The Tables Will Be Turned

Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.  A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.  And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.

John 16:20-22

In this passage, Jesus gives His disciples another one of the paradoxes of the Christian life.  He told them that they were going to weep and lament while the world rejoiced.  But soon, the tables would be turned.  Their sorrow would turn into joy.  They were going to see Him betrayed and crucified, and they were going to have great sorrow.  But soon, that sorrow would be turned into rejoicing and they would forget their short season of sorrow.

When Jesus was crucified, His disciples did indeed have great sorrow.  They were nervous and afraid.  They were confused.  The world that hated Him was rejoicing.  It seemed as if the devil and his forces had won.

But then, three days later, the tables were turned.  Jesus rose from the dead, came to and comforted the disciples.  The disciples are still today (nearly 2,000 years later) rejoicing with Him in Heaven.  They went through a few dark hours, but have had the victory ever since.  On the other hand, those who condemned Him to die felt like they had won in those few hours.  But they have been suffering ever since.  The tables were definitely turned.

We need to remember these things when we get discouraged or sorrowful.  God has promised us the victory.  We need to remember to look at the end of the thing!

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