Overcoming our Pain with Joy | Riot Podcast Ep 125 | Christian Podcast

About this Episode

Overcoming our pain with Joy - John 16:16-38 is the topic that will be discussed today on RIOT Podcast, a Christian Discipleship Podcast

16-24 Confusion, go away. World rejoice them sorrowful, but they will have joy

25-33 No matter what we go through we are never alone; the Father is always with us and He loves us.

Last weekโ€™s show โ€œ๐†๐ž๐ง๐ข๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ง๐ž๐ฌ๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐‡๐จ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐’๐ฉ๐ข๐ซ๐ข๐ญโ€ was a passionate spirit filled show. If you haven't already, we would recommend you go back and listen to it. Today, we'll pick up where Jesus left off in preparing the disciples for His departure from earth this week. This section of our reading will cover John 16:16-33, which concludes the Upper Room Discourse and focuses on the disciples' emotions.

They were depressed, perplexed by some of Jesus' teaching, and terrified. It gives us hope to know that the disciples were real men with real problems, and yet Jesus was able to use them. Joy is a recurring theme in this section of our reading. That night, the Eleven were not having much joy! But what Jesus said to them eventually changed their lives. Today, we will see how tenderly and patiently Jesus explained to His people how they can have joy in their lives.

Letโ€™s read John 16:16-22

We see here that Jesus gives His disciples something to live by, and that is that God brings joy to our lives, not by substitution but by transformation.

Yeah, His illustration of the woman giving birth makes this clear. The same baby that caused the pain also caused the joy. In birth God does not substitute something else to relieve the motherโ€™s pain. Instead, He uses what is there already but transforms it.

Every parent knows what it is like to have an unhappy child because a toy is broken, or a friend has gone home. The parent can do one or two things. One substitutes something else for the broken toy or absent friend. Or transform the situation into a new experience for the unhappy child.

If the mother always gets a new toy for the child each time a toy is broken. That child will grow up expecting that every problem is to be solved by substitution. If the mother always calls another playmate and invites him or her over, the child will grow up expecting people to come to his rescue whenever there is a crisis. The result, either way, is a spoiled child. The way of substitution for solving our problems, is the way of immaturity. The way of transformation is the way of faith and maturity. We cannot mature emotionally or spiritually if somebody is always replacing our broken toys.

So now that we understand the principle, we can better understand the problems and the questions of the disciples. In vs 16, Jesus announced that โ€œin a little while, they would not see Him.โ€ This appears to be a deliberately puzzling statement. Jesus spoke in proverbs and the disciples did not understand them. What did Jesus mean?

I am encouraged by this, because there are many hours that I read through the scripture to try and understand what is being said. Without trying to read into this, Jesus was possibly talking about โ€œthe soon to occur eventsโ€ in connection with His death and resurrection. After his burial, they would not see Him for a little while, but then, He would rise from the dead and they would see Him again. He had told them on previous occasions that He would rise from the dead after 3 days, but His words did not sink into their minds and hearts.

I think Jesus is also speaking about His return to the Father. This ties in with vs 10, Because I go to my Father, and you will see no more. The disciples did not live to see the return of Christ, but they did see Him die and arrive in His glory.

Yeah, in comparison to eternity, the time that the church has been awaiting the Lord's return has really been but a little while. The phrase โ€œa little whileโ€, is used in this very sense in Hebrews 10:37. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Jesus had to go to the Father to set up the church phase. He sent His Holy Spirit to the Church, and the church is carrying the Word of His grace to the ends of the earth.

To the mother experiencing birth pains, every minute may seem to be an hour. Our concept of time changes with our feelings. 30 minutes in the dentist chair may seem like hours, while hours fishing or dining with friends may seem like a very short time. The mother feels as though the birth is taking a long time, when really it may be only a little while. When the baby has been born, pain is forgotten as joy fills her heart.

The world today does not want Jesus or His church. The world is rejoicing while we are suffering, longing for our lord to return. In Romans 8:22 it says โ€œall of creation is suffering birth pangs, because of sin, awaiting His return.โ€ In Matthew 9:15 it says โ€œwhen the bridegroom is away, the bride mourns. But in a little while, he shall return, and we shall go with Him to heaven to enjoy the Fathers house.โ€ While the immediate application may have been to the sorrowing hearts of the disciples, the ultimate application is to all of God's people as they await the coming of Jesus. It seems like a long time, but God does not measure time as we do.

