Jefferson Vann shares a devotional thought on John 16:21-33
John 16:21 When a woman is in labour, she has pain because her hour has come. But when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the suffering because of the joy that a person has been born into the world.
John 16:22 So you also have sorrow now. But I will see you again. Your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy from you.
John 16:23 “In that day you will not ask me for anything. I am honestly telling you, anything you ask the Father in my name, he will give you.
John 16:24 Until now you have asked for nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.
John 16:25 “I have spoken these things to you in illustrations. An hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in illustrations, but I will tell you plainly about the Father.
John 16:26 On that day you will ask in my name, and I am not telling you that I will ask the Father on your behalf.
John 16:27 Because the Father himself cares about you, because you have cared about me and have trusted that I exited from God.
John 16:28 I exited from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”
John 16:29 His disciples said, “Look, now you’re speaking plainly and not using any illustration.
John 16:30 Now we know that you know everything and don’t need anyone to question you. By this we trust that you exited from God.”
John 16:31 Jesus responded to them, “Do you now trust?
John 16:32 Notice, an hour is coming, and has come, when each of you will be scattered to his own home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
John 16:33 I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”
Christmas joy and peace
The difference between sorrow and joy for the disciples would not be the birth of Christ, but his resurrection (21-22). That event would give them courage to pray in Christ’s name to the Father and have fullness of joy because of that divine connection (23-24). That event would give them courage to face a world of tribulation but still keep their inner peace in Christ (33).
As we celebrate the birth of Christ, let us remember that it is his resurrection that is our true source of joy and peace.
LORD, help us to cling firmly to the resurrection event – that we never lose our joy, our confidence in prayer, or our peace in Christ.