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Whatever [9-22-19]


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We're still in the section of John that covers Jesus' final words to his disciples before he goes to the cross. That should help us understand how big chapter 16 is. Jesus is going away. Life is filled with good things and bad things. Jesus is showing us how we can have joy in all things.


Last week, we looked at the first two requirements for real joy:

First, you have to understand God's process.

In other words, even when things are bad, when you are confused at the direction your life is going in, God knows more than you do. God is at work in your life. He brings joy out of sorrow.

Second, you have to understand grief.

In other words, you're going to experience loss in your life. It's going to feel like the sorrow and sadness are tearing you apart. Just remember, grief is a part a life. You cannot have joy without also having grief.

Third, there is joy in life through a resurrection transformation.

In verse 20, Jesus says, "Truly, truly, I say to you…you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy." Notice Jesus doesn't say your grief will be replaced by joy. Your grief will turn to joy. As Psalm 30:5 reminds us, "Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning." Grief turns to joy.


Here's something you might want to write down:

Joy comes not through substitution but through transformation. Joy comes through change…not exchange.

That simple principle changes how you see things. Think about people who move from job to job, because they can't find satisfaction in their work. Think about people who bounce from relationship to relationship, because they can't find joy and happiness. Listen. If you are at all the kind of person who has to have a new something every few years in order to feel joy in your life, then Jesus' gift of transformation is what you need. No matter how much new you try to stuff into your life to bring joy, it doesn't last. It fades and withers. It's the world's version of joy…not God's.