Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy. Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. John 16:20, 23b
Jesus has just told the disciples he’ll be leaving. He’ll be going to the Father. He will be fulfilling the Scripture. But, in the limited lens of the disciples’ worldly view, this news brings only anguish and grief. They can’t — and don’t want to — imagine walking without Him.
Jesus also has told them their path ahead will not be smooth: “Indeed, an hour is coming when those who kill you will think that by doing so they are offering worship to God. And they will do this because they have not known the Father or me.”
They’re about to lose Yeshua — the embodiment of their salvation. In return, they’ll receive ridicule, persecution and death. The disciples’ response is understandable. You can sense their anxiety and sorrow. But, Jesus turns their thoughts in a new direction: from sorrow to joy.
How can mourning turn to rejoicing? Pain become joy? Death become life? In the mentality of this world, it’s impossible. But, we’re called in a new direction. Jesus tells us to ask in his name, the literal translation of which is “Salvation” or “God Saves.”
When we ask in Jesus’ name, we are asking in the name of self-sacrificial love. That asking, by definition, cannot be selfish, because selfishness is incomprehensible in the salvation mindset of Christ.
In that salvation mindset, what made no sense is now reality. What was meant to break us becomes the refining that makes us. Ridicule is deflected into selfless love. Suffering yields righteousness — the power to relieve suffering for the Kingdom. Death yields eternal life.
Our joy becomes complete when we stop seeing our circumstances in the light of this world, and begin to see life and to ask of the Father in our salvation mindset — in the mindset that pours out our lives for the love of God and our neighbor.
Heavenly Father, help us to follow you today with a salvation mindset, sure of your love for us, strong in our love for you, and selfless in loving our neighbors. Amen.