John 16:8-22 “Joy to the World”

Jesus did not promise a problem-free life. But He did promise that He would turn our suffering into joy and that He has GOOD plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11). And He will take the situations that are hopeless and painful and transform them into joy. Jesus uses the suffering of a woman during childbirth to explain the biblical principle of how God brings joy to our lives. A woman in childbirth experiences great pain, but as soon as it’s over and she has the opportunity to hold her child, the pain is transformed into joy. Similarly, God doesn’t substitute something else to relieve our pain and sorrow, but instead He uses what’s already there and transforms it into joy. Jesus was communicating all of this to the disciples because He wanted them to know that, in the midst of the pain and suffering to come, He would bring joy to them.

There are countless stories like this throughout Scripture (see also the story of Joseph in Genesis chapters 18 and 19), but beyond the shadow of a doubt, the most prominent one is the story of the cross. Crucifixion was the most painful, awful way that anyone could be executed. The cross was a symbol of torment and of anguish. But when Jesus died and rose again, providing salvation for all of humanity, the cross became a symbol of hope and of love. He can do the same for us. He can take the hopeless situations, and the circumstances that cause us pain and sorrow, add His grace and mercy, and transform it into joy!

Lesson4Life: Jesus transforms our pain and sorrow into joy when we put our faith in Him!