April 14, 2014

Grief to Joy

John 16:16-21

“You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.”
—John 16:20


Some of us know the deep grief of being separated from a loved one. When we are steeped in grief, it’s hard to imagine that we could ever experience joy again. Jesus knows that about us.

My husband and I once served a two-year term in East Africa. One of the hardest parts was to leave our dear family members back home. Toward the end of our term some of our family members came to visit. I had never before experienced such great anticipation and joy over a family reunion.

Jesus knew his disciples would grieve when he left them. But he assured them that their grief would not last. In fact, their grief would turn to joy because there would be a reunion. Their friend, teacher, and brother would be among them once again—talking, eating, and teaching. And great joy would overwhelm them.

We can say more about the joy Jesus promised. It is for us as well. We too wait for Jesus to return. And although we will continue to face situations and losses that will cause us grief, we do not grieve without hope. Our hope is in Christ Jesus and the saving work he finished for us. In believing and receiving the forgiveness and new life Jesus has won for us, one day our joy will be complete. A family reunion like no other awaits us. Let’s rejoice and be glad!

Gracious God, sometimes our hearts are weighed down with grief. Reassure us that our hope is in Christ, who will lead us into joy. In his name, Amen.

About the author — Ruth Boven

Ruth Boven serves as minister of congregational life at LaGrave Ave. CRC in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She and her husband, Greg, have two adult children. They find rich purpose in urban ministry and delight in enjoying the wonders of God's good creation.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!