As we breathe out our love for God with our prayer, we breathe in His never-ending love and mercy with His answer!


SorrowJoy

Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy. (John 16:20)

Jesus endeavors to encourage His followers as they lament His imminent leaving: ‘Your sorrow will turn to joy.’ Trying to explain how joy can emerge from suffering, He uses the analogy of a woman in childbirth. Soon, through His death, Jesus will show both the evil and the good that people do. He accepts His suffering without fighting back, showing us how to absorb and so transform suffering. He shows us the brilliance of human potential, our best selves, in contrast to the hatred and fear expressed through violence.

As a man of true feeling, Jesus knew He would need to prepare His disciples for His departure. So, He gave them the promise of prayer answered. This must have been wonderful news to them. Although contact with the visible Jesus would be gone, a deeper, stronger, more inward contact with God was thrown wide open to them.

That same privilege, that same inward contact with God, that same speaking to God in ward and thought, has also been given to us, so that our joy may be complete. But, because God loves us, He only gives us those things that are for our good, those things that draw us closer to Christ, in whose name we pray. Even when God refuses to give us a particular thing, for which we are asking, our prayers do not go unanswered. God always knows best and He always answers our prayers in His own way, in His own time. Prayer is our whole response to God’s work in our lives: our deliverance from sin by the blood of Christ. As we breathe out our love for God with our prayer, we breathe in His never-ending love and mercy with His answer!

As we move through challenging times we can be reborn and we can encourage others too. We can be fearless and speak out, knowing God is with us. We can transform our vulnerability into strength and our fear into peace through tolerance and compassion.

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