One sure thing that kills joy is to just turn on the news. No matter which news network you turn on it seems they are all about doom and gloom. Very rarely you hear something that will bring joy to one’s heart.
The disciples wanted to change channels. Jesus in John 16, tried to prepare them for when He would no longer be with them. How could they go on? The joy they had was now sorrow and anguish at the thought of Him around was too much to bear.
The more I look at the reactions to the disciples the more I realize they are not the superheroes of faith. Their reactions were exactly how we react to news of a loss. Their focus was no longer on the here and now, they were stressing about Jesus said that He would no longer be with them and lost their joy.
Sorrow can quickly fill one’s heart when the pain of the situation sets in. Jesus compared it to a woman giving birth. Once the baby is born, the joy of holding that baby wipes out any memory of that pain.
Jesus knew how His death would affect the disciples. His plans for them were bigger than their ways. How do you explain as bad as things might appear, they will soon be better?
The same with us. Why do things get worse when we go through trials before they get better? “It is the darkest before the dawn.” David put it this way in Psalm 30:5b,
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
Jesus reassures the disciples although they may be filled with sorrow there will come a time their joy is filled and no one will be able to take that from them. Likewise, as we go through trials in our lives we need to hold on to the promise He made that our joy will be filled and when we are focused on Him no one can take that joy from us.