Letโ€™s Read John 16:23-33

The central theme here in this paragraph is prayer. Vs 34 โ€œAsk, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.โ€ It is important to note that the text uses two different words for โ€œaskโ€ although they can be used interchangeably.

The word used in John 16:19 and 23a means to ask a question or to ask a request. It is used when someone makes a request of someone equal. The word translated ask in vs 23b, 23 means to request something of a superior. This latter word was never used by Jesus in His prayer life because He is equal to the Father. We come as inferiors to God, asking for His blessing, but He came as the very Son of God, equal with the Father.

In vs23 Jesus says on that day, what period of time did Jesus mean?

I think He was referring to the time after the coming of the Spirit. He promised them in John vs 22 that He would see them again, and he kept His promise. That day cannot refer to the day of His return for His church, because there is no evidence in Scripture that we shall pray to Him after we get to heaven.

Jesus mentions prayer many times in His teachings and He had set the example for prayer in His own life. He was indeed a man of prayer and here Jesus is making it clear that a believing prayer is one of the secrets of a faithful Christian life.

Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to us to help us understand the things of God. In prayer we put ourselves in a position to walk in the Spirit. The world does not have access to the Father but the believer in Jesus does. Jesus wanted His disciples to know that by Him going to the Father they will always have access to Him. They will be empowered by the Holy Spirit to continue on the work He has laid before them.

When you read the book of Acts, you discover that the early church depended on prayer. They believed the promise of God and asked God for what they needed. It would do all of us Good if we reviewed regularly what Jesus is teaching His disciples here about prayer. Jesus is clearly laying out the case that there is great Joy in praying and in receiving answers to prayers.

My faith hero, George Muller, who said โ€œthat true prayer was not overcoming God's reluctance, but overcoming God's willingness.โ€ There is joy in prayer, and there is joy in realizing the principle of transformation. Jesus in essence has to Go to the father to birth and empower the church. The way He connects with the church is through prayer, and because of this we can still experience the great joys of having fellowship with Jesus. He still hears us and answers us.

Letโ€™s finish up this section and read 29-33

We see in vs 29-30 the disciples suddenly moved out of their spiritual stupor and made a tremendous affirmation of faith. They claimed to understand what Jesus had been teaching them, though this claim was probably presumptuous, as their subsequent actions proved.

Yeah, they were bewildered even after His resurrection as to the future of Israel. I have many moments when I declare God's truth for my life to only not believe or understand whatโ€™s going on when a circumstance comes.

Another thing we see the disciples affirm here is their faith and assurance. They said โ€œNow we are sure, by this we believe.โ€ This is quite a statement of faith. In the next chapter, John 17, we will read that Jesus told the Father about His disciples and reported on their spiritual condition. He knew they were weak in their faith, but He was quick to approve their growing evidence of faith and assurance. Is it possible to have faith, understanding, and assurance and still fail Jesus?

Well great question, unless we practice our faith and apply that understanding with rest in our assurance, we will fail when the time of testing comes. This is what happened to the disciples, and Jesus warned them that it would happen. We must live out loud our faith every day or risk denying Jesus when testing comes.

Jesus gave this message to His disciples because he wanted them to have peace in a world of tribulation. Note what Jesus said when He said in me and in the world. In Christ there is peace, in the world there is tribulation. This is the portion we need to claim for ourselves. We are in Christ, and therefore we can overcome the world and all of its hatred.

George Morrison defined peace as the possession of adequate resources. In Jesus, we have all the resources that we need. But peace depends also on appropriate relationships, because spiritual resources depend on spiritual relationships. In me is the key. In ourselves, we have nothing, but in Christ, we have all that we need. Every believer is either overcome or an overcomer. The world wants to overcome us, this is why Satan uses the world to persecute and pressure believers. The world wants us to conform, it does not want us to transform. When we yield our lives to God, he enables us to be overcomers. There is joy when we permit God to transform sorrow into joy. There is joy when God answers prayer and there is Joy when we overcome the world.

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