COMPLETE JOY (John 16:21-23)
“A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day, you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”
This is a Word from the heart of God for His precious children who are facing the storms and trials of life.
Jesus was preparing His disciples for His crucifixion and the days of pain, persecution, and confusion they would have to endure. He knew that while their grief and disappointment would be intense, their sorrow would turn to joy when He rose from the grave and they experienced His presence once more. Jesus used the analogy of a woman giving birth to a child, as He encouraged His friends to believe that “weeping may remain for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5).
Most mothers would say that no amount of learning and preparation can make you ready for the physical pain of the birth of your first child. While reading and education can help you towards a mental readiness, the physical pain of natural childbirth begins suddenly, when the “right” time has come. It may not be too intense at first, but continuously increases in severity, until it can only be described as agony! Finally, just when the mother feels like she cannot survive any more of this excruciating pain, the baby ‘bursts’ forth as though he/she will not be contained in the womb any more, and pain miraculously begins to cease! Usually, the mother would have had to ‘cooperate’ with the pain by ‘pushing’ each time she suffered another wave of it. This helps the baby out. As a mother experienced a natural childbirth with no pain medication, I share from my own experience!
Friend, you may be going through some hardship in your home or work life, or facing a financial difficulty. Maybe a break in a special relationship is causing you grief and pain. Perhaps you have had so much bad news that you may have been feeling like you cannot go through any more. This Word is for you! The woman giving birth goes through much pain, but the moment she holds her child in her arms, the pain and its memory begins to recede from her mind. There is so much joy and excitement in seeing the face she imagined so many times, and looking into the eyes of the tiny person she spoke to for nine months! She is facing a new life, a new identity, a new season. She has transitioned from being a woman, to being “mother”! She is a nurturer, a life giver, a developer, a protector, a lover, an educator! She is born again. She is new. She holds God’s work in her hands, a new life, the limitless potential of God’s creative power in the eyes and hands of a little baby, a tiny woman or man.
Jesus was explaining to the disciples that although they would suffer much during the days following His arrest and crucifixion, they were to look ahead, and know that things would turn out for the better. They were to know that their time of grief would be brief. As they flowed with the season and learned what God had for them, they would know great joy once more. There was a destiny and a calling, a new work, the ministry of the New Testament church to be birthed through all this, and their lives and their identity would be transformed when they began to see it happening before their eyes. When Jesus rose again and met with them, their joy would be so great that their confusion and grief would just be a distant memory! This was what happened in reality.
Friend, know that there is something good for you around the corner. You may be facing a season of frustration or pain, but see this as the birthing pains for the beautiful thing God is bringing to fulfillment in your life. It is natural to cry when you are disappointed or grieving – there is sometimes a season for weeping (Ecclesiastes 3:4). However, it is important that you do not camp in this place of pain or distress. The Father has something better for you. When you walk into the plans He has for you, you will know such laughter and joy that you will not even remember the darkness of these days. We can learn something from Jesus’ analogy of the mother giving birth. As she works with the pain and pushes hard each time she feels it, there are some things we can do to facilitate the birth of the new season coming upon our lives.
1) Ask God to give you a vision of what is to come. Begin to see it in your heart and believe in the good thing He has for you.
2) Pray towards it, speak it, expect it to come to fruition imminently.
3) Thank God that He is bringing you to higher ground.
Friend, God is giving birth to a new season in your life. It is a season of joy and increase. Through this time of darkness, you are entering a new level in your relationship with the Father. You are experiencing a new revelation – that Abba does not leave you or forsake you; that He is with you in good times as well as in bad; that nothing can separate you from His love. (Romans 8:39.) God is bringing you to a new level of faith and a supernatural understanding of the power of God. Jesus said to His disciples “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name”. They had only prayed small prayers for little things which did not stretch their faith or their imagination. They had not really asked God for anything big enough to reflect big faith in a big God! They had also never used the power of the name of Jesus to open doors in the spiritual dimension.
Jesus is saying the same to you and me today. We may not have really stretched our faith up to now. We may not have sought the Father for anything really significant. We may not have realized the resident potential in the powerful name above all names – the name of Jesus. It is sometimes easier to bemoan our difficult circumstances and ask others to pray small prayers for us, that to build our faith, stand on the powerful Word of God and ask the Father in Jesus’ name! He says “Ask and you will receive and your joy will be complete”. He is giving us the permission to ask. This is the favor of God, which enables us to come before Him like any child with his earthly father, and say “Daddy, I ask you in Jesus’ name”! James 4:2b says that we do not have because we do not ask! Whatever the need you are facing, I encourage you to begin to pray today as Jesus shows you. Begin to pray bigger prayers than you have ever prayed before. When we ask in accordance with His will and His Word, He is promising that we will receive! We serve a God of miracles. We serve the Name above every name, the King of kings and the Lord of Lords for whom nothing is impossible! We serve the One who spoke the world into being, who spoke every animal into existence, who fashioned man with His hands and breathed life into his body that he would live. We serve the Lord who holds the universe in the palm of His hands. He is able. He is mighty. There is absolutely nothing impossible for Him. He loves you, He wants to prosper you, and His hand is upon your life. He wants to make your joy ‘complete’. He wants you to know true ‘shalom’ in Him – peace, joy, health of body, spirit and soul, with nothing missing and nothing broken. He wants deep contentment and the blessing of God covering every aspect of your life!
I would like to leave you with some thoughts :
1) God is giving birth to the calling and gifting, and the new season in your life. It is breaking forth through this time of questions and pain.
2) Begin to thank God and rejoice today – He is doing something new in your life!
3) Pray forth the new thing that God wants to bring to birth through you. Believe in the fulfillment of His promises.
4) Ask the Father confidently, in the name of Jesus, and pray ‘big’ prayers. He wants to give you what you seek. He wants your joy to be ‘complete’!
May you experience all the glorious and wonderful blessing of God, and may you walk on higher ground and in complete joy, in Jesus’ name, Amen!
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