Short Stories

It’s amazing how much can be spoken in few words when you know the speaker.

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John 16:22 – And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.

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Every time I read John 16, particularly this segment of the chapter, I am amazed at the volumes Jesus speaks in truly minimal words.  In verses 19 through 24, each verse, a “proverb” as Jesus called it, speaks volumes about the redemptive work into which Jesus was about to enter to its fullest.  Our Text for Today is no different.  Let’s look at it closely.  Jesus said, “And ye now therefore have sorrow.”  The things Jesus was saying to His disciples were troubling to them at the moment of His speaking.  They knew He was the Messiah, He Who was to be King of the Jews, Savior, and Lord; the Christ.  And now the Christ is speaking of His soon demise.  The emotional trouble of these words brought sorrow to them.

Then Jesus adds, “But I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice.”  Here we see an element of the character of God revealed.  He will NOT leave one comfortless.  Though circumstances may induce sorrow, Father ALWAYS sets the stage for joy to rise to the surface, pushing sorrow aside, watching it disappear in the fading darkness as the light shines brighter and brighter.  His disciples KNEW Jesus to be a man of His word.   He said He would see them again, and they knew and fully expected to SEE HIM AGAIN.  And here, also, we see the proper use of the conjunction, joining two phrases together.  That conjunction is “but,” and used in this manner, signifies the voiding of the first phrase by the speaking of a stronger, more powerful second phrase.  “Sorrow” must give way to “joy.”

And the closing words of this proverb stated, “And your joy no man taketh from you.”  While the first phrase seemed to cause sorrow, the second restored hope in joy, and this third statement caused faith for eternity.  In the mind of our Lord, we see His intent that the joy of the Lord, His joy, that joy of the Lord that is our strength, becomes an eternally fixed and blessed fruit that can and should be produced from the life of EVERY believer.  Oh what a promise!  Sorrow become joy, and that joy becomes a fixed blessing fully available to every believer!  And not only is it a fixed product available to every believer, Jesus declares of that joy, “NO MAN TAKES (ITFROM YOU.”  Not only is it established, but it is eternally and supernaturally protected.  That is why we should “count it all joy.”  When the blessing of the Lord is wrapped in that supernatural joy that no man can take from you, then the blessings of the Lord wrapped therein are protected as well.  You have joy, my friend; eternal joy.  Keep it and NEVER let it go. 

Manna for Today – John 16:16-24; Galatians 5:22-23; James 1:1-9

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