What Jesus Did! 'The Dark Night before Dawn' — John 16:16-22

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

"After a short time you won't see me. Then after another short time you will see me again." Some of the followers said to each other, "What does Jesus mean when he says, 'After a short time you won't see me. Then after another short time you will see me again'? And what does he mean when he says, 'Because I am going to the Father'?" The followers asked, "What does he mean by 'a short time'? We don't understand what he is saying." Jesus saw that the followers wanted to ask him about this. So Jesus said to the followers, "Are you asking each other what I meant when I said, 'After a short time you won't see me. Then after another short time you will see me again'? I tell you the truth. You will cry and be sad, but the world will be happy. You will be sad, but your sadness will change to happiness. When a woman gives birth to a baby, she has pain, because her time has come. But when her baby is born, she forgets the pain. She forgets because she is so happy that a child has been born into the world. It is the same with you. Now you are sad. But I will see you again and you will be truly happy. You will have a happiness that no one can take away."
— John 16:16-22 NLT
Illustration of John 16:16-22 NLT — "After a short time you won't see me. Then after another short time you will see me again."

Key Thought

Jesus knows that darkness will descend on himself and those he loves. He has tried to prepare them. They cannot imagine what the next four days will entail. They will go from excruciating agony to inexpressible joy. So often we face the dark night. We need to remember that the Holy Spirit who lives in us is our assurance of a dawn of joy, blessing, and triumph.

Today's Prayer

Give me courage, O Lord my Father and God, to trust in my darkest moments that you are the Father of the Dawn and the gracious God who raises triumph out of defeat and joy out of sorrow. Please bless the following people who now face darkness in their lives ... Strengthen them and bring them the dawn of joy in your grace. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Psalm 30:5b & Isaiah 66:14
  • John 20:19-22
  • Luke 24:35-43

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.