Exuberant Joy Is At Hand

We are learning that it is good to be prepared, for we don’t know what tomorrow may bring but God does. We studied the first part of John 16 a few days ago which talks about how the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth and He tells us what lies ahead. We learned how Jesus was preparing His disciples for His departure that was soon approaching.

Today, we are going to continue the second part of John 16. Jesus is continuing to prep His followers for the coming days. He does not want to leave them ill-prepared. Do you realize that God does not want us illprepared either? When we follow Jesus and live out His ways, He leads us by the Holy Spirit and prepares us for our tomorrows.

Having someone to share your life with is a beautiful thing. Jesus wants to share life with you! His marriage vows are eternal. He walks with you and prepares you.

QUESTION: Many of us may have felt ill-prepared for 2020. How has a virus, George Floyd or organized riots caused distress and upheaval in your livelihood? How about within your heart?

Go ahead and read verses 16-33 and let’s discover how Jesus prepared His disciples for the tumultuous road that was being laid before them. 2020 is no different for us today. When we follow Jesus, He will lead us through whatever storm arises.

HISTORY LESSON: It might be wise to look back at history and see what people lived through. Look at what life was like during the Spanish Flu pandemic or both world wars. Study about past riots. How did the government protect people? Did they take control? Do you see similarities with 2020? Differences?

Verses 16-19 would be puzzling for anyone. Jesus tells them, “In a little while you won’t see me anymore but soon after, you will.” The disciples questioned what He meant. No one was ready for what Jesus was going to do. No matter how He prepared people, finite, human mindsets could not grasp His death and resurrection. We know the whole story and we even struggle with understanding the depth of His love.

ADDED INSIGHT: Look up Ephesians 3:16-20 and meditate on this nugget of truth about Jesus’ love. What is God saying to you?

Jesus helps with their questioning mindsets. He understands their limited capability as human beings. He acknowledges how they are going to respond when He is no longer on earth in human form.

QUESTION: What does He first say in verse 20?

Jesus keeps reassuring them that He tells the truth. They can believe Him. My friends, He has not changed. We can believe God when He makes Himself known to us. Look at the next part in verse 20.

QUESTION: Believers will weep and mourn over His death. How will the world react?

If Jesus came today instead of 2,000 years ago, the reaction would be the same. We learned in John 15 how the world hates Him. It will until He returns to make things right with the evil one. The score has already been settled by Christ’s resurrection. Jesus is returning to put Satan in his final place.

Verse 20 has a lot for us to see. Jesus ends this verse with, “Your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy.” This is a wonderful promise for God’s children. We all agree that life can throw some pretty crappy things at us. Circumstances, experiences and injustices encroach our livelihoods on a daily basis. I want you to know, God is with us. His Presence is our true joy.

QUESTION: Look at verse 21. What example does Jesus give to help them understand the joy that will come upon them?

We all can relate to this. The birth of a baby brings much joy, doesn’t it? I know six couples that are going to celebrate much joy as their families grow this fall/early winter. I am going to be a great aunty 3 more times! God is so good.

Jesus continues speaking in verses 22-24.

QUESTION: What is so special about the joy that comes to believers, see verse 22?

The joy of the Lord can never be taken from you! Ponder this. I need to sit for a minute and let God remind me of this truth. My temperamental mindset likes to forget this as I dwell on my daily toils and allow my emotions to dictate my feelings. Let’s unite together and say, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.”

No matter what comes our way, Jesus is with us. He will guide us, direct us and give us discernment in how to handle whatever we are facing.

Like we have studied in earlier blogs, Jesus ushers in the New Testament. The Old Testament is being rendered obsolete. The disciples have the Old Testament mindset and Jesus is revealing how walking with God is going to change for them.

QUESTION: How will they approach and ask God for things? Why will God hear them and answer them? By whose name will they now live by?

QUESTION: What two things do we have to do for God to hear us? What will we have? Take a look at verse 24.

God makes it simple for us to have our prayers heard and answered. We obtain power when we ask using Jesus’ name! What trips us up is the waiting; waiting for His timing. We want answers and we want them now!

Jesus tells His friends that He will stop talking figuratively. “I will tell you plainly.” This has not changed either. He will make Himself known to you in ways that you can understand. I am humbled over his faithful wooing of my heart. He is wooing you to Himself right now. Stop and talk with Him.

QUESTION: Why does the Father love you, according to verse 27?

We also see in verse 27 that love and faith are two components of God. Hope is the other. 1 Corinthians 13:13 says something about this. “Three things will last forever – faith, hope and love – and the greatest of these is love.” This is universal. People from all walks of life can come together when these three attributes are lived out. We all have the capability to walk united in love.

Jesus explains what He is going to do in more simpler terms in verse 28.

QUESTION: What happens when we understand the words of Christ? Look at verse 30.

When we come to faith in Christ and believe Him, our lives become settled. Our hearts do not have to look anywhere else. Essentially we are home, our hearts are at home with God. When we are at home with Him, no matter what we face, we can stand strong and have joy for we know God is with us!

ADDED INSIGHT: Read Romans 8:31-39 and be encouraged about the security we have in Christ. Now look back at John 6:68. Look how settled Peter’s heart was.

Jesus gives His final words to His dear friends. “Do you finally believe?” He asks this same question to all of us.

Jesus mentions how they will scatter and leave Jesus alone.

QUESTION: What does He say about this in verse 32?

This is such a comfort to me. I battle loneliness. I believe we all do. Loneliness is one of the attributes from our broken relationship with God because of sin. I also believe there are two other attributes, neediness and insecurity, that affect us due to us being separated from God. Jesus came to fix the separation. He fills these three voids within us. He makes us whole.

QUESTION: How does Jesus encourage His posse in verse 33? Does this encourage you?

Our sadness is turned to joy, complete joy, when Christ enters our lives! We become settled and secure when He is sitting in the front seat of our tandem bike leading us down the road. We can pedal behind Him knowing that whatever comes our way, He has our back, our front, our sides and anything in-between! We are hidden in Christ. “For you died to this life and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.” This is Colossians 3:3.

We are safe and secure in God. Let’s live out the joy that is within us!

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