Bible Text: “Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn but the world will rejoice; you will have pain but your pain will turn into joy”. John 16. 20-23
Another essential part of Jesus exhortation to His disciples is the reality of pain and suffering. They were not only mandated to proclaim the life of Jesus to the whole world but they have to anticipate the imminent persecution. It seems that Jesus is reminding them that his followers must walk in the very path that He had been through which is suffering and death. However, they are not to suffer for the sake of suffering but it is the way to real joy. Suffering and death are sure ways to life that our hearts desire. Persecution is only a way for the world to attain victory over claws of the devil.
Nowadays, the kind of suffering that we are confronted with as a demand of our faith is not something that is bloody. The excruciating pain that we might experience all along is not due to physical torture but it is the pain of illness, isolation, loneliness, rejection, being forgotten, and loss of our loved ones. Jesus is telling us to embrace them wholeheartedly because it they are opportunities to be intimately one with Him. It is a day to enter into the very experience of Lord. It is a moment to have a common identity with Jesus. Nevertheless, pain of any sort is not something that is permanent, it is merely temporary. It is a way to attain life. Jesus rest assured us that suffering and pain is indeed a source of blessing. No pain, no gain so to speak. This is the reality of life. Like a mother, labouring in pain when giving birth but the pain is totally forgotten for of the joy after seeing new life.
Let us ask the Lord to make us strong in faith, grant us high endurance to persecution, not grumbling and arguing but accepting and willing, knowing that pain is the source of great blessing, life, joy.