“Jesus went on to say, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.’
At this, some of his disciples said to one another, ‘What does he mean by saying, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,” and “Because I am going to the Father”?’ They kept asking, ‘What does he mean by “a little while?” We don’t understand what he is saying.'”
“Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, ‘Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me”?’ Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask, and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.'”
– John 16:16-24 [NIV]
Suffering is unavoidable in this life. We live in a fallen world where everything can go wrong. The only perfect thing is God. We, as Christians, experience a different type of suffering because not only do we have to deal with everyday life problems, but we have to face the stigma of being associated with Jesus.
Just last week, we had a school shooting in Tennessee where a transgender female went and shot up a Christian school. Three children and three adults got murdered just for being Christian. Instead of the world feeling bad for us, the world made a mockery of Christians because they view us as “bigoted” or “homophobic.” “Jesus” is even considered a curse word in the secular world. Everyone wants to talk about a vague, generalized “God,” but not about the Person of Jesus.
We will deal with many hardships as believers, but the one hope we have is that we are forgiven, we will have eternal life, and He will help us in our everyday life. When Jesus told his followers that He would return to the Father, He knew He couldn’t just leave them hanging. The disciples knew about God and Jesus but not the third member of the Trinity.
The Holy Spirit is what helps us navigate everyday life. We underrate the Holy Spirit, but it gives us the assurance of God’s presence, our relationship with God, and the answer to those tough questions that aren’t so black and white. The Holy Spirit helps ease the pain of our earthly suffering.
We’re going to have days when we cry, get angry, and feel depressed. God knows what we go through, but we have a reason to have joy because of what Jesus did on the cross. He took our sins which separated us from God, and made us pure and holy in God’s sight, making a relationship with Him possible. He gave us eternity with Him! That is more than enough to celebrate every day for the rest of our lives.