Jesus is still in His final conversations with His disciples – wanting to prepare them for the coming trauma as well as to encourage them.

Today, read John 16: 16 – 33.

The disciples still struggle with confusion over the things that Jesus is saying.  I can relate to that!  Until you experience something, often the descriptions just don’t make sense.  People try to prepare you for child birth.  But … you know … until you have done that … the descriptions just don’t communicate!  When you face a major surgery … people try to prepare you for what it will be like … but until you have walked there … the descriptions just don’t communicate!  That seems to be where the disciples are … and Jesus gently continues to describe and define. 

Are you in a place of confusion right now?  Perhaps with a marriage … or a child … or some circumstance over which you have little to no control.  Let’s hear some of Jesus’ words in this chapter with those things in mind. 

First … Jesus says that while mourning and grieving occur, grief can turn to joy.  (verse 20)  It reminds me of Psalm 57:1 which says, “Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge.  I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.”  I have used that particular image and thought when walking through disastrous times in my own life.  Disasters always pass.  Jesus wanted His disciples to know that … and that joy will come.  I need to remember that as well!  Psalm 30:5 – “weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” (NRSV) 

Second … even in the midst of trauma and crisis … we have the incredible privilege of prayer.  (verses 23 – 24)  Prayer is the communication from your heart to God.  And when you have no words of your own to pray … when your heart is too heavy for words … remember what Paul tells us in Romans 8: 26 – 27:
… the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.”
So pray … with words or without … pray.

Third … know that the end brings victory … even when you cannot see the end with your human sight and eye.  The Lord gives us the spirit of His peace with that knowledge.  (verse 33)  There is victory.  He has already overcome the world – this system of hate and violence, of pain, separation and death.  He has already overcome … and He invites you to walk behind Him … in assured victory. 

Peace and Joy … the gifts from the Father to His own … even in the midst of trauma and confusion. 

Lord … help us know how to walk in those beautiful words.  Help us know how to walk in peace and joy even when our worlds may be spinning crazily around us.  Your Spirit … alive in us … can do it!