World and idolatry so as to neglect God and live their own way.

 

14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.

 

God’s word sanctifies us with the riches of Heaven. We are a Royal Priesthood clothed for greatness, being groomed for God’s Kingdom. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil, the evil one. Satan hates Christians but loves messing them up and bringing them delusion and confusion. We are in the World but do not belong to it. Jesus has sent us out to be a minister of the Gospel. Just like the darkness reneges light, light overcomes but with that comes thick persecution. Heaven and Earth will pass away but God’s word will by no means pass away. God reflects Himself in His word, who is also God. Jesus prays and intercedes that the word will become truth and alive in us and that we will be kept from the evil one.

 

Christ Prays for All Believers

20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

 

All for one and one for all. Amen! What a beautiful picture of God’s love for us through His word! We all need to bring down the walls of separation, to live as one as we are one with the Father and the Son through the Spirit. One with the Trinity are we, showered with blessing and honour and glory and power. All of this is available through Jesus Christ our Lord. Once we realize that Jesus is the wonderful Messiah, we can commemorate His victory on the cross and live the Christian life.

 

24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

 

What a way to finish this excerpt of scripture. Jesus is groaning for us to be with Him in His glorified presence. God loves the whole World and desires that none will perish. When we were in the World, indeed we did not know God. However, Jesus became the agent unto which we could know the Father. And what glory awaits for the Saints, that we will know God the Father through the Son. However, to love God, we need to believe that Jesus is the sent one begotten by the Father, to point us to Christ. If we fail to love and accept Jesus’s mandate as Son of God and the Jew’s Messiah, then we can not fully access God the Father. To know God, we need to love Jesus and follow His guidance. If we receive Christ, then Jesus will present us to the Father.

 

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you so much for your last words to your beloved disciples and your pledge to ensure that we remain in you and in the Father through your wonderful helper, the Holy Sprit. We are in awe of this discussion just before you walked into Calvary and carried your cross towards crucifixion. Our minds cannot comprehend how hard it was for you to see your own people, inspired by the devil, throw every bit of mockery, insult and cruelty especially with the crown of thorns and the horrific excerp of being scourged and whipped and torn. Through your blood, you were offered up as a perfect sacrifice without sin - a sacrifice like no other. Now there is no other name in which men can be saved. Lord you truly are the LORD of glory, which you are immersed in next to the Father. We cannot wait until our time in which we will join you in your glory, faced to face, able to celebrate what you have done for us and reign with you for eternity.

 

In the presence of God the Father, Jesus the son and his helper in the Holy Sprit be with us and in us and through us until we meet again. AMEN

